What are The LED Display Scan Modes and Driving Principles?

Since LED technology’s continued advances, brightness of LED displays has steadily been rising while their size continues to shrink – an indicator that more electronic LED displays will enter indoor application as their luminosity and density rise. Unfortunately, higher brightness levels create new and elevated requirements when controlling and driving LED screens; currently these typically utilize row-column separation known as scanning mode while LED displays operate either static or dynamic scanning modes that further real pixels, virtual pixels and real/virtual pixel areas respectively.

Scan Mode Definition:

A scan mode of LED screen can be defined as the ratio between simultaneously illuminated rows and total rows in a display area. Indoor monochrome or dual-color LED displays usually feature 1/16 scan ratio while 1/8 scanning may also be employed when used indoor full color displays. Outdoor monochrome dual color and full color LED displays commonly use 1/4 scan ratio while static scanning techniques.

LED display scan mode

Drive Mode Definition:

A drive mode refers to the method by which output pins of driver IC connect with individual pixels points. Static drive, using point-to-point control, offers superior display quality and stability with minimal brightness loss while scanning drive using row control circuit is more cost-effective but results in reduced display quality and greater brightness loss.

LED Electronic Display 1/4 Scan Mode Working Principle:

When operating in this mode, each of V1-V4 rows of power supply (V1-V4) are activated according to control requirements for 1/4 of frame time in one frame time – this approach maximizes efficiency of use of display characteristics while decreasing hardware costs; but, unfortunately this limit means each LED row may only display for 1/4 time within a frame period.

Scan Modes for Different LED Display Types:

Indoor full-color LED display scan modes:

P4 and P5 use constant current 1/16 scan, while P6 and P7.62 utilize constant current 1/8 scan.

Outdoor full-color LED display scanning modes:

P10 and P12 utilize constant current 1/2 and 1/4 scan respectively while P16, P20, and P25 utilize static scan mode.

Monochrome or dual-color LED display scan modes:

They atypically feature constant current 1/4, 1/8 scan and 16 scan, among others.

Detail and Differentiation of Scan Modes:

Most LED displays use either static or dynamic scanning modes; static scanning further differentiated into real pixels and virtual pixels for static scanning, and dynamic scanning divided between real pixels and virtual pixels when it comes to dynamic scanning.

Dynamic Scanning:

Dynamic scanning involves controlling pixels directly via their output of driver ICs rather than from their driver output circuits to columns, thus providing lower costs but with reduced display quality and brightness. Control circuits may be needed, leading to additional costs but ultimately offering increased display quality over dynamic scanning’s use.

Static Scan:

Static scanning involves controlling driver IC output directly with individual pixels for control over static scanning. Although more costly, static scanning offers superior display quality and stability while minimising brightness loss.

Driver Devices:

Some commonly utilized driver devices include Chinese HC595, Taiwanese MBI5026 and Japanese Toshiba TB62726, all supporting 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16 scans respectively.

Example Illustration:

For a commonly used 16*8 (2R1G1B) full color module using MBI5026 drivers as drivers:

32 MBI5026 chips represent static virtual pixels;

16 indicate dynamic 1/2 scan virtual pixels and 8 dynamic 1/4 scan virtual pixels respectively, while 24 MBI5026s indicate static real pixels.

12 MBI5026 chips denote dynamic 1/2 scan real pixels while 6 indicate dynamic 1/4 scan real pixels.

Pixel and Virtual Pixel:

A “pixel” and its virtual equivalent refers to imaging units used for real world imaging applications. Real pixels involve each emitting element contributing directly to one pixel for sufficient brightness while virtual ones use software algorithms to manage each emitter’s participation across multiple adjacent pixels and attain greater resolution with less light elements.

The above is the basis and introduction of the LED display scanning method. So what are the transparent LED display driving methods?

Transparent LED Display Scan Modes:

Transparent LED displays utilize both static and dynamic scan modes – also referred to as scanning drives – when scanning displays are turned on, such as when used for photorealistic simulation. Below IAMLEDWALL explore these modes in depth with their characteristics and differences being examined:

1/1 Scan is designed for outdoor use due to its higher brightness driving mode; 1/2 Scan provides reduced brightness than static mode; however it should still be suitable for semi-outdoor and indoor usage as it features half the brightness of 1/2 scan and can accommodate semi-outdoor and indoor conditions as well as some weather conditions.

1/4 Scan uses half as much brightness of 1/2 scan for semi-outdoor and indoor settings respectively while 1/8 and 1/10 Scan operate more slowly indoors typically used indoors for best results.


P3 Vs. P5 Transparent LED Displays: Which Is Better?


Electronic LED displays use various scan modes such as 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16 scans for their displays, each having an impactful choice that requires adjustments in receiver card settings to optimize display configuration and achieve visual results that meet desired visual outcomes. Understanding their differences is paramount for optimizing LED display configuration and realizing desired visual outcomes.