First things first, why should you care about the power consumption of your LED wall?
Energy efficiency closely relates to the total cost of ownership of your product (TCO). Restricted power consumption levels mean electricity expenses are kept to a minimum. In addition, it goes without saying that power consumption is crucial when it comes to sustainability objectives. Energy efficient products also reduce your eco-footprint and are generally better for the environment.
So yes, you should definitely look at the power consumption information when deciding on a new LED video wall, but be aware that in order to make a thought-through decision you need transparent spec information.
Different power consumption indicators explained?
The only power consumptions that can be measured are the maximum, the black level and the standby power consumption.
Maximum power consumption
LED recreates the visual content sent from the input source by lighting up the individual pixels or diodes to different intensities and colors. To show a full black screen, for instance, all diodes are switched off; whilst to present a full white screen, all diodes are powered to their maximum.
The maximum power consumption is defined by recreating a situation where the LED wall is going full power, the product is set to full brightness showing full white content for a certain amount of time. The power consumption measured in this way is the maximum power consumption spec of your product, of course taking into account a small additional margin for environmental variables.
Black level power consumption
Black level power consumption refers to the power needed to run the electronics without showing content on the LED wall. Because even though the diodes are off, the drivers and receiver cards are still consuming energy.
Standby power consumption
When the LED wall is set in standby those same electronics are still working albeit in power saving mode. So, the standby power consumption is below the black level power consumption, but obviously still higher than when the display is completely turned off.
Now, content usually isn’t just full black or white, but shows a variety of colors depending on the application where LED wall is used for. That’s why Barco always refers to “the typical power consumption”.
How to calculate the typical power consumption of an LED wall?
The traditional industry rules of thumb (dividing the maximum power consumption by three) usually don’t take into account the average use and black level power consumptions. For outdoor products with low pixel density and only a couple of drivers, this was on average a correct calculation. But with today’s high-resolution indoor LED products, the black level power consumption has become an important parameter which shouldn’t be left unnoticed. Pixel-pitches are significantly lower, think of the XT0.9 tile, and the pixel density on LED tiles is increasing. More pixels naturally need more drivers to manage the wall. The power consumed by these drivers and extra electronics is not neglectable. Hence, it’s only logical to include it in your calculations. The result will be much closer to reality!
Barco’s calculation of the typical power consumption is based on the black level power consumption, the maximum power consumption and an average usage of the LED wall. On average a customer configures the display at 70% of its maximum brightness, and the typical content on the wall consumes only 33% of that power.