Jun 10, 2017

What is pixel pitch? How is it related to resolution?



The resolution of a screen is determined by the total number of pixels in a display.

The higher number of pixels renders higher resolution, which means better picture quality. On an LED screen, pixel pitch and viewing distance are very important factors that affect the performance of the sign.


What is a pixel?

A pixel is the smallest element of a digital image, relative to where it is presented. On an LED display, one (1) LED is referred as a pixel as it is the smallest unit on the LED display. On a computer screen, one (1) dot is referred as a pixel.

An LED screen is made up of an array of pixels, lighting up to different intensities and colors to create letters, graphics, animations, and videos. It’s the same principle your television or computer screen works on.


What is pixel pitch?

Pixel pitch is the distance (usually in millimeters) between pixels. A pixel pitch is measured from the center of one pixel to the center of an adjacent pixel. Since the lowest controllable element on an LED screen is one (1) LED, the pixel pitch on an LED screen would be the distance between each LED.

The smaller the pixel pitch, the closer the LEDs are, thus the higher pixel density bringing a higher resolution quality. Higher pixel pitch indicates greater distance between pixels, thus a lower resolution.

In short,

  • Higher pixel pitch
  • More transparent
  • Lower resolution
  • Lower Pixel pitch
  • Less transparent
  • Higher resolution

So since low pixel pitch renders higher resolution, is the lowest pixel pitch always the best?

While resolution matters, higher resolution does not always means it's better!

Lower pixel pitch also means higher pixel density. The higher density of pixels means there are more LED on one screen, therefore the LED screen will likely be more expensive and require higher maintenance. Pixel pitch also affects the viewing distance as well as the visual performance of an LED screen.

When choosing an LED screen, business owners should consider the complexity of their display content and what resolution are sufficient in displaying their content. For instance, if the screen were to display simple text and logo animation, high resolution LED screen will not be necessary. It is important business owners consider carefully which LED display pixel pitch would be most cost-effective for their business needs. The ideal solution will always be a combination of cost and resolution. 


How do I choose the best pixel pitch for my LED display?

Pixel pitch typically ranges from 4mm up to 20mm for indoor viewing; and pixel pitch can range from 25mm to 50mm or higher for outdoor viewing—outdoor LED screens tend to be larger than indoor screens since the viewing distance is often greater.


When choosing the LED screen pixel pitch, there are two factors to consider.

  • LED screen optimal viewing distance: When selecting pixel pitch, it is important to first consider the distance viewers will be from the screen. The general formula for the optimal viewing distance is:

    pixel pitch (mm) /(0.3~0.8) = Optimal viewing distance (mm)

    E.g., The best viewing distance for a 16mm pixel pitch LED screen is 20~53 meters; viewers at 25 meters distance will be able to distinguish the LED screen clearly; however, those viewing from a greater distance such as 54 meters, will have less, but acceptable, clarity. (This example is based on normal vision.)
    ▶▶Complete chart of pixel pitch vs. viewing distance

  • LED screen resolution: ClearLED transparent displays are modular and therefore resolutions will vary depending the total size of the screen. Depending on the screen size a minimum of 9 point size font can be displayed.


Pixel pitch and LED displays

For outdoor LED screens, pixel pitch between 3mm~6mm is recommended for close distance viewing and pixel pitch between 16mm~20mm for far distance viewing. ClearLED transparent displays are modular and therefore resolutions will vary depending the total size of the screen. Depending on the screen size a minimum of 9 point size font can be displayed.



When selecting a transparent LED screen, the smaller the pixel pitch, the higher the resolution will be, and the sharper and clearer the display will be; however, pixel pitch heavily affects the cost and maintenance of the screen. It is important for business owners to consider the cost, the application, and the objectives of the LED display when choosing pixel pitch. 



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