A Simple Guide to SMD LED Displays

SMD LED Display

Table of Contents

We can find SMD LED displays almost everywhere in our life. For instance, when you walk on the street, you can see them on the roadside or in buildings. If you shop around, you can see them in the shopping mall. They are an efficient technology that uses surface-mount technology to create brighter displays. In this post, we will discuss the basics of SMD LED displays.

What is an SMD LED display, and how does it work?

An SMD LED display is a type of digital screen. It uses surface-mount technology to create a display. This technology allows for more LEDs to be packed into a smaller space. So we can make fine pitch LED displays.

SMD LEDs are smaller and more energy-efficient. They provide better image quality than DIP LED displays.

So how does it work? Here I would introduce in simple words:

When the LEDs pass through an electrical current, they emit light. Then they show a visual display. You can program them to display different colors and patterns.

SMD LED Display

Factors to consider when choosing the right SMD LED display:

When choosing an SMD LED display for your project, you need to consider some factors. Here I concluded eight points:

Display size:

The size of an SMD LED display is an important factor to consider. When you plan to buy a screen, you should check the size you need. It depends on the installation spot. The typical size our customers order for an outdoor billboard is W 6 x H 3 meters, equal to W 20 x H 10 ft.

SMD LED Display

Installation methods:

The installation methods are relevant to our complete solution design. Besides, it also relates to the budget for the steel structure construction. There are five main installation methods:

  • Wall-mounted: It is a common installation method in indoor environments. Besides, some outdoor projects also adopt this method.
  • Ceiling hanging: It means displays hang from the ceiling by cables or other suspension hardware. However, during the installation, please ensure safety. It would be best for you to check the firmness of such suspension hardware. You should make sure it can hang the display more than enough.
  • Freestanding: This kind of display can support itself with a stand. They are generally lightweight. You can usually see them at trade shows, events, etc. You can choose such displays when you need to move them quickly. We can also call them portable displays.
  • Pole-mounted: Most outdoor SMD LED displays use this installation method. There are double poles and single pole types. The mounting hardware we would equip is U-shaped bolts. They can connect the display and the structure.
  • Rooftop-mounted: It is a method to install the LED display on the roof of a building. The primary function of such displays is to advertise.

SMD LED Display

Installation environment:

It mainly refers to whether your screen would be outdoor or indoor. The display will suffer from harsh weather if it is for outdoor use. So the LED display needs to be weather-resistant, shock-resistant, and scratch-resistant.


The resolution of an SMD LED display refers to the number of pixels or LEDs on it. It is relevant to what pixel pitches to buy. The resolution of a smaller pixel pitch is higher than that of a larger pixel pitch on one square meter. And the smaller the pixel pitch is, the higher price is.

SMD LED Display


We use nits or CD/m2 to measure the brightness of an SMD LED display. If the screen is brighter, we can easily view it in bright conditions. The standard brightness for outdoor LED screens should be above 5,000 nits. If the screen faces direct sunlight in the daytime, we suggest getting a screen with more than 7,000 nits. In this way, we can get a perfect view experience.

SMD LED Display

Viewing angle:

It means the range of angles from which we can view the display while maintaining good image quality. With wider viewing angles, we can see the screen from different positions. SMD LED displays are with bigger viewing angles than the DIP type. They can reach more than 110°.

Power consumption:

This point is essential if you want to save on your electricity bill. Take an example of outdoor LED screens: the typical maximum power is about 1,000 W/m2. We recommend our common cathode LED display to help you save costs. The maximum power of this type is only about 450 W/m2.

Operating temperature range:

As it is not always an essential factor to consider, it can be neglected. Generally, the operating temperature of our SMD LED displays is from -30℃ to +70℃. We will provide you with professional solutions if you have different requirements.

SMD LED Display

Comparisons of SMD LED displays and DIP LED displays:

As the most common types in the LED industry, we often compare SMD and DIP LED displays. However, there are more benefits of the SMD type than that of DIP. It is why SMD has occupied almost the entire LED screen market. Below we will discuss the comparisons of these two types:

Pixel density:

SMD LED displays have a higher pixel density than DIP LED displays. It means SMD can display more delicate and higher-quality images and videos. As we mentioned above, SMD LED displays use tiny surface-mounted LEDs. They allow for a higher number of pixels per square meter. The smallest pixel pitch of the SMD type is 0.9mm at the moment, while it is a 10mm pixel pitch for DIP.

SMD LED Display

Viewing angle:

SMD LEDs have a wider viewing angle than DIP. You can view them from a wider angle without losing picture quality. The standard view angle of SMD is above 110°, while it is about 70° for DIP LED displays.


I can say most clients are concerned about this aspect. The production cost of SMD LED displays is less than the DIP type based on the same type, such as P10. It is due to the rare production of the DIP LED display these years. And very few manufacturers make it.

Color accuracy:

In this aspect, SMD LED displays still beat the DIP type. SMD LEDs have better color accuracy. It is because they are capable of displaying finer color gradations. We can also use color correction to ensure each LED emits the correct color and brightness.

SMD LED Display

Common problems of SMD LED displays and how to fix them:

Although SMD LED displays are reliable and durable, there are some common problems. Here we conclude four common issues and the solutions to solve them:

Dead pixels or cold solder:

It is a phenomenon that individual pixels fail to light up or display the correct color. It is a common problem with SMD LED displays.

So why does it occur? It can be either manufacturing defects or environmental factors. For the former aspect, we can solve it via enough-time aging. Our standard aging time is at least 72 hours. It is an effective method. Then environmental factors contain temperature fluctuations or moisture.

You can try to gently tap the affected area if the cold solder problem occurs. However, if it doesn’t work, you can replace an LED display module. It is why we offer more than 3% of spare parts of LED modules for free.

SMD LED Display

Color inconsistency:

When the display shows different colors, we call this phenomenon color inconsistency. The problems can be the followings:

  • Different batches of LED lamps.
  • The drive current.
  • The viewing angle of the display.

We can solve it by adjusting the display settings. They include the color temperature or brightness. Besides, color calibration is a popular method to improve color accuracy now.

SMD LED Display


Flickering is a rapid change in brightness. We can notice it with the naked eye. The common problems to cause it can be the followings:

  • The power supply.
  • The LED driver circuitry.
  • Voltage fluctuations.

If this problem occurs, you can check the power supply. Or measure the voltage with professional tools. In some cases, flickering may be caused by electromagnetic interference. If it is the reason, you can try to add filters or shielded cables.


It is a situation when an afterimage appears on the display after the image has changed. The problem causing it is slow response times.

To solve this problem, we can use driver ICs with a high refresh rate, such as 3,840 Hz.

Top applications for SMD LED displays:

You can see SMD LED displays almost everywhere. Here we will list some top applications:

Retail and hospitality:

SMD LED displays are popular in retail and hospitality markets. They include shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants. The primary function of this field is to advertise. They can provide information on promotions, products, and services.

SMD LED Display

Sports and entertainment:

We just witnessed the great FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. You can see many LED displays on the football pitch. And in the entertainment aspect, the most common scene is the concert or stage.

SMD LED displays can provide high-quality video playback and live feeds. Besides, they show game scores, player stats, and other information in real time.


Transportation applications mainly focus on buses, trains, and taxis. SMD LED screens can display route information, schedules, and advertising content.

SMD LED Display


I hope you have a deeper understanding of this product now. Knowing these points can bring you many benefits when purchasing.

If you want to buy an SMD LED display screen, consult us.

Sunny Wong
Sunny Wong

Hello. I am Sunny Wong, the author of this post.

I entered the LED screen industry in 2008 and have always been in this field.

The purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to LED screens from a Chinese supplier’s perspective.

If you want to distribute or explore your local LED screen market, please ask me any questions.

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