With freezing temperatures gripping most of the UK a question many outdoor digital signage users should be asking themselves is how low can the temperature drop before the screen starts to fail?
The answer to this question will vary from unit to unit depending on protection afforded to the outdoor screens and the operating window of such devices.
Typically, a standard or commercial grade LCD screen will only operate in a small temperature window. While this window on outdoor screens is larger, it is still limited with different outdoor TV manufacturers having differing temperature ranges.
Screens housed in outdoor digital signage enclosures (LCD enclosures) do have an advantage over specific outdoor TVs in that they can house various temperature modules that can ensure that outdoor screens can operate, without problems, even in the lowest of temperatures.
The extreme cold can have all sorts of negative effects on an outdoor screen. Condensation can freeze and expand, disabling the device and the cold can freeze components, cause wiring to snap, and result in a myriad of other problems.
LCD enclosures can house many defences from the cold. Heaters are an obvious example; however, these need to be thermostatically controlled otherwise in warmer weather the heater will cause the screen to overheat.
The great advantage of an LCD enclosure is that, even in the extremities of winter, a standard commercial grade screen can operate outdoors, safely and effectively.
Because of this flexibility, LCD enclosures are used in many low temperature areas. Ski resorts are a prime example where communication with skiers is vital for safety and information.
LCD enclosures are also a good idea for areas where temperatures, while very low in the winter, rise extremely high in the summer. Often this extreme range is difficult for even the most sophisticated outdoor TV device, but for an outdoor LCD enclosure, thermostatically controlled cooling fans and air conditioners can be installed alongside the heaters and cold weather modules to allow the device to operate – no matter what the weather or temperature.