Transparent LED Steadily Improving, But The Backside View Remains A Challenge

February 10, 2023 by Dave Haynes

Several years of going to pro AV shows has allowed me to track the progression of display technologies like transparent LED, and while they have come a long, long way, it’s still important for people to understand the visual limitations.

In other words, what looks great now from the front doesn’t necessarily look so hot from the back side.

Walking around ISE in Barcelona last week, I could see the grid style transparent LEDs are bright enough and tight enough now in pitch to generate great-looking visuals. These are narrow-depth but solid arrays that most typically get installed inside windows, facing out to a street or something like a mall concourse.

The challenge, and what always interests me, is what these things look like from the rear. There are certain set-ups in which that doesn’t matter, because there is something in between the inside of a venue and the windows where the LEDs are set up. So people don’t see the backs.

But if the units are visible from the rear – because the windows are used to also let in natural light – there is still a challenge with how they look.

The front side of this display from the Chinese manufacturer Auroled is the main photo at the top of this story, and I’ll run it again here.

And this is the back end of that. It’s not awful looking, but my gut tells me the people who design retail and office spaces would not be pleased to have that in view.

There are alternatives, of course, including LED on film and products like this, from another Shenzhen manufacturer NEXNOVO, that embeds LEDs in architectural glass, like this half-height barrier for environments like shopping malls.

This is what it looks like from the front …

And from the rear. It’s better, but the tighter the pixel pitch (to make crisper visuals), the less transparency, because there are more little light emitters and related electronics packed in per square meter. This is 8mm, 90% transparency.


The real answer is probably four-five years off – microLED embedded in glass. Teeny and super-bright.

  1. Bryan Crotaz says:

    I had exactly this conversation with several vendors. I have customers who would love “transparent” screens. But a transparent screen needs to be transparent! Not a big pile of metal at the back or looking through a stack of PCBs that are only transparent if you’re looking exactly horizontally.

    Also don’t forget that glass is reflective at the glass-air junction, so even the LG LED on film is not transparent with the LEDs turned on – you can’t see the view because the LED light is bounding back at you from the front surface of the glass.

  2. Steve Molaf says:

    Hi Dave,
    Steve Molaf from S. Molaf & Associates and I do have to differ with you about Transparent VD products. Not trying to offensive but times do change. Check out, which is a global leader in video walls and digital displays.

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