Posted by: Richard Williams | Posted on: | 0 Comments
Temperature is often forgotten about when digital screens are used out of home. However, there is an optimum operating temperature window for most LCD type screens and continued use either side of this range can lead to premature failure of the device.
And when conditions are even more extreme, such as with outdoor digital signage, the problem is exacerbated; summer temperatures can rise to well above the safe working range and then temperatures can plummet to below freezing in winter.
Temperature is therefore an important consideration and there is much you can do to ensure that limits aren’t exceeded and that the digital signage won’t fail leading to extra costs and an ever dwindling ROI (return on investment).
All LCDs, even commercial grade screens, will have an optimum working temperature. It is important to understand this range before any screen is installed. Furthermore, if the display is to be placed in a digital signage or LCD enclosure you must appreciate that this added insulation may increase the temperature of the screen in comparison with the ambient.
To ensure the optimum conditions, additional cooling fans are often placed in LCD enclosures to ensure any heat build up is removed before the screen overheats.
Dealing with Extremes
With outdoor digital signage or screens placed in more hostile conditions coping with the two extremes of temperature is vital. Sub zero temperatures can cause condensation to freeze and expand – this will permanently disable any screen; whilst the overheating caused by excessive ambient temperatures will also lead to permanent failure.
The cold is easily dealt with by many outdoor LCD enclosures. Heaters and insulation are commonly used to control temperatures. Heating systems can be thermostatically controlled to ensure the inside of the enclosure never drops below the optimum.
Heat can be more complicated to cope with. Air conditioning is often a consideration in extreme areas but this can be highly expensive and requires regular maintenance. Cooling fans will only work to a certain point – as they can only move around the air inside the enclosure which if already too hot will not add additional cooling.
Cut off switches that switch the screens off when temperatures reach too high are another solution but this means the digital signage screens are not operating a certain times – okay if this is just once or twice in the summer months – not so good if it becomes a daily occurrence.