Daktronics Offers Light Mitigating Technology for Digital Billboards

A digital billboard with a woman in sunglasses and blue hair in high brightness with Daktronics technologies.
(Image credit: Daktronics)

Daktronics now has established light mitigating technology available for out-of-home (OOH) billboard operators. LightDirect addresses municipal requirements so digital displays can be good neighbors while providing the advantages of digital technology.

“In most cases, light mitigation isn’t an issue, but when billboards are placed near housing developments or apartment buildings, businesses who want to be good neighbors can alleviate concerns before it’s an issue,” explained Daktronics OOH sales manager Collin Huber. “LightDirect uses strategically placed louvers to limit light output from the side, satisfying regulations for digital billboards as needed.”

Daktronics has been successfully using the same LightDirect technology in their over-the-road transportation market for five years, meeting Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations and focusing messages on specific lanes of traffic.

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“Daktronics has been in the LED display industry for more than 50 years,” said Daktronics transportation project manager Berniece Stuefen. “We are involved in multiple markets with many different applications; this allows us to share technologies to provide a large basket of product offerings to our customers.”

“We are leveraging our established Transportation technology and adding in the features our OOH customers have come to expect from our digital billboard product line,” said Lori Sieler, Daktronics OOH product manager. “While providing light mitigating properties, LightDirect digital billboards come with an integrated SmartLink, multi-directional light sensor, 400-millimeter standard module size and the same lifetime image quality our products are known for.”

Services to Address Municipal Concerns

Daktronics also offers site-specific light emissions analyses to alleviate concerns about illumination effects. A light analysis depicts what a light meter would measure at all angles and distances if the display was installed at a specific location. Daktronics offers it as a complimentary service with a billboard purchase.

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“It isn’t necessary at every location, but when it’s needed, we look at the size of the billboard, the elevation, surrounding buildings and even the rise and fall of the ground,” said Eric Johnson, Daktronics applications engineer. “Just about every time, concerns are alleviated because of the LEDs we use. We don’t have to sacrifice image quality by modifying the display or blocking LEDs. It’s more important to use components from the start that enable digital billboards to be neighbor friendly.”

Daktronics billboards use a multi-directional light sensor to automatically adjust brightness according to the amount of ambient light, ensuring the display is never too bright or dim for the lighting conditions. Over the course of the day, the sign’s brightness can range anywhere from 100% during the sunniest point of the day to 3% during the darkest point of the night.

“That dimming process, along with the very intentional placement of digital LED billboards and the potential for light mitigation, makes our success rate extremely good," Johnson added. "We can usually help out of home companies put neighbors’ minds at ease even before the billboard is installed.”

LightDirect Maintains Flexibility

In cases where light mitigation is needed, LightDirect technology provides a simple solution that keeps options open so billboard owners can make sure their advertising messages are seen. 

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“Daktronics is providing technology to meet customers’ needs wholistically,” explained Sieler. “LightDirect provides flexibility. Not all light mitigation technology can adjust as traffic patterns change, but LightDirect is symmetrical. This allows reduction of the viewing cone without limiting the sign’s location. In other words, this technology ensures viewers will always be able to see messaging, while minimalizing lighting in neighborhoods.”

LightDirect digital billboards join the already extensive offering of Daktronics OOH products, including multiple options for roadside digital billboards, close-view urban billboards, eye-level displays and high-resolution indoor advertising displays.

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.