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by Chris Curtis | July 01, 2012
Takeaways

LED screens come in a variety of shapes, sizes and configurations.

Consider using outdoor LEDs to carry through a meeting theme.

Provide as much information as possible about lighting conditions, and allow time for an LED operator rehearsal.

Always ask about the types of events the LED provider has produced.

Be sure to check references.

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Just five years ago, it was a rarity to find a light-emitting diode screen at a corporate meeting or convention. Even the largest shindigs had yet to integrate video walls and screens into their programs. Now, however, LEDs have become the norm at many large meetings. Costs have come down dramatically and the technology has improved. The latest advances in bulb brightness have made LED displays viewable in even the brightest sunlight, while drawing less power. Still, we're only scratching the surface in finding dramatic ways to incorporate LEDs into the show.

Limitless Possibilities For starters, LEDs now come in all shapes and sizes. In addition to the turnkey, truck-mounted mobile screens typically seen at sporting events and fairs, modular LED tiles can be configured in just about any way you can imagine. For example, we have assembled hundreds, even thousands, of LED tiles to create "animated" stage floors, curtains, truss systems, ribbon boards and other innovative applications. Companies like ours are constantly challenged to take clients' unique visions and transform them to reality.

One emerging trend is carrying through the LED experience from indoor meetings to outdoor venues within the same complex. The content, graphics and other multimedia elements attendees see on the screens in a hotel ballroom, for example, are mirrored in LEDs stationed outside by the pool. This seamless deployment of technology can leave a lasting impression on an audience when executed correctly. It also helps transform a casual outdoor reception into another platform for effectively reinforcing your meeting's central theme.

Tech Considerations When using LED screens, there are a few technical considerations. First, brightness is key. Since LED products can be as much as five times brighter than the highest-end projectors, it is important for the operator to understand what the production manager and/or designers want. This includes watching rehearsals of the final content in the exact lighting conditions.  Few things are worse than when an operator sets up the screens based on limited information, and then finds that the client's logo is of some color that makes the LED overbearing.

Most of the products on the market today have adjustable brightness, which can be managed by technicians who understand the equipment as well as the nuances of color correction, saturation and brightness.

Another critical consideration comes into play when LEDs are used as the backdrop to a stage. It is essential for the video production and technical crew to understand the proper way to shoot LED. A top-notch technician working with state-of-the-art equipment can alter settings within the LED processing, including refresh rates, to give the LED screen the very best look as a backdrop.

As LED technology has grown in popularity and manufacturing costs have declined, many new companies have entered the industry. Some manufacturers have flooded the market with low-quality LEDs or cheap imitations, with a built-in price advantage. Do your homework before hiring a rental company, and always check references.