The Types of Outdoor Signage and How They Differ

Over the last decade, outdoor digital signage has become significantly more popular and is replacing more traditional static signage. There are many reasons for this, with some of the biggest being digital signage is easier to read from a distance, customizable with interchanging screens, cost-effective, eco-friendly, and displays real-time information.

There are multiple types of digital displays that all slightly vary from each other, although they can all be used for the same purpose, whether that be advertising, service alerts, bus routes, etc. The three most popular digital displays are electronic paper (E-Paper), liquid crystal displays (LCDs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Each display has different environments in which they excel, depending on several factors discussed in this article.

ePaper displays are incredibly versatile and can be used in almost any environment autonomously, which is why they are so popular. ePaper displays only use energy when updating the screen, making them eco-friendly and reliable. Connectpoint’s ePaper displays can last up to 30 days on a single charge, making them great candidates for all climates. They can also hold images without any power, so if a display were to run out of battery, it can still display its most recent screen. These displays are versatile because they can be solar and battery-powered while withstanding extreme temperatures. All Connectpoint’s displays can operate in temperatures as low as -20°C and as high as 65°C. A big advantage of ePaper is it is very easily read in direct sunlight since it is reflective. Light from the environment reflects on to the display making it easier on people’s eyes, just like a piece of paper. They also have the widest viewing angle and can be read from as wide as 160°, making them great for heavily trafficked environments. These displays are very customizable and can be made in many sizes. For example, Connectpoint makes ePaper displays in 5 different sizes- 10 inch, 13 inch, 22 inch, 32 inch, and 42 inch, to provide flexibility to companies.

The LED displays work by sending electronic signals to each light-emitting diode (LED), so when activated, they collectively create the programmed message. The more pixels that are in the matrix, the higher resolution the display will be. LED displays can show images and messages in color with a high resolution, making them easily viewable from distances and sharp angles. Connectpoint’s LED displays can be viewed from angles as wide as 140°. Unlike ePaper displays, LEDs need electricity to hold the image that is being displayed. Connectpoint’s LED displays optimize power settings to conserve electricity and can operate wirelessly by connecting via 4G or WiFi network, allowing companies to update their displays 24/7 with real-time information. In the past, LEDs were difficult to see in sunlight, although thanks to technological advances, they have become top performers when in direct sunlight and a very favorable option. Another benefit of LEDs is their incredibly easy maintenance. Individuals panels are able to be replaced instead of the whole unit, unlike ePaper displays and LCDs.

Lastly, is a display that people are very familiar with because it is used in many homes as a television. The LCD display comprises liquid crystal molecules that create the color and image programmed into it. One difference between LCD and LEDs from ePaper screens is that ePaper can only display greyscale images while LCD and LEDs can display vibrant colors. LED and LCD displays are similar in their functional use although LEDs are better in direct sunlight and use much less electricity than LCDs. LCDs primarily are used in shady environments due to the screens getting damaged by direct sunlight. The main difference is LCD displays use fluorescent backlights while LED uses light-emitting diodes for backlights. Due to the LCD’s incredibly clear screens, they’re great from distances and can be viewed by multiple people at once. LCDs are also commonly made in larger sizes than ePaper displays, sometimes making them better candidates for certain locations.

All three of these displays are very popular and practically interchangeable in many settings, depending on companies’ preferences. When using Connectpoint’s displays, whether it be  ePaper, LCD, or an LED, they are all controlled and remotely managed by Connectpoint’s content management system, CPAM®. All three displays can provide real-time information to riders from a live feed. This allows them to be updated every minute with service announcements, alerts, or any other information important to the setting it is placed in.

Connectpoint’s custom sizes for each display makes them aesthetically pleasing to look at, as well as scalable so you can add more as you go.

To learn more about these displays or find the right fit for your agency, contact [email protected].

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