Sensors and brightness control on LED displays

Advertising LED screens in our cities have a particularity that makes them stand out from conventional displays: their great brightness. Thanks to the amount of light they emit, they are the ideal element to promote any service or product on our streets without sunlight affecting their ability to communicate. The key? The sensors and brightness control on LED screens.

For the reason mentioned, more and more users are changing small and dimly lit televisions or smart TVs with giant LED displays in their windows, or they replace static billboards with LED billboards.

The unbeatable brightness of LED screens is an undoubtable virtue, but it has also been the subject of controversy, since poor lighting control can cause problems such as those detailed below.

Environmental impact of lighting

European regulations have brought new laws that seek to contribute to the conservation of the environment. In the case of LED displays, their high luminosity in low-light environmental conditions – such as sunset or night – causes a detriment to wildlife, as it interferes with their vision and, therefore, with their natural habits.

In addition, an excess of light during nighttime favors a totally unnecessary environmental light pollution. To verify it, it is enough to see the satellite photographs where the urban centers exhibit high luminosity.

Effects of excessive brightness for drivers

We all know that the purpose of a LED display is to create a visual claim about what is being played, but without causing visual disturbances in passers-by or the drivers of the vehicles that circulate around the area. In recent years, there have been many cases where citizens themselves have claimed disturbances due to the installation of LED billboards or LED information panels because of the inconvenience it caused them.

In this context, and due to the growing installation of giant LED screens, official bodies have accelerated their regulation. Although their placement was forbidden at first, their great communicative potential made them finally decide not to veto them, adopting light regulation standards according to the time of day.

To respect these regulations, it is necessary to adhere to the allowed brightness values indicated by the competent authority. As these are local regulations, it is possible that in certain places there is still no standard in this regard. When this occurs, we will apply logic and regulate the brightness so that we do not create discomfort in the environment.

How to control the light or brightness of LED screens?

There are several ways to control brightness on our LED screens, each with specific features.

Programmable control of LED screens and panels

By using advanced software, we can create a scheduled timetable, assigning a brightness value determined according to the time slot we want. This method is very effective, since it allows us to customize the level of brightness that suits us best. In return, we can say that this way of programming brightness levels does not take into account environmental lighting conditions. That is, the system does not contemplate if the weather is cloudy, so it will always use the default brightness values. Although this may seem like a problem – as many retailers consider it – the truth is that this is not a great inconvenience either, since, during daytime hours, LED displays do not cause visual disturbances, regardless of their brightness.

As an example, we can compare it by using the lights of a vehicle and test if these lights impair visibility when using them in broad daylight (sunny or cloudy conditions). The truth is that neither short nor long lights cause discomfort to passers-by when using them during the day.

Of course: when the time is changed to adjust it to winter or summer time, we will have to modify our table of light values, it will start to get darker sooner (at the end of October) or later (at the end of March).

This system is a very good option if you do not want to use external elements such as light sensors, which are expensive and difficult to use.

Control of LED screens with brightness sensors

The brightness sensors for LED screens are external elements that are added to the LED screen so that, in a fully automatic way, its brightness level can be regulated according to lighting conditions. These sensors are composed of a photoreceptor and a control card. Next, we will see what each of these elements consists of.

What is a photoreceptor or brightness sensor?

A photoreceptor is a reverse polarized LED that detects photons – that is, the particles that form light and, in general, electromagnetic radiation – that affect it. To protect this photosensitive diode and the rest of the electronic elements that make it up, the photoreceptor is usually delivered within a completely waterproof receptacle so that it can be installed on both indoor LED displays and outdoor LED displays. This brightness sensor has to be installed on the front of the LED screen, in the direction in which the monitor is oriented.

What is a brightness control card?

The brightness control card performs the function of receiving the brightness sensor values, interpreting them and sending them to the LED display. This electronic board is the one that stores the values that we have previously programmed and that assigns a brightness value to the screen according to the light that falls on the sensor.

This electronic card must be connected directly to the light sensor through a cable and must also be protected from water, in the case of outdoor LED displays, so it has to be located inside a waterproof case or inside the LED screen.

The advantages of an automatic brightness sensor are obvious. Now, this system also causes problems that few companies take into account. In the following lines, we detail two of the most frequent.

  • The difficulty of placing the sensor in the front, since its size prevents installation in a comfortable and practical way, so it is necessary to be inventive to find a solution that allows it to be placed correctly.
  • Another drawback is that the proximity of trees, lampposts, awnings or other elements may impair the collection of real light. For example, there have been cases in which the regulation of the LED display is not correct, because the light of a nearby lamppost confuses the sensor and, consequently, gives higher values of brightness to the screen, with the consequent damage to passersby.

Conclusions about brightness sensors for LED displays

In summary, we can say that a light control system in our LED displays is a mandatory aspect so that its light values are correctly adapted to current laws and regulations.

As for choosing between a programmed or sensor system, the two options are perfectly valid, so your choice is more a more personal option than a technical one, since both solutions are quite effective. In our opinion, we recommend opting for the programmable option as it is the most economical, simple and reliable way. In any case, we are always on time to acquire the option with automatic brightness sensor.

Thus ends our article on sensors and control of brightness on LED displays. Do you have any doubts? In that case, contact Visual Led without obligation, by phone, e-mail or by completing our form. We will be happy to advise you.

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