Message Display FAQ

Don’t see the answer to your question about electronic signage? Contact our digital display experts with any questions!

What is an LED?

An LED (light emitting diode) is an efficient, super bright alternative to traditional incandescent light bulbs. LEDs are plastic capsules containing a specific chemical compound on a microscopic wafer that emits light when subjected to an electrical current. When red, green and blue LEDs are clustered together and shine at their full brightness, the combined light emission appears white to the human eye.   By varying the intensity of the three colors all other colors and shades can be created.

Not all LEDs are created equal. Individual LEDs are available in many grades of quality and shades of color. It is imperative that high grade red, green and blue LEDs be used in the manufacturing process. YESCO uses LEDs from only the highest quality manufacturers. The LEDs in a YESCO display typically operate on significantly less power than our competitors’ LEDs.

What is a pixel?

A pixel is a cluster of LEDs (one red, one blue and one green on a YESCO Electronics display) which, as a component of the overall image, represents one point of illumination. The combination of these individual levels of the three colors forms the display image.

What is a matrix?

The matrix of a particular exterior-use electronic display refers to the number of vertical pixels by the
number of horizontal pixels in the display. For example, if a display has a matrix of “200 by 704”, this
means it has 200 pixels from top to bottom and 704 pixels from left to right.

Here is an example of a 4 x 8 matrix:

In video applications, much like your television set, these numbers might be reversed. For instance, a
high-definition TV today is commonly referred to as “1920 by 1080”, where 1920 represents pixels from
left to right, and 1080 represents pixels from top to bottom.

What is “pixel pitch” and how is it related to the resolution of an LED display?

Pixel pitch is the distance between adjacent pixels, measured in millimeters from the center of one pixel to the center of the other. We offer displays in 6mm, 10mm, 12mm, 16mm, 20mm and 25mm.

The resolution of a display depends on the number of LEDs per square foot, which is also referred to as “LED density.” This is the main factor in determining a display’s image quality. The more LEDs per square foot, the sharper the image. LED density should be higher at closer viewing distances.

Resolution is the total number of pixels in a display. Given a fixed square footage, the “tighter” the pitch, the higher the resolution (i.e. 6mm is the ‘tightest’ pitch we offer). Compare the images below.  Each ‘display’ is roughly the same physical size.  The 12mm image has 18,432 pixels (96 rows x 192 columns). In comparison, the 20mm image has only 6,272 pixels (56 rows x 112 columns). As such, the 12mm display has approximately three times the resolution of the 20mm display.

To determine what pixel pitch is appropriate for your specific application, see ‘How do I know what pixel pitch is right for me?’ or contact our sales department

How do I know which pixel pitch is right for me?

Which pixel pitch is right for you is based on a combination of factors, which include:

1) The viewing distance, or range of distances, of your primary audience (See chart in ‘What viewing distances are optimal for various pitches?’)
2) The content you intend to play on the display (i.e. text only, or pictures of people of video or food, etc)
3) How big your sign is
4) Your budget

One size does not fit all. Even informed customers need guidance in this area to make sure the right
sign is purchased for a given application. Please contact our sales group for further information and

What viewing distances are optimal for various pitches?

Optimal viewing range is based on legibility of the smallest “standard” (seven pixel height) alpha‐numeric
character for any given display pixel pitch. LED message centers are very dynamic and the viewing
distances in the chart below are for general reference. Using different font types and styles can affect the
legibility of the display greatly.

With enough distance, virtually any pitch of display will blend into a continuous image – where pixilation
(seeing individual diodes or pixels) is no longer present in the display.

If a user is only displaying text, pixilation may not be a large concern. However, this usually becomes a
much bigger issue if the user is intending to run images or video on the display.

Please download the chart below for recommended viewing distances for our available pitches:

Blending Chart

How bright can LED displays get?

LED displays vary in ‘absolute maximum brightness’ by pitch. The quality of diode used in a display can
have a dramatic impact on brightness as well. YESCO Electronics uses top quality diodes from major
world-renown companies like Nichia, Avago, and Cree to ensure displays that are more
than bright enough to compete with ambient sunlight.

Among manufacturers of LED displays, maximum brightness is generally calculated in NITs. Please refer
to our specification sheets for the NIT rating of our various pitches.

What is a NIT?

The technical definition of a NIT is as follows:

NIT: The candela per square metre (cd/m2) is the derived International
System unit (SI) of luminance. The unit is based on the candela, the SI unit of luminous intensity,
and the square meter, the SI unit of area. Nit is a deprecated non-SI name also used for this unit
(1 nit = 1 cd/m2).

Technically, a NIT measures ‘luminance’. It is the absolute measurement of light from a light source. Most
manufacturers list their maximum light outputs for various pitches on spec sheets in NITs.

Interestingly, NITs are not optimal as a regulatory guideline. If you are a jurisdiction implementing
brightness guidelines on LED displays, please reference these links below.

Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) – Recommended Brightness Criteria’ for off-premise signs.

International Sign Association (ISA) – Recommended Brightness Guidelines for on-premise signs.

How do YESCO Electronics displays help save energy?

YESCO Electronics uses proprietary technology to create the most energy efficient displays available. As
an example, our 14’ x 48’ 20mm bulletin digital displays (the typical billboard size in the U.S.) are the only
such displays that require only 60 amp service at max brightness. Our displays have earned the coveted
Green Leaf Certification from the State of California.

In reality, few YESCO Electronics displays ever need to be run at their maximum potential output to be vibrant displays in the daytime. This is due to a combination of using high quality diodes and having an extremely high contrast face. Having a high-contrast face means you don’t have to drive the display as hard to be visible in the daytime. This saves power and prolongs the life of the display.

How do YESCO Electronics displays dim at night to conform to regulatory guidelines?

YESCO Electronics displays smoothly control the transition from daytime brightness to nighttime brightness through use of a light sensor, or photocell. The photocell measures ambient light conditions throughout the day, and smoothly transitions the brightness of the display as the sun sets or rises, or if there are overcast conditions. Should that light sensor fail, our displays have a backup sunrise/sunset table system that adjusts the brightness of the display at specific times of the day.

These redundant systems ensure that a YESCO Electronics display’s brightness operates within the desired specifications that the customer or zoning laws require. The sign administrator also has complete control of the daytime and nighttime brightness values which gives them the opportunity to customize each sign to the requirements of each locale.

How many colors are possible with a YESCO Electronics LED display?

Combining different intensities of each Red, Green and Blue (RGB) LED in a pixel allows the ability to create up to 18 quadrillion colors, far more than the human eye can reasonably discern. When combined with different dimming levels, this number of possible colors can actually become well over a thousand
times higher. The main point is that YESCO Electronics displays are renowned for their true color matching ability.

Oftentimes on lower quality displays, you’ll see that colors that look ‘off’, or are over-saturated. Images don’t look quite right, faces don’t look like faces because the skin color is off, etc. This is because these displays lack color depth. Our calibration expertise ensures that your desired colors or images will be accurately represented on YESCO Electronics displays.

Do YESCO signs require air conditioning?

No. Our technology operates with a proprietary forced-air ventilation system, which cools the LEDs from
within each LED module. Our cooling system has been tested extensively in the desert heat of Las
Vegas, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona, and has proven equal or superior to air conditioning, without the
expenses of ducting installation and higher monthly utilities associated with air conditioning.

Will my digital display be susceptible to weather damage?

Our displays are built to withstand extreme weather. To protect against water damage, our display
cabinets are sealed and the individual components are encased in a sealant, which prevents water from
reaching the electrical leads and wiring.

For protection against lightning storms, our digital technology is always installed with maximum

In temperature extremes, ranging from as low as -40º to as high as 130º Fahrenheit, Our digital
technology is fully functional.

We have hundreds of displays installed in coastal areas and hundreds more installed in areas of extreme
cold or extreme heat. In hurricanes, blizzards and desert heat, we have real-world proof that our displays
perform in all environments.

What about vandalism?

Our digital systems have been installed for many years in  high crime areas where they have been pelted with rocks, bottles and cans.  The durable face materials of our displays are resistant to such attacks. In extreme cases, where the displays have actually been shot, the damage is limited to the area where the bullet penetrates the sign, requiring only a single module to be replaced.  In addition, displays are shielded to prevent bullets causing fires or other chain reaction types of events.

How are messages sent to my display?

Our PrismView software (or a content management software of your choice) sends content (images, video, text, etc.) to the digital display via the Internet (or a direct connection in many on-premise applications). This ease of operation is one of the main advantages to using an LED sign. With an LED display, changeover is simple – a single person can quickly manage and update an LED display from a PC anywhere in the world.

What kinds of files can be used on a YESCO digital display?

BMP, AVI, WMV and JPG files all work well.  JPG are the most commonly used.

Can YESCO program my digital display for me?

Our full-service creative team can provide complete programming service for your displays. To arrange this
contact our Media Services team they can provide high-quality programming on an on-going basis.

Want to see some of what we have done? Check out our demo reel.

If you need content now, check out our Media Services Webstore.

I'm Ready! What's my next step?

Contact one of our sales specialists, or call us toll free at 866-939-3726. We will direct you to the appropriate specialist.