LED outdoor displays and signage: A new era in advertising

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Main image2In today’s world, outdoor advertising has come of age with respect to innovations. It has helped businesses to market themselves, creatively and efficiently. Outdoor LED displays have transformed the look and feel of outdoor advertising.

By Baishakhi Dutta

Outdoor LED displays directly communicate with the audience and attract potential customers. LED displays stand out because of their luminous power and easy adaptability to changing scenarios.

Types of LED outdoor displays

  • Stadium displays – LED scoreboards show live scores, replays, animation, advertisements, etc.
  • Scrolling displays – LED tickers display live data such as stock market information, news headlines, RSS feeds, Twitter feeds, brief messages, etc. The purpose of an LED ticker is to show relevant information in a crisp way in the transport, BFSI or any other sector.
  • Transparent displays – With brightness levels of over 6500 cd/sqm, these are mainly used in retail window advertising, shopping malls, airports and corporate media facades. These are easy to install and dismantle, apart from being light in weight, enhancing portability. They provide high transparency and, hence, are suitable where high visibility is required.
  • Indoor architectural displays – LED spheres/cylinders can be hung from the ceiling, or supported from the ground. LED dance floors/interactive floors are not just eye candy but use cutting-edge technology and have limitless possibilities.

LED digital signage
In an LED display, thousands of tiny LED bulbs are lined up next to each other to create an image. LED signage is particularly popular in outdoor settings because it is rugged, long lasting, and easy to see even in daylight.

Why go for outdoor LED displays?

  • Cost-effective and prominent
  • Vivid and impactful
  • Weatherproof and durable
  • Remotely access content
  • Smart features

Application areas

  • For government – Digital signage can play a very important role in communication. It’s important that government institutions understand the advantages of digital signage, as it increases awareness with minimal costs and low maintenance.
  • In retail – Marketing through digital signage is convenient, easy and efficient compared to conventional advertising. It successfully attracts customers and creates an impact.
  • In entertainment – With the introduction of multiplexes, the rules of the game have changed completely. Digital signage extends and strengthens brand value, appeal, and builds a strong connection with the consumer.
  • In banking – The banking sector uses digital signage for various purposes. Digital signage is an economical and smart option. The investment involved is one-time and the maintenance costs are minimal. As a result, banks can save a lot of unnecessary expenses. Digital signage breaks the clutter of notice boards, which ironically, go unnoticed most of the time.
  • For the automotive industry – Automotive digital signage is a combination of enhancing the customer experience while imparting correct knowledge to the customer.
  • In healthcare – Digital signage technology helps hospitals and clinics to handle their communication problems and drive operations effectively.
  • In education – Digital signage helps to foster a very informative and professional environment. It is multi-purpose—motivating students with appropriate congratulatory or inspiring messages, being informative by displaying upcoming intra and inter school events, and also by providing entertainment during breaks, if required.
  • In transport – New generation digital signage has now made it possible to install remotely controlled digital screens in trains, buses and other means of transport. These can be used for displaying advertisements and other entertaining content. A lot of revenue can be generated by enabling advertising in trains and buses.
  • In hospitality – Digital signage can be used for displaying current and upcoming schedules outside conference rooms, and can be either pre-scheduled or changed on-the-fly. A lot of other useful general information, like highlighting popular tourist destinations in the city as well as displaying the latest weather information and public transport details, benefits guests staying at the hotel.

Box2Trends in the LED display market
There are certain trends, other than just advertising, that are helping LED displays grow in markets. These are:

  • An increase in demand for 5+ LED display screens as people have become tech-savvy and love their gadgets.
  • Indian manufacturers have revolutionised the market for LED products. They have now introduced the best quality products that are at par with imports.
  • LEDs are now ubiquitous. We see an LED screen and display almost everywhere, in varied shapes and sizes.
  • Indians are now working towards integrating software that works well with LED hardware.

Factors driving the purchase decision

  • The true cost of an LED display is in the number of individual LEDs in the sign. The size of the box housing the LEDs isn’t really important when it comes to pricing; in fact, that box is relatively inexpensive. Even the circuit boards that control the LED sign aren’t the key factor in pricing—like the box, they are relatively inexpensive.
  • There is one key question that needs to be answered: How many LEDs are in each pixel?
  • LED density is a good indicator for comparing LED display performance. In your car’s engine, more number of cylinders generally mean more power. Similarly, more LEDs per pixel generally mean higher brightness and better performance. A low-brightness, unreadable LED display will not help you increase your sales because it’s less likely that your customers will notice and read what you have to say.
  • The number of LEDs per pixel is also important because of degradation. Generally speaking, an LED diode will lose about 20 per cent of its initial brightness after the first 2000 hours of use (about three months). After that, the LED’s brightness degrades very slowly until it dies at the estimated lifetime of 100,000 hours (about 11 years).
  • Another consideration is the viewing angle of the sign. LEDs can put out a single, narrow beam of light like a flashlight, or they can put out a wide beam across a room like a light bulb. LEDs put out about the same amount of light no matter what type they are, but the ‘high-beam’ LEDs with a narrow angle focus more light into one small spot, whereas the wide angle LEDs spread their light across an area.

Box3What the future holds
With LED digital display boards, outdoor advertising can reach new heights. Though the initial cost of purchasing and installing the digital display board will be higher than conventional painted or printed outdoor advertising, there are a number of advantages of using these electronic display boards.
Most outdoor advertising is located at a height so that it can be visible to a large number of people in the surrounding area. The other advantage of placing it at a height is that it cannot be easily tampered with.
With conventional displays, it is difficult for the advertiser or the advertising agency to reach the location and change the advertising message. With digital signage, suitable networking and programming software can be used by the advertiser or the agency to change the display message on the digital display board remotely, often from the comfort of the office. The advertising agency or advertiser does not have to spend time and money, repeatedly, finding a painter who will undertake the hazardous task of climbing up to the advertising site and painting the advertising message as required by the advertiser. When a digital display board is used, the advertising message can be changed as often as required, resulting in higher revenues.

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