In search for Seven LED Wonders of the World

Chief editor - Vladimir Krylov
Deputy chief editor - Michael Nikoulichev
Editor - Dmitry Scherbinin

Therefore, we hope that readers of this article will contribute to it by sharing their own information about unusual and unique LED applications that came to their attention. We will gladly publish the most interesting materials in our magazine. Please send mail to us!

Seven Wonders of the World is the famous list of the celebrated constructions of classical antiquity. Over the ages, the list was changed and updated several times and today is reads as: Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes, and Lighthouse of Alexandria.

Since the search for Seven Wonders of the World is a legitimate endeavor, our magazine decided to determine the Seven Wonders of the World in the area of LED applications. This may not be easy, since this high-tech area is changing fast and new wonders appear almost on a daily basis.

The Great Pyramid of Giza

We will start with the Wonder that practically combines modern technological achievements with the Wonder of antiquity: a gigantic LED sign next to the Great Pyramid of Giza. The sign was manufactured by “Shenzhen LCJH Optoelectronic Co., Ltd” (China).

LED sign next to the Great Pyramid of Giza LED sign next to the Great Pyramid of Giza
LED sign next to the Great Pyramid of Giza

Let’s start with the simple approach: what is the largest LED screen in the world?

Huge LED screen in Freemont Street

A veteran among LED screens, the ceiling LED screen in Freemont street (Las Vegas, USA) remains the largest with nearly 16 257 square meters of image area. It was better described in our issue “Bigger than the biggest: Giant LED screen in Las Vegas”.

Huge LED screen in Freemont street (Las Vegas, USA) Huge LED screen in Freemont street (Las Vegas, USA)
Huge LED screen in Freemont street (Las Vegas, USA)
Photo credit: entertainment.webshots.com

Huge LED screen in Beijing

Here is an excellent example of the technological might of the rising China. The full-color LED screen in Beijing was constructed for the 2008 Olympics. It’s built into the roof over the pedestrial area at the height of 24 meters at the entrance to a mega-mall. A combination of five LED screens forms a total surface of 250x30 meters (7 500 square meters). The LED screen is gigantic and leaves nobody unimpressed. Journalists call it sometimes the largest aquarium imitation or the largest LED screen in Asia.

Huge LED screen in Beijing Huge LED screen in Beijing
Huge LED screen in Beijing
Photo credit: nextnature.net

Whatever you call it, the fact remains: the LED screen is unique and deserved to be mentioned among leaders in the industry. Another Olympic champion is the huge media-wall in Beijing. It’s large, all right. But we list it in this article only as a contender for the “Wonder” status. The reason is the alternative power use, to be discussed later.

HD LED screens

Another approach is to see what LED screens have the largest resolution, to make them fit for HDTV broadcasts: Simply as a reminder, this standard allows for resolution equal or more than 1280x720 pixels.

HD LED screen Diamond Vision by Mitsubishi Electric HD LED screen ProStar by Daktronics
HD LED screen Diamond Vision by Mitsubishi Electric
Photo credit: ledsmagazine.com
HD LED screen ProStar by Daktronics
Photo credit: ledsmagazine.com

The Diamond Vision LED screen (Mitsubishi Electric) at the Atlanta Braves stadium is the largest high resolution outdoor LED screen. Mitsubishi took away the leadership in HD screens from “Daktronics” with its LED screen at the Dolphins stadium in Miami. That giant of a screen was made of two “ProStarВ” sections with 1280x720 resolution each. The screen has the image area of 636 sq. meters. It’s hard to say if these screens are really the largest in the world today, but they sure may be the contenders.

The factor of climate

LED sign beyond the Polar circle LED sign beyond the Polar circle
Photo credit: atvoutdoorsystems.ru

An ideal example is the LED sign installed in Norilsk (Russia), a city well beyond the Polar circle. Needless to say that this is the geographic zone with extremely low temperatures. The LED sign manufactured by a Russian company “ATV Outdoor Systems” was installed on the administrative building of “Norilsk Nikel” factory in 2004. The city of Norilsk is located at 69˚20´N, 88°12´W. The temperature fluctuations in Norilsk range from -47°С in winter to + 30°С in summer. However, these are the average temperatures. At the time of installation the temperature in the city was -55°C.

Are there any other LED screens that work in similar or even worse climatic conditions? The other extreme is heat. Quite a lot of LED screens are working in the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. It’s hard to say, what screens experience extreme heat conditions, especially since humidity plays here an essential role.

LED screen in the Khalifa stadium of the Doha (Qatar) LED screen in the Khalifa stadium of the Doha (Qatar)
Photo credit: Element Labs

But let’s take as an example an excellent LED screen that is working in the Khalifa stadium of the Doha (Qatar). The screen was built for the occasion of the Asian Games and since then it’s been successfully operating in the hot Qatar climate. The fact that the LED screen is not small adds to its attraction: the image area is 4 500 square meters. The city of Doha lies on 25˚16´N, 51°31´W. The average summer temperature is + 50° С, while humidity may reach 90%. We can only guess if these conditions maybe called extreme.

The most unusual LED screen

The candidate is the well-known LED screen from the North America, more specifically, from the Time Square in New York. This is that screen that was recently modernized and described in an excellent article of Louis M. Brill “Good Morning, Times Square!” Indeed, the “ABC” screen is an unusual sample of LED-based creativity. Multi-segment LED screen made of interlacing curved strips and driven by specially designed software. What can be more unusual than this!

ABC LED screen LED media façade “The Grand Lisboa” hotel and casino in Macau
ABC LED screen
Photo credit: Ida Astute, ABC Inc.
LED media façade “The Grand Lisboa” hotel and casino in Macau
Photo credit: Daktronics

Consider also the potential competitor: a development by Daktronics based on the ideas of the famous jeweler Faberge, the designer of the notorious Faberge eggs collection. Look at this giant Faberge egg, this one designed by Daktronics. The egg is a modern casino in Macao (China). This LED screen is a novelty all through. Unusual in the shape, structure, LED cluster composition etc. Probably, the most unusual LED screen is the one which is meant to surprise the Times Square. Hard to make a judgment. Probably, what we need is the Internet voting.

The Alternative Energy Supply

LED media wall LED media wall
Photo credit: greenpix.org

The topic of alternative energy sources is one of the most frequent in the media. Therefore we decided to come up with the nomination: The Alternative Energy Supply. At this point we have to return to the giant media wall in Beijing mentioned earlier. The LED screen is unique because it was built on photocells and is completely independent from traditional energy supply. As a result, we have a unique combination of the LED media carrier and the environment-friendly technology. This is the first such system in the world.

The best interactive LED application

Interactive LED screen Interactive LED screen
Photo credit: mediaarchitecture.org

After long deliberation we came up with one more nomination: “The Best Interactive LED application”. “Aarhus” concert hall (Denmark) is equipped with a media façade that is intellectually capable of mimicking passers-by. Special sensors recognize patterns in human movements and project a simulated image on screen. This LED screen serves no commercial purpose. This is a special design that helps create architecturally novel urban landscape. The task is simple: to attract attention of citizens and be a landmark of the city. The task was definitely achieved in full.

P.S. Modern perception of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World took a long time to emerge. The ideas were continually challenged, the sites changed. Even today the list of seven wonders is heatedly debated by people interested to see other worthy attractions in the list. We also consider this article as nothing more than a prologue to a real interaction with our readers. Only on the basis of your feedback, would it be possible to draw any reasonable conclusions, come up with an updated version of the list.

P.P.S. We wanted to include in the list only the projects that have been commissioned, nothing that exists on paper. While the materials were being prepared for publication, one more interesting piece of news came to our attention. And we decided to make an exception and share the news about the project as yet undone.

The company “Mitsubishi Electric” received the order for production of LED screen with diagonal of 53 meters for the US sports stadium “Dallas Cowboys” to be opened in 2009. Two of the four “Diamond Vision” LED screens have the image area of 48x22 meters. The screen weighs more than 80 tons and is built on 10 000 000 LEDs that support the 2176×4864 resolution. Power consumption of this giant will be 635 kW. Once commissioned this LED screen will definitely get in the front of our list.