What is All the Fuss about LED Walls?

One valuable benefit for LED screens is that they offer a much higher visible contrast ratio, versus projecting onto a white screen, as is done with projection.

What is All the Fuss about LED Walls?
A view of the worship space at Grace Assembly of God in New Whiteland, Indiana, where an LED wall is displaying the American flag recently. The individual panels that make up the LED wall are specialty panels, built by Gloshine to requested specifications. The display comprised of a total of 144 panels, 20 panels wide by 7 panels tall (to go with 4 spares).

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What is All the Fuss about LED Walls?

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Let’s be honest here – if you are reading this article, chances are you like new technology, and words like digital, line array and LED catch your eye…

So what is the big deal about LED wall technology?

A great benefit for LED walls is that they offer a much higher visible contrast ratio versus projecting onto a white screen.

There are a few significant advantages that an LED wall has over a projector, and I’ll highlight a few of them. At the same time, there are also a few issues to be aware of, if you are considering purchasing an LED wall.

The first things to remember about LED walls are that they are a bit different in terms of technology compared to projection. LED walls operate using an emissive versus reflective method when displaying an image. 

So why does this matter?

A projector works by using an extremely bright light source (lamp or laser) and an imaging panel that is typically .65- to 1-inch diagonal and consists of somewhere between 1 million and 2.3 million pixels jammed into that small area.  The projector is designed to shoot light through the imaging panel and a lens, and then onto a screen or wall. You then see the reflection of that image. 

One of the major issues with projection, though, is if you want a screen on stage – you typically will have to account for a projector to screen light path where you don’t want things in the way, since they can impede the image from getting to the screen.  Think back to when you were young, and used a flashlight and your hand to “project” onto a wall…

By comparison, an LED wall display is made up of multiple panels to assemble a desired screen size – each comprised of thousands of multi-color LEDs.  The LEDs directly emit light and generally are surrounded by black area. There is no “light path” that could cause a shadow on the screen. Another benefit is that the LED screen offers a much higher visible contrast ratio versus projecting onto a white screen and expecting it to be “black.” In a dark room, projectors do quite well, but in high ambient light situations, the LED wall will easily overcome the light and offer a brighter image with deeper blacks and contrast compared to projection.

LED wall panels are defined and marketed by their pixel pitch. This is a measure of the distance between each individual LED installed on the panel. The current pixel pitches for what you would normally find in a church today following a recent LED wall install, could range anywhere from 6mm down to 2.5mm.


More About Stefan Svard
Stefan Svard has been involved with the A/V world for virtually all of his life. His first experience dates back to when he was 13 years old, and fast forward to the present. He now has the opportunity to serve a much larger base of people through his company, Audio Video Electronics, a Minneapolis-based AVL systems integrator, which specializes in sound systems, acoustic design, sound transmission isolation, video systems and lighting systems.
Get in Touch: [email protected]    More by Stefan Svard

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Article Topics

Technology · Video · Video Displays · Projection · Team Management · Budgeting · Contrast Ratio · Diodes · LED Walls · Light Path · Panel · Pixel Pitch · All Topics

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