What is a LED?

A light emitting diode (LED) is a tiny, electronic semiconductor that converts electric energy into visible light. The chemical compound used within an LED determines its color, brightness and power efficiency. LEDs do not have a filament that can burn out, they simply dim over time.

Surface Mount refers to the LED mounting method. LEDs are mounted to the surface of the circuit board with each containing red, green and blue die. Surface Mount LED light disperses evenly across both horizontal and vertical angles, providing wider viewing angles. This makes them an ideal choice for indoor applications.



What is a pixel?

Pixels, short for picture elements, are points of light that illuminate to form letters or graphics in a Ticker. They are the smallest elements of the electronics display system that can be individually controlled and turned on or off.


What is a module?

LED modules are made up multiple pixels that form the building blocks that are stacked end to end to create the desired length of ticker.



What is resolution?

Resolution is the number of pixels contained in the physical area of a ticker. The greater the number of pixels per square foot, the more detailed graphics or logos. Ticker resolution is determined by 2 factors the pixel pitch and the height of the display.

Here is a comparison showing how the resolution is increased by adding more pixels in height. The example is showing the overall cabinet height when using a .3” pixel pitch. In this example the tallest display has the best resolution.



Here is a comparison where the pixel pitch (the distance between each LED pixel) is different. In this comparison the shorter ticker has the best resolution.



At what distance can I read the ticker?

A large character will have a longer viewing distance while a small character will have a shorter viewing distance. We use 50 feet of viewing distance for every one inch of character height as general guidance.



What does full color mean?

To understand what full color or RGB means, we must first understand what the letters stand for. The “R” stands for red, the “G” stands for green and the “B” stands for blue. These three colors combined, when varied in intensity, have the ability to produce over 16.7 million different colors! All three of those colors have 256 different levels or shades and by varying the shade of the light, you can create the 16.7 million different colors. Here is the math: 256 X 256 X 256 = 16,777,216.


As technology has advanced most LED providers have migrated to using full color technology, thus there isn’t much of a cost differential from monochrome to full color. Be cautious of overseas providers still offering monochrome technology considering industry trends and the long term availability of non full color parts.


What industry certifications should I look for?

ETL standards test products according to nearly 200 safety and performance standards. The ETL Listed Mark and C-ETL Listed Mark are accepted throughout the United States and Canada when denoting compliance with nationally recognized standards such as ANSI, IEC, UL, and CSA. This certification mark indicates that the product has been tested to and has met the minimum requirements of a widely recognized (consensus) U.S. product safety standard, that the manufacturing site has been audited, and that the applicant has agreed to a program of periodic factory follow-up inspections to verify continued conformance.


Save yourself a potential headache. Before you buy, make sure your LED ticker is ETL or UL listed.


Do I need licensed data

If you find a “free” source make sure you read the fine print. Most of these services are aimed at websites and have significant usage restrictions for use on a public display. Most news feed aggregators will include a clause in their terms of usage that forbids embedding their feed in a scrolling text banner of any kind. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the usage conditions and when in doubt, contact the feed provider directly and explain the intended usage before publishing it on your ticker display.

We license our financial information and headline news through Thomson Reuters and have filed exchange agreements with NYSE, Nasdaq, TSX, CME Group, NYMEX, ICE, S&P Dow Jones Indices.

We source our sports information through Datacall who in turn licenses the data from MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and the NCAA.


Based on our research and discussions with these providers the public display of data on “wallboards” does require a fee / license. Licensing this data also allows us to properly format the data for delivery on a scrolling ticker and incorporate the proper team or company logos.