6 Factors to Consider When Installing a Digital Billboard in Coastal Area
A digital billboard or an outdoor LED screen is a versatile display that helps businesses to reach their target audience effectively. It can be adapted to many different outdoor applications due to its wide range of installation methods such as pole, rooftop and overhead. In addition, billboards are everywhere. From highways to building walls and pedestrian bridges, digital billboard companies and businesses are flourishing. Although digital billboard is weatherproof in nature, there are factors we need to consider when installing a digital billboard outdoors, especially in the coastal area where the unexpected weather condition is a norm.
Since the dawn of human civilization, humans have relied on rivers and oceans for transportation, food and commerce. In Malaysia, we have a large number of major towns and cities in the coastal areas, such as Port Klang, Port Dickson, Georgetown, Johor Bahru and Kuantan. Besides, we also have towns located by rivers such as Malacca City, Muar and Kuching. Hence, it is very normal to find digital billboards or outdoor LED screens in the coastal areas or next to rivers.
Although this does not apply to all regions, in general, coastal areas have more rainfalls than the inland areas. Besides, digital billboards in coastal areas are exposed to direct sunlight, strong wind and higher environmental temperature. We need to pay extra attention when we are installing a digital billboard in a coastal area. We will discuss the 6 main factors to consider when installing a digital billboard in a coastal area. Let’s dive in.
1. Strong Wind
The wind is stronger near the coast. This is due to the relationship between air pressure and wind. In the morning, the land warms more quickly than the water. Lighter warm air will rise, and it creates a low pressure area. The cold air will then need to move from the water to the land. A sea breeze is formed. On the other hand, the water is warmer at night, and thus air moves from the land to the water. A land breeze is formed.
Windy weather is a natural phenomenon in a coastal area or a river town. It is important for a high-rise digital billboard to deal with the significant wind force. A higher digital billboard is very likely to be affected by strong wind. Strong wind can cause oscillation, and the installation can fall if it fails to withstand the wind force. It is the responsibility of the engineer to calculate the wind force accurately and to design a safe installation.
In addition, strong wind can also affect the installation process. The process can become dangerous if it is poorly planned. We need to implement essential safety measures at the site.
2. Dust In The Wind
When the wind is stronger, it is easier for the wind to lift dust and sand from soils into the atmosphere. A digital billboard in a coastal area needs to protect itself against dust and other impurities in the air.
A thick layer of dust on top of the screen can affect the display quality. Worse comes to worst, dust can also cause damage to the screen when the screen display is hit hard by the dusty wind. In order to ensure a satisfying viewing experience, scheduled maintenance is needed. We need to clean the dust on the screen surface from time to time.
3. Heavy Rainfall & Monsoon Seasons
On average, seaside or coastal area has heavier rainfall than any inland area. This is due to the evaporation of the sea water. Evaporation of a large body of water can create more moisture in the air. During the daytime, the warm moist air moves to the land from the sea. As the moist air is condensed, clouds will be formed on top of the coastal area. When the water droplets in the clouds get too heavy, they will fall to the ground as rain.
In Malaysia, we also need to pay attention to the monsoon seasons on both the west coast and the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. We need to give extra consideration, especially when we are installing digital billboards in low-lying areas. Monsoon causes heavy rainfall, and heavy rainfall can cause flood. Besides, it is important to consider bigger and pounding waves too, if we are installing a digital billboard near a beach.
A digital billboard or an outdoor LED screen needs to be designed to deal with the heavier rainfall in a coastal area. It needs to offer the highest level of resistance against rain droplets. In addition, in order to prevent damage caused by a flood or waves, the LED screen needs to be installed on higher poles or structures.
An IP-65 rated LED screen is necessary to protect against pouring rains. In some extreme conditions, we can also consider an IP-66, IP-67 or IP-68 rated LED screen. It provides extra protection against stronger jets of water and water immersion (for a certain period).
4. High Humidity
Humidity measures the amount of moisture in the air. It is normal to have a higher humidity level in a coastal region since the moist air is moving to the land directly from the sea.
A digital billboard or an outdoor LED screen is an electrical display. Electrical devices such as LED screens, TV and home appliances process information and function by controlling the flow of electrical currents. There are a lot of electronic components within the devices. Hence, it is very important to keep them away from the water.
While a waterproof digital billboard can provide protection against rain droplets and visible jets of water, moisture in the air is still a huge threat to the display. One of the main components in an LED screen is the printed circuit board (PCB). Pure water is a great insulator of electricity, but moisture in the air is not. There are inorganic materials in the moist air. When these materials reach the PCB, they can cause corrosion and oxidation. The LED screen can stop working due to the corrosion.
PCB moisture protection is an important step in installing a digital billboard in a coastal area. During the fabrication or the process of manufacturing a PCB, the manufacturer can apply a surface finishing. In addition, during the installation process, we can also apply a conformal coating. The coating provides an excellent protection against moisture, contaminants, fluid and ultraviolet rays.
5. Brighter Sunlight & Ultraviolet Rays
The beach often relates to a sunny day. It makes sense since the sky appears brighter in a coastal area. There are buildings and trees in inland areas that can block some sunlight. In contrast, there are less obstructions in coastal areas. A beach facing the ocean is almost unobstructed.
When a digital billboard is operating under bright sunlight, the screen can appear dim. A screen with a high level of brightness is crucial in ensuring a clear and a stunning viewing experience. Besides, when there is a public event and an outdoor LED screen is used, the display needs to provide a wider viewing angle. A wide viewing angle can ensure audiences from different directions enjoy the content displayed without any compromise.
Another threat to the digital billboard is the strong ultraviolet sunray. Ultraviolet rays can cause damage to the screen surface. The screen’s lifespan can decrease greatly when the screen is constantly exposed to ultraviolet rays. In order to maintain the best display performance, we need to apply a coating on top of the screen surface. The coating can protect the screen against damage caused by the ultraviolet rays.
6. High Environmental Temperature
When a digital billboard is exposed to bright sunlight, it also needs to deal with the high environmental temperature. High outdoor temperature can affect the effectiveness of the heat dissipation of the display. When a display gets too hot, it could suffer from overheating. It will not be able to operate as usual.
One of the most effective methods is to install fans or an air conditioner. Both fans and air conditioners are easier to obtain and to be installed.
A digital billboard or an outdoor LED screen is a highly customized product. It is very versatile, and it can be installed for a wide range of applications. Whether it is extreme heat or heavy rain, a digital billboard is well designed to deal with the most challenging weather conditions. An installation in a coastal area poses threats, but they are treatable. When we turn threats into opportunities, a digital billboard can be a very effective display that helps businesses to reach audiences in coastal areas.