Go Outdoors With Your Digital Signage

Times Square Outdoor Digital Signage
Times Square in New York on a cold, rainy night.

Outdoor Digital Signage Grows Year over Year

Outdoor digital signage is an enormous, underused opportunity—a great place to enhance your brand and engage your visitors right from the beginning. At its core, digital signage is two things: an investment in the overall guest experience as well as a behavior modification tool. As a tool, digital signage helps meet key objectives as the visitor/viewer arrives. Since you only have one time to make a powerful first impression, effective digital signage sets up the opportunity to carry forth your message throughout the visit. The net result of this immediate exposure is recalled. It is one thing to see a message—and another to remember it.

Here are six notable examples of applications for outdoor digital signage:

  • Hotels: Digital displays for the entrance of hotel lobbies can showcase nearby attractions, drive positive reviews, and welcome guests.
  • Schools: Digital signage at the entrance of schools promotes connectivity across campuses, informs visitors, and helps remind students of scheduled events such as games.
  • Corporate Offices: Both large and small corporate offices can enhance the visitor experience by welcoming their guests and informing their employees. See how you can enhance your corporate office space using digital signage.
  • Medical Offices: Patent care technology is advancing every day. Keep your patents informed and help them with wayfinding with outdoor digital displays.
  • Commercial Real Estate: Digital signage is of immense value for commercial real estate locations. Engage and invite new customers in by giving them virtual tours of your properties using outdoor digital displays.
  • Retail: Retailers are making the switch to outdoor digital signage to broadcast upcoming promotions and store events to drive foot traffic and increase revenue.

    Tourists and locals walk below the famed advertisements lining Dotonbori Canal at. The district is one of Osaka’s primary tourist destinations.

All the rules of traditional digital signage apply to outdoor installations, but there is more to consider as well. For example, you need to place the sign where it will receive the most attention—think traffic flow. In addition, you need to select a display size that will be appropriate to the distance at which most of the viewers will actually be able to read the sign. In most cases, bigger is better. In some cases, you may also need to consider interactivity, aka touch screens.

With these considerations in mind, there are several issues unique to outdoor signage. The first issue is display brightness. Outdoor signage is typically in areas of higher ambient light. This will require a display with adequate brightness, so it can be seen in these conditions. If the sign is in a shaded area, a 700-nit brightness may be adequate. However, the signage area will often be adjacent to, or in, direct sunlight. This will require a minimum of 1200 to 2500 nits.

Next, there is the issue of duty cycle or on-time to be considered. Most outdoor displays will require a minimum of a 16-hour duty cycle, with some needing a 24/7/365 operation.

The Four Outdoor Environmental Challenges

It is important to address environmental challenges. The big four issues for outdoor digital signage include temperature, humidity/moisture, dust/debris, and security. While a few digital displays are outdoor rated, most fail to meet all the obstacles. An outdoor display is IP or Ingress Protected rated. This means there is a level of protection against moisture and dust/debris but not against temperature fluctuations or security concerns. As a result, a comprehensive solution requires a high-performance display enclosure.

Enclosures are not created equal, and one size or type does not fit all. It boils down to engineering the right product for the right application. Think of this in a “problem than solution” process.

Your Display Needs Protection—Without Sacrificing Good Looks

The first thing that comes to mind is aesthetics. If the enclosure detracts from the viewing experience, it fails. There is a fine line to walk between adequate protection and good looks. The second challenge is protection from extremes. With any electronic component, equipment temperature stabilization is essential to long-term operation and performance. Outdoor digital signage displays running on indefinite schedules should be kept under climate control.

The Habitat Enclosure high-flow air curtain, for example, maintains an operating environment of -20°C to +50°C without air conditioning.

Another important factor to consider when planning an outdoor display is whether the design will allow for future expansion using base components that are compatible across a product line.

In terms of flexibility, outdoor digital display solutions should ideally provide front and bottom access, with no back or side conduit to interfere with placement against back and sidewalls for maximum placement versatility.

With outdoor placement, comprehensive security is essential. Look for theft-deterrent security key latches to keep your display investment safe, and products built with galvanized treated steel for protection from external impact or collisions. Consider a polarizer to refract sunlight so customers wearing polarized lenses can still view the display without visual interference.

Finally, ensure the display surface itself is protected from debris and direct sunlight. The Habitat Enclosure features 6mm of laminated, shatter-resistant and anti-reflective glass.

Results That Exceed Your Goals

Think about an outdoor digital display in terms of its opportunity. Consider the unique challenges of your location. Explore the benefits of outdoor digital signage and work with a solutions-oriented company to provide results that exceed your return on investment and objectives goals. To speak with an outdoor digital signage expert, visit PDS Custom or give us a call at 800-368-9700 today!