From wayfinding to transportation hubs to sports stadiums to Quick Service Restaurant drive-thru’s, dazzling, outdoor digital signage is popping up everywhere.Digital is changing the way companies are marketing, informing customers, and getting branding messages out to the public. As an end user, you may be researching what is the best option for your project – an outdoor LCD enclosure or an outdoor rated LCD? Generally speaking, LCD enclosures give the user more flexibility on a number of items, but it is important to research all options before making any decisions that could end up being costly if not properly planned. This blog will focus on the advantages of using an outdoor LCD enclosure.
5 Advantages of Using an Outdoor LCD Enclosure
Flexibility of Electronics
One of the top advantages to using an LCD enclosure is the flexibility to enclose an array of electronics of your choosing. The majority of enclosures will provide ample space to house a large variety of media players. On the other hand, if using an outdoor rated LCD, there will be no protection afforded for the media player. Keep in mind, depending on where the installation will be (direct sunlight or shaded), it is wise to choose an LCD that is bright enough to be viewed outdoors. A good rule of thumb: LCDs that are brighter than 1,500 nits are suitable for a direct sunlight environment. Ben Hardy, Product Manager at NEC Display Solutions, describes the importance of high bright LCDs in his article, ‘Is Digital Signage Right for Your Restaurant?,’ “Digital displays have the technology to thrive in both controlled and natural lighting by offering different brightness levels across various product lines. High-brightness displays counteract direct sunlight for outdoor menu boards (such as those in a drive-thru) and window applications, ensuring that customers are clearly able to see the content being displayed, even when in direct sunlight.”
Wider Operating Range
On wide scale deployments, you may be tasked with finding a digital signage solution that will work in the cooler temperatures of Boston, but also function in the harsh desert climate of Phoenix. Temperature extremes can be an issue when trying to find a “fits everything” solution. LCD enclosures have the unique ability to accommodate an installation in just about any geographic area. The range of enclosure options, include: vented, passive cooling, filtered fan systems, air conditioners, and heaters. An enclosure expert can help provide guidance as to what thermal management option is best for the environment, as well as the electronics. For more information, fill out a Cooling Worksheet.
What happens if the LCD is tagged? By using an LCD enclosure, a solution to deter defacement is quite simple. An anti-graffiti top coat can be applied to the enclosure paint finish. If vandalism occurs, simply spray a solution on the enclosure body and wipe the enclosure clean in mere minutes. In addition, a 4 layer sacrificial film can be applied to the enclosure window (very similar to what is used in NASCAR). Each layer peels off (like an onion) with ease for a clean viewing area again. In the event the window film is down to the final layer, it is easy to apply another 4 layers. Concerned with theft and tampering? Invest in an outdoor LCD enclosure that is uniquely key locked for additional protection.
Low Cost of Replacements
Outdoor rated displays generally are much higher priced than a commercial-grade LCD used in an enclosure. They are commonly custom, made-to-order, and often stocked in very low quantities. It is even difficult to find pricing on the web. The difference can be a matter of $1,500.00 vs. $5,000.00.
In mission critical areas like a drive-thru, can you afford for the digital display to be down for an indeterminable period of time? Some companies, like Starbucks, are adopting menu boards with cameras, so that the drive-thru employee can talk directly to the customer via the LCD screen. With this technology, downtime will remove a fantastic customer service tool. Let’s face it: time is money! In the event of a failure, be prepared and ask how long it will take to replace the display or what the warranty procedure is for the LCD. When pondering the chance of lengthy lead times, it might be smart to invest in spare units, which can hopefully be switched out rather quickly. By using an outdoor LCD enclosure paired with a commercial grade LCD, replacements can be very simple. In addition, you are not locked into utilizing a specific screen. LCD enclosures generally accommodate a wide range of makes and models.
When determining the best solution for deploying digital LCD signage, consider installing an outdoor, all-weather enclosure to protect the LCD from various elements and issues. The enclosure will last for many years, while the monitor will most likely evolve and could even become obsolete within a couple years. No matter the monitor solution, an enclosure will keep the electronics - that are chosen - safe and dry for the long or short haul. Never let price steer the decision. Research the variety of companies and solutions on the market and choose the best one for your unique application.
For More Information, Visit:
- 3 Factors that Affect Thermal Management for an Outdoor LCD Enclosure
- How to Plan for an LCD Enclosure Installation
- 3 Important Questions to Ask Prior to Deploying Outdoor LCD Enclosures
- Through the Looking Glass of LCD Enclosures
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