What is the difference between a SMD and a DIP display ?

Nowadays, with all the various technologies proposed, it is sometimes hard to really get the differences between LED displays.

SMD and DIP are two distinct kinds that do not have the same features.


When turned off the visual appearance of a SMD screen and a DIP screen is different. When turned on, their rendering is similar.

In a DIP display, all LEDs are visible and separated from one another. For each point on the screen, you can see the red led, the green led and the blue led. These LEDs are also in relief, which sometimes gives a non homogenous contrast compared to certain SMD models that are flat and don’t reflect external light. Finally the DIP technology proposes the technology of the “Virtual Pitch” which consists of adding a fourth LED, white, to accentuate the definition and the rendering of the screen. This DIP technology is mainly used for outdoor solutions because it does not easily allow to go below the “Pitch” 7 and because it is globally more robust in time. SMD vs DIP: the DIP still wins the outdoor game.

DIP have a better resistance for Outdoor applications, whereas SMD have a better resolution and suit better Indoor applications.

motifaoai-copyFor its part, SMD technology consists of visually regrouping the three leds (red, green, blue) into a single point of white or black color. This “point” is actually a square or a circle a few millimeters in diameter. The LEDs are no longer visible directly. This technology achieves unmatched resolutions with DIP. So the best screens today reach the 1.9 pitch and even the 1.6, or 1.6 millimeters between each point of the screen. The SMD is beginning to develop on high definition outdoor devices, but its use is still predominantly Indoor. SMD vs DIP: the SMD wins the Indoor match.

For all screens, whatever the technology used, each pixel consists of three LEDs: a red, a green and a blue. The SMD vs DIP match did not actually win. The SMD is more often used in Indoor and allows to reach finer definitions. On its side the DIP, more robust, finds its best use in outdoor applications. But once the optimum viewing distance has been reached, there is no real difference between the two technologies.