The Basics of Pixel Pitch
Let us first dive into how LED displays are assembled. A LED display wall or LED display is composed of LED tiles. The LED tiles also consist of modules. The modules, in return, have LED packages or clusters of light-emitting diodes in color green, blue, and red in grouped pixels. The horizontal or vertical distance between each LED tile is called the pixel pitch. Pixel pitch is also known as the dot pitch. It is usually measured in millimeters.
Since the pixel pitch describes the distance of each pixel, therefore, smaller pixel pitches have less space between pixels. Thus, resulting in an improved screen resolution and higher pixel density. For example, if a LED display has a 10mm pixel pitch, it means that each LED tile has a distance of 10 millimeters. Hence, the display will have grainier image quality and low resolution.
The Importance of Pixel Pitch
Pixel pitch influences the LED display’s optimal viewing distance. Low pixel pitch values will result in finer detail and smooth border images. Hence, the audience can enjoy a vivid image while standing closer to the display without the distraction of discerned pixels. The rule of thumb when determining the relationship between pixel pitch and viewing distance is the following: the smaller the pixel pitch, the more it allows a closer viewing distance. On the other hand, a higher pixel pitch expands the viewing distance.
As an example, a 1.2mm pixel pitch LED display can provide a closer optimal viewing distance and higher resolution compared to a 16mm LED display. If the pixel pitch is higher, it can provide better quality and visuals. However, it is not beneficial to all applications and situations. The higher the density, the display will lose its advantages when the viewing distance expanded. Meanwhile, lower pixel pitch can offer high resolution, but it comes with costly production and materials.
Determining the Right Pixel Pitch for Your LED Display
You can achieve a LED display with the best value by finding its optimal viewing distance. This is the point where the fidelity and quality of the image are retained. If observed much closer, it results in a decreased image quality and will look more pixelated.
To determine the acceptable viewing distance, consider the three methodologies listed below:
- 10x Rule. If you want a shorthand method to calculate the Visual Acuity Distance approximate estimation, the 10x rule will fit your needs. Here is the calculation: Pixel Pitch x 10 = Approximate Viewing Distance in Feet.
- Visual Acuity Distance. This method is also called retina distance. In this calculation method, a person with 20/20 vision needs to move away from the LED display to see if the image is not pixelated. Here is the calculation: Pixel Pitch x 3438 = Visual Acuity in Millimeters.
- Average of the Comfortable Viewing Distance. It is a comfortable viewing distance estimation for most people. The factors that would be considered in this method are the person’s eyesight, type of the displayed content, and the content resolution.
The methodologies mentioned are considered useful. However, determining the accurate viewing distance has no specific answer. A LED display viewing distance is the owner’s comfort.
Table 1 will describe a LED display’s pixel pitch and its approximate Visual Acuity Distance and Average Comfortable Viewing Distance.
|Pixel Pitch||Visual Acuity Distance in Feet/Inches and Meters||Average Comfortable Viewing Distance in Feet/Inches and Meters|
|0.75mm||8ft 6in or 2.58m||4ft 3in or 1.29m|
|1.50mm||16ft 11in or 4.30m||7ft 1in or 2.15m|
|3.00mm||33ft or 9.45m||16ft 11in or 5.16m|
|6.00mm||67ft 8in or 20.63m||33ft 10in or 10.31m|
|10mm||112ft 10in or 34.38m||56ft 5in or 17.19mm|
Using a Narrow Pixel Pitch
A narrow pixel pitch can offer high performance on indoor applications. It is widely used for critical sources viewing such as excel and other text documents.
Pixel Pitch and Resolution
When you choose a LED display, it often comes with the word “resolution” such as 4k or 1080p displays. The LED display’s pixel pitch is also the measurement of its resolution. If the pixel pitch is low, then, you can assure that the resolution is higher. However, consideration must be taken such as content or image that will be displayed on the screen. Displaying a low-quality image can project low resolution regardless of what pixel pitch is used
Choosing the Right Pixel Pitch
When choosing the right pixel pitch, you may need to check the 5 factors below to consider.
- Board size. You can use the size of your LED display to measure an optimal pixel pitch.
- LED screen optimal viewing.
- Indoor or outdoor applications. Most outdoor screens are viewed from a large distance, hence, you may prefer a LED display with a higher pixel pitch. This is a more cost-effective solution. On the other hand, indoor screens are viewed at a closer distance such as loungers or hallways. In this case, you may prefer a smaller pixel pitch.
- LED screen resolution. If you want a higher resolution, you can opt for a smaller pixel pitch.
- When choosing a pixel pitch for your LED display, always consider your budget. Smaller pixel pitch comes with expensive production and material cost.
Typical Pixel Pitch Measurement for Different Applications
Indoor LED displays typically use 4mm to 20mm pixel pitch. For example, in the office or retail store environment, the most optimal pixel pitch used is 4mm. Applications such as airport signage use a 5mm to 6mm pixel pitch.
For outdoor screens, the typical pixel pitch used ranges from 16mm to 25mm. Usually, a small digital billboard has a 16mm to 20mm pixel pitch. On the other hand, larger digital billboards use a LED display with pixel pitch ranges from 25mm to 32mm.