By Larry Zoll, head of global strategy at LED Studio
As the display industry progresses, conscientiousness regarding sustainability needs to be a top priority. The demand for green digital signage solutions has risen astronomically and with the rising cost of energy, efficiency, total cost of ownership are more important than ever.
When we hear the term ‘green signage’, most concepts will focus on ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint, such as through models that promise reduced power consumption and by switching displays off when not in use.
However, to truly be a ‘green’ solution, sustainability needs to be inherent in everything we do. This includes from energy efficient design and manufacturing processes to compact shipping and logistical solutions, smart operation and futureproofing solutions to reduce waste and encourage reuse of as many components as possible.
Energy efficient design
One fundamental way to check if an LED display really is energy efficient is to see if it is running cool to the touch. If minimal heat is being omitted this means that the display is operating more efficiently and energy isn’t being wasted to generate heat. As a result, power consumption will also be reduced benefitting not only the planet, but your bottom line as well.
With electrical wastage and heat generation out of the picture, noisy and energy wasting fans are no longer required, further reducing the need for additional power-hungry displays.
We can all take our lead from countries like Spain and Germany who both imposed rules that required out of home signage, shop window displays, neon signs and high bright facades to be switched off between 10pm and 6am. This was initially done to reduce gas consumption but it’s a great initiative and practice to operate by.
Many displays will have sensors built in that can help you do this automatically and during all times of operation, not just when you want to switch a display off. Brightness sensors can adjust the display’s brightness to the external conditions, so it isn’t running at a maximum brightness when not required.
This will subsequently extend the lifespan of the display, also contributing to your long-term sustainability goals!
Another factor of sustainability relates to shipping. Products that are compact to ship have streamlined packaging and materials that can be recycled make a huge difference. Checking the weight of a display, or the combined weight of cabinets prior to shipping, can also make a big difference here and will give you an indication of the logistics required to get it to your site.
Replacing and recycling
Electronic waste, or e-waste, is the fastest-growing domestic waste stream. According to the Global E-waste Statistics Partnership (GESP), 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste were produced globally in 2019, increasing by 21% in just five years. The display industry moves quickly, rendering current models obsolete.
The display type you choose is a big consideration. LCD, for example, is often replaced rather than repaired upon failure, leaving the displays destined for landfills. However, any damaged LEDs can be fixed or replaced, as you aren’t replacing the whole screen.
This applies not only to the screen type, but the frame and additional fixtures as well. LED cabinets are made of aluminium. As aluminium is a recyclable material with endothermic effects, it absorbs heat generated by the components. Therefore, it is recyclable and effective as it is used as a heatsink – unlike the plastic surrounds of LCDs.
We’re always thinking about the future and adding unique functionality into our displays that ensures as many of the components as possible can be reused past the considered replacement periods.
A market leading design in our EDGE series allows the display to evolve as pixel pitches continue to reduce. This is achieved by simply replacing the existing modules with the new ones, so a 2.5mm pixel pitch display can easily be upgraded to a 1.2mm by simply refreshing the panels.
No additional infrastructure or architectural changes are required and with front serviceability, upgrades can be done quickly and simply. Displays can even be relocated and moved to another area or used for another business function if the pixel pitch allows, enhancing the benefits and flexibility even further.
This contributes to our sustainable mission by reducing waste whilst still allowing you to move with the times.
Solar Powered signage
Can your display be self-sufficient by generating the power it needs to operate?
LED Studio has launched its first narrow pitch outdoor LED display with attachable solar panel. The solar panel is mounted on top of the AEGIS Pro 130″ outdoor kiosk solution and has a battery pack capacity of 20AH, which can be fully charged in approximately 2.5 hours in the appropriate lighting conditions of six hours or more a day.
When running at 220V, the AEGIS Pro kiosk average power consumption is 1140W, at an average current of 5.2A. In these conditions, the 20AH battery provides roughly 3.85 hours of power from full charge and up to nine hours in high bright conditions. Under 24/7 operation conditions, this can save a whopping 38.5% of energy per week.
These savings are in addition to the fact that the AEGIS Pro already features a sustainable design to consume up to 40% less power consumption compared to traditional outdoor LED display technologies. This makes it not only more energy efficient but maximises ROI over the product lifetime whilst being better for the environment.
Beat the throw-away generation
By adopting these purchasing considerations, you can influence the processes of manufacturers. There is scope for creating displays that have longer lifespans, are easier and cheaper to recycle and use higher percentages of recyclable materials to reduce landfill waste. As technology evolves quickly, rendering current displays obsolete faster, e-waste will only increase in our “throw-away” world.
It’s time to think more conscientiously about display technology choices, past aesthetics and trends. Remember – look beyond the screen and consider the total cost of ownership – you’ll be rewarded for years to come.