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Taking Fine Pitch LED Outdoors and Changing the Game

Outdoor LED mesh display transforms building into North America’s largest digital art canvas with Planar displays.
(Image credit: Planar)

During a time of social distancing and gathering in open, outdoor spaces, outdoor fine pitch LED technology is quickly gaining popularity as businesses small and large need ways to engage audiences and relay information. This is true for cities providing residents and visitors with updates ranging from traffic and weather reports to emergency situations, as well as airports, shopping malls, and stadiums deploying display technology for wayfinding. 

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The Digital Signage Event March 4, 2021

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Until recently, outdoor LED display technology was limited in terms of the visual performance it could deliver for both organizations and end users. Outdoor venues have often had to sacrifice either details or brightness in their on-screen content. Today, both are possible because of ongoing advancements in areas like pixel pitch and seamless, high brightness imagery. Companies can finally present the clear, captivating visuals they’ve been longing to share.

A mixed-use development in the City of Burnaby, BC, for example, incorporated an innovative and compelling LED canvas on the exterior of the building as part of an initiative to promote pedestrian and transit-friendly spaces in the fast-growing Metrotown area. Showcasing digital artwork from local artists, the installation measured 144 feet long by 33 feet high and featured a high-transparency LED mesh that allowed the building to preserve the availability of natural light. 

Are you wondering whether deploying outdoor fine pitch LED display technology is the right move for your company? Let’s address some of the most significant ways the technology is changing the game for the display industry today.

Withstanding Weather Conditions

Design elements ranging from UV protective treatments and dust-tight enclosures to waterproofing, wear-proof masking, and mesh for low wind resistance are crucial for protecting your outdoor display technology’s image quality and all-around system operation. Fortunately, these are available today and better yet, manufacturers are increasingly mindful about designing features that will preserve the viewing experience. This not only maximizes your use of the display, but more importantly, your investment.

Enhancing Viewing Distances

Outdoor LED display technology has come a long way in recent years, especially in the case of pixel pitches. Manufacturers are offering pixel pitches as low as 1.5 millimeters and we’re already seeing demand for even finer pitches. Considering 10 to 16 mm used to be the industry standard for outdoor LED displays, we can expect to see even more incredible innovations in the future.  

Unlocking Applications Previously Unimagined

While outdoor LED displays were previously selective to key markets, today we’re seeing options for nearly any application environment. The technology is adaptable to nearly any size or shape and as a result, industry demand and advancements are fueling a strong rise in custom, breathtaking LED video wall installations. From immersive video art installations at tourist destinations and vibrant scoreboards electrifying crowds in sports venues to durable video wall flooring that offers a platform strong enough to hold people, vehicles and much more, modern-day outdoor LED display technology allows customers to bring visual creativity to life. 

Extending Lifespans and Demonstrating ROI

Traditionally, the industry turned to LCD technology to deliver precise visual messages, especially in situations requiring very close viewing distances, but few outdoor solutions were available, they came at a high price, and they lacked the long-lasting brightness that was needed. By comparison, today’s outdoor LED displays demonstrate an ability to stay bright for nearly 10 years. This, combined with the fact that more manufacturers are introducing display solutions with front serviceability and simplified maintenance for reduced downtime and costly repairs, now makes it easier for companies to justify the expense of purchasing an outdoor LED video wall solution.  

David Thibeau spoke at The Digital Signage Event on the Opt Outside: Digital Signage Heads Outdoors panel.