Sign & Digital Graphics

September '14

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • September 2014 • 83 * Calkins, David J., "Mapping Color Perception to a Physiological Substrate," The Visual Neurosciences Vol. 1-2. The MIT Press, 1993. ** Wyszecki, Gunter, Color. Chicago: World Book Inc, 2006: 824. purchasing one, therefore, is that the prospective customers will view them. The preponderance of these prospec- tive customers will view the EMCs with human eyes. Might there be some limita- tions there? Various studies have been conducted to ascertain and quantify the number of distinct colors that can be recognized by the human eye. Research results have varied wildly. On the low end, some researchers estimate that there are around 100,000 different discern- able colors*. And on the high end, other researchers believe there may be as many as 10 million distinct perceivable colors**. Color expert Gunter Wyszecki, an author in the study that found 10 mil- lion colors, added the cautionary com- ment that "the identification of a specific color is highly subjective, since even the two eyes of a single individual perceive colors slightly different." The standard JPEG image, with 8 bits or 16.8 million colors is delivering 6.8 million more colors than even the most ambitious of all research studies to date indicates we are capable of appreciating. You can make your own judgments about how many colors is enough. In my view, a 16-bit control system will assure all your bases are covered. Does More Mean Better? More can be better, when it comes to color palate, but only to a certain point. There is very little, if any advantage that can be attained by choosing an LED dis- play with more colors than another, as long as a minimum threshold can be reached. Almost all reputable manufac- turers of EMCs surpass this threshold with few exceptions. Too often, manu- facturers will use the number of colors their display is capable of showing as a basis to differentiate their product. As you can see, the evidence is not in sup- port of this notion. Breaking down an LED display's spec- ification sheet and understanding what each component actually means will lead to a more informed purchasing decision for you or your customers as well as a more complete understanding of the value that each option is delivering. SDG Researchers report that humans are capable of perceiv- ing somewhere between 100,000 and 10 million distinct colors. A 16-bit display can show 281 trillion colors. Each pixel in an LED matrix consists of a blue, a red, and a green LED light. The colors that an LED display can show are achieved by combining variations in brightness of each of these three colors.

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