It seems that digital signage has infiltrated every aspect of our lives with LCD and plasma screens now being used for signage purposes in almost every location.
One area of growing interest is the use of outdoor digital signage with more and more companies opting to make use of this technology in outdoor locations where it has a potential to be viewed by many more people than when it is inside.
However there are several challenges in using digital signage outdoors and these have to be examined before any outdoor signage project commences.
The weather is perhaps the biggest challenge facing outdoor digital signage and protecting any LCD and plasma screen from it. It some countries the weather is extremely predictable and most signage just have to be sealed to protect from rain. Often an outdoor digital signage unit that is rain resistant will be rated to the European IP65 (or in the North America – NEMA 4).
However, in the UK and throughout Europe (and many places in the USA for that matter) the weather can be far more unpredictable. The extreme heat of the summer can be contrasted against the icy winters and any signage left outdoors will have to cope with both extremes.
Unfortunately many outdoor LCDs or outdoor plasmas just can’t cope with these extremes, mainly because the sealed units don’t allow the space for any additional cooling or heating systems which means when the temperature drops below zero or rises too high in the summer the digital signage device could fail permanently.
A flexible and more comprehensive solution for digital outdoor signage is to use a standard LCD screen but have it placed inside an all-weather LCD enclosure. These enclosures are often IP65 rated meaning they will protect from the rain but also the enclosures can have additional heaters and even air conditioners installed to ensure the perfect operating environment for the LCD or plasma.
Furthermore, these LCD or plasma enclosures are also made from steel and can be fully lockable/tamper proof offering protection from thieves and vandals.