How often have you driven down the road or walked or drove past an electronic sign and can barely read the message? While, electronic signs have numerous benefits over conventional signs, buying one that does not meet your needs is money wasted. There are numerous ways to go about selecting the right electronic display. However, this section will give you the basic concepts on selecting an electronic display. Most of emphasis will be on applications for outdoor electronic displays. The following criteria will assist you in finding a electronic sign that you will be happy with.

1. Viewing Distance and Time

While, most people start out with an idea on the physical size of the electronic display, this is not the correct first step to follow. Instead, determine the viewing distance, or the distance from where you want the majority of the audience to read your message. As a general rule of thumb for electronic displays, one inch character is viewable from up to 50 feet away. For example, a person standing 400 feet away from a electronic sign can recognize an eight inch or larger character on the display. In addition, the traffic pattern in front of the electronic sign needs to be taken into consideration. A driver in a 45mph speed zone will have less time to read a message than a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk. On average, the typical audience will need at least 3 to 4 seconds to read about 6 to 8 groupings of text and/or graphics. For example, the phrase "VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. CALL 555-1212", would constitute four groupings of text. Understanding viewing distance and time will help you determine the correct size of your electronic sign. For more information about viewing distance, please consult the following link on viewing distance and time for electronic LED signs.

2. Text vs. Graphics

Ideally, everyone wants to run graphics and dazzling animation on their electronic sign to attract lots of viewers. In reality, certain applications do not need to display graphics, such as financial information, community announcements, upcoming events, name directory, etc. Why pay more for a full matrix (graphic capable) electronic message center, when your application does not require it? Furthermore, zoning and sign ordinance differ from place to place and may prohibit or limit the use of graphics with electronic displays in outdoor settings. Please, consult with your local government's ordinance to determine if electronic displays are allowed.
For displaying adequate graphics, you need to consider an electronic LED display that has at least 16 pixels in height. We recommended a minimum of 32 pixels in height for displaying good graphics. Grandwell offers two product lines of electronic LED signs. InfoView is our text only line of electronic displays, while InfoMax is a line of full matrix electronic displays that allows for text and graphics. The software to run InfoView is more simple than the one for InfoMax.

3. Message Content (Resolution and Lines of Text)

The next thing you should consider is how much content you want to display on your electronic sign at once. LED signs give you the flexibility of displaying multiple messages by cycling through the messages at a delayed interval. Therefore, think about how many lines of text and number of characters per line you want. Usually it is a good idea to have at least two lines of text and twelve characters per line. With full matrix LED displays (InfoMax) that can display graphics and animation, you also want to consider the resolution. Resolution is defined by the pitch and the number of pixels in your display. Usually, higher the number of pixel (refer to the pixel matrix value in the specification charts), higher the resolution. Resolution is important for video boards (VideoMax) and should maintain an aspect ratio of 3H:4W or 6H:9W.

4. Physical Size of Electronic LED Sign

Most manufacturers of electronic signs carry standard models that are of a certain physical size. You can check our standard models by going to the menu above and selecting Products> Specifications. Because, Grandwell is a full-service manufacturer, we can modify our standard models or custom build electronic sign systems to suit your needs.

5. Other Factors to Consider

We have covered the basic factors you need to consider when selecting an electronic sign. There are other factors that you may need to take into consideration. While we do not go into details here, please feel free to contact us and we will be glad to explain it to you.
• Software - Functionality and Ease of Use
• Communication Methods
• Installation Methods
• Financing
• Zoning and Sign Ordinance