Outdoor Digital Signage – Sunshine Problems

There are plenty of challenges when implementing outdoor digital signage but despite this more and more digital displays are being erected outside to take advantage of the higher audience numbers these outdoor digital advertising displays can generate.

While the most obvious challenge for taking a commercial grade LCD display outside is protecting it from the weather, and in particular rainfall, the problems associated with the sun can be just as difficult to overcome.

The problem with the sun and outdoor digital signage is that direct sunlight will often make the screen unreadable. Not only can sun cause glare (you must know what that is like when you try and watch the TV at home during the summer months where quite often you are forced to close the curtain to see the screen clearly) but even if there is no glare in bright sunlight the screen will appear dim and difficult to read.

But there are methods to ensure the screen is as readable as possible when taken outdoors:

Brightness

Ensuring you have the brightest type of screen possible will go along way to ensuring the screen is readable. The brightness of LCD screens is measured in nits (aka candela per square metre).

The minimum screen brightness for any outdoor LCD display should be 800 nits but LCD with 1000+ nits are available and should be considered when looking to get into outdoor digital signage. It should also be noted that in general commercial displays have higher nit values and are better suited for outdoor signage screens.

Anti-glare technologies

Preventing glare is done in a number of ways. Optical bondng, anti-reflective glass and tinting are just some options. Sadly, no matter which way you go on this there most likely will be some drop-off in brightness.

Direct sunlight can cause more problems than just glare too. Screen burn can develop if the sun is constantly on it so either the outdoor digital screen should be turned away from the sun or some other solution to prevent this screen burn should be considered such as cooling the screen itself.

Bespoke Outdoor Content

A lot of content that works well in indoor locations doesn’t respond well to be taken outdoors. Use colours and designs that are more prominent in outdoor locations. There is often a lot of trial and error involved in this but check what works and what doesn’t and you should soon develop a flare for designing content that is suitable for outdoor digital signage.

This post was written by Richard N Williams

Richard N Williams

Richard N Williams is a writer and journalist based in Birmingham, UK. He has many years of experience writing about all aspects of the internet and digital technology. He is the author of several technology related books and his articles have appeared in various publications, trade magazines and online journals. Richard N Williams Google+

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