Outdoor Digital Signage and the NEMA 4 Standard

Posted by: Richard Williams | Posted on: | 1 Comments

More and more digital signage installers and advertisers are taking their screens outside to benefit from the many advantages to outdoor digital signage.

These benefits include:

  • Higher audiences
  • Easier to stand out
  • Less competition

The result is that our high streets are fast becoming full of dynamic and modern advertising with screens of all shapes and sizes being erected in outdoor locations; from the side walk to the roadside.

Outdoor Digital Signage

Challenges of Outdoor Digital Signage

Keeping these screens protected from the weather and other outdoor elements is the main challenge of placing a screen in outdoor locations but fortunately for LCD enclosures and other outdoor digital signage protection there is national guidelines issued by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

NEMA guidelines are designed to allow you to assess the type of protection offered by an LCD enclosure (or other type of protective enclosure) and therefore help you decide in what type of environment it can operate.

NEMA Codes

NEMA’s codes are numbered and they identify the type of element protection that the enclosure will withstand; including the size and types of element that can penetrate into the enclosure.

For outdoor digital signage use, there is really only one NEMA code to consider – NEMA 4


NEMA describe Type 4 Enclosures as “constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, and hose directed water); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.”

Any LCD enclosure used in an outside environment should adhere to NEMA 4 to ensure it can operate without risk of damage in the outdoor location.

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