Guest Blog by: Apryl Griswold, Almo Pro AV
If you feel like advancement in display technology changes so quickly it’s hard to keep up, you’re not alone… And, for a moment, consider the lingo required to conduct business in our industry and you’ve just added to the ever-increasing challenge of remaining current for an AV professional. So what’s all the fuss about LED that seems to keep popping up in advertisements, industry news and updates, new product launches and promotions? If you’ve seen terms like OLED, SMD, LED backlights, direct-lit LED backlight, LED edge lighting, and CCFL and wondered what the real differences are in emerging technologies and what they mean to you – the pro AV integrator and how they can make the difference in your bottom line, read on.
So let’s review some history. LED technology, light emitting diode, is actually not a new concept; it was initially introduced in the early 1900’s for use as indicator lights for machinery and equipment. LED is an electronic component that when proper current is passed through it, it emits different colors. It wasn’t until more than 30 years later when LEDs were used to form a display by placing a number of LEDs together to present a visual display. More common uses of LED technology in its raw form can be seen in outdoor billboards and other outdoor displays in today’s market.
Today we are going to dive a little deeper into three types of LED technology: SMD, OLED, and direct-lit LED backlighting. Knowing more about these technologies will better enable you to make the best decision on which solution is right for your project.
SMD – Surface mounted diodes, or SMD, describes LED’s in which one pixel is made up of three diodes, red, green and blue, to create an array of full color combinations. SMD displays are best suited for large-format applications because they are not constrained by size and weight challenges of other LED technologies. NanoLumens has patented a form of LED technology for their solutions, which use SMD to make up its large-format displays. And, if you’re looking for flexible digital displays in any shape and size that can form to any curvature, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything more impressive on the market than NanoLumens’ NanoFlex Series, (designed and assembled in the US).
OLED – OLED technology, or organic light emitting diodes, has a large place in the future market, however these are used mainly in small electronics such as cell phones and computer screens rather than large format displays due to cost and other constraints. OLEDs are made from organic (carbon based) materials that emit light when electricity is applied. OLEDs have a great picture quality – brilliant colors, fast response rate and a wide viewing angle.
LED Backlighting – The majority of small to medium sized displays available today feature edge LED backlights, which is where the LEDs are placed just around the edge of the display, typically just on the sides. LED light is then diffused to help spread the light across the entire panel. The goal is for the waveguide to evenly distribute the light throughout the entire panel. LED Backlit displays offer the highest resolution but are constrained by size and weight challenges above certain dimensions.
So what are some of the benefits of LED technology and why are they now being introduced in professional displays in various forms including LED backlight, direct-lit LED backlighting, etc.? Benefits of LED technology include: brightness, energy efficiency, long life cycle compared to CCFL (fluorescent) backlights consuming considerably less power than traditional LCD solutions, in addition to color and contrast producing richer hues and wider range of the NTSC color gamut for a more pleasing viewing experience, or from the end user’s perspective, a better ability to communicate their message and engage their prospects and customers.
It is clear that LED technology certainly has a place in our market and whether you’re working on applications that present environments with high ambient lighting, challenging mounting conditions, demanding performance requirements, low total cost of ownership or minimal power consumption to support green initiatives, NanoLumens offers a variety of display solutions to help you accomplish your installation and profit objectives.
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