What is SMD Technology?

A traditional technology with a rich history

SMD (Surface Mount Diode) technology is at the heart of both indoor and outdoor LED displays.  It involves mounting LED (light emitting diode) packages directly onto the surface of a printed circuit board (PCB). Its first use on displays was in the late 1980's and early 1990's.

Each SMD package comprises one red, one green, and one blue LED, meticulously assembled into a single lamp/ pixel. These LEDs are carefully grouped according to their similar wavelengths (bin batching).

The ingenious combination of these RGB LEDs allows for the seamless creation of white light, forming the building block of a single pixel.  In the world of LED displays, thousands of these of SMDs are meticulously mounted onto a module or tile, culminating in a stunning visual experience.

Where is SMD technology used?

The utility of Surface Mount Device (SMD) technology has been diminishing in recent years, particularly for indoor fine pitch applications, due to the emergence of Chip-on-Board (COB) technology and its superior energy efficiency properties.

Nevertheless, SMD remains the go to technology for indoor and outdoor displays (at least for the time being), especially in situations where budget constraints are the primary determining factor. SMD also holds the distinction of being the most established, tried and tested LED display technology on the market.

Use Case Examples:

Outdoor Digital Signage

SMD LED displays are frequently used for outdoor billboards, digital signage, and large-scale advertising screens. They offer excellent visibility, even in bright sunlight.

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Indoor Digital Signage

In shopping malls, airports, and commercial spaces, SMD LED displays are employed for indoor advertising, delivering dynamic and eye-catching content to attract customers.

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Sports Stadium Screens

SMD LED displays are popular in sports stadiums and arenas for displaying live action, scores, replays, and advertisements. They offer vibrant and clear visuals to engage the audience.

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Events & Exhibition Displays

Trade shows, exhibitions, and conferences use rental SMD LED displays to create visually appealing booths, display product information, promote messaging and engage with potential customers.

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Retail Signage

Retail stores use SMD LED displays for in-store promotions, showcasing product information, and creating interactive shopping experiences.

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Transport Information Displays

Airports, train stations, and bus terminals use SMD LED displays for providing information about departures, arrivals, and other updates to passengers.

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Corporate Displays

In conference rooms, boardrooms, and corporate lobbies, SMD LED displays are used for presentations, video conferencing, and corporate branding

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Control Room Displays

SMD LED displays find applications in control rooms where real-time data monitoring and visualization are essential, such as in traffic management, security, and utility operations.

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Education Displays

Educational institutions like schools and universities use SMD LED displays for interactive learning, presentations, and digital information boards.

Hospitality Displays

Hotels and restaurants use SMD LED displays for menus, digital signage, and guest information.

Interesting fact!

LED display brightness is measured in NITS (which comes from the Latin word Nitere, meaning “to shine”), and the official term is actually “candela per square metre”.

SMD LED displays can range from as little as 300 NITS all the way to 12,000 NITS for outdoor digital billboard signage. Now that's bright!

Want to learn what NIT levels are needed?

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