Digital signs, including LED, can be a great way for many types of businesses to stand out and elevate their brand above their competition. They function as a marketing tool, exposing your name and attracting new customers. They make your company and business recognizable in a bold vibrant way, especially as you seek to grow. LED signs are a significant investment, with the potential for significant return. So what exactly is an LED sign and what should you know when considering your first one?

Important Terminology:
It’s important to understand the terminology so you have an idea on what everything means and how that determines the layout and design of your LED sign.  A few key terms to understand are LED, Pixel Pitch, and Matrix.  With all digital displays, there are many other terms that our team can help explain when the time comes, but today we’ll stick with the basics.

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, which is basically a small light source. They are different from a standard incandescent light bulb though, and are more efficient and last much longer. Unlike incandescent bulbs, LEDs do not use filament which allow them to use more of the electricity to create light without generating heat (like an incandescent bulb). Science is fascinating, right?

• Pixel Pitch refers, generally speaking, to the resolution. It’s the distance between pixels. The lower the number (ie. distance), the more detailed the design, and the greater the pitch, the more spread out each pixel is. A lower pixel pitch provides a higher quality image.

• The Matrix refers to the full grid of the pixels. It’s expressed as the vertical row count by the horizontal row count (16×80 for example). The matrix determines how many characters will fit on a line and how many lines will fit on a display. Together, the matrix plus pitch make up your entire sign, depending on how large and detailed it will be. It will be important for you and Shine On to discuss what these numbers should be, depending on how your sign will be viewed and how far away people will see it. Like an eye exam, you want potential customers to clearly and easily read your sign from whatever distance they see it.

Choosing colors:
As with all sign types, it’s important to decide on what colors to use. If it’s outside or in the path of direct sunlight, it will compete with the sun and must be bright enough to counter that. Your colors should be bright and eye-catching, something that will peak the interest of the people that see your sign. There are three different options for what kind of color palette you can use: monochromatic, 256-color, or full color.

Monochromatic, as you may suspect, means one color.  256-color, or 8-bit color, means that, at maximum, you could use an array of up to 256 colors, which is broken down by red, green and blue values. If 256 isn’t quite enough for your design, especially if there are detailed pictures or videos to use, then you’ll want to use a full color option where you aren’t confined at all by your color needs.  The colors produced are in the trillions!

Using an LED sign can certainly help expand your business, in an impressive and visually impactful way. When designing, keep in mind that your imagination is the limit, but it’s good to have an idea of the message you are thinking of and what kind of colors, words and resolution will help trigger those new people to come through your door. Shine On Signs’ team has the expertise to make sure you get the most out of this investment in your brand.