Improvements in LED component quality/cost, IPC advancements, application of new technologies in the production process and telecommunications are all areas where major developments are changing the face of LED displays.
LED Component Quality/Cost: LEDs are becoming more resilient with lower power draws and higher output available. Previously the sole domain of a select few manufacturers, key patent rights (some covering LED technology, others on firmware controls which have gone open source) are now available and the technologies streamlined enough to allow for greater competition in the market which drives down overall costs and creates a competitive market which drives up overall quality. The improved performance of LEDs translates into lower power draws, higher light outputs and overall better quality options without having to come from only one or two specific suppliers.
IPC Advancements: IPCs are becoming more prevalent in the market and there are increasingly more manufacturers focusing on development of high-end industrial computing solutions. This is driving the market to create smaller, faster, better computing systems which are more resistant to extreme temperature and harsh environments. These advancements in the IPC market lead to better controls available in LED message centers with increased reliability and performance from computing solutions which take up less real estate within the display cabinet and allow for vastly improved controls and modifications on the systems.
Application of New Technologies: Manufacturers are integrating product lines which weren’t available a few years ago. As opposed to powder coating, new non-VOC (volatile organic compound) coatings are available which allow for faster curing times, easier application and more resilient, stronger surface coating to protect the LED message center cabinets. Advances in material composition and construction also allow for lighter weight materials to be used in manufacture of large cabinet structures where previously steel was the preferred option.
Telecommunications: Improved telecommunication lines offering higher bandwidth DSL (digital subscriber line) and FiOS (fiber optic service) as well as 3G and 4G wireless technologies allow more connection options than have existed before. This allows various LED message centers to be on an integrated network over a vast territory; seamlessly allowing for updates of large file formats where previously satellite or other expensive technologies were required. These low cost options give large franchises, partnered companies and independent end-users more options in how to utilize their LED message centers as centrally controlled and integrated system.
In the next year, the market will see manufacturers coming out with options which would have previously not been available (due to poor telecommunications options available, high component cost and low availability of quality, low-cost IPC options). 2012 and 2013 will see some major advances in the market and some surprises from the innovative manufacturers who will deliver change in the industry.
Over the course of the coming year+ I'll be digging deeper into the points raised in the three initial posts (Trends in LED Message Center Technology parts 1-3). Please comment, email me, and develop this conversation as I love to hear and share what others are doing to drive innovation in LED Message Center technologies forward.
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