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The Need for Speed…Awareness! Vehicle Activated Speed Signs

vehicle activated speed signsVehicle-activated speed signs are an economical and effective tool to modify driver behaviour. With a wide range of signs available, manufactured in the UK, Messagemaker is your perfect partner for keeping your local area safer and moving within the speed limits.


Activated by internally-mounted approved radar systems, the signs provide immediate feedback to motorists about their speed and can display ‘Slow Down” for over-speed events and “Thank You” in response to driver deceleration.


All our vehicle activated speed signs meet Highways Agency technical requirements, are easy to programme and feature the latest technology in a slimline, lockable casing. White and red LEDs provide ultra-bright daylight-viewable displays with automatic brightness control included as standard.

 Vehicle activated speed signs options include:

  • Speeds: 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60MPH (KPH optional)
  • Symbols / Warnings: Crossroads, curve, queue, or custom message
  • Sizes & Shapes: 300mm, 450mm, 600mm roundels, or 450mm, 600mm, 750mm, 900mm, 1200mm triangles with symbol
  • Standard Dimensions: From 500w x 500h up to 1380w x 1420h

A heavy duty enclosure with inclusive self-test function ensures reliability and longevity in use. Displays can be mounted on street light columns or powered by optional solar panels.


Messagemaker Vehicle Activated Speed Signs are priced competitively, starting at less than £1000 per sign. For more information please call 01737 774738 or visit our dedicated Traffic Signs website.

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Comparison of SMD and DIP LEDs for use in Large Format LED screens

Comparison of SMD and DIP LEDs for use in Large Format LED screens


Advances in LED technology have meant increasing availability and use of SMD (Surface Mount Device) LED’s in a range of applications from lighting to big screens.  These are now widely available alongside the classic DIP (Dual Inline Package) LED’s.  This white paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each specifically when used in large format full colour LED displays.


DIP (Dual Inline Package) LED’s

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The DIP LED is the classic LED, so called because it has two ‘legs’ which act as connectors.  A single semiconductor Die sits in a reflector, in turn encased by an Epoxy Lens / case.



LED’s can be grouped together in a three colour RGB pixel (Red/Green/Blue) and used to create full colour images.


SMD (Surface Mount Device) LED’s

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Here the three colour dies all sit in one package, encased by a transparent epoxy.  When made up into a screen the LED’s form a characteristic dot matrix as per the image overleaf


Image of SMD LED matrix screen



LED Type Advantages Disadvantages
SMD Allows use of much smaller pixel pitches, down to under 2mm indoors and 5mm outdoors. Small pixel size means large areas between pixels on low resolution screens, leading to dotty images from further away.
Better viewing angles horizontally (typically 140 degrees vs DIP 90-120 degrees) Harder to service
Much better viewing angle vertically, good for high displays Not liked by some clients for use in areas near seawater due to corrosion.
Better colour matching and slightly improved reliability Uses approx. 25% more energy than comparable DIP screen
DIP Well proven solution Can’t go smaller than 10mm pixel pitch
Usually lower cost LED’s need to be colour matched carefully and batched.
Can deliver ‘focused’ screen with reduced light pollution up and to sides.

Messagemaker offer both styles of LED and are happy to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both.





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Why Use LED Signs?

led signsSince our announcement that Stocksigns had acquired Messagemaker Display we have been asked by many of our customers why they should use LED signs. With that in mind we have put together a few of the benefits of using LED Signage.

  • Long Life Signs Only high quality LED’s are used from reputable manufacturers who offer products with a typical life to half brightness of not less than 100,000 hours (11.4 years) continually on.
  • Broad Viewing Angle Viewing angles will vary depending on the application, typical viewing angles for Internal Displays are 160 degrees, whist typical angles for external LED’s would be 60 – 90 degrees as a more focused light is required under higher ambient light conditions.
  • Ultra Bright  The brightness of an LED will depend on its viewing angle and colour, but the typical MCD values used in our displays is not less than 20 and rises to over 3000 for specific bright applications.
  • Extended Viewing Distance for Text - As a general rule if you take the character height of the font being displayed in mm and half this value this typically represents the maximum recommended viewing distance i.e. a 100mm font height can be read at up to 50 metres away.
  • Extended Viewing Distance for Images - The viewing distance for an RGB screen displaying images is normally calculated as the pixel pitch (mm) multiplied by 1 or 1.5 giving the minimum viewing distance in metres.
  • Low Maintenance – All products are designed to be maintenance free, there are no end-user serviceable parts, the only maintenance required is the occasional cleaning of the screen with a non abrasive cloth and a light detergent.
  • Peace of Mind – All products come with a 2 year return to factory warranty from date of original purchase as standard. In the unlikely event of any defect arising due to faulty materials or workmanship you will be required to return the unit to our factory where we will, at our discretion, either replace or repair the display free of charge. On site and 5 year warranty options are available, please speak to our sales team for details.
  • Compatible –The most typical form of interface for signs is either serial using RS232/ RS485 or via Ethernet using TCP/IP protocol over a local area network. Alternative methods of communication including SMS, Modem, Radio, Bluetooth and PLC interfacing are also available on request.
  • Plug and Play Installation –The majority of signs are designed to be plug and play, thus most customers carry out their own installation of product and loading of software using the comprehensive instructions provided with each display. However, if required Messagemaker do offer a dedicated installation and or commissioning service.

original article published on Stocksigns Blog

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Messagemaker New Web Shop for LED Signs

 Messagemaker launches Brand New On-line Shop for LED Signs

LED signs online

LED Displays, Signs and Boards

Whether indoors or outdoors, LED displays, signs and boards offers a high impact, long life, energy efficient messaging solution.

We provide a comprehensive range of standard and bespoke plug and play LED displays, including LED display signs and LED display boards, to suit your budget and requirements.