The winter season brings with it many challenges. The dark nights and cold weather can affect all sorts of things and outdoor digital signage is no exception. The ice and snow can play havoc with an outdoor screen, often leading to permanent failures, so making sure you have adequate cold weather protection for an outdoor display is a vital part of preventing downtime.
Outdoor displays are now a ubiquitous part of the high street and outdoor environment. Outdoor digital signage, information kiosks and outdoor entertainment screens are now part of the everyday street furniture on our high streets.
But cold weather is one of the leading causes of screen failure so ensuring they have the right protection to get through the winter months is an important part of the planning of any outdoor digital signage campaign.
The cold weather can cause several problems; firstly, snow and ice can penetrate inside an enclosure and lead to short circuits of the device. Frozen temperatures can also lead to any condensation inside the display to freeze and expand, damaging the device. Cold weather can also lead to screen images to darken, ghost and lose contrast as the liquid in the LCD thickens due to the loss of temperature.
Protecting LCD screens from the cold weather is a task left to whatever type of digital signage enclosure you have encasing the display.
There are several key defences from the cold that are installed in most good quality outdoor LCD enclosures and for any screen installed in an area where temperatures drop towards the freezing mark – it is essential that these defences are present.
Firstly, any outdoor screen enclosure needs to be waterproof. Not only will this prevent ice and snow penetrating the enclosure but in the warmer months rainfall is one of the biggest threats to an outdoor TV.
Heaters are a common component installed inside LCD enclosures. These are often thermostatically controlled and come on, only when temperatures drop too low.
Insulation is another common method of countering extremely low temperatures. A layer of insulation lining an LCD enclosure can trap the heat generated by the screen itself helping to keep the internal temperature inside the LCD enclosure above freezing.