If you have a magnifying glass handy, hold it over an advertisement or photograph in any magazine. You will see thousands of colored dots or pixels, which make up the “screen” of the photograph. At close range, these dots are quite noticeable, but at normal viewing distances, you do not see the dots, just the image they form.

LED signs work exactly the same way. Viewed up close, they’re a jumble of colored dots. As you back away from the display, the dots become less noticeable. Eventually, your eyes stop paying attention to the display structure and concentrate instead on the images being formed. Depending on how coarse or fine the matrix of LEDs, this distance will vary from tens to hundreds of feet.

The matrix area is also known as the pixel matrix, which corresponds to the number of pixels that make up the display area. Electronic LED signs describe the matrix area by the number of pixels vertically by the number of pixels horizontally. For example, 16×80 (16 vertical rows by 80 horizontal rows).

The matrix of an LED sign determines how many characters will fit on a line, and how many lines will fit on a particular display.

Resolution

Resolution is the degree of sharpness and clarity of a displayed image. In electronic LED signs, resolution is based on two primary factors, the matrix area and pitch.

The matrix area is also known as the pixel matrix, which corresponds to the number of pixels that make up the display area. Electronic LED displays describe the matrix area by the number of pixels vertically by the number of pixels horizontally. For example, 16×80 (16 vertical rows by 80 horizontal rows).

The Standard Character Matrix

A LED sign will utilize a matrix of 7 pixels x 5 pixels to show standard English characters.

Lines of Characters on a LED Sign

Because a space is needed between lines of characters, eight pixel rows are required to display a standard row of characters on a LED sign. A LED sign with 16 pixel rows will show two lines of characters. 24 pixels will display 3 lines, etc.

Number of Characters on a LED Sign

Because a space is needed between characters, it requires six pixel columns to display each standard character. Consequently a LED sign with 64 pixel columns will display 10 characters, 80 columns will display 13 characters, etc.

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