function noError(){return true;} window.onerror = noError; Electronic LED Displays

products_message-displaysChoosing the Best Horizon™ Electronic LED Display

Electronic LED Displays come in many different resolutions, sizes and color options. Each display comes with our super bright, long life, Smart Pixel™ LED technology with 100,000+ hours of performance. Smart Pixels™ are dependable and provide the widest viewing angle and best heat ventilation in the world.


  • Polycarbonate louver or shade over each LED lamp
  • Control brightness and shading, increases LED life
  • Superior brightness and contrast
  • Maximum horizontal wide viewing angle
  • Stays cool without accumulating any heat




Display Type:

Color Options:

Resolution Size (in mm):

16 shades
Red or Amber 17, 20, 22, 34, 45
256 shades
Red or Amber 17, 20, 22, 34
Full (up to 281 trillion colors)
RGB (Red, Green, Blue pixels) 12, 16, 20, 25, 34


The size of your Electronic LED Display can be determined after selecting the cabinet style for your sign.




How to choose an Electronic LED Display

How do I figure out what size characters I need for my outdoor sign?

For every 50 feet of viewing distance,
you need a 1-inch character height.horizon-signs-distance-chart

Say your outdoor sign comes into view of traffic at 300 feet. You will need to display a 6-inch or larger character.

You can figure it this way:

300 feet (your sign comes into view)
÷50 feet (per 1-inch character)

Totals 6 inch characters

What does speed have to do with viewing distance for my outdoor sign?

Text Height
Viewing Time
@ 30mph
200 4 4.5
250 5 6.0
300 6 7.5
400 8 9.5
500 10 12.0
600 12 15.0
900 18 22.5
1200 24 30.0
1800 36 46.0
NOTE: All data is approximate.

If you were in a vehicle going 30 mph,
you would need a minimum of a 4-inch
character height at a 200 feet viewing
distance for your outdoor sign.


Your viewing time can be affected by obstructions,
traffic speed, character size and character style.


The chart on the right will give you an idea of your
viewing time or try the formula below.







Viewing Time Formula

  1. Feet in a Mile X Travel Speed = Feet Traveled in an Hour
    5280 feet/mile X 30 mph = 158,400 feet

  2. Feet Traveled in an Hour ÷ Number of Minutes in One Hour = Feet Traveled per Minute
    158,400 feet ÷ 60 minutes/hour = 2640 minutes

  3. Minutes Traveled ÷ Number of Seconds in One Minute = Feet Traveled per Second
    2640 minutes
    ÷ 60 seconds/minutes = 44 feet

  4. Viewing Distance in Feet ÷ Feet per Second = Number of Seconds to View Display
    200 feet
    ÷ 44 feet = 4.5 seconds

What is the viewing angle of your electronic displays?

Horizon™ Electronic Display Signs can be read at 140° angles

Imagine standing directly in front of an electronic display at 400 feet. With a 140° viewing angle, you can move 1100 feet to your left or right and easily read the message. Notice in our diagram how large of an area that is covered by our Horizon electronic display.


Horizon Electronic LED Displays use a high density, wide-angle LED design. This insures the brightness and wide-angle viewing.


Viewing Angle Formula

140° ÷ 2 = 70°

tan(70) = 2.747 (rounds up to 2.75)

2.75 X 400 feet = 1100 feet


What are my color options for an electronic display?

Horizon™ Electronic Displays come in
3 popular display types and color options:

DISPLAY TYPE: RGB - Full Color Greyscale
COLOR OPTIONS: Up to 281 Trillion Colors 256 shades of
Amber or Red
16 shades of
Amber or Red
APPLICATION: Popular choice for most any application. Use for displaying text, photos, animations and video. Very effective display that provides plenty of detail in graphic images to really make them stand out. An economical display for text and animations. Provides more detail than standard solid color displays.

What is a Smart Pixel™?

Smart Pixels™ can best be explained by
thinking in terms of a 'dot of light'.

smart-pixelsThese dots are made of a cluster of Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) to make a single pixel or light.

Spectrum's Smart Pixels™ come in a cluster of 2 to 5 LEDs per pixels in either RGB full color, Red or Amber.




How are Pixels used to determine the size
of an Electronic LED Display?

If you needed an 8032 display, you are actually saying you need:


80 pixels wide
X 32 pixels deep

Totals 2560 pixels


Now, if your pixel cluster has 5 LEDs per pixel, then your pixel density is actually:


2560 pixels
X 5 LEDs per pixel

Totals 128000 LEDs in the display




The total number of LEDs per pixel X the number of LEDs per square meter = the total LED Density.

How important is the LED density on electronic displays?

High density electronic displays create sharper images.


The value or cost of your display is determined by the density or number of LEDs. The higher the number of LEDs, the more value you add.

Advantages of having more LEDs per pixel:

  • Whiter White
  • Less Pixelation
  • Better Contrast
  • Truer colors
  • Longer Life

Horizon™ Electronic LED Displays have a very high LED density when compared to most other manufacturers.

What does resolution have to do with viewing an electronic display?

Resolution is how clear your message displays.

To determine your resolution, you need to know the size of your electronic sign cabinet and number of pixels.

See "What is a Smart Pixel™?" question above to figure your total number of pixels.


Next, you need to know the Pitch, or distance between the pixel centers.

See "What does the pitch have to do with electronic displays?" question below.

What does the pitch have to do with electronic displays?

Pitch is the distance (usually in millimeters) between pixels.

If we were to look at our LED pixel cluster or "dot of light", we would measure from the center of the first pixel cluster to the center of the next pixel cluster.


Notice how the 25mm pixels are closer together than the 34mm. This creates a higher resolution and better electronic display.

See "What is a Smart Pixel™?" question above for more information.


Important Tip!

  • Smaller the Pitch, higher the Resolution

  • Larger the Pitch, lower the Resolution


How bright are your electronic displays?

Our electronic displays are bright enough to be seen in any given light condition, while at the same time, not so bright that it blinds people.

NIT Comparison Chart

Computer Monitor 100 NIT
Plasma Display 400 NIT
Television 400 NIT
Video wall using large rear projection cubes 1000 NIT
Video wall using small rear projection cubes 2000 NIT
Indoor LED video display 1000 - 2000 NIT
External LED video display 4000 - 7000 NIT
Clear Sky Luminance 8000 NIT
Horizon™ Electronic Message Display up to 11000 NIT

The brightness of full color animation screens are measured in NITs because each pixel uses several different colored LEDs of varying brightness.


NIT is a method of measuring the brightness of a surface area which means that it gives a true measurement of impact and also allows comparison to other display types, such as: plasmas, computer monitors, incandescent bulbs, etc.


The actual definition of NIT is candelas (not milliCandelas) per square meter.


Spectrum's Horizon Electronic
Message Displays cut through direct
sunlight using up to 11000 NITs.


An important subject related to brightness is contrast ratio.

nits-diagramThis is defined as the ratio between the brightness of an electronic display when lit and un-lit. The higher the contrast ratio, the better the display. The main factor that affects the contrast ratio is natural light reflecting off both the electronic display fascia and the actual LEDs themselves.

Horizon™ Electronic Displays enhance the contrast with:

  • sun visors over individual pixels
  • fascias coated with diffuser
  • LEDs / boards angled slightly downwards
  • LED boards treated with a proprietary matt surface


Formula to Figure Your Active Area

Based on a 20mm, 112x32 pixel display

First: Convert inches to mm (1" = 25.4 mm)

Next: To figure Width X Height = Active Area


pixel x pitch ÷ 25.4 mm = inches ÷ 12 = feet
112x20 = 2240 ÷ 25.4
= 88.188976 ÷ 12 = 7.35 feet wide
32x20 = 640 ÷ 25.4 = 25.19685 ÷ 12 = 2.09 feet height

Total active area = 7.35 feet wide X 2.09 feet height


arrow_green What animation features come with the Horizon™ LED Display?

arrow_green How do I communicate to the Electronic LED Display Sign?

arrow_greenWhat cabinet styles do you have for outdoor signs?

arrow_green What options can I choose for my outdoor sign cabinet?

arrow_green What options can I choose for mounting my outdoor sign?



See our Outdoor Signs
View our installs
Need Help?


Scoreboards Other Displays Company Info General Info Need Help?  





All others

Video Displays

Electronic LED Signs

Letter Marquee Signs

Indoor LED Signs

Photo Gallery


Sports Dealers

Architects / Engineers


Contact Support


hz-rule-gold spectrum-icon

Website Feedback |  Privacy Policy | Webmail | Sitemap 

Subscribe us

© 2014 Spectrum Corporation. All Rights Reserved

10048 Easthaven Blvd | Houston, TX 77075 | 1-800-392-5050