Light-Emitting Diode (LED) screens have become especially popular in South-Eastern Asia (Korea, China, Indonesia, and Japan). It sounds incredible but only a few years ago there were no full-color LED screens anywhere in the world. And only when a bright dark-blue diode was developed, nothing could hold back the advance of LED screens. The world seemed to have turned around.
Digital LED screens possess high resolution that make them attractive in practically all sites. The LEDs are manufactured in Japan, USA, Germany, Korea, Taiwan and other countries. Compared to lamps, LEDs consume less energy and serve longer (up to 100,000 hours of uninterrupted life). It is not surprising that many manufacturers decided that LED screen technology is capable to meet all technical and pragmatic requirements in outdoor informational and digital advertising sphere. However any new technology possesses some peculiar features and customers must be aware of them.
In spite of extremely good theoretical characteristics, digital LED screens proved not so easy to operate and maintain. This does not mean that LED screens are bad. Unfortunately, practical experience demonstrates that these screens are not a panacea; they failed to satisfy every dream of customers. Among the myths that have enveloped LED screens are the following:
LED screen long life
Well, some LED screen digital systems have been operating for 4-5 years. The catch is that all of them have lost much of their initial brightness over that time. The dimming of screens is highly noticeable and cannot be remedied by anything short of changing the whole LED screen surface. The manufacturers do not mislead customers: LEDs do operate 100,000 hours. However, unlike lamps that simply blow out, LEDs lose brightness which is most visible in case of round-a-clock operation mode.
It is important to remind here that a screen does not consist of diodes or lamps only. The screen is a combination of light-emitting elements, electronic part and climatic systems, metal structures, etc. That is why the life of a screen depends on life of all of its components.
LED screen lower energy consumption
Super bright LEDs consume quite a lot of energy. Moreover, LED digital systems possess very high resolution, i.e. the number of energy consuming elements quadruples. As a result, LED screens of consume similar amounts of energy compared to systems of similar linear dimensions based on other technologies.
Fast reduction of prices
Customers should remember the rule common to all high technologies: prices only fall when the product goes out fashion. It is a pity that digital LED screens failed to become revolutionary technology “good for all”. But they have earned a good reputation as mobile systems and as systems of mid-sizes. In all such cases LED screens are the natural choice.
The newest lamp screens
Lamp systems are surrounded by numerous interesting and even incredible stories. Until late 1980ies these they remained the only electronic digital systems in outdoor advertising. With the appearance of blue LED the world seemed to have forgotten the “old workhorse” of outdoor advertising and rushed on to a new fad.
A few years later when LED systems have been shown to possess drawback as well as clear advantages, public attention to lamp screens returned. But the three years of public disregard did not pass in vain. During that time the lamp technology has made a leap forward and has visibly transformed. Lamp screen systems became as effective and reliable as the most expensive, modern and prestigious LED systems, if not more so.
Today, lamp screen is the only type of electronic display capable of operating in conditions of extreme continental climates (from –60°C to +50°C) in a non-stop mode for 4-5 years without major repairs. Lamps have also chained: they became brighter and their life was increased to 20,000 hours, i.e. more than 3 years of continuous operation. Reliability, easy maintenance procedures, modular construction principle – these are the advantages of lamp screens that make them popular choice for many applications.
New printed boards, new processors, more sophisticated software turn lamp screen digital systems into full-color installations with live video and TV broadcast capabilities. Comparatively lower price and short manufacturing time make them even more attractive. The return-on-investment in lamp screens is much faster and makes them affordable to more potential customers than for LED screens.
All this has become possible due to continued research of some companies in Canada, the USA and Russia. Their efforts have resulted in products that left behind even such respectable world leaders in high tech area as Sony and Panasonic. It is for this reason that many large companies equip their office centers and headquarters with lamp screens (for example, Times Square in New York). Countries with difficult climatic conditions – Canada and Russia - also primarily use lamp screens.
In all new lamp systems the large linear dimensions ensure better resolution and longer viewing contact. Thus, their advertising and informational effect on people is much higher compared to smaller digital screens. At the same time their price per 1 sq. meter is significantly lower than that of LED screen systems.
It is obvious that in all cases when you are planning to install a large display (for example, 9x12 meters) you must go for a new generation full-color lamp screen. That concerns all cases of roof installations, on major highways and large squares where smaller dimensions would be simply ineffective, while LED screens of required sizes would become prohibitively expensive.
Plasma display screens
Over the years, plasma display screens proved to be too sensitive to environment conditions: controlling boards frequently blow out mostly due to surges in electricity supply. One gas-discharge lamp operates for approximately 2000 hours of continuous operation which is nearly 10 times less than the life of modern lamp. Moreover, these digital screens need climatic systems to equalize temperature regime, and as a result fairly high energy consumption.