LED Digital Sign Specifications explained


As awesome as LED signs may look, they are actually pretty simple.
Inside the sign cabinet you will find a sending card and receiving card along with power supplies and the LED modules.

Since LED lighting was invented, it has evolved over time to become one of the most cost effective and energy efficient lighting systems around.
Technological advancements have evolved from the now obsolete DIP (Direct In-line Package) to the current state-of-the-art SMD (Surface Mounted Diode) technology.

In an SMD LED module, the three colors of LED bulbs are encapsulated into one slim case which is directly soldered onto a circuit board.
The red, green and blue LEDs are visually regrouped into a single point, producing either a color, black or white.
This point is either a circle or a square, which has a diameter as small as 1mm in size. You cannot see the individual LEDs in an SMD.
SMD LED modules are lightweight, have a much wider viewing angle, are more energy efficient and are better at withstanding various weather conditions making them the preferred choice for indoor or outdoor LED solutions.


Size is one of several factors to consider in making your purchase decision.
Generally, when it comes to LED Digital Outdoor signs, BIGGER IS BETTER because larger signs draw more attention and bring better results.

Each sign is custom built to order to specifically meet your needs.
Sign sizes are determined by the module P-rating selected by the client.
Common module dimensions are either 160 x 160 mm (millimeters) or 160 x 320 mm.
Distance in inches is equal to the distance in millimeters divided by 25.4
Overall sign sizes are available in multiples of the module size.


Here’s some recommended sign size and viewing distance guidelines for you …
32″ sign for viewing from 6 feet
43″ sign for viewing from 10 feet
48″ sign for viewing from 12 feet
55″ sign for viewing from 16 feet
65″ sign for viewing from 18 feet

Sometimes there is a temptation to reduce size to cut costs.
Opting for a smaller sign just to save money can be a big mistake as smaller isn’t always cheaper.
Smaller sizes have considerably less visual (marketing) impact than larger ones.
Smaller signs often require increased resolution to maintain image detail and text readability.

Increasing resolution increases costs significantly making smaller signs more expensive per square foot.
This largely eliminates the anticipated cost savings.

Each sign is built to order to specifically meet your needs.

Sign sizes are determined by the module P-rating selected by the client.
Common module dimensions are either 160 x 160 mm (millimeters) or 160 x 320 mm.
Distance in inches is equal to the distance in millimeters  divided by 25.4
Sign sizes are available in multiples of the module sizes.

Two of our most successful eye-level installations in Walkerton are 6′ x 12′ (72″ x 144″) and 6′ x 10′ (72″ x 120″) respectively.


Older DIP technology delivers about 4 lumens per watt
SMDs deliver 50 to 100 lumens per watt making them much more efficient.


Brightness determines how well and how long an LED sign will compete with the sun.

The amount of light emitted by an LED Digital sign is measured in NITS.
The brighter the sign, the better it will be visible in direct sunlight.
Brighter signs are effective for more hours during daylight, especially on bright, sunny days.
Our full colour SMDs provide you with a sign that will be visible 24 hours a day for years into the future.

Nits vs Lumens

Nits and ANSI Lumens are both measures of light output. One Nit represents more light than 1 ANSI lumen.
A nit is a unit of measurement of the brightness over one square meter of an LED display.
The mathematical difference between Nits and Lumens is complex.
However, one way to put it is that 1 Nit is the approximate equivalent of 3.426 ANSI Lumens.

NIT ratings affect factors such as visibility in bright sunlight, display size, and viewing distance.
More Nits are required to get the same desired visual impact in bright sunlight as opposed to nighttime viewing.

The best HDR-enabled TVs can output approximately 1,000 Nits.
Our P-8 SMD LED signs have a NIT rating of 6,000 nits.


Resolution is directly affected by pitch.
Pitch is indicated by a “P” number and indicates the distance in mm between each LED.
The SMALLER the P number, the HIGHER the resolution and the BETTER the quality of the images displayed.

The resolution of an LED Digital sign is measured in P-units which is the distance between LEDs measured in millimeters (mm).

LED technology is rapidly evolving.
Just a few years ago P-16 to P-24 signs were the standard for outdoor displays.
Today P-8 is our standard for outdoor signs.
This means the individual LEDs are spaced 8 millimeters apart.
The optimal viewing distance for a P-8 sign is 8 – 25 metres (26 – 82 feet).
Resolutions as high as P-2 are being utilized for indoor displays due to typically smaller sign sizes and shorter viewing distances.

Smaller signs are typically viewed from shorter distances.
Higher resolutions are required to maintain image quality at shorter viewing distances.

Ironically, the LOWER the P-unit rating the HIGHER the resolution.
The HIGHER the resolution, the BETTER your graphics and text will look.

We offer the following resolutions …

P-10 :: 10 millimeter LED spacing SMD3535 technology
optimal viewing distance 10 – 30 metres (33 – 95 feet)
pixel density 10,000/sq.m.

P-8* :: 8 millimeter LED spacing SMD3535 technology
optimal viewing distance 8 – 25 metres (26 – 80 feet)
pixel density 15,625/sq.m.

P-6 :: 6 millimeter LED spacing SMD3535 technology
optimal viewing distance 6 – 20 metres (20 – 65 feet)
pixel density 27,777/sq.m.

P-5 :: 5 millimeter LED spacing SMD2727 technology
optimal viewing distance 5 – 15 metres (16 – 50 feet)
pixel density 40,000/sq.m.

P-4 :: 4 millimeter LED spacing SMD1921 technology
optimal viewing distance 4 – 15 metres (13 – 50 feet)
pixel density 62,500/sq.m.

*P-8 is our standard resolution and offers the best price/resolution combination


Other variables and options in the sign configurations are …

  • Single or two sided
  • Front or back service access
  • With or without location sign rider with internal LED illumination
  • Optional ambient light sensor – for automatic brightness dimming
  • Optional temperature probe – to display current temperature on sign
  • Optional wrap-around skirt from ground level to bottom of display

We will be happy to work with you to figure out what best suits your needs.