6.4.2014

Real Pixel vs Virtual Pixel LED Outdoor Signage - a common sense approach

Researching LED outdoor signage features can feel like something out of Alice in Wonderland. One can go down a rabbit hole and not come out until someone wakes them for tea. This is especially true when one discovers there is both “real” and “virtual” LED technology. Not only that, but a lot of the information out there reads like it was written by the white rabbit himself while on the run.

We know: “curiouser and curiouser.”

Before you feel like you’re trying to decide why a raven is like a writing desk, allow us to give you a few common sense facts to help you understand the differences between “real” and “virtual” LED technology. From there, we can decide the outdoor signage that best fits your needs.

It comes down to RGB vs RRGB

Real LED technology, the original Light Emitting Diode, is a blend of 3 colors. They are Red, Green & Blue: the original RGB.

Virtual LED displays runs with an extra red light in their pixel. This extra Red light allows virtual LED technology to use the 4 pixels that surrounds a pixel in a display - top, bottom, left and right - to enhance the sharpness. What this means is that pixels that are set in 6mm real LED display can give a display up to 12mm LED. The math typically remains about 2:1.

There is a catch, or two

Catch #1:: The first catch comes down to when having to sharpen the effect to display text. Because of the specific sharpness of text, virtual LED technology displays will stop virtualizing the display and instead provide the real display for the text. Otherwise, the display text will start to blur.

Catch #2: The second catch is to remember that real LED displays can NOT display virtual displays. The reason is because the real LED displays do not have that second red color in their pixel. The second red pixel is the game changer. No second red, no virtual enhancements.

Catch #3: The third catch is that all the enhancement capabilities for the virtual LED displays come with at a cost: it’s lifespan. Results vary, and one should consult with their manufacturer to get a better idea of a lifespan of a virtual display LED sign. Pending on your vendor & manufacturer, virtual LED displays can have up to a 75% life expectancy of their real LED display counterparts.

Those are the facts real LED versus virtual LED facts

We hope you didn’t decide to tell the Queen of Hearts on us.

Want to know more about your LED outdoor sign options before buying?

Contact us today! Our experts will get you on the right path and get you the right outdoor LED signage for your needs. Real or Virtual LED signs for reality, or Wonderland, or whatever you need them to be.


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