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Introduction to LED Displays

  1. What is an LED?

    Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are small lamps that emit light when supplied with electricity. They come in many colours and shapes. Unlike incandescent lamps that convert electricity to heat and light with a filament, LEDs convert electricity directly into light, have no breakable filament, and are extremely efficient. LEDs are perfect for use in creating displays because of their high brightness, extremely long lifetime, and their small size. Most LEDs are less than 1/4” in diameter. Unlike incandescent bulbs which last just 1,000 to 2,000 hours, the useful lifetime of LEDs that go into Luminautics LED signs is typically 10-15 years.

  2. What is a pixel?

    The word “pixel” is an contraction of “picture element.” Pixels are small points of coloured light on a display surface that combine to form an image. If you look very closely at your television, you can see the individual pixels that make up the screen.

  3. How do LED displays create images?

    LED displays create images using pixels made with LEDs. In a red or amber monochrome LED display, each pixel is normally made with just one red or amber LED. In a colour LED display, pixels are made with three LEDs (red, green, and blue) grouped together. Since any colour can be made by mixing red, green, and blue light of various strengths, the exact colour of each pixel can be controlled by precisely controlling the light output from each LED.

  4. LED displays seem to have different names. Do they all mean the same thing?

    Because LED displays are a new technology, they have been given various names in recent years. Names include: Electronic message centers, digital billboards, digital screens, electronic message boards, marquee signs, LED displays, LED screens, video displays, etc. Each of these names is synonymous.

  5. What does pixel pitch mean?

    "Pitch" is the center-to-center distance between pixels in a display, usually given in millimeters (mm). A smaller pitch means more tightly packed pixels and, therefore, higher resolution.

    Luminautics offers both 12 mm and 16 mm pixel pitch products for a range of applications.

  6. What does resolution mean?

    Resolution describes the ability of a display to show image details. In general, a display with a larger number of pixels (smaller pitch) will have a higher resolution, and a display with fewer pixels (larger pitch) will have lower resolution.

  7. What is a matrix?

    A “matrix” is a collection of pixels in a display surface arranged in a rectangular grid. A display matrix is usually described in terms of its size by the following:

    (number of pixels high) x (number of pixels wide)

  8. What is the difference between red or amber LED signs and full colour LED signs?

    Monochrome displays produce images of one colour only. Typically red or amber, monochrome displays are used to display text. By contrast, full colour LED displays are capable of displaying vibrant images comparable to television or high quality print ads.

  9. What is viewing angle for an LED display, and how is it measured?

    Viewing angle describes the ability of a display to show images when viewed from a non-head-on direction. As one moves from viewing the display head-on to 90 degrees from head-on, the display brightness gradually drops from 100% to zero. At a certain angle, the brightness of the display will drop to half of its head-on brightness. Because the display is symmetrical, whether viewed from left of right, 2x this half-brightness angle is defined as the view angle.

    The horizontal and vertical view angles for displays are usually different. The horizontal view angle is usually wider than the vertical view angle to capture a wider audience and avoid directing light into the sky. Therefore, horizontal and vertical view angles are given separately.

  10. What are the key factors affecting image quality?
    1. Pixel pitch

      The density of LEDs is the leading determinant of image clarity - the more LEDs per square foot, the smoother the image. The closer a viewer is to an LED display the more the LED density comes into play.

    2. Contrast

      Viewing angle describes the ability of a display to show images when viewed from a non-head-on direction. As one moves from viewing the display head-on, to 90 degrees from head on, the display brightness drops from 100% to zero gradually. At a certain angle, the brightness of the display will drop to half of its head-on brightness. Because the display is symmetrical, whether viewed from left of right, 2x this half-brightness angle is defined as the view angle.

      The horizontal and vertical view angles for displays are usually different. The horizontal view angle is usually wider than the vertical view angle to capture a wider audience and avoid directing light into the sky. Therefore, horizontal and vertical view angles are usually given separately.

    3. Color uniformity

      Colour uniformity refers to how smooth an image will appear across the surface of a display.

      Because LEDs are produced in batches by manufacturers, slight variations may occur in the amount of light that they produce from batch to batch—this is true even for amongst the world’s best suppliers.

      Luminautics measures each batch of LED tiles produced to determine the exact colour of each batch and employs a colour correction algorithm to adjust each tile for a flawless image.

    4. Color accuracy

      In addition to producing an image with uniform colour, it is important that the colour of image produced is true to life. A perfectly uniform image that is too reddish in colour, for example, will not look right.

      Fortunately, internationally recognized standards bodies, including the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) has produced stringent standards for accurate colour reproduction. Luminautics displays are measured and calibrated to conform to these standards.

    5. Frame rate

      Videos are created on displays by rapidly flipping images at speeds too fast for your eye to detect. The images that compose a video are called ‘frames’. The speed of image playback is called “frame rate” and is measured in “frames per second” or FPS. The faster the frame rate, the smoother the video will appear to the eye. Luminautics displays are capable of playing images at a rapid frame rate of up to 60 frames per second—the same as for most computer monitors.

  11. What are the main components in a Luminautics LED sign?

    Luminautics displays are made with a minimal component count and simplicity of construction for reliability and ease of serviceability. Broadly speaking, each Luminautics display is comprised of LED Tiles, Cabinet, Power Supplies, and Player. Each of these is described in more detail below.

    1. LED Display Tiles

      Luminautics displays—no matter the size—are built from intelligent, 1ft x 1ft LED Tiles. Each intelligent tile is sealed, durable, easily replaceable, and packed with advanced features.

    2. Cabinet

      LED tiles are mounted to a skeleton of extruded aluminum rails and stylish edging. This aluminum skeleton is rigid and corrosion-resistant to ensure that your display will last and look great over its entire lifetime. Luminautics’ extruded aluminum framing outperforms cheaper sheet metal or fabricated metal cabinets, and keeps LED tiles perfectly aligned for a seamless image at all times.

    3. Power Supplies

      LED tiles require low voltage electricity. High-efficiency power supplies convert 100-277VAC electricity to the 12VDC electricity that LED tiles need to operate.

    4. Player

      Each Luminautics display includes a rugged, waterproof onsite player that acts as your sign’s link to the outside world. The player communicates over the internet to your web browser to allow you to control your sign.

  12. What goes into a Luminautics LED Tile?
    1. LEDs

      LEDs are the single biggest determining factor of display quality and lifetime. Tremendous variability exists amongst LED suppliers in terms of both cost and quality. LED prices can range from 1c to 10c each, and operating lifetimes can range from less than 1 year to more than 15 years. Often, producers of low-end LEDs make unscrupulous claims that their LEDs rival the quality of the premium products. Not true. This variability is a major source of the price differences existing amongst LED display suppliers, particularly suppliers based in Asia.

      In general, only a handful of Tier 1 LED suppliers produce products worthy of Luminautics LED displays. Luminautics selects only LEDs from Tier 1 suppliers to ensure your return on investment.

    2. Printed Circuit Boards

      A printed circuit board (PCB) is used to mount the electronic components, including LEDs and driver chips together in each display tile. Printed circuit boards consist of multiple copper layers sandwiched between fiberglass-reinforced polymer insulators. Together, the copper layers and insulators make up the circuit that drives each LED.

    3. Driver chips

      Integrated circuits are used to control the brightness of each and every LED in a display tile. Each chip communicates with the Onboard Controller (see below) to translate a digital signal into the exact colour needed for each pixel to produce a vibrant image.

    4. Front cover

      A front cover is placed over the LEDs to provide impact resistance, contrast, and shielding from sunlight. This cover is made of nonfading, UV-resistant engineering polymer, and allows LEDs to protrude unobstructed while being shielded by special protective ridges called louvers.

    5. Back cover

      The back cover provides a rigid skeleton, mounting features, thermal dissipation, and sealing for each Luminautics LED Tile.

    6. Onboard controller

      Each Luminautics LED tile is intelligent, and includes an onboard controller—essentially a mini computer! This controller performs essential functions including:

      • Image processing algorithms to make images look better
      • LED control
      • Health monitoring down to each LED
      • Self-healing network management
      • Onboard temperature sensor
    7. Data connectors

      Each LED tile features waterproof IP67 data connectors that allow video and control data to be transmitted while withstanding the harshest environments—even submersion under water.

  13. What product options does Luminautics offer, and how do I choose the right one?

    Choosing the optimal resolution for your application means striking a balance between pixel density and cost. Higher pixel density (smaller pitch) displays are needed to produce great looking images at close viewing distance. Higher pitch screens can be used at larger distances while maintaining image quality. Luminautics offers 16 mm and 12 mm pitch products.

    Product Lumiflex 16 mm Pitch Lumiflex 12 mm Pitch
    Pixel Density 324/ft 2 576/ft 2
    Recommended Use High Resolution. Medium- to long-distance viewing. Highest Resolution. Designed for up-close viewing.
    View Area Sizes Any 1ft multiple (height)
    Any 1ft multiple (width)
    Any 1ft multiple (height)
    Any 1ft multiple (width)
    Common Sizes Bulletin (14ft x 48ft)
    Junior Bulletin (10ft x 36ft)
    Poster (10ft x 20ft)
    Bulletin (14ft x 48ft)
    Junior Bulletin (10ft x 36ft)
    Poster (10ft x 20ft)
    Matrix Bulletin (252 pixels x 864 pixels)
    Junior Bulletin (180 pixels x 648 pixels)
    Poster (180 pixels x 360 pixels)
    Bulletin (336 pixels x 1152 pixels)
    Junior Bulletin (240 pixels x 864 pixels)
    Poster (240 pixels x 480 pixels)
  14. How many colours can an LED display produce?

    Often modern displays are said to be capable of producing “billions”, “trillions”, or even more possible colours. By mixing red, green, and blue LED light in various combinations, different colours are produced by each pixel. ''Generally speaking, your eye will not be able to resolve the difference between anything more than billions of colours.'' For reference, a high quality true colour computer monitor produces millions of colours.

    The exact mix of red, green, and blue LED light in each pixel, and therefore the exact colour of each pixel, is controlled digitally through a binary numbering system of 1s and 0s called ‘bits’. A larger number of bits means a larger number of colour possibilities. In general, the number of colours will grow exponentially with the number of bits according to the formula below.

    Number of colours = 2 NUMBER OF BITS

    The table below illustrates how this formula works:

    Bits Binary colour combinations Possible colors
    1 0 1 2 = 2 1
    2 00 10 01 11 4 = 2 x 2 = 2 2
    3 000 001 010 011 100 101 110 111 8 = 2 x 2 x 2 = 2 3
    4 0000 0001 0010 0011 0100 0101 0110 0111
    1000 1001 1010 1011 1100 1101 1110 1111
    16 = 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 2 4
    N Too many to list! 2 N

    As an example, 12-bit control of red, green, and blue LEDs will give a total of 36 bits of control per red-green-blue pixel, and will give 2 36 = 68,719,476,736 , or a little over 68 billion colours.
    Similarly, 16-bit control of red, green and blue LEDs will give a total of 48 bits of control per red-green-blue pixel, and will give 2 48 = 281,474,976,710,656 , or a little over 281 trillion colours.


  1. What type of price variations exist for LED display products?

    LED display pricing is truly one of the most confusing aspects for potential buyers, and deserves serious attention. Large variations in price and quality currently exist amongst LED sign suppliers. Pricing from supplier to supplier for supposedly similar products varies wildly.

    Given this variability, buyers need to know exactly the type of product they are getting for their money and what kind of return on investment can be achieved with the product.

    Some suppliers produce LED display products that have an intentional lifespan of only 2-3 years. A large percentage of products, if not the majority, offered by Asian suppliers fall into this category. Low-cost, short-lifetime products have enjoyed success in emerging markets where labour costs are low, allowing displays to be affordably replaced every few years and regularly repaired. In contrast, long-lasting products have been highly successful in advanced economies where replacement of displays every few years and frequent need for servicing is not viable due to higher labour costs. Luminautics falls into the second category, producing products that can easily last for 12-15 years.

    Buyers need to be fully informed about the product decision that they are making. Unfortunately, unscrupulous suppliers frequently attempt to sell low-cost short-lifetime products as high-quality. The newness of the LED display market and the lack of buyer education when it comes to LED display quality allows some buyers to be taken in.

    It is important to us that our customers have the information they need to make a confident choice.

  2. How are low-cost suppliers able to cut costs, and how do these decisions affect quality?

    The following section lists measures that some suppliers use to cut costs, and the corresponding quality impacts:

    • Low-grade LEDs
      • Degrade faster: can look good initially, but will look poor or cease functioning altogether in just a few years, if not sooner.
      • Have poor LED sorting (also known as “binning”) that causes displays to become visually non-uniform.
      • Draw more power to achieve the same brightness level as a quality LED product.
      • Made with low-grade lenses that ‘yellow’ in sunlight, causing LEDs to discolour over time.
      • Have non-watertight LED packages that allow water to seep into and damage the active light emitting part.
      • Use iron electrical contacts that can rust over time.
      • Can cost less than 1/3 the price of high quality LEDs that will last 100,000 hours.
    • “Knock-off” LED driver chips
      • Susceptible to electrical damage because of poor quality control and engineering as compared to reputable chip suppliers including Texas Instruments and Macroblocks.
      • Offer smaller brightness ranges, lower efficiency, and imprecise control of LED brightness.
    • Electrolytic capacitors
      • Capacitors are essential electronic components used to keep smooth DC voltages on LEDs and LED driver chips. Voltage spikes can reduce component lifetimes. Electrolytic capacitors are the least expensive option, but are notorious for breaking down after a short amount of time.
    • Non-UV-stabilized plastic
      • Causes fading and cracking, especially with exposure to sunlight.
      • Displays will not look black when off after years of operation outdoors.
    • Unsealed data connectors
      • Displays are composed of hundreds of LED tiles. These LED tiles need to be linked together, meaning hundreds of connectors. If connectors aren’t completely sealed, they are prone to corrosion, especially in road salt/coastal environments, and that means hundreds of vulnerable failure points.
    • Unintelligent LED Tiles
      • LED tiles having no onboard processing power are incapable of network self-healing, dramatically increasing the risk of downtime, and making LED tile replacement and recalibration far more time consuming.
    • Minimal sealing of circuitry
      • Exposed circuitry of any kind invites corrosion failure, especially in a road salt environment.
    • Iron cabinets
      • Will rust and require continued maintenance.
    • Fans
      • Used to compensate for poor thermal design and inefficient heat-producing electronics.
      • Fans have a high rate of failure due to moving parts, especially outdoors where dirt and dust can enter and clog fans.
    • Low-grade power supplies
      • Often the weakest link in displays
      • Produced with inferior electronic components, particularly electrolytic capacitors that are rated for only a couple years of continuous usage.
      • Often have lower efficiency, and will consume more power.
  3. How much do LED Displays cost?

    The cost of a new on-premise LED display is similar to the cost of a new automobile, and will depend on the size of the display as well as the pixel pitch (how tightly packed the pixels are).

    If you are considering a new on-premise LED screen, we recommend looking for available funds in your advertising and communications budget, rather than treating your purchase as a typical capital expenditure. You may find that investing in an LED display is a more efficient way to spend your advertising and communications dollars.

    The table below outlines the average costs of various advertising mediums per 1000 impressions. Long-lasting LED displays have by far the lowest average cost per 1000 impressions.

    Advertising Medium Cost per 1000 impressions
    LED On Premise $0.45
    Outdoor $1.90
    Radio $5.47
    TV $6.26
    Newspaper $7.39

    Source: US Small Business Administration

  4. Are display prices coming down, and should I wait to adopt?

    For over a decade, the cost of producing LED displays has come down significantly because of gains in manufacturing efficiency made by producers of LEDs. This drop in cost is one key factor why LED displays are now being adopted as the technology of choice for signage applications.

    Pricing for displays has leveled significantly in recent years as the cost of LEDs as a fraction of total display production costs has become smaller and smaller. While incremental cost reductions are expected to continue occurring, significant future cost reductions are unlikely.

    Buyers should weigh the relatively small upside of waiting for small percentage cost reductions in screens vs the opportunity cost of waiting to adopt. Given that on-premise advertisers generally see 15 – 150% increases in store sales with the adoption of LED signs, and that billboard advertisers are able to get 6-8x increases in ad revenues, it is most likely a sound financial decision to adopt LED display technology in the short term.

Value of owning an LED Sign

  1. How do LED displays compare to other display technologies like LCDs?

    For outdoor, LED screens are chosen over other display technologies like LCDs because of their unique ability to compete with direct sunlight and produce a highly visible image, while maintaining efficiency and weather resistance. Even the brightest LCD displays wash out under direct sunlight—this is not a problem with LED.

  2. What’s the difference between a “Digital Billboard” and an LED “On Premise Sign?”

    Digital billboards are LED signs used by billboard operators to sell media space to advertisers. These signs are typically located off of the billboard operator’s property (“off-premise”).

    On premise LED signs are usually used by a business on their own property to promote products, services, events, etc. On premise LED signs may also be used for third party advertising.

  3. How do LED signs benefit on premise buyers?

    Vendors worldwide have only now begun to realize the power of on-premise LED display technology to increase sales by stylishly capturing the attention of onlookers, while delivering important information. According to the U.S Small Business Administration, the retrofit of LED displays at local vendor locations typically results in sales increases from 15% to 150% per year.

  4. How do LED signs benefit billboard operators?

    Digital signage increases third party ad revenues by 6-8x on average. Not only do digital screens increase the value of the ad space due to changeability of images, allowing ‘smart’ ad campaigns, but they also lower variable operating costs simply because copies are changed at the touch of a button, rather than deploying a crew to re-post images on a monthly basis. Consider this quote from sign industry magazine:

    “With initial results from digital sign installations by outdoor advertisers showing revenues increased by 6-10x, superior efficiencies for outdoor advertising companies will continue to be the most significant driver of digital sign adoption. LCD and LED digital displays allow for higher quality, faster time to market, and better customer targeting. They also promise to significantly cut costs. For a higher initial capital investment, digital displays will cut industry operating expenses by allowing outdoor advertising companies to update displays at the click of a button rather than through regular and labor-intensive on-site visits.” –Sign Industry Magazine

    Smart ad campaigns offer additional value to clients. Clients are able to synchronize boards across space and time, target certain groups at different times of day, and even control content based on the outside weather conditions. Customers may also include live RSS feeds from the internet, and post content directly off websites; for instance, a client radio station could display the name/artist of a song their station is currently playing on their billboard. Furthermore, public service and emergency announcements are also enabled on these structures

  5. What other benefits do LED displays offer?
    • Changing messages hold viewers interest instantly
    • Illumination attracts attention and stands out on the street
    • Looks great even under direct sunlight and will not “wash out” like LCD screens
    • Increased viewing distance provides more reach to potential clients
    • High resolution graphics are attractive like television
    • Message content can be adjusted over large geographies through centralized control
    • Message content can be time-of-day or day of week specific
    • Displays can promote many specific messages in limited space simultaneously
    • Smart campaigns can be coordinated weeks or months in advance
    • Modern LEDs achieve much higher efficiencies than fluorescent backlits
    • Changeable digital space allows vendors or their suppliers to potentially purchase time on the screens

Reliability, Lifetime & Servicing

  1. What are the three most important results that LED display buyers should expect from a quality product?
    • The LED display has to start and stay beautiful for the longest possible time
    • Expensive downtime needs to be minimized or eliminated
    • Future investment in repair and service needs to be minimized or eliminated
  2. How can I be sure I'm buying a quality product?

    Does the manufacturer trust its own product with a great warranty?

    This is evident by how much a manufacturer is willing to risk in terms of providing you a long warranty period and how comprehensive your coverage will be.

    Luminautics offers a best-in-industry 5-year warranty on every LED board we build. It covers all electronic and LED components in your Luminautics LED screen. There is no need to upgrade to have full coverage, and you don't have to pay extra for 5-year protection.

  3. How long should I expect my LED display to last?

    Typically 12-15 years.

    Under laboratory testing simulating severe environmental conditions, our LEDs are able to maintain suitable brightness for at least 100,000 hours. Because displays are not subjected to such severe conditions in practice, the operating lifetime of a Luminautics LED display will be much longer

    LEDs themselves last for many, many years. Unlike incandescent light bulbs, which fail catastrophically at the end of their life, LEDs dim gradually over time. LED displays can therefore be run until the brightness of the screen is no longer acceptable to the user. Luminautics' LEDs can retain 70% of their initial brightness after 50,000 hours of full brightness continuous operation.

  4. What kind of service, maintenance, and technical support should I expect?

    You will have complete support from Luminautics during and after sign installation. This support includes all of the following: training on software and hardware, spare parts, customer support to answer your questions, access to our continually updated online resources, and our exceptional 5-year warranty.

    E: info@luminautics.com
    T: +1 (647) 704 5147

  5. How do displays perform in extreme environments?

    Some manufacturers produce LED displays using unsealed modular sections and/or unsealed data cables and DC power lines. Corrosion in outdoor environments frequently causes these components to stop working.

    Luminautics displays use fully rubberized modules, sealed Ethernet datalinks, and corrosion-resistant power delivery to each module for vastly improved lifetime in the harshest environments.

  6. What happens if one or more modules or datalinks break?

    In most display systems, when one module fails, the entire display, or a large section of the display, stops working. Depending on the manufacturer, any failure that affects a datalink feeding modules with image or video data can cause visual downtime before repairs can be completed.

    Luminautics displays employ a self-healing network of modules that intelligently redirect data over multiple pathways and can survive breakages without affecting the rest of the display. Because Luminautics systems will keep working despite link failures, problems can be corrected before any costly visible downtime.

Mechanical Design Considerations

  1. How much will my display weigh? Will changes to an existing structure be required?

    Each display installation is unique, and the final weight will depend on your exact structural requirements. Seek the advice of your sign manufacturer for more details. A Luminautics 14' x 48' board, for example, will typically weigh approximately 6000 lbs. Luminautics LED signs are constructed with lightweight extruded aluminum and can weigh as little as half as much as competitors’ signs.

  2. Can displays be serviced from the rear?

    Yes, the Luminautics system makes rear servicing simple. The ability to service displays from the rear is essential particularly for many billboard and wallside installations where it is difficult or impossible to access the front of the sign.

  3. How thin can an LED sign be?

    This will depend on the structural support required for your installation. Luminautics displays can be exceptionally thin, down to 4.5” in total depth.

  4. If an existing sign structure is in place, can I retrofit an LED display onto it?

    As a rule of thumb, if the sign structure is a contemporary, well-engineered, professionally-built and installed steel monopole, a digital billboard can be added with minimal, if any, strengthening. However, every billboard must be inspected by a licensed engineer before making plans to add a digital face.

  5. Are Luminautics LED signs susceptible to vandalism?

    Luminautics LED tiles have a ruggedized surface capable of deflecting most projectiles. Under rare circumstances involving a high energy projectile or force, damage can occur. However, this type of damage is normally limited to a single LED tile, which keeps repair cost low.


  1. What types of features does Luminautics software offer?

    Lumicast TM is an advanced, browser-based media management and sign control software suite designed for outdoor advertisers and on-premise sign owners. Lumicast:

    • Uploads and schedules media on your sign from one intuitive interface
    • Combines the best features of Google Maps, Google Calendar and PowerPoint for flexible media management
    • Controls LED sign networks of any size
    • Accepts all standard image and video file formats
    • Maintains a library of your uploaded content for quick access
    • Allows preview of your graphics before you show them on your sign
    • Remotely monitors system health: right down to the last LED
    • Produces proof-of-performance reports for advertising
    • Works on any computer or smartphone anywhere in the world through standard web browsers
    • Requires no dedicated computer system—any computer or phone with internet will work
    • Continually receives upgrades by our staff – no installation CD or updates required
  2. How is content sent to your Luminautics display?

    Using Lumicast TM images, videos and instructions are sent to your sign over the Internet. This allows Luminautics displays to be easily updated and controlled from anywhere in the world using a standard web browser—no posting crew required. Signs are connected to the internet through your choice of Cellular, WiFi, or landline connection options.

  3. Does Luminautics provide software training?

    Yes. Our Lumicast online software has been built for simplicity, while delivering maximum flexibility and control. Most people feel comfortable with using the interface within minutes.

    Lumicast is included with the purchase of your sign.

  4. Are my account and displays secured?

    Yes. Your data is always sent and received over encrypted links. Access to your Lumicast account is password protected. Just like webmail, your data, settings, and account information belong to you exclusively.

  5. Will I need to buy a new computer to operate my Luminautics display?

    No. A computer or smartphone purchased within the last 2 or 3 years having a standard web browser and internet connection should be more than sufficient. Lumicast is specifically optimized for several excellent free web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox.

  6. What types of media are compatible with Luminautics LED displays?

    Lumicast software accepts all standard image and video file formats.

  7. What is proof-of-performance reporting, and does Luminautics provide this?

    Proof-of-performance reports allow sign operators to periodically generate custom reports summarizing what content was played, when content was played, the number of plays, etc. Reports can be customized for individual advertisers.

    This service is available to you at any point via the Lumicast web control software used to control your sign. You can access this service directly from your web browser at any time, and generate excel or pdf reports available for immediate download.

  8. Can the screen health be monitored remotely?

    Yes. Sign health is monitored 24-7-365 in real time. From your software console, you can monitor your sign’s connection, make sure all LED display modules are working properly, and see any errors down to the LED level.

Power Usage Considerations

  1. How are Luminautics LED Displays powered?

    Each Luminautics display uses an AC power input just like a regular illuminated sign, and can accept a wide voltage range (100 – 227V) for international compatibility.

  2. How much power does a Luminautics LED display use?

    Power usage is generally proportional to the display size (square footage). Larger displays with more LEDs use more power, and smaller displays with fewer LEDs use less power. Calculations are given below for estimating the maximum and average power draw for a Luminautics display.

  3. How can I calculate the maximum power use for my application?

    The calculation below is useful as a guideline only. Consult your sign manufacturer or a licensed electrician for a professional estimate.

    Maximum sign power draw = Max power per square foot x display size in square feet

    Max power per square foot by product:

    Product 12 mm 16 mm
    Max. power per square foot 35 Watts/ft 2 35 Watts/ft 2

    Example: 14’x48’ 16mm Pitch Billboard

    Maximum sign power draw = Max. power per sqft x display size in sqft
    = 35 Watts/ft 2 x (14 ft x 48 ft)
    = 23,520 W
    = 23.52 kW
  4. How can I calculate the average power use for my LED sign?

    The average power usage for a given display will depend on its brightness settings, and even on the content being displayed on the sign. For example, images featuring a lot of white area will utilize red, green and blue LEDs all at the same time, therefore white images will require more power.

    On average, LED displays will operate on approximately 1/3 of their maximum power rating.

    Example: 14’x48’ Billboard

    Average power = 1/3 max. power per sqft x display size in sqft
    = 1/3 x maximum power rating
    = 1/3 x 23.52 kW
    = 7.84 kW
  5. How do I calculate the annual power cost for my LED sign?

    Yearly Power cost = power cost per kWh x Hours used per day x 365 x Average power use (kW)

    Example: 14’x48’ Billboard used for 12 hours per day

    Yearly Power cost = $0.10/kWh x 12 x 365 x 7.84 kW
    = $3433.92
  6. What type of power feed will I need?

    In general, a power feed capable of supplying the sign’s maximum power draw should be provided. Your sign manufacturer or electrician will be able to assist you with installing the proper power feed.

  7. What is power factor correction, and does my Luminautics sign have it?

    Power factor correction is a feature of AC/DC power supplies that improves efficiency. All Luminautics power supplies are power factor corrected. In layman’s terms, Power Factor Correction (PFC) is a feature of AC/DC converters designed to prevent power from being reflected from the AC/DC converter back into the power grid.

Network Requirements

  1. Do I need an internet connection to operate my display?

    Yes. In order to take full advantage of your Luminautics system, each LED display should be connected to an active internet connection. This gives you access to control your display, schedule media, and monitor system health remotely and securely over the internet.

  2. Do I just plug my sign into an active internet connection?

    Yes. The Luminautics player in your sign is preconfigured to automatically establish a link when you plug your sign in.

  3. Will my network security measures interfere with sign operation?

    In most cases, no interference should result. If a computer plugged into the link intended for your sign is able to establish an internet connection, then so should your sign. If you have a problem with your network security measures, contact your system administrator. If problems still occur, call our support line.

  4. What if an on-site internet connection is not available?

    This is common for off-premise billboard applications. No worries! Luminautics provides a 3G cellular connection unit that can be used to bring a reliable connection to your site wirelessly.

  5. Can I use a Wi-Fi connection to a Luminautics LED sign?

    Yes. Even when a local internet connection is present, it is sometimes easier to use a wireless link to your sign, especially when running a wire is difficult due to site considerations. Luminautics provides a Wi-Fi option to link your sign over Wi-Fi.

  6. What happens if my internet connection goes down?

    The player controlling every Luminautics display stores the latest set of media, scheduling and commands given to it. If a temporary interruption in internet service occurs, your display will continue to operate. When internet service resumes, your display will automatically receive updates of the latest media, scheduling and commands.

Site Impacts and Regulatory Compliance

  1. Do LED displays comply with local bylaws and zoning? If not, what will I do?

    Your local sign manufacturer is familiar with local regulations and will be able to work with you to navigate zoning regulations and bylaws concerning digital outdoor signs.

  2. Why are regulators increasingly accepting LED display technology?

    Many of the first LED signs installed were done so at a time when maximum brightness and the use of video content were not regulated. Overly bright displays, or displays playing full motion video as opposed to sequences of static images created a negative perception amongst some regulatory bodies.

    Because LED displays represent a relatively new way to display media outdoors, officials have been faced with the challenge of providing proper regulation for new signage technology. Modern regulations often include requirements to:

    • Keep display brightness to an acceptable limit
    • Require that only sequences of image flips (and not full motion video) be shown.

    With regulations that learn from the mistakes of the past, LED displays are enjoying increasing acceptance as a technology capable of beautifying streetscapes.

  3. My local bylaws regulate display brightness and require dimming, do Luminautics LED displays have dimming capability?

    The beauty of LED display technology is that brightness can always to be set to any level to meet compliance. Luminautics provides dimming capability using a timed schedule (eg day/night settings) or using an ambient light sensor. Display brightness settings are measured in standard units called NITS.

  4. How do LED displays compare with printed signs for vertical and horizontal view angles?

    Compared with front/backlit signs, Luminautics LED Signs have approximately equal horizontal viewing angles, and smaller vertical viewing angles. Smaller vertical viewing angles reduce skyglow and keeps any community impacts low (eg light trespass on hi-rise buildings).

  5. Do LED displays produce audible noise?

    There are no moving parts in Luminautics components to create noise. Power supply components have been designed emit virtually no electronic ‘hum’.

  6. Do LED displays produce interference with other wireless equipment?

    No. Luminautics has engineered all of its products to minimize radio frequency emission.

  7. Are LED signs distracting and dangerous for drivers?

    Significant numbers of studies have shown no impact of LED signs on drivers causing accidents. Studies and other information on legislative and regulatory matters related to digital signage are available for free from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. http://www.oaaa.org

Next Steps

  1. I am ready to begin! How do I start?

    We hope that you are feeling informed. If you have any further questions or need more information, please contact us at the information found below or via our website.

    Luminautics works with local sign manufacturers to build and service LED signs for customers. Contact your local sign manufacturer to turnkey the design, quote, build, install, and service of your LED display using Luminautics components.

  2. What if I don’t have a sign manufacturer to build my sign?

    Don’t worry! We’ll help find one for you.

    Contact us:
    +1 (647) 704 5147

  3. What if I have a sign manufacturer, but they aren’t familiar with Luminautics?

    Refer your sign manufacturer to us, and we’ll work with them directly!