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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which LED sign is best for my business or organization?

A: There are a number of factors to consider when choosing an LED display, including:

size, pixel pitch, location, marketing/ messaging goals, etc..

Applications for LED signs vary greatly, from 2-lane streets with minimal setbacks to 6-lane highways with signs 50 feet above the ground. These considerations dictate the size LED display you will require and also affect the best choice in LED pixel density.

Q: How much do LED signs cost?

A: Typical LED signs are similar to new automobiles in costs. But this is a trick question. What you actually want to ask yourself is: Where will the budget for your LED sign come from? It's easy to think of an electronic outdoor sign as a capital expenditure; but a more accurate and smarter place to look is your advertising and communications budgets. An LED Display is a capital investment, investments bring a financial return. That return can then pay for the cost and bring profits.

When you consider advertising facts such as newspaper circulation versus traffic count, radio audiences versus traffic count, and how much it costs on a per-day basis, a Suncoast LED sign beats newspaper, yellow pages and radio hands down. So your budget may be a little different than you think.

Q: Can signs be leased or financed?

A: Yes, they can. Authorized Suncoast Dealers can provide LED sign financing options. Contact us for more information.

Q: Can LED signage costs ever be deducted as a business expense?

A: Yes! Under the IRS Section 179 deduction, customers are able to write off the entire asset in the year acquired, even when leased (subject to income limitations). The cost of your LED Display can also be depreciated over several years which may be a better tax strategy depending on your actual company's numbers.

Q: What's the best message to capture the attention of passers by?

A: Simple information (such as time and temperature) turns your sign into a landmark, or message center, that people will use on a regular basis. LED signs are also great for promoting timely information such as events and/ or special offers. The ways you choose to format and display messages on your LED sign are up to you - from videos to animation to EasyArt images!

With LED Displays, content is king. Just as you would carefully design an ad in a magazine to convey just the right message... Choosing the right content from your LED display is important. The difference being that with your LED Display, you can change and alter your messages on a moment by moment basis with no extra cost. Monitor the effectiveness of the messages displayed and build future advertising on that basis. Ask customers what brought them in, track responses, create a LED Display only ad. There are many options when creating messages for your display to capture the most attention. Click here for a downloadable .pdf with more information.

Q: What is an LED?

Light Emitting DiodesA:  L.E.D. stands for light emitting diode. An LED is an electronic light source. A diode is not a light bulb. Traditional incandescent light bulbs heat tungsten filaments until they glow, like a toaster heating element. These filaments gradually evaporate until they break and burn out. LEDs work on a totally different premise, similar to transistors or other electronics along those lines. There is no filament to burn out. LEDs are also a much more efficient light source, producing considerably more light per watt than a traditional bulb. Most LEDs are about 2/10 of an inch in diameter and about 1/3 of an inch in length. Whereas typical household lamps require 120 volts, an LED uses just two or three volts. What's more, typical household lamps are rated for 1,500 to 2,000 hours while LEDs can last 100,000 hours or more.

Pixel Pitch Diagram


Q: What is a pixel?

A: "Pixel" is simply an acronym for "picture element." It is the smallest point of light in a flat panel TV, or in an LED sign. Monochrome signs are either red or amber. A pixel is frequently just one red or amber LED. In a color LED sign, the smallest point typically includes three LEDs: one red, one green, and one blue. A display with more pixels typically has higher resolution, showing sharper images with more detail.


Q: What about red or amber LED signs versus full color LED signs?

A: Monochrome (red or amber) LED signs have represented a strong advertising value for nearly 10 years. Monochrome displays are the right selection for some budgets. They are a proven way to get attention and have been the standard in results for years. But if you want to display glamour shots of your products, play video displays and take advantage of other advertising tactics previously only available on TV and the internet, you might want to consider a color LED sign.

Q: What does "pitch" mean when referring to an LED sign?

A: "Pitch" is the distance between light points (pixels). Usually given in millimeters (mm), Suncoast outdoor display pitches range from 16mm to 35mm. A smaller pitch corresponds to more tightly packed LEDs (or pixels) and therefore higher resolution. Which leads to more lifelike video displays.

Q: What is "viewing angle" for an LED display? How do you measure it?

A: LED light patterns are similar to spot lights. The light source is brightest head on but falls away as one moves away from that center axis. A certain point is reached where the light intensity is exactly 50% less than the "on-axis" brightness. Two times that 1/2 brightness angle is the engineering definition for "viewing angle."

Q: I'm concerned that my local ordinances and zoning issues may not permit an LED sign. What should I do?

A: Not to worry. While you are ultimately responsible for adhering to local laws, your local Suncoast sign dealer may be able to work with you, your attorney and your local governments to help revise outdated zoning regulations concerning digital outdoor signs and avoid costly redesigns.

Q: How can I be sure I'm buying a quality product? How can I know I'm getting full value for my investment?

A: While almost any sign will get your message across for the next year or so, what about 5 years down the road-and longer? Suncoast LED signs are rigorously tested for resistance and durability in extreme temperatures from -40° to 120° F. Just a small part of why we're so confident offering our standard 5-year warranty.

Q: Once my Suncoast LED sign is installed, how will I get help?

A: Suncoast's Help Desk is available for assistance on troubleshooting, questions about ComPlay and WinPlay software and for training new employees. Just give us a call 855-853-4355.

Q: I have a small shopping center. In order to make a new LED sign as an advertising investment possible, I need to establish an advertising rate for our tenants. Can you suggest a rate structure?

A: While there is no detailed research available, we believe that most clients resort to a "capital recovery" period of five to seven years, spreading the capital cost over that time period. In some instances, larger tenants (anchors) pay a larger percentage, while other shopping centers divide the cost equally among all tenants. Either way, the monthly net advertising cost per tenant can be quite reasonable.

Q: I've heard LED signs called by a lot of names. Are they all the same or is there a difference?

A: Like with any evolving industry, LED signage has had its share of names: electronic message boards, electronic message centers, electronic displays, marquee signs, message signs, message centers, video displays, electronic display boards and electronic LED display systems among others.


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