Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Ghost of LED Signage to come...

-Deacon Wardlow

Jacob Marley warned Scrooge if he continued on the path he chose in life, things would not turn out well for those around him (not to mention things going south for Scrooge as well). There are towns in the USA where the ghost of Programmable LED Signs has come and gone. The warning was given and not heeded. Now these towns are becoming LED Sign graveyards with systems which half-work or are completely down. What happened? Short-term gains overcame long-term expectations.

There are a lot of manufacturers who can give you a song and dance and paint a beautiful picture of the future to come, yet the systems fail to deliver over time. The old saying comes to mind, the bitterness of a poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of a low price has faded from memory. A lot of companies are playing a short game, selling a “high quality product” at a premium price with an “economy line” product at a low price. What they hope you don’t notice are the details.

Always dig deeper. Companies should have ONE level of quality. Do you see an iPhone sold with the “economy line” series available? How about any of the game console companies? Reputable companies build their name around their product quality and don’t take chances associating themselves with a “cheap” series. All manufacturers should be able to streamline production to the level where the buyer can get the highest quality at the best price.

Where to dig? I’ve added some hyperlinks to previous blogs and resources to make research a little easier. How can you tell a cheap system from a cost-conscious build? Get the details. What are the frames per second? How is the refresh rate? What color quality does the manufacturer have and how is it achieved? How is the system protected from surges? What is the system warranty on parts? Does the company offer a 3rd-part warranted on-site service option for the lifetime of the parts warranty? What’s under the hood (controlling the display)?

Make sure a comparison is apples-to-apples on systems and not, as one friend recently said, “Apples-to-2x4s.” Quality systems with content properly managed will really help communities see the value in the medium. Poorly constructed systems which have high rates of failure and which are hard to manage lead to the nightmare towns with failed systems and towns/cities scrambling to restrict usage as quickly as possible.

Don’t let your choice of investment be short-sighted by a manufacturer with short-term goals. Dig deeper and make sure you’re getting the most for your money.

*Please comment here and/or email me directly with requests at Vantage LED has white paper resources and more educational material on the website (, check out the site periodically as we’re constantly adding new material.

**Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically stated.

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