Would you mind investing in a low-quality sign to display your marketing messages for years to come?
Then why do I see so many examples of substandard signs every time I’m driving around the city?
I think it’s partly because buyers don’t know what to look for. Because bad signs are so widespread, they just don’t know what quality looks like.
I want to save you from the heartbreak of disappointment. Let’s go through some of the key aspects affecting LED image quality, and why you don’t need to settle for second best.
Content is the personality of your LED sign. A poor-quality sign can sometimes be salvaged with top-notch messaging, sort of like how ugly dogs can still be cute if they’re overly affectionate.
Say you accidentally buy a real clunker of a sign, and you’re stuck with it for the foreseeable future. Instead of pouting and throwing a tarp over your investment, it’s time to put on your thinking cap.
In this case, it’s actually possible to put lipstick on a pig and pass it off for not-a-pig.
By researching solid marketing techniques, you can save your sign and your sanity. If you’re wow-ing your customers with your message, they’ll forgive you for brandishing a sub-par LED sign.
But we’d rather avoid bad LED signs in the first place, right?
LEDs, as you could probably guess, are the basic building block of digital signs. Individual LEDs are arranged in rows and column similar to the computer screen you’re reading this on. And just like with TVs and monitors, LEDs have a wide range of quality, brightness, color, and so on.
One of the most basic quality-control standards when manufacturing LED signs is a process called binning, where LEDs with very close color output are arranged together.
Without binning, each sign will project inconsistent images because its LEDs will vary wildly in shade.
If and when your sign needs replacement LEDs, it’s crucial that your chosen manufacturer can provide the same binned LEDs so you can avoid having unsightly coloration mismatches all over your once-beautiful display.
Contrast and Brightness
Signs with awful contrast and brightness look washed out, dull and dim during the day, and can be blinding at night. There needs to be a very, very clear delineation between white and black light, or the messaging on your sign will be lost.
Brightness and contrast are affected by your LED sign’s panel design and by the quality of its LEDs themselves. While nothing can correct faulty manufacturing, some companies “cheat” the brightness of their LEDs to trick buyers. They do so at the cost of their LEDs longevity, meaning your sign burns brighter but fizzles out much faster.
Bad for you, but great for them—they can claim “ultra-bright” LEDs while you’re left buying replacements every month.
Well-made LEDs can still be calibrated poorly, which can ruin even the best-laid plans.
Calibration refers to internally setting baselines for colors at the manufacturer’s factory, making sure blue is exactly blue, orange displays as exactly orange, etc.
The bad thing about hardware calibration is that low-quality sign makers cut corners here—it’s something you don’t have any control over, and even with extensive adjustments on your end, your sign is bound to look worse than the rest of the displays on the block.
How to avoid? Only buy from quality manufacturers, preferably right here in America.
Panel Quality and Mounting
LED panels are groups of individual LEDs which, when assembled together, form the core of your LED sign. Each panel houses its own circuitry that defines how your LED sign functions.
Something so fundamental, of course, needs to be manufactured with the utmost attention to detail.
Imagine, for example, that these panels aren’t lined up perfectly. How would that affect your sign’s image quality?
Turns out, misaligned and poorly mounted panels ruin the image quality of an LED sign—with boundaries between each panel clearly visible on your sign’s display like a big tear in the seat of your pants. Not good.
Even the best signs would look terrible if exposed to direct sunlight. The solution is the clever louver panel attached at the top of each sign, which shades the LEDs from the sun.
Louvers have to be built perfectly—too big and they obstruct your view, too small and they just don’t work.
Of course, the louver panel’s material is also important—louvers need to be non-reflective, absorbing as much light as possible so it isn’t redirected into the sign or viewers’ eyes.
Choosing the Right Manufacturer
All in all, the biggest factor affecting your sign’s image quality is picking the right company in the first place.
And if you’re looking for an LED sign that fits the bill and checks off all the boxes we talked about above, look no further than MEGA.
Our signs are manufactured above industry-standard, meaning each one is guaranteed to get the job done (and then some).
Give us a call and we’ll put our money where our mouth is.