When I was over at the ISE show in Amsterdam a few months ago, I remember seeing a Shenzhen company that had a set of lightweight, skinny and flexible LED display products that I thought would make the NanoLumens guys think, “Gee, that looks familiar.”
But the company was one I’d never heard of, so I doubted Atlanta-based Nano would be all that fussed about cheap Chinese clones.
However, China’s Leyard Optoelectronic Co., Ltd. introducing product that would compete with Nano is another matter. Leyard is huge, and also now owns Planar, and with that the smarts, contacts and relationships established by the Portland, OR company. Ahead of InfoComm next week, Leyard has announced a series of flexible, light LED displays dubbed Leyard CarbonLight LED.
What Leyard is coming out with is NOT the same as what NanoLumens manufactures and markets. Think of them more as skinny, lightweight versions of the current generation of LED display blocks, which are themselves way skinnier and lighter than used to be. But most indoor LED products I’ve seen aren’t really built to suspend from just cables and conform to curves, and Nano has had that area somewhat to itself for a few years.
Says a press release today:
Leyard CarbonLight LED displays are uniquely lightweight, thin, strong and adaptable – making them ideal for high-impact events served by rental and staging companies, and for fixed and semi-fixed installations with unique design requirements. The displays are fast and flexible to install, and are available in five different product configurations for indoor, outdoor, hanging, floor-mounted, corner-beveled and curved video wall installations, making Leyard CarbonLight’s broad offering ideal for the most unique and challenging environments.
“In both event staging and fixed installations, customers are looking for video walls that are fast to deploy and adaptable to a range of applications,” says Steve Seminario, vice president of product marketing at Planar. “We are excited to bring this truly unique portfolio of products, with the industry’s lightest hang weights and thinnest profiles, to create eye-catching video wall installations that stop visitors in their tracks and have maximum impact for live events, broadcast, and fixed installations.”
The LED displays are ultra-lightweight, says Leyard, because they are made using carbon fiber construction and what Leyard says are patented designs, “making them the perfect option for environments with limited structural capacity. They are easy to transport, incorporate hardware that is fast to install and take down, and are quick to service, with a hardware design that allows for middle-display replacement. Leyard CarbonLight displays also support many unusual configurations including right-angle corners, perfectly smooth concave and convex arcs, and floor installations.”
These, if you follow this industry, are some of the value props NanoLumens has been touting, successfully, for many years – screens so light they can hang just with high tension wire from even an atrium ceiling that just has girders. NanoLumens has also heavily marketed its flexible plastic modules, which can f=conform to curved surfaces.
“Always adjacent to our work in fixed installation, the needs of the rental and staging market are unique,” says Jennifer Davis, CMO for Leyard’s international business. “The Leyard CarbonLight products address the needs for light transport weight, fast installation, durable construction, and the flexibility to create any number of surfaces, stages, and walls of video. Beyond those benefits to rental companies, it is our vision to help the world’s cultural institutions, performance artists, brands, and media outlets tell their stories with compelling visual effects. These installations build upon Planar’s continued efforts in architectural displays and extend to the larger multi-billion-dollar rental market.”
There are five product lines:
- CLA Series: For indoor, smoothly curved LED video walls, available in 1.5 and 1.9 millimeter pixel pitches with a cabinet size of 250 x 250 millimeters. Leyard CarbonLight CLA Series displays can be used to create arcs and columns of LED displays as low as 3 meters (9.84 feet) in diameter.
- CLI Series: For indoor hanging or mounted LED video walls, available in 2.6, 3.9 and 5.2 millimeter pixel pitches with a cabinet size of 500 x 500 millimeters. Leyard CarbonLight CLI Series displays can be used to achieve 90-degree corner installations.
- CLO Series: For outdoor hanging or mounted LED video walls, available in 3.9, 5.2 and 7.8 millimeter pixel pitches with a cabinet size of 500 x 500 millimeters.
- CLM Series: For outdoor mesh hanging or mounted LED video walls, available in 10.4 and 15.6 millimeter pixel pitches with a cabinet size of 1,000 x 500 millimeters. Leyard CarbonLight CLM Series displays can be used to create large-scale, transparent display installations in outdoor buildings or for architectural applications.
- CLF Series: For indoor or outdoor LED floor installations, available in 5.2, 6.2 and 10.4 millimeter pixel pitches with a cabinet size of 500 x 500 millimeters. Leyard CarbonLight CLF Series displays can withstand weight of 500 kilograms per cabinet (1,102 pounds) without damage, making them perfect for stage floors, tradeshow and showroom use.
The CLA series is the one that is probably the closest to what nano offers – relatively light and flexible. The company will have units next week in Las Vegas for InfoComm.