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Brightness is a hot topic in the world of LED displays. Variances in the light output of your display can greatly affect how its messaging is received by viewers. Interestingly, the legibility of a display can be significantly reduced by too little brightness and too much brightness, so it’s important to consider a number of factors when determining the ideal brightness for your LED display. For example, if your screen is battling direct, high-intensity sunlight, you’ll need a high brightness setting so that the light from your display reaches the eyes of your viewers. However, if you apply that same brightness on your display overnight, the light output from your screen will be so bright that viewers may not be able to decipher any of the display’s content.
In the LED display industry, brightness is typically measured in nits. A nit is a unit of measurement of luminance (the intensity of visible light) equal to one candela per square meter (cd/m2). Sufficient indoor brightness levels typically range from 200 to 1,200 nits. Outdoor displays generally have a much higher range, peaking at 8,000 nits or more.
Unfortunately, brightness is a highly variable product specification and one that many manufacturers (and resellers) may use to mislead their customers or the industry at large. Depending on the quality of the diodes that comprise an LED display, most display systems can be driven to a very high brightness performance, but this can come at a significant cost to the technology itself. For example, as components within your display are worked harder and harder to reach high brightness levels, the lifetime of the overall display can be substantially reduced. Additionally, as power consumption is increased, so too are costs for power usage.
It’s important for you to consult with a manufacturer or expert who is upfront and honest about diode capabilities, optimal brightness schedules, and LED life factors.