LED Signs

by Signs Manufacturing Corporation                                   Made In Texas, for Texans, by Us.™

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Digital LED Video Displays and  Electronic Message Center Signs

TURN-KEY Manufacturing, Installation, and Service Since 1990

Electronic LED message centers and video displays help your business many ways:

  • These signs don’t cost you a penny; they earn you more money by attracting customers.
  • They allow real-time communication with potential customers.
  • With almost 20% of the US population moving in a year, these LED signs give your business an opportunity to capture those new customers. success of your business relies heavily on your signage. What is effective now may not be effective later…or after lunch.
  • They attract attention through animation and brightness so they increase awareness of your business location and your products.
  • Message center signs are prettier than signs with changeable plastic letters, improving the appearance of your business.
  • Your message is not limited by the size of your reader board, or to only one message.
  • Your advertising dollars are invested in selling in your trade area, preventing excessive advertising expenses.
  • Changing your message, any time you wish, is as easy as texting. It can be done often and safely.
  • Quality electronic message center displays are readable from a greater distance, especially in poor lighting.
  • Need to upgrade the image of your location?  Because the first impression of a business, church, or school IS its signs, an LED Messaging Sign instantly gives potential customers a modern up-to-date impression of your business!

Research shows that you have 3 seconds to attract a passerby’s attention and communicate your message. Make that time count with an electronic message center or video display!

Adding an LED sign to your business will make your message stand out from the crowd of signs around you. Even displaying the time and temperature can give a viewer valuable information which they will associate with your business. Combining that capability with animated messages, possibly in color, can really drive your sales up 15% to 150%!

Read what the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has to say about the effectiveness of electronic message centers at http://www.sba.gov/starting/signage/text/emc.html.

Texas FlagSunburst Displays™ are Built in Texas, for Texans, by us.™  We manufactured and installed our first electronic digital LED Sign in 1990. They are designed to withstand rain, ice, heat and cold, high winds and everything else Texas throws at it.

With an electronic message center or video display you are essentially leaving a computer out in the Texas weather. We know how bad that can be, and we build our signs to endure.

The information below details the electronic and display details of our signs.

We manufacturer of all 3 types of LED signs; Balanced Array™, Classic™, as well as SMD LED Signs™.

Display Types

Historically, monotone, then monochrome “message centers” were much cheaper than color “video displays.”  This is no longer true.

In making your decision regarding monochrome vs. color realize that colors in motion are proven to be much more attention-getting than moving single-color lights.  Also, the number of LEDs actually lighted determines how bright a sign is at any particular time.  Full-color displays constantly utilize many more LEDs.  Monochrome and monotone (one color) displays are either Red or Amber (Yellow.)

To produce so-called “additive” colors, colors created by light, 3 different color producing LEDs are utilized; Red, Green, and Blue (RGB.)  For the human eye, red, green and blue lights close together in varying intensities create white and all other colors.  Lack of any light output creates black.  (See “Contrast” below.)

Our color video displays feature an almost-infinite 4+ billion colors and shades.  The human eye can distinguish about 10 million colors.

Because the intensity of a LED light can be changed by increasing or decreasing the voltage to it our Monochrome displays can feature 4096 shades of Red, necessary for clear animation and video, by adjusting each individual LEDs light output.  Some manufacturers call this "grayscale" but they generally generate as few as 250 shades.

The cheap monotone displays cannot vary their color intensity, or brightness, at all, they are truly one color.  However a Sunburst Displays™ sign can turn its gradients feature "off" and also display one-color monotone.

Light Density (LD) = The Number of LEDs per Square Foot of Sign Face

As the discussion gets more and more technical, the easiest way of comparing displays is the "LD," the number of LED lights in a square foot of sign face.

Number of LEDs per square foot of sign face

As an example, a 6mm Balanced Array™ has a Light Density of 2344 (2344 LD.)

What are Pixels and Potential Pixels

A pixel is “a physical point in an image.”

An electronic message center is in some ways a large computer screen.  The screen is illuminated by turning many individual lights on/off.  A potential pixel is a physical point that MAY be incorporated into an image; a currently blank point on the screen that MAY be turned “on” to become a pixel in an image.

Older generation displays group the exposed Red, Green, and Blue LEDs in clusters.  Modern Sunburst Displays™ utilize balanced spacing and more modern software for a superior appearance.  SMD LED Signs™ technology (discussed later) groups 3 small LEDs in a single shell, making each shell a cluster.

All three technologies have advantages and disadvantages.  As your Representative which one is best for you.

Our purpose-built LED is oval, focusing most of the light forward, to the sides, and down.  No reason to waste energy shining light on the glare shield above the LED.  These larger oval LEDs result in brighter signs with more “light-fill” in every image.

What are Pixel Pitches and LED Spacings?

How far pixels are from one another is called “pitch” and is usually expressed in millimeters (mm.)

Older color displays, because each pixel is actually an unequal cluster of 3 or more different colored LEDs, cannot have as small a pitch as a monochrome display or the appearance of a more modern display with a Balanced Array™.  Therefore they must be viewed from a greater distance to have a quality appearance.  There is a lot of blank space between pixels.

Old-style full-color displays are available in 12mm, 16mm, 20mm and larger pitches.

Old-style monochrome displays are available in 9mm, 19mm, 25mm, 35mm, 46mm and larger pitches.

The distance between every LED in a Sunburst LED Signs™ Balanced Array™ can be as small as 6 mm, 4+ billion color or 4,000-shade monochrome.  Pixels can overlap in our 4+ billion color video displays.

Metric to Inch Conversion

6 mm

¼ inch

8 mm

5/16 inch

10 mm

⅜ inch

12 mm

½ inch

16 mm

⅝ inch

19 mm

¾ inch

22 mm

⅞ inch

25 mm

1 inch

 Why are LED Spacing and Pixel Pitch Important?

Again, pixel pitch or LED spacing, as well as image quality, determines how close a sign can be and still deliver quality images.  They also determine Pixel Density (below).

If pitch (spacing) is too large for the viewing distance then images are grainy, maybe unreadable.  A potential customer’s image of your business suffers.  When you see grainy LED signs don’t you think of them as “cheap?”

It is therefore better to err on the side of a “tight” array.  Visit our showroom to personally compare displays before making this very important decision.  Remember, we’re local.

On a 6mm Balanced Array™ sign there are LED lights 1/8" apart covering the entire sign face (1/4" center-to-center.)

On an 8mm Balanced Array™ sign the LED lights are only 3/16" apart (5/16" center-to-center.)

On a 10mm Balanced Array™ sign the LED lights are 1/4" apart (3/8" center-to-center.)

What is Pixel Density?

Pixel Density is the number of pixels in a square foot of signage.

Pixel Density, in conjunction with Display Size, determines the visual quality of the display.

6mm Balanced Array™

2344* potential pixels/sq ft

8mm Balanced Array™

1462* potential pixels/sq ft

10mm Balanced Array™

  930* potential pixels/sq ft

13mm Pixel Pitch

 525 potential pixels/sq ft

16mm Pixel Pitch

 362 potential pixels/sq ft

20mm Pixel Pitch

 232 potential pixels/sq ft

* Deduct up to 768 Pixels if not surrounded by additional footage. A “Potential Pixel” is a group of LEDs that form a Full-Color Pixel if illuminated.

How to Determine an LED Display’s Resolution

A modern television’s potential Resolution is fixed at 2,073,600 pixels (1920 potential pixels wide x 1080 tall) regardless of size, big screen or small screen.  Pixel Density varies.  This is why a relatively small TV screen looks good when close to it, but a very large TV appears grainy up close because the pixels are farther apart. (Also recognize that when programs are not broadcast in 1080 they do not use all the TV’s pixels.  Some are broadcast as low as 480.)

Unlike a television, in an LED sign the Resolution is determined by the fixed Pixel Density multiplied by the height and width of the display.  The larger the screen the more total pixels, so the more detailed the image will be.  Smaller screens must have much greater Pixel Density to be comparable in Resolution to a larger screen.

The Fallacy of “High Resolution” and “HD” in LED Sign Advertising

When competitors talk about all their LED signs being “High Resolution” or “HD” they confuse, rather than assist, consumers.  Because an LED sign’s Resolution is totally dependent on the size of the sign they mislead when they promote these catchy marketing terms, possibly causing people to buy signs that cannot meet their needs.

Comparing LED signs to TV’s is “…comparing apples to oranges.”

Billboards, as an Example

Billboard displays have either 256 or 362 Pixel Density (19mm or 16mm pixel pitch) for a Resolution of 150,000 to 200,000 pixels.  They can look good utilizing a lower Pixel Density only because of their enormous size, and long viewing distance.  Viewed from up-close their images are VERY grainy.

Your sign will probably be viewed from much closer than a highway billboard, and be smaller. Your Pixel Density must be much better than theirs to achieve equal Resolution.  For instance, even a 6mm Balanced Array™ must be 5’ x 20’ to have approximately the same potential Resolution as a billboard and maintain the same height-to-length ratio, so that identical images can be displayed on them both.

The Critical Importance of Resolution

All images and text MUST be scaled to the Resolution of the LED sign displaying them or they will be distorted.  You’ve probably seen this pop-up notice on your computer screen: “For best image quality change resolution to…”  We can’t change the screen’s Resolution, we have to adjust the image sent to the screen.

Smaller signs, lower Pixel Densities, and lower Light Densities are compromises that significantly lessen a sign’s performance, with relatively small cost savings.  Your business will be better the higher the Resolution of your sign.

Why Not Use a Television?

TV’s do not have as bright a display as is necessary.

Glare on the screen is a big problem.

Only “specialty” TV’s even claim to be weatherproof.LED Display Systems

All modern flat-screen televisions are LCD televisions.  So-called “LED” TV’s are actually LCD screens edge or back lighted with LEDs.

  • LCD’s will not function with internal temperatures above 122° F.  (200° is common outside in an enclosed box in Texas.)
  • LCD’s will not function in extreme cold.


How many pixels wide and how many pixels high the display is.  Matrix determines how many of what size letters can be displayed at one time.  Most matrix dimensions are in multiples of 8 pixels, or potential pixel locations in the case of a Balanced Array™ because 8 pixels are necessary to adequately display most letter- styles, so that is how most LED signs are constructed.

A larger matrix (higher Resolution) can display more and/or larger information at one time.

Pixel Showdown - Classic™ vs Balanced Array™ vs SMD

Each way of generating a pixel has a place in signage. Which one you need depends on how and where your sign is going to be used.

A modern Classic™ display is usually best for most signage. The Classic™ display combines three colors into a tight group. When combined, these colors can generate any color in the spectrum, even more than the human eye can identify! This type of display works very well for messages that include text, which is why it works so well for most signs.

When a business is looking for a sign they usually want to display messages. Daily specials, greetings, enticing offers to get customers into the door and welcoming messages what generally what businesses use signs for. Consequently, Classic™ is the most frequently used type of display.

Balanced Array™ displays are the second most used in commercial signage. The even placement of LEDs across the entire face of the sign make images, photos and graphics look spectacular. Plus, you get 33% more LEDs for the same “resolution”. However, on smaller signs or lower resolution signs text can sometimes be harder to form.

This is one of the most difficult effects to explain to customers. In our showroom we have side-by-side samples for you to see the difference for yourself.

SMDs have a very limited appeal. With an SMD all three colors are combined into a very small casing. So, instead of the actual lights being directly visible to the viewer, the lights combine to light up the casing. This works nicely for very, very tight LED spacings because the casings are so small. But for larger signs, the space between the casings is an eye-sore making the sign look cheap.

In addition, SMDs are not as bright as LEDs (don’t believe it if you hear otherwise). When placed outside the glare from the white casing makes the unlighted parts of the sign (the parts that are supposed to be black) still visible so there is not as much contrast in your message. Contrast is very important, because that’s what makes the signs look good!

So if you’re looking for an outdoor display, SMDs are not for you.

The Design Advances Incorporated into Classic™ Series LED Signs

Sunburst didn’t decide to make a pixel-cluster LED sign “…just like everyone else’s.”

  • We made each LED pixel-cluster (pixel) 42% larger, and equilateral.  The LEDs are further away from each other, so there is more “black” for increased contrast when they are not lighted.  Older pixel-cluster signs have closely-packed, obtuse pixels.

  • Our sign face has a machined, grooved, outer surface to diffuse reflected light, again creating more contrast, blacker blacks, a much more vibrant LED sign.

  • We turned the pixel-cluster 45 degrees, so we could raise it closer to it’s individual, and curved, glare shield.  Because of this the sign is brighter in direct sunlight, and you can read elevated signs from a closer distance, without color-shift.

  • We then redesigned the LED placement in each pixel-cluster to move the red LED, the most sunlight sensitive, the closest to the glare shield, and also move the Blue LED closer.  Our Classic™ Series LED Signs are brighter than virtually all other pixel-cluster signs in direct sunlight.

  • We’ve incorporated the new 2015 model SolarBrite™ LEDs.  Because of this our signs are now even brighter.

SMD LED Signs™

With respect to technology, the current Balanced Array™ design is about as good as it can get.  Individual exposed LEDs that are used in future displays may be brighter, but we are dimming the current ones most of the time already.

The newest LED development is the “SMD” (Surface-Mount-Device) LED chip.  We manufacture signs using them.  SMD LEDs are actually 3 very small, different colored (RGB) LEDs, enclosed in one shell, or lens.  The LEDs backlight the translucent shell, which makes the light appear larger.  Currently they are not bright enough for use in outdoor video displays.  (And, using larger LEDs this close together interfere with each other electronically.)

When SMD LEDs become bright enough there is still the question as to whether or not they will be useful in outdoor signs.  We essentially have another “Pixel Cluster” display, but with very small Pixel Clusters; 3 LEDs grouped very close together, with vast distances between them.  The light output is dimmed by having to pass through a translucent shell; they are especially dim when compared to an exposed LED sign.

Grouping many SMD LEDs very closely together eliminates the “great divide” and produces a “dynamite” display; some very expensive indoor displays are manufactured this way, but the cost of these “dynamite” indoor displays is as much as 15 times the current pricing of our Balanced Array™ because of the extraordinary numbers of LEDs required.

Up close they look VERY good, but from 50’ away, even indoors, our Balanced Array™ is their equal, except that we can be brighter if we turn our automatic Brightness Control “Off.”  (Outdoors in direct daylight our exposed LED signs are readable, the SMD LED sign is not.)  SMD contrast suffers greatly (see below.)

SMD LED Signs™ are also on display in our Showroom.  Come in and compare ALL types of LED Signs.

Contrast – Exposed LEDs vs. Enclosed LEDs

As with a television, contrast is very important in the legibility of a sign or image.  The color “black” plays a very important part in LED image contrast.

Because there is no “black” LED, and because it cannot be created by illuminating other colors in any combination, “black” is the absence of light; all the lights are turned off.

The face design of a LED sign is therefore critical in creating contrast.  It must be black, flat, and it cannot be reflective.  (See “Glare Shields” above.)

This is a problem with SMD (Surface-Mount-Device) LED signs.  The SMD’s shell, or lens, is necessary both to protect the circuit-boards and more importantly to make the light source appear larger (above.)

But, because there are actually three very small LEDs inside each SMD LED, the plastic covering must be translucent, white; a black exterior won’t let the light out through the lens!  A clear lens won’t spread the light.  So when the LED lights are out (above right) the exterior of the face is off-white from a distance, not black, and contrast suffers.

SMD LEDs work OK indoors, but outdoors where there is an absolute demand for contrast, current SMD LED technology suffers.

SMD LED Signs™ are also on display in our Showroom.  Come in and compare ALL types of LED Signs and become an informed buyer.

Incidentally, we are the ONLY manufacturer of all 3 LED display designs.  We have no ax to grind when comparing LED signs.


The “Brightness” of a LED sign is totally dependent on the image being displayed.  The Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) LEDs are adjusted in light output to create the full spectrum of colors the human eye sees.

Therefore, honestly quantifying a comparative Maximum Light Output (Brightness Potential) of LED signs is tough.  Even when varied signs have all their LEDs illuminated 100% the resulting color is not identical.  This is because all the Red, Green, and Blue LEDs in LED signs are not the same: in design, sometimes in voltage, in size, in shape, in placement, or in directional light output.  Even the numbers of Red, Green, or Blue LEDs in an identical area of sign face are not identical:  it varies by display type, and by Light Density.  For a manufacturer to say that all their signs have the same potential light output is baloney.

At Sunburst LED Signs we evaluate the “Brightness” of our signs, and our competitors, by illuminating a square meter of sign face all Red (only) at 100% power and taking a foot-candle reading 1 meter from the sign face.  We repeat the process for Blue, and Green.  We average the readings for a comparative “real-time” number that means something.  Not that “nits” baloney.  (See “How Can You Determine if a Sign is Imported” below.)

Ask us for details.

Sunburst™ LED Signs are brighter, and remain brighter, because they are designed, powered, cooled, and thermally protected properly.

Automatic Brightness Control

A Sunburst Displays™ electronic message center automatically adjusts its display brightness for the current lighting conditions.

Besides making the display more effective for advertising this feature reduces total electrical consumption and increases component life.

A good LED display that is bright enough to draw attention during the day is too bright at night without Automatic Brightness Control.  It's like staring into a flashlight; nothing is readable!

Display Brightness

LEDs are affected by voltage.  For instance, an LED will burn nearly 100% brighter if you double the power feeding it.  The LED will last about 1/6 as long, however, making this alternative quite expensive in total cost.

LEDs dim as they age.  At some point (subjective) they will need to be replaced because they are too dim.  Feeding them less voltage extends their useful life.

Sunburst Displays' engineering goal was to balance brightness and longevity.

If only brightness is important a monochrome display that does not include a grayscale feature, or automatic brightness adjustment, will be the brightest, at least initially, because all LEDs will always be fully-powered.  The LEDs can also be more closely packed because only one color of LED is used; room does not have to be dedicated to other-colored (RGB) LEDs.

Colors in motion, though dimmer than monochrome, have proven to be a better attention-getter, and the displays last longer.

Determining Your Minimum Display Size

This is not true for wording, however.  Signs that have a larger pixel pitch will not be able to display small letters as clearly as a sign with a smaller pixel pitch (smaller pixel pitch means more dots per square foot).

Decide on how many lines of text vertically you need to display.  Decide the maximum height of the letters you want each row to use.

LED SignAdd at least 2” between rows, and 1.25” top and bottom.  If you are going to use both upper and lower case letters allow additional space for the descending letters also.  The amount of space varies by letter size and style.  Will you want a lighted border around your message?

The cumulative total is how tall the minimum display height of your sign must be, in inches.

But, can the display clearly display your smallest letters?  For a standard block letter style the smallest letter a 20mm sign can clearly display is a 6.3" tall lower-case character. A 16mm sign can display 5.1" minimum-height characters.

LED Digital SignageIt is possible to go smaller, but it may require some experimentation with letter styles and spacing.  Smaller letters probably require a tighter pitched sign.

If you plan on using some lower-case letters recognize that their shorter height is your shortest letter.

To determine minimum letter height for all sign pitches, multiply the pitch of a display you are considering, in millimeters (say 20), or by the LED spacing in a Balanced Array™ times 2, by 0.315.  This tells you the smallest letter the display you are considering can reliably display.

Next, decide on the longest message you need to display.  Count both the letters and spaces, and include space both before and after the message.  Multiply by 0.3145.  Now multiply by the pitch of a display you are considering, in millimeters (say 20), or by the LED spacing in a Balanced Array™ times 2.  The answer is how long the sign display must be in inches to display the message adequately in most letter styles.  Realize that some letter styles would require an even longer display, but this is a good average.  If you plan on running text twice this smallest size, the display will need to be twice as long.

You now know if the size and pitch of the sign you are considering will meet your needs.

But, remember that size matters!  A larger display will support more detail in images.

Desired Minimum Character Size

Smallest* Recommended Character Size

Classic™ Series - II


6mm Balanced Array™


Classic™ Series - III


Ordinary 12mm Pixel Pitch


8mm Balanced Array™


Classic™ Series - VI


Ordinary 16mm Pixel Pitch


10mm Balanced Array™


Classic™ Series - X


Ordinary 20mm Pixel Pitch


*For most letter styles to display adequately 

Viewing Angles

As an automobile driver drives toward an electronic message center which is installed on a 20’ tall pole the vertical viewing angle increases from near 0° to almost 90° as the driver passes under the sign.  As the viewing angle increases the intensity of the display decreases.  The vertical viewing angle of the LEDs used in the display plays an important role in the usefulness of the display.  (For more information on this see “Glare Shields or Louvers” below.)

As a driver drives toward an electronic message center installed on the side of a road the horizontal viewing angle increases from near 0° to 90° as the driver passes beside the sign.  As the viewing angle increases the intensity of the display decreases in this direction also.  The horizontal viewing angle of the LEDs used in the display also plays an important role in the usefulness of the display.

It is important to understand the vertical and the horizontal angle that the display will be viewed from.

LED lights are directional, and Glare Shields or Louvers can block visibility.  High quality LEDs can be viewed by as much as 90° horizontally and vertically and still observe over 70% of the lumen potential.

Some LEDs lose virtually all of their light at angles over 45°.  Less-expensive signs must therefore be viewed nearly straight-on to be legible.

Sunburst Displays™ are effective at radical angles.

Viewing Distances

The minimum Best Viewing Range is the point at which the display loses significant graininess or color breakdown.  Distances can vary depending on the message being displayed.

The maximum viewing distance is the point at which the smallest character which will be generated on the display becomes unreadable.  A potential solution is to generate larger characters, but this may increase the minimum viewing distance.

Best Viewing Ranges

Classic™ Series - II 25 feet+

6mm Balanced Array™

35 feet+
Classic™ Series - III 40 feet+
Ordinary 12mm Pixel Pitch 44 feet+
8mm Balanced Array™ 45 feet+
Classic™ Series - VI 50 feet+
Ordinary 16mm Pixel Pitch 57 feet+
10mm Balanced Array™ 55 feet+
Classic™ Series - X 60 feet+
Ordinary 20mm Pixel Pitch 70 feet+

Reading Time

The length of time letters are readable when moving towards them.

These times are only achievable when viewing signs made with LEDs with wide viewing angles, and a tight Pixel Density.

Many signs reading times are much shorter for the same sized letter.



30 MPH

40 MPH

60 MPH

80 MPH


1.4 Seconds

1 Second

  0.7 Seconds

0.5 Seconds







1.8 Seconds

1.4 Seconds

  0.9 Seconds

0.7 Seconds







   3 Seconds

   2 Seconds

 1.5 Seconds

 1 Second







   4 Seconds

   3 Seconds

    2 Seconds

1.5 Seconds







5.5 Seconds

   4 Seconds

2.75 Seconds

   2 Seconds







   8 Seconds

   6 Seconds

     4 Seconds

   3 Seconds

Prepared by Sunburst LED Signs™

The Operating System, and the Internal Controls in a Display

Besides the computer that is used to program the sign (see below) there is a processor (a controller) or a computer inside the sign in most systems.

We don't have a "computer" in our signs.  The processor (controller) in our signs is a "mother-board" with a non-volatile memory and its sole purpose is to store and control using the commands you send it from the programming computer.  This vastly superior system also uses less energy.

The processor stores up to 64 GB of text, images, and video.  Enough memory to change the image on the sign every second for 723 days!  The memory is permanent and non-volatile, no reprogramming after a power failure as is common in some competitive units.

Poorly engineered signs are programmed and controlled by a single computer that is hard-wired to the sign and must be left "on" at all times.  Or, in other cheap signs a second "personal computer" is actually installed inside the sign.

The problem with either of these systems is that the sign is running on "Windows®" using a CD or hard-drive and is additionally subject to all the viruses, freezes, lock-ups and reboot problems that a personal computer faces.  (As an example of the problems faced with a personal computer in the sign, who climbs the pole of a free-standing pole sign to reboot the computer after a power outage or computer lock-up?  Service call.)

Plus, with all the moving parts in hard drives, disk drives, and other humidity and temperature sensitive components, a PC is a poor way to run a sign from inside the sign.  They fail often enough when they are used in the controlled environment of a building.

Tremendous cooling is required when there is an "Intel® Inside" but many of these poorly engineered units don't even have cooling fans for the LED displays, much less the computer's processor chip.

Proprietary is BAD, not good.

To make you even more comfortable with our LED Signs, our processor's design doesn't lock-out other operating systems, forcing you to use only ours.  Many competitors and virtually all Chinese signs do this.  If they go out of business, and you have a problem with their processor or computer, the sign is trash.

If, heaven forbid, we go out of business and our processor fails, you can also replace it with several brands of generic processors (controllers) and operate your sign.  (It won't be as efficient, versatile, and friendly as our system, but it will work.)

Both programmers (or controllers) are showing the same image on the same sign, for a "head-to-head" comparison.

FREE Computer with Purchase

With your Sunburst Displays™ LED Sign purchase, for a limited time only, we will offer you a Dell Inspiron 15 model 3542 laptop computer (or equivalent) as a gift.

FREE Programming

We will program one computer with programming software for free as a part of our Turn-Key™ installation.

The sign runs on its own internal processor so the programming computer only needs to be "on" when you are changing the program.

Programming Software

"Our guy who did all the programming for the sign doesn't work here anymore and we can't get into the software to change the message.  It has a password and we don't know what it is.  I tried calling the company that built it but they're no longer in business!"  -  Mary Chriswell, Adams Valley Farms

More than any other part of the sign the programming software determines the usability of the system.

Most sellers of LED Display signs, whether they manufacture their signs or import them from China, brag about their "Proprietary" software used to operate their signs.

We don't.

Even though our key personnel are very comfortable writing computer programs in several programming languages, we realize that we will never be smarter than the thousands of Microsoft® engineers who worked together to create PowerPoint®.

Because of this, we created our open-architecture programming software designed to use PowerPoint® to create your animation and messaging; or CorelDRAW®, or Photoshop®, or any graphics software you are familiar with.

You already know how to program the sign because there's no new proprietary programming system to learn.  However, tutorials are a part of our programming.

Proprietary is BAD, not good.  Our system uses the ingenuity and creativity of thousands of software engineers, not just a small handful of programmers.

In the worst of all signs, the software to program the computer inside the sign is not even in the sign owner's possession.  It is not on the programming computer, it is "on the cloud" (aka: OneDrive® or Google Drive®.)  The sign’s computer must have high-speed internet access, and be “on” 24/7.

What if the sign manufacturer does not actually own the software, he uses a third-party system, and they notify you that in order to keep your sign operating you will now have to pay them $2,000 per month to continue access to the programming software.  This happens all the time with other "free" software.  Or, he controls the software "on the cloud" but goes out of business so your sign cannot be programmed by anyone.

Our programming is quick and easy, and “automatically” brings you more and more customers, without ANY increase in expenses!

Standard features of our programming software include:

o   Encryption so that no one else can operate the sign.

o   The programming computer's screen displays exactly what the sign will look like.

o   Our software, in the programming computer and not on the “cloud”, automatically enlarges your graphics and videos to fit the screen, with no additional steps required.

o   Displays can be programmed using PowerPoint®, CorelDRAW®, Photoshop®, or any graphics software.

o   "Pixel Text" can be directly entered.

o   You can add multiple images at once, speeding set-up time.

o   The computer communicates with the sign via Wi-Fi, or Cat 5 cable, and only needs to be "on" when changing the program.  The sign runs on its own internal processor.  You can create a program at home, and download it to your sign when you get to your business, if you desire.

o   One click updates the sign.

o   The sign is capable of being connected to the internet, so that you can program your sign from home!

o   Our system allows for the use of Text, Graphics, Animation, Slideshow, Video, Scheduling, Time, Temperature, and Automatic Brightness Control as described individually below.

Do you know that a .jpg image file automatically adjusts pixel locations as the image is scaled larger or smaller, to continuously create an image with smooth edges – not the choppy “building block” look of older image files (and older LED displays.)

Sunburst’s programming software does this also, to display the best image possible.

Street-Smart Marketing Programs Available

In response to some of our customer’s needs, we have created subscription marketing programs to offer continual marketing (content creation,) programming, software maintenance, and hardware services.

Now, your employees do not need to be marketing savvy, or creative, or even attentive to the sign, because we are.

We’re a different kind of sign company; we offer expertise that is hard to come by.  Our backgrounds include University-trained graphic arts, business, marketing, and psychology professionals.  Our founder was previously employed (repeatedly) to create successful corporations.  We’ve been involved in creating the initial marketing displays (content) for hundreds-and-hundreds of LED Signs.

You can tell us what your goals are for your Sunburst™ LED Sign, and we will create an effective marketing program for you, and upload it to your sign.  We’ll change it until you’re happy.  (You’ll be happy because you will have many more customers.)  And, we’ll change it continually to keep the content fresh, and effective!

Ask for details.

Text, Graphics, or Both

Some competitive units only display text, some must display text as a graphic (drawing), some can display both text and graphics.  Some competitors can only display "stick" letters (one line.)

AMBER LED MESSAGE CENTER, Arlington, TexasSunburst Displays™ open architecture software can display text and graphics, and we can vary the font (letter style) and the thickness of the letters.

Many varied letter-styles (fonts) are pre-programmed in all our units.

All our units can also automatically place text over graphics pictures.

On our monochrome units (one color) text and graphics can be displayed in 1 or 4,000 shades of the one color.  Full-color units display 4+ billion separate shades and colors.

Animated Text and Graphics

All Sunburst Displays™ software can display fixed messages or graphics (drawings) or “scroll” messages or graphics (drawings) and include F/X features.  We also show a display such as a cartoon with character movement, for instance.

Monochrome displays convert colors to shades of either Red or Amber (Yellow.)

Slideshow Playback

All Sunburst Displays™ programming can display pre-programmed messages and pictures in a slideshow format, much like a screensaver slideshow showing multiple messages or images.

Video - Prerecorded Clips

All Sunburst Displays™ open architecture software can display videos of varying random lengths.

Sound Capable

All Sunburst Displays™ are ready to connect to an audio system.  Our internal processor is sound capable.  Most competitors are not.  Signs with Sound™.

Live Video or TV

Live video or television feeds are available options.


Schedule various messages, graphics or videos to automatically run at various times of day or night with Sunburst Displays™ software.

Double-Sided Display Programming Options

Most competitive units display the same message or animation on both sides of a double-sided display.

However some competitive units can only be programmed totally independent of each other.  There displays will not synchronize, so they take twice as long to program.

Sunburst Displays™ include both a synchronized display and an easy-to-use independent programming option.

Display Appearance and Size

Some displays have "retainer", or a picture frame around the display.

Some displays are "bleed", or the matrix goes to the edge of the face.

A bleed face gives more display space in the square footage allowed if a city has a restrictive sign ordinance.

A Sunburst Displays™ electronic message center can be manufactured in either configuration.

Superior Sign Faces and Glare Shields

Glare Shields (Louvers)

We engineered impact-resistant, U. V. protected, and flame-proof sign faces and glare shields into our LED sign designs to give our customers even better, safer, longer-lasting signs.

Individual Curved Glare ShieldsGlare shields, also called louvers, prevent a display’s LEDs from appearing to be lighted, by sunlight, making your message unreadable.

Our careful sizing and positioning of the Glare Shields guarantee that our LED signs have maximum impact at even extreme viewing angles.

This is a very common problem with competitive displays with shields that are straight, or continuous.  Theirs are less effective and must be much larger, limiting the viewing angles of their signs.

Time and Temperature Display

All Sunburst Displays™ can have the display intermittently, or constantly, display time and temperature.  The system self-adjusts for daylight savings time.  The system is more accurate when Internet is available (below.)

Computer Link Types

Wireless.  In all Sunburst Displays™ a  wireless router in the sign communicates, using a wifi signal, with the programming computer.

The other available options are:

Internet Controlled.  Internet connection usually comes from a Cat.5 cable or wireless “bridge” that connects the sign to the existing network at the building.  We strongly recommend that the Cat.5 cable be installed and connected to your network so that our sign’s built-in Remote Self-Monitoring and Remote Reporting are available (below) as well as Street-Smart™ Marketing Programs (above.)

Cellular Control.  The unit can have a cellular modem installed so that it has internet access over the cell towers (if available).  The software connects to the sign like normal, sends the program and the sign maintains the message in its non-volatile memory so that it remembers the message even in the event of a power failure.

Group Links.  It is possible to have one computer control multiple electronic message centers (all Long John Silver’s are, for example.)  This is an available option.


Heat is the enemy of LEDs.  Sunburst Displays™ electronic message centers have multiple inflow and outflow ventilation fans.  Additionally, every heat-producing component has its own temperature-controlled internal cooling fan.  Larger units incorporate air conditioners into their design.  Excessive heat can shorten LED life by up to 80%.

Our Classic Series displays have LED panels that are specifically designed to transfer heat out the FACE of the sign, collecting almost no heat on the inside of the cabinet! This unique design allows our signs to operate fan-free. However, we still add fans to our signs as an added level of protection.

In poorly engineered signs with little (passive) or no cooling, decreasing the pitch, increasing the size of pixels, or over-driving LEDs with higher-than-required voltage to increase their brightness, increases heat, shortening the life of the unit.

So-called “Modular Designs” and virtually all Chinese manufactured LED signs have NO ventilation!  Very bad in Texas.


Front access via a hinged display face.

To speed trouble-shooting we've also incorporated our LEDs into our circuit boards as a diagnostic aid.  Few manufacturers of LED signs have taken this logical step.

Reparability - Adjustability

LEDs dim and change color as they get older.  If you replace an old LED with a new one, the new one is brighter, and a slightly different color.

So what happens to your sign’s appearance when LEDs fail?  Even if it is a repairable brand it probably won’t look good; unless it is a Sunburst LED Display (or possibly a very few other’s – see below.)

We have very sophisticated equipment we use to balance both the light and color outputs of every LED in our signs.  We do this when the sign is new, and we can do it in the field to balance the appearance of new and old LEDs in our signs.  (Our equipment won’t work on competitor’s signs.)

Only the actual manufacturer, with proprietary programming knowledge of their software, can make these adjustments, if their sign design will even allow it to be done.  Therefore the cost of properly repairing a Chinese, or an American sign made by someone else, is relatively exorbitant; if for no other reason than the travel costs for the factory personnel and equipment.  We ARE the only local manufacturer.

However, actually, only a couple other manufacturers even have adjustable signs.  The alternative is to continually replace EVERY LED in the entire sign face if you don’t want to detract from the appearance of your business as a sign ages.  Remember that, according to the US Small Business Administration (SBA) poorly maintained signs harm rather than help the image of a business, reducing sales.

This is one more critical reason to purchase a Sunburst LED Display; made in Texas, for Texans, by us.™


120 volt single phase service is normally required because these Listed displays do not consume a great deal of energy, but some units require 240 volt 1 phase.

Remember, however, that other parts of the sign will have electrical requirements also.

Energy Consumption

Consumption varies by the type, size, and Light Density the sign, the messages and pictures displayed, and when the sign is used (the signs use less energy at night, because the lights don’t have to be as bright.)

Projections we will provide using our Energy Estimating program have proven to be quite accurate.

The Savings Advantage of a “Listed" Sign

Listed Signs Save You Money.

Sunburst Displays™ Video Displays and Electronic Message Centers, because they are Listed, are approved to operate with approximately 40% of the power supply requirements of unlisted signs.

This is a huge savings in installation costs, as only 1/3 of the comparable electrical service needs to be provided.

And since the National Electrical Code limits the branch circuits serving signs to 20 amps maximum, this equates to many fewer circuits.

For safety, an untested sign (not Listed) must be supplied with enough electricity to meet the total “continuous” needs of each internal components rating.  (Each components rating x 125%)

A Listed sign has been tested as a whole, and the amount of energy actually used has been determined.  The sign is approved for use when supplied with this amount of electricity, regardless of the ratings of the individual components.

This is always much less than the rating of each internal component taken individually, so the cost of installing electricity to the sign will be significantly less.

Energy Caveat

Some electronic message center manufacturers, more interested in the sale than the needs of the customer, overdrive their LEDs to make them brighter (usually because they are using inferior LEDs.)

Besides shortening the LIFETIME* of the display to 1/6 of a properly manufactured display it wastes energy.

Sunburst Displays™ does not do this.

We do provide internal overvoltage, low voltage, spike and brownout protection for the sign.  Many manufacturers do not.

Electromagnetic Interference

Radio Frequency (RF) interference from an electronic sign can cause the sign to interfere with radios, cell phones, radar, TV signals, automatic door openers, hospital equipment, etc.

Radio frequency interference can also cause radios, cell phones, radar, automatic door openers, TV signals, hospital equipment, etc. to interfere with an electronic sign.

Although not required in the United States, Sunburst Displays™ had our electronic signs tested for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), even testing beyond the rigorous European standards.   (IEC/EN 61000-4-1 thru 6-4)

Our non-intrusive circuitry even protects itself, rebooting the sign automatically if an extreme circumstance interferes with our sign.

This assures you of an even-more-trouble-free sign when you purchase from Sunburst LED Signs™.

Controlling Message Center Cost

Electronic Message Centers cost a lot of money, but they achieve tremendous results.

To keep from spending more money than necessary, consider the design of your sign and the results you want to achieve.

Rather than purchase a larger, blank, rectangular message center and display your name and all other information on it, consider incorporating signage that constantly displays the messages you want to constantly display.  It will cost less, and look better!

Because we manufacture and install all types of signage, not just electronic message centers, we can design, build, and install the most cost efficient and effective signage for you (see our "Design Center" page!)

State Licensed Sign Installation and Sign Service

We are a full-service sign company.  We provide sign site surveys, sign permits, sign installation and sign maintenance services for electrical and non-electrical signs for our customers as well as other sign companies.  We provide this work in Dallas, Fort Worth (DFW), and ALL of North Texas and Northeast Texas.

State Sign and Electrical License Numbers:  TECL17503, TSCL18015, TSCL18016.

Quality Certified Signs Technician Q-Check logoOur technicians are also Quality Certified Signs™ certified.   (Click the "Installation & Service" tab for details.)

OVER 60,000 SIGNS MANUFACTURED AND INSTALLEDWe serve and have installed signs in the Texas cities of Addison, Aledo, Allen, Alvarado, Anna, Argyle, Arlington, Athens, Aubrey, Avalon, Azle, Balch Springs, Bedford, Benbrook, Blue Mound, Bonham, Briar, Bridgeport, Buckingham, Burleson, Caddo Mills, Canton, Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Celina, Cleburne, Cockrell Hill, Colleyville, The Colony, Combine, Coppell, Corsicana, Crandall, Crowley, Dallas, Dalworthington Gardens, Decatur, Denison, Denton, Desoto, D/FW Airport, Dido, Duncanville, Eagle Mountain Lake, Edgecliff, Ennis, Euless, Everman, Farmers Branch, Farmersville, Ferris, Flower Mound, Forest Hill, Forney, Fort Worth, Frisco, Gainesville, Garland, Granbury, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Greenville, Gun Barrel City, Haltom City, Haslet, Highland Park, Hillsboro, Hudson Oaks, Hurst, Hutchins, Irving, Italy, Itasca, Jacksboro, Joshua, Justin, Kaufman, Keene, Keller, Kennedale, Kleberg, Krum, Lake Dallas, Lake Worth, Lakeside, Lancaster, Las Colinas, Lawson, Lewisville, Little Elm, Longview, Mansfield, Marshall, Maypearl, McKinney, Melissa, Mesquite, Midlothian, Milford, Mineral Wells, Mount Pleasant, Mount Vernon, Murphy, Nevada, Newark, North Richland Hills, Ovilla, Palmer, Pantego, Paris, Parker County, Pelican Bay, Pittsburg, Plano, Ponder, Princeton, Prosper, Quinlan, Quitman, Red Oak, Rendon, Richardson, Richland Hills, Rice, River Oaks, Roanoke, Rockwall, Rowlett, Royse City, Sachse, Saginaw, Sansom Park, Sanger, Seagoville, Sherman, Silver Creek, Southlake, Springtown, Stephenville, Sulphur Springs, Sunnyvale, Terrell, Texarkana, Trophy Club, Tyler, University Park, Van Alstyne, Valley View, Watauga, Waxahachie, Weatherford, Wedgewood, Westlake, Weston, Westover Hills, Wheatland, White Settlement, Whitney, Wichita Falls, Willow Park, Wills Point, Wilmer, and Wylie.

ZIP Codes 75001 thru 76958.

Area Codes 214, 254, 430, 469, 682, 817, 903, 940, and 972.

Serving Collin, Cook, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Henderson, Hill, Hood, Hopkins, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Lamar, Navarro, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant, Titus, Van Zandt, Wood, and Wise Counties in Texas.

We also have signs in 43 different states, and 6 other nations.

The Sunburst LED Signs On-Location Sales Team's Personalized Service

No matter what types of signs you are interested in, our sales team, consisting of 11 highly-trained factory-employed individuals, is at your beck and call.

Let us meet with you in your office, or at your new signs location, or home, or anywhere.

You will probably have a firm quotation for what you want during our meeting; certainly no more than a day later.
There are 19 questions you must have answers to before investing in signs. Questions not about the signs themselves, but about how the signs will be perceived, and how long they will take to pay for themselves. Our sales team will bring you a COMPLIMENTARY PROFESSIONAL MARKET SURVEY of your new signage locations. Click on the "Sign Market Research" tab to the left for details.

Free On-Site Demonstrations

Arrange an on-site demonstration today!  Demonstrations are available in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and all of North Texas.

View first-hand the importance of everything we discuss below.

Visit our Demonstration Showroom

Unique in the entire sign industry, Sunburst Displays™ built an 85’ by 50’ (over 4,000 sq ft) indoor sign lighting laboratory for testing the longevity, visibility, and effectiveness of all the lighted signs we manufacture at our Dallas manufacturing plant.

We have donated the laboratory, and all of its signs, to the Modern-Sign Museum™.  The Museum is open to the public, for FREE, including an LED Video Display Showroom because we realized how important one would be to consumers.

You must determine which LED spacing is best, so that your sign will be successful, considering how you will use it.  Therefore, 6 mm, 8 mm, 10 mm, 12mm, 16mm and 19mm 4+billion-color exposed-LED Balanced Array™, exposed-LED Classic™ pixel-cluster signs, and SMD enclosed-LED signs are always available for you to compare to monotone message centers and monochrome 4-thousand-shade display signs.

Also on display is an economical fixed-message Full-color LED Message Center, and a fully self-contained, self-powered portable LED Sign trailer, the LED Sled™.

If the discussion of sign types below leaves you confused, you MUST see the various types of signs in person.

Don't buy a sign from a drawing, or a Photo-shopped photo, when you can actually see and compare real signs.

Live Demonstrations of Signage Features

  • LongLife™ SolarBrite™ Targeted Light™ Large LED System
  • Sunsational™ Engineering
  • Glare Shield Effectiveness
  • NASA's Ceramic Vacuum Microsphere Coating
  • Solarguard™ Protective Coatings
  • Signlux™ Paint Systems
  • Solar Finishes™ Bright Reflective White
  • Lumabrite™ Optical Brighteners
  • Vandal-Resistant Coatings
  • Programming Software
  • Self-Monitoring
  • Reparability-Adjustability

No one else can offer you this unique opportunity.

Be sure to take advantage. 

Free Gift for Visiting Sign Manufacturing's Showroom

Mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars in sales volume every week.

Your business will be better because you do.

"I almost made a huge mistake by not listening to you and visiting your showroom prior to buying my sign.  I thought I knew what I wanted, after listening to so many salespeople...boy, was I wrong.  My vision of the sign did not jibe with what it would really turn out to be, even after viewing so many drawings.  It was obvious the moment I entered the showroom.  If I had stuck to my guns my sign would have been a disaster.  I would have wasted a lot of money."
Cecil Drake, Drake Communications

Showroom Specials

Sometimes it really pays to shop.

As an additional enticement to coax you into our showroom, and also smooth our manufacturing flow, we periodically have limited Specials only available "in-store;" even unannounced to our sales team.

They are based on opportunities in our production scheduling.  If we tell our salespeople in advance they collectively sell too many, causing other problems!

Specials are always for a specific type of custom-built sign with a large variety of available options, but a very limited quantity, and first-come-first-served.

Free Sign Service Request™ App

As a Signs Manufacturing™ or a Sunburst LED Display™ customer you have a free Sign Service Request™ App.  Anytime you see something about your sign you question, snap pictures using our App on your phone.  A Service Request is automatically sent to us, showing us what’s wrong!  We will then contact you to arrange a convenient service time.

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Guaranteed Highest Quality . . . Guaranteed Lowest Price

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Approved ManufacturerIntertek (ETL) Approved ManufacturerFOR ORDERING OR ASSISTANCE CALL:

214-339-2227    254-582-7446    817-861-1234    903-561-5959    940-365-3433    972-850-3300    800-333-7137 TOLL-FREE
Sales Team: Sales@SunburstLEDdisplays.com

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