What are Nits?

What are Nits?

February 03 , 2022 Share to
3 mins

Have you ever found yourself looking at a monitor or LCD TV in the sun and realize you can't really see the screen? It can be frustrating when trying to read a text on the go or work outdoors in the sun. While typical screen brightness makes our devices look great indoors, they can really begin to suffer once direct sunlight comes into play.

You may think this is just an issue of needing to adjust your devices to high brightness, but even the peak brightness on your device might not be a match for the sun.

This becomes an even bigger issue when you consider LCD displays intended for outdoor use. Whether they’re screens in an outdoor arena, digital billboard displays, or signage for a storefront, you don’t want to invest in a screen only to have it be invisible in the sunlight. You’ll want a display made for outdoor use, that can combat the effects of the sun.

If you want an LCD display that does not suffer in sunlight, then you need to pay close attention to the nits brightness of your display. If you've never heard of nits before, don't worry! Read on to learn about why nits are important, so you can get the most out of your screens outdoors.

What are Nits?

Nit is a measurement of visible light intensity as measured at the light source. The nit count on your display, whether it's a phone screen or an outdoor led display, will determine the brightness level your screen can reach.

Your computer screen probably has 200 to 300 nits of visible brightness, which is okay for most ambient light but isn't quite enough to combat the sun.  If you were to try and view your computer screen outdoors in the sunlight it would be very difficult. That’s because your computer screen doesn't have enough “visible light intensity” to combat the sun.

A LED screen meant for outdoor use will have a higher nit count. Your LED sign needs to have enough light intensity or it won't be as visible in outdoor lighting conditions as your competitor’s.

5000 nit minimum is the average for LED displays, while Billboard Media Group requires 6,500 nits of its displays.

Things to Keep In Mind

If you're looking to invest in a new LED screen, here's what you need to consider if you want optimum display brightness.

One of the most important considerations before purchasing the correct display is to determine where you will be using it. A less expensive and less bright LED display sign manufactured with diodes that emit less intensity is fine for indoor uses, but would be disastrous outdoors where the sunlight would overpower the image.

You want your display to shine at maximum brightness, especially if its an outdoor commercial display. The intensity of the sun’s light is many times more powerful than the light emitting through an LED display screen, making your screens nit number essential.

In order for an LED sign to be properly visible in outdoor daylight conditions it must have a minimum rating of 5,000 screen nits, which is proven to offer premium daytime visibility and luminance.

Not understanding this important aspect could leave the buyer bewildered and disappointed when they turn on their new display technology and find even the maximum brightness is no match for the sun. When shopping for an outdoor led display, always look for a high nit number, so you know it has the light output needed to shine.

Buyer Beware!

When shopping for screens, we advise you to be wary of those that claim a screen has 8,500NIT! More likely than not, these bright displays are the results of overdriving the diodes with extra power, rather than actually being a strong screen.

In these cases, power is boosted to achieve a “false” nit reading. This can be harmful, as a diode not built for the extra power surging into it day after day will have half the lifespan.

The displays may be more intense and brighter but the added power driving the diodes will shorten the life of the diodes by about half. Typically, the lifespan of a correctly powered light emitting diode display is about 100,000 hours, or about 10 years.

Always look for a high quality, trusted manufacturer when investing in LED displays. This will ensure your money is not wasted, and you get a product you love.