The prospect of purchasing commercial digital display solutions is daunting, in no small part due to the complexity of ever-changing industry jargon. The fluidity of many of the industry’s most common –yet most confusing- specifications can make the precise definitions of these terms quite difficult to pin down. For instance, do you know what diode lifespan is? Presumably you can intuit the basic idea but do you know how it works in practice? Do you know who determines it? Do you know the functional differences between diodes tested for 100,000 hour lifespans versus those tested for 50,000 hours?

The first thing a customer should know about the lifespan of a diode is the commonly-met benchmark. Here, the industry standard is 100,000 hours, which translates to roughly 11 years and five months. That number means that operating at 100% brightness, full white, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a diode will last 100,000 hours until its brightness degrades to 50% of the level it met on Day 1. This rating is set by LED suppliers who sell their diodes to display manufacturers, who often then reduce the maximum brightness levels of these diodes when assembling them into full-size displays. Capping maximum diode brightness upon assembly and then operating the display at a lower brightness is a common best practice to maximize the lifespan and efficiency of a display.

There are countless other terms floating through the display industry that lack straightforward definitions like this and perilously few sources where interested customers can find answers for their questions. How does grayscale work? What does a “nit” mean? How does raising the bit depth of a display impact color banding? If you find yourself asking any of these questions, you might be interested in finding the answers to them within NanoLumens latest white paper. The paper functions as a guide and glossary for some of the industry’s most malleable terms, including diode lifespan, grayscale, brightness, bit depth, and many more. So if you’re confident in your LED knowledge but uncertain in what exactly manufacturers are trying to communicate, this white paper should help set the record straight. It’s time everyone in the display industry got on the same page, so download your copy of “Hey! What Does This Spec Mean?” today!