Landscape OF LED FORM
The following collection of reference images is meant to serve as a tool to inform and inspire designers on the creative uses of LED video products. Included are creative design examples not only from LED, but also from other industries in order to illustrate how current LED technology could be used in place of more traditional materials. This level of abstraction is intended to allow the designers imagination to wander and explore these possibilities further.
Over the last 20 years, the development driver of LED technology has been creating higher resolution, lower cost products that compete with and in some cases, replace conventional TVs. Today, product offerings of square and rectangle shapes are readily available and the most widely used.
However, 5TEN works with LED differently. Due to the manufacturing characteristics of LED - small diodes that are placed on an electronic surface - the technology allows for a nearly infinite set of shapes, such as regular polygons and quadrilaterals. These creative shapes challenge and expand what has been traditionally thought of as a display surface.
A typical LED display is made up of smaller modular elements, which are used as ‘building blocks’ to make larger surfaces. One can easily imagine the possible array of creative applications this can have, such as, the ability to create displays with negative space. These ‘building blocks’ can be reconfigured into tiling patterns- allowing light to pass through the negative space or through mixing mediums by combining the display panels with glass, wood, or other materials.
Given that square shapes are readily available, designers have been exploring cubic concepts using LED panels for quite some time. Until recently, however, there were several drawbacks to designing with this standard form, such as color uniformity & precision of mechanical assembly. Traditionally, LED pixels were made with Red, Green, and Blue dies assembled in a line, which created an undesirable “color-shift” when viewing the displays from certain angles. Because cubic designs inherently have a variety of different viewing angles, this was problematic and employing this concept in the real world was inherently restrictive.
Recently though, LED engineers have developed ways to address both color functionality and mechanical assembly tolerances. With the advent of ‘color shift free’ SMD technologies and the increased quality in structural mechanics the cubic design form is ready for more advanced creative exploration.
Our engineers have contributed to the development of several unique cylindrical LED products for the retail and museum industries. Whether it’s high resolution 360º degree viewable LED displays, or ‘high brightness’ lighting products, 5TEN’s approach to product development provides designers the freedom to think sculpturally with cylindrical forms.
A variety of electronic and mechanical restrictions have been lifted over the last few years, enabling smaller diameter, higher resolution, and more elaborate mechanical assemblies to be created. Tensegrity structures, sculptural chandeliers, and column wraps are just a few examples for advanced applications of this form.
The availability of flexible LED products has grown significantly in recent years. From the development of rigid LED panels that enable convex/concave curves in one direction to products that utilize rubber backing to allow for more complex curvaliner forms, material engineers working with manufacturing specialists are engineering these products with higher tolerances and more reliability than ever before.
The creative application space has been blown wide open by these advances and have led to higher resolutions and increased flexibility in an abundance of products.
Whether it’s ‘blades’ of high-resolution video or thin ‘strips’ of high brightness LED, the ‘narrow’ form can offer designers the ability to customize or utilize existing products using the vast array of widths, heights, and thicknesses. Solutions requiring these types of displays are readily available and easily adaptable to meet designer’s needs.
‘Single-pixel' LED’s have been used to develop a wide range of unique designs. Though these products are by their nature low resolution concepts, their form factor and versatility remain attractive, enabling designs and applications that are typically not possible with other LED products.
Because, pixels can be placed at any distance from each other and can be integrated into a variety of mechanical structures, the ability to specify the location of each pixel opens up greater possibilities for creative freeform displays, whether it’s large scale architectural facades or creative sculptures built for museum or retail environments.
‘Freeform’ displays are surfaces that cannot be built using a standard LED product, but instead require a combination of unique shapes to create. Previously engineers accomplished building these displays with low-resolution mesh like pixel products. 5TEN has developed a combination of unique software tools from the architecture and electrical engineering industries to assist designers in optimizing complex shapes for LED displays.