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Light Pole LED Displays: An Application for Digital Signage and Beyond

Peter Lawrence, AV3 speaker
(Image credit: Future)

Imagine strolling through a downtown neighborhood, where you’re surrounded by light poles hanging banners that advertise a family movie night in the park or sporting event at a nearby stadium. Now imagine replacing those static images with dynamic digital signage that delivers impactful stories with real-time updates, branding messages, public art and more. This vision is becoming part of everyday reality as municipalities and corporate, healthcare and higher education campuses turn to light pole LED display signs to engage audiences and enrich viewing experiences.

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Noted AV experts will share their thoughts on the future of digital signage at  AV³ on June 17. Click here to learn more.

Light pole signs have the potential to offer multiple new revenue streams to both AV integrators and end users for years to come. The most common source of recurring revenue is paid advertising, but an LED display can be supplemented to provide several other paid services. The good news is that today’s market offers a variety of hardware, software, and service options to help customers create a more well-rounded installation that delivers powerful experiences for viewers. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Emergency alert systems
  • Public Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Blue light emergency systems
  • Integrated speakers and microphones for two-way audio communications
  • Integrated cameras for two-way video communications
  • Bluetooth beacons

We can expect to see more of these technologies paired with LED solutions as technology advances and more organizations start to push the envelope on using light pole signs to connect with audiences in new and meaningful ways. Also, as 5G technology develops, we’ll start seeing higher bandwidths reach a wider range of markets, which will help eliminate some constraints previously associated with light pole signs deployed with 4G technology. In the meantime, let’s explore three examples that can get your organization thinking outside the box today.

Fostering Intimate Connections Through Digital Signage

Until recently, sign owners have had to sacrifice resolution for high brightness when deploying outdoor LED displays. Today, more durable and affordable outdoor LED displays are available in both fine pitch and high brightness models, so viewers can enjoy crystal clear content up close in outdoor settings. For light pole LED display applications, this means that text and visuals can be scaled down to a much more personal level. This is key for wayfinding when pedestrians approach a display to get a closer look at their surroundings and navigate their next steps.

Plus, the option to incorporate a double-sided LED display helps capture a larger viewing audience. This can reach pedestrians and traffic traveling in both directions, and increase the advertising revenue. 

Digital Signage Supports Safer and More Secure Surroundings

Organizations have been turning to display technology for emergency messaging for years, providing real-time updates during moments of crisis and alerting crowds to both potential dangers and points of safety. The same can be said for a light pole LED display and to take it a step further, it can also include an emergency alert system or security contact button add-on, or better yet, both. These kinds of capabilities, along with two-way audio and video options, can offer more resources to help ensure that users are better equipped to send warnings or call for help in moments of need.

Delivering a Platform for PSAs Using Digital Signage

To be effective, public service announcements (PSAs) should leave a lasting impact on audiences. A visual approach, such as upgrading a light pole with an LED display, can be a great way to deliver more powerful messages that both engage and instruct audiences. Following COVID-19, imagine the profound impact this application could have during a global pandemic, educating the public on everything from the latest social distancing rules and regulations to closures, lockdown updates and more.

Light pole signs equipped with LED displays are already demonstrating their value beyond advertising and traditional digital signage. Start thinking through how your team can generate new revenue streams and revolutionary experiences for visitors in downtown settings, corporate campuses, universities and beyond.

Peter Lawrence, CTS, will speak at AV³ on the "What’s Next for Digital Signage?" panel on June 17. Click here to learn more about the virtual event.

Peter Lawrence, CTS is a technical marketing expert with more than 25 years of national and international business experience. He is currently the director of the custom design team at Planar. He can be found on LinkedIn at