- On October 27, 2022
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As the world evolves to continue prioritizing all things digital, many businesses have turned to outdoor LCD signage to display their messaging and engage customers. Outdoor LCD signage boards are important for sharing up-to-date information and pushing promotional messages to existing and prospective customers. Companies of all sizes and from any industry can use this technology to improve their profitability and enhance stakeholder relationships—it does not matter whether you are a high-end restaurant or a start-up retail outlet. Nevertheless, cost-effectiveness remains a key consideration for all businesses. This guide looks at factors to consider when picking outdoor LCD signage that offers the best return on investment (ROI).
Outdoor LCD Display Quick Facts
Before we proceed to the topic at hand, let’s explore some quick facts regarding outdoor LCD displays. There are two general types: high-brightness LCDs and reflective color LCDs.
A high-brightness LCD sign will produce sharp, clear images due to the combined effects of advanced optical bonding and up to 3000 nits of brightness. The chief advantage here is that customers can view the targeted information and advertising messages even under direct sunlight or intense industrial lights.
On the other hand, reflective color LCD signs provide brighter images when the sun shines brighter. This effect occurs due to the presence of a mirror-like layer within the screens that reflects sunlight back to the customer.
Regardless of the outdoor LCD signage that you go for, the fact remains that you can use this technology within several environments. Another notable consideration is that investing in outdoor LCD signage is an investment on your part, and you can expect it to yield returns over time.
The Five Most Important Factors in Evaluating Digital Signage Solutions
How do you choose the option that will bring the most value and high-quality performance to your business? There are several factors to consider, such as the actual performance levels, the experience, the costs of operating the signage, the ability to function properly regardless of the weather, and the aesthetics. We discuss each of these factors below in detail.
LCD signage performance can be measured by looking at several factors.
- First, consider heat tolerance, which refers to the operating temperature range that the product can withstand. Most installers provide a temperature range of 0°C to +45°C. When you install the digital signage in an area where the temperature does not typically surpass 45°C, then the LCD signage board will automatically regulate the heat through a fan cooling system. If the temperature exceeds this threshold, an air conditioner can be used. It is also possible to use a remote device monitoring system to control the temperature.
- Another performance factor is connectivity, especially Wi-Fi connectivity. Organizations must meet specific standards regarding reliability (lack of constant breakdown), security, emergency messaging, and public service announcements.
- You will also want to pass on the traditional local area network (LAN) and landline installations and go for the much quicker and more reliable Wi-Fi installations.
- Consider issues associated with the quality of the display, such as the outdoor brightness, sunlight readability, and contrast ratio. Outdoor brightness and outdoor readability are the two important aspects in this regard. If you want to install your signage in a high sun exposure area, you can go for a reflective color LCD screen, as this requires fewer operating costs than a high-brightness LCD.
- Lastly, high-brightness outdoor LCD signage can provide a better contrast ratio than reflective color LCD signage. Due to the higher contrast, you can expect more vivid and crisp colors, which are especially more refined under shade. It’s also important to assess the quality of the screen display from different viewing angles.
When considering the overall customer experience, you can think about the interactive components (whether you want digital signage or a touchscreen kiosk) and the location (whether you want an outdoor display, wall mount, menu board, video wall, or window display).
When it comes to the interactive components, the difference lies in the intended use. While digital signage enables the business to send video, photo, text, or audio content to the customer, touchscreen kiosks are more collaborative and invite the clients to interact with your messages through intuitive interfaces.
For example, if you run a fast-food restaurant, you can use digital menu signage to present menu items that are available across your outlets and touchscreen kiosks that allow customers to self-order their preferred foods or drinks.
Regarding the location, you will want to consider outdoor, wall mount, menu board, video wall, or window displays. Here are the fundamental differences:
- Outdoor displays: Display your business name, sales, promotions, menus, new products, etc. in your outdoor advertising.
- Wall mounts: These go in the interior or exterior of your business’s site. You can use them to show directions through printed graphics.
- Menu boards: Restaurants use these to display menu items to customers.
- Video walls: These contain multiple displays mounted on a wall to create one large screen.
- Window displays: Businesses place these on stores’ windows to motivate customers to enter and make purchases.
3. Operational Costs
When it comes to operational costs, look at power consumption and the cost of maintenance. High-brightness LCDs utilize more power than reflective color LCDs. Ensure that you think about the long-term concerning this issue.
In addition, there are maintenance costs involved. Sometimes issues can come up that require maintenance, whether it is damage from vandalism or technical issues. It’s important to be prepared for how much it will cost you to repair and ensure that your LCD signage remains at its best. One way to combat possible maintenance costs is by investing in fanless signs, especially for outdoor digital signage. These tend to have less issues and require less maintenance. It would also be sensible to consider the cost of creating content and software management.
In terms of durability, the best outdoor LCD signage can withstand bad weather conditions, water, long operational hours, direct sunlight, and the general outdoor environment. For the best ROI, invest in a product that can handle changing temperatures, wind, and humidity.
If your business requires signage that can handle long operating hours, look into installing signage with thermal management or fan cooling systems, which allows the screen to withstand high internal temperatures. All in all, your ROI will be maximized if you invest in a product built to thrive within the general outdoor environment.
Finally, the aesthetics of digital signage displays relate to the weight, mount, and custom design shell. Think about the size you are willing to invest in—outdoor LCD signage weight is measured in pounds, which also affects the size of the mount you need to purchase.
As a business owner, you must additionally deliberate on whether you want a custom-made design shell depending on the type and size of your display. For example, you can go for a metal or plastic shell. As can be expected, this will alter your budget, although your ROI will also depend on the shell’s durability over time.
Leverage a Knowledgeable Partner
Although this resource is meant to ease your purchasing process, we acknowledge that choosing what works for your business can be daunting and that working with an appropriate digital signage partner can make a difference for you.