For outdoor usage of electronic displays, here are some things that should be considered:
Basic consumer screens are not designed to be read in sunlight. Consequently, there is a heavy demand for high bright screens – also known as sunlight or daylight readable LED displays.
Such screens are designed for visibility in extreme sunlight and the mechanism of these LED screens involve emitting high levels of light – or luminance. Luminance is the measure of how much luminous intensity comes from a particular area and how much of that light is actually seen by the human eye when the screen is looked at from a particular angle.
Nits – or candelas per square meter – is the measurement used for judging luminance. For a screen to be visible and readable in extreme direct sunlight situations, the luminance rating of your high brightness screen should be at least 2000 nits.
The few major factors that damage and threaten the life of an LED screen used outdoors are rain, snow, temperature and condensation. The best way to protect your display from these factors is to protect it by means of an outdoor digital signage enclosure.
Enclosures are not very expensive, are very flexible and require minimum maintenance. Also LED sign enclosures are independent and you don’t have to be concerned that it will restrict you from upgrading your screen and hardware as technology advances.
Number of screens
It is difficult to calculate this one because so many variables have to be considered. But basically, the amount of space you have, the allocated budget and the permission to install outdoor LED signs will determine how many screens you can deploy outdoors.
When investing in digital signage, whether it is for indoor or outdoor use, it is important to consider how you will keep your screen safe from theft and other natural hazards.
If you are intending on purchasing consumer grade outdoor LED screens, the warranty will most likely not cover any damage to an unprotected screen. Hence for outdoor use, it is best to go for commercial grade screens. This is because digital displays that are designed for outdoor use will come with a warranty. But be sure to check if things like vandalism, weather damage, and sunlight damage are covered.
For further screen safety and peace of mind, it is a good idea to invest in environmental enclosure systems that ensure protection against such threats. These enclosures usually come with its own warranty so you don’t even have to worry about additional expense for replacing the enclosure in case something happens.
Choosing between consumer or commercial grade screens
While commercial LED displays are slightly more expensive, they are designed for continuous outdoor use – up to 16 hours a day, and are of a better quality than consumer screens. But this obviously does not mean that you HAVE to invest in commercial grade screens. When deciding on which one to choose, consider the following:
On consumer screens, the surrounding bezel is thicker at the bottom. Hence if you want to put up the digital screen on portrait mode, the bezels may look uneven. Commercial grade screens have thinner and even bezels so it can be used in any orientation.
- Manufacturing quality
If you are looking at lower costs and short term digital advertising, consumer screens would be suitable. But for the longer run, commercial screens are manufactured to last longer – remain switched on for long hours, deal with hours of exposure to direct sunlight, and so on.
Consumer grade screens only have the basic features of a digital display. Commercial grade screens can support different software and do much more. Hence make sure you check if the screen you purchase has the features that you require.