Using screens in outdoor locations means protecting them protected from the elements; keeping a screen dry, making sure the temperature never veers from the LCD’s operational optimum, and providing physical protection are all essential for outdoor digital signage and other exterior screen uses.
It is possible to assess easily many of the hazards that can lead to damage of an LCD display, before installation. These include identifying the weather elements and possible temperatures the screen will face when in operation. Seasonal variations need accounting for, as some locations have sweltering temperatures in the winter and freezing temperatures in the evening. All outdoor screens need waterproofing. Any rainfall, even a small amount will disable a standard LCD or plasma display as will snow and hail.
Screens left outdoors or in unsupervised locations will also need security protection. Making sure vandals and thieves can’t disable or steal the display is just as essential as weatherproofing. And while it’s possible to anticipate most of these measures, there are unforeseen circumstances that can also lead to screen failure.
High Winds caused by gales, hurricanes and other freak weather fronts, pickup debris and can hurl it around. A screen face is particularly vulnerable to impacts and a high velocity object hurled around by high winds can easily smash and disable the screen. All outdoor digital signage, therefore, needs some form of shatterproof protection over the screen.
Another problem that occurs especially when nearby construction is taking place is dust ingress. Dust can disable a screen as quickly as liquids. Dust can also block filters and cause overheating so any outdoor screen needs to be able to cope with dust ingress.
The sun also leads to problems for outdoor digital signage. Screen burn occurs when too much direct sunlight is bearing down on a screen face causing hotspots to occur. If parts of a screen are continuously hot, permanent damage to the screen occurs.
Any outdoor digital signage left facing the path of the sun or in extremely bright sunlight locations needs some form of screen cooling to prevent hotspots and permanent burning of the display.