LED billboards, screens and other products are getting more popular by the day. LED displays have become an important part of the way modern businesses communicate with their customers. Their high brightness, low power consumption, and longer shelf life are just some of the characteristics that give them an edge over the earlier LCD screens. Indoor LED displays, however, are different from outdoor displays in a number of ways.
By Deepshikha Shukla
LED displays are versatile communication tools. Businesses speak to their clients via these amazing LED billboards and screens. These displays also serve educational and awareness-building objectives. The outdoor screen displays are often used as highway billboards, in stadiums and during outdoor celebrations, while indoor LED screens are widely used inside places of worship, offices, conference halls, restaurants, malls and retail outlets. Other applications of LED displays are in retail, transportation, sports arenas, corporate campuses, institutions of higher education, at gaming hubs and casinos.
Indoor LED display screens also provide seamless displays that are ideal for ambient lighting and shorter viewing distances. LED video walls make the indoor environment more interesting by delivering a spectacular viewing experience—in retail stores, corporate lobbies, etc.
Besides typical indoor and outdoor LED display screens, there are also semi-outdoor screens. These are seen in open halls, under eaves, sometimes beneath sun roofs or even under an outdoor canopy. However, despite giving the same ultra-high brightness as outdoor LED displays, these semi-outdoor screens are not resistant to adverse weather conditions.
Differences between indoor and outdoor LEDs
Outdoor LED screens are mostly used at venues where a mega show is on—for brand advertisements, for instance, as they can offer full colour and very high brightness. Indoor LED screens, on the other hand, cannot address the needs of mega outdoor display projects but are ideal for indoor applications. They offer better spectrophotometric colour. Besides this, they also provide high colour saturation.
The factors that differentiate outdoor and indoor LED displays are explored in this article.
This is undoubtedly one of the striking differences between indoor and outdoor LED display screens. Bright sunlight can make it difficult to read dull or less bright LED signs. Thus, to provide ultra-high brightness, outdoor LED display screens are power-packed with many bright LEDs in one pixel. Since indoor signs are not viewed under the harsh glare of the sun, they need to be less bright, by default. Outdoor displays offer several times more brightness than indoor LED screens. Brightness is measured by units called nits or candelas per square metre. The higher the luminosity level, the higher the level of brightness.
Resilience to external weather conditions
Outdoor LED display screens should be highly leak-proof, waterproof, dust-proof, readable in sunlight, anti-lightning and resistant to high temperatures. Indoor LED display screens do not need to offer the same resistance to the outside environment and hence do not come with such features. The outdoor LED screens normally have IP65 water-proof levels while indoor screens have IP20 waterproof levels.
Outdoor LED screen displays will be typically viewed from further distances as compared to their indoor counterparts, thus they have a lower resolution. Since the distance between the viewer and an indoor LED screen is shorter, typically, the resolution for indoor LED displays needs to be high. The greater the resolution the the better the picture quality. The pixel pitch, which describes the density of the pixels on an LED display, is another differentiating factor between indoor and outdoor display screens. Outdoor displays have a larger pixel pitch and a lower resolution, whereas indoor displays that need a high resolution for close viewing have a smaller pixel pitch.
Points to remember while choosing LED moving displays
Indoor LED screen displays can be designed in several ways, depending upon the configuration and architectural needs. This is because they don’t require a cabinet for installation. On the other hand, outdoor LED signs cannot be assembled panel by panel on the site. The entire installation is based on the design (as a sign or billboard), or is placed on a building.
The type of LED display chosen should depend on whether it will be positioned indoors or outdoors. Then factor in the size of the placement area or installation site, check if there is a remote control requirement via a PC, and find out the minimum or least viewing distance. The default design of indoor LED display screens is for easy and rapid integration with several input resources and third-party players. However, outdoor LED screen displays need a rugged regulator or controller for playback purposes. They are normally regulated via a copyrighted software suite, which also provides remote access along with sign diagnostics.
Screens with higher brightness are costly and consume more electrical power. Hence, it is important to choose a screen with the right brightness for your needs, so that you don’t pay more for something that is not necessary. Non-weatherproof indoor LED screens use LEDs with lower light output, but water-resistant outdoor LED screens need to use brighter LEDs.
Growth in the outdoor LED display market
The outdoor LED display market is expected to boom by 2021.
All outdoor LED displays offer the primary features of energy efficiency and durability. Governments across the globe, like in India, China, Malaysia and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries, are encouraging energy conservation measures. LED displays reduce power consumption considerably. These countries are also formulating regulatory policies for a flourishing LED industry.
Modern multiplexes and shopping malls incorporate LED displays as an integral part of their overall design. Outdoor LED displays that deliver dynamic and audio-backed content are more attention-grabbing. Businesses invest heavily in LED displays to grab the maximum attention of their customers. The huge screens that show flashy images along with thunderous sounds never fail to catch the attention of visitors in a mall.
Real-time advertising has further increased the demand for outdoor LED screens. The advertisers carefully monitor their clients’choices, the market trends as well as consumer responses to the messages displayed and can alter the content accordingly.
Indoor applications of video walls are diverse, as can be seen in transportation (airports, bus terminals, subways, etc), which was an early adopter. However, there’s been increased adoption of these walls at shopping malls and other retailers, hotels, casinos, museums and galleries.
Robust high brightness outdoor LED walls are designed to convey information in a visually appealing manner even in tough outdoor conditions like extreme heat, rain and dust. Unlike other conventional displays, these video walls are highly customisable in shape and size, and provide daytime visibility even under direct sunlight.