If you’re just now learning about LED screens (also called Jumbotrons, LED walls, LED display screens, etc.) you might be confused as to what type of screen will best fit your event. I’ll try to shed some light on the different applications to which a modular screen would be the best choice.
First off, modular LED walls (I’ll use the terms interchangeably) are the type of screen that is constructed onsite at the event from smaller pieces called panels, tiles or cabinets. These panels can range but are most commonly around a foot and a half to two feet, sometimes square and sometimes rectangular. This allows for a ton of flexibility in terms of shape and size of the screen. Some popular sizes are: 9’x16’, 11’x19’, 13’x27’, etc. Keep in mind, however you can literally build a screen in any size or shape you want, however you can only build it in multiples of the panel size. So for instance, a two foot square panel would allow for the following sizes: 2’x10’, 10’x2’, 4’x8’, 4’x16’, etc.
As you can see, if you need a screen that is a particular size it is very likely you’ll need a modular screen, as mobile LED screens come in fixed sizes. Also, for an indoor event, a modular LED screen is the way to go 98% of the time.
There are too many applications to name however you can be pretty sure that you’ll need a modular screen if the venue cannot accommodate a trailer or truck. Also, many times due to aesthetic reasons a modular LED screen is preferred. Some popular applications are screens that flank a stage on either side, flown from truss, a screen at the rear of the stage as a backdrop.
How you decide to mount your modular screen will depend on a couple of variables:
Ground-stacked, supported from the rear is a popular method if you are using the screen as a backdrop. This option doesn’t get the screen very high off of the ground usually 0’ – 2’ tops. This option is usually seen as aesthetically pleasing, as you do not see much of the structure from the front.
Stacked on stage, supported by scaffold is another option, and a good one if you’re going to be outside, as it is safer than a flown screen, which can be a precarious setup if it’s windy. This option gets the screen anywhere from 2’ – 7’ off of the ground. This option is usually seen as aesthetically pleasing, as you can drape the scaffold structure, which gives it a clean look.
Flown from truss is the best option if you need to get the screen high in the air (over 8 – 10’). This is usually a quicker setup than a scaffold supported screen, and typically uses motors to hoist the screen in the air. Some find this setup aesthetically pleasing and some do not, however always keep in mind that this option can be dangerous if the wind pics up, as the screen is literally hanging from the truss tower.
Flown from a forklift or lull is another option for getting the screen high in the air (8’+). Most events do not like the look of the forklift and therefore opt for truss supported. This build is done by placing a piece of box truss over the forks, tying it down, and building the screen under the truss. The is usually the most cost-efficient way of getting the screen high in the air, however it typically isn’t seen as aesthetically pleasing.
At the end of the day it is usually best to defer to the opinion of your screen provider, as we’ve been in all weather conditions and will always select the safest build, even if it isn’t as aesthetically pleasing.
You will usually find that modular screens will be more expensive when compared to mobile screens (given they are the same size and pixel pitch) when it’s a short event, meaning one or two days. Modular screens are by nature more labor intensive, and depending on the build some modular screens can take up to four hands needed at once—albeit for a short time—to complete the build.
It is always best to consult your screen provider, as they can usually give insight into what type of screen will best fit your event and budget.