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Which is the Most Energy-Efficient Digital Display for Signage?

Wondering about the significance of energy efficiency in digital displays for communication, marketing, and customer experiences? As sustainability and cost-effectiveness become crucial, the choice of digital screens plays a significant role for businesses. Our article goes over the Energy Star certification, a key factor guiding the selection process, and the energy-efficient features of LCD, LED, and OLED displays.

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Digital displays have become one of the main ways of communication, marketing, and enhancing customer experiences in today’s world. As sustainability and cost-effectiveness become more and more important, the energy efficiency of digital displays becomes a crucial consideration for shop or office managers and business owners.

To keep yourself as green as possible, and to save a few bucks here and there, you need to make the right choice when it comes to your digital screens.

Of if you're looking at other cost cutting exercises, check out how digital signage can save you money.

Understanding the energy landscape

In the world of digital signage displays, energy efficiency is not just a buzzword; it's a crucial factor that affects both operational costs and environmental impact. As businesses seek to be more sustainable, to reduce carbon emissions and to be cost-effective, the choice of digital screens plays a bigger role than ever.

While the most energy efficient display technology is often said to be LCD, there are different factors that can contribute to your digital signage choice.

Before we move onto these factors, there is one key thing you should watch out for, as it is our current best indicator within the energy landscape....

Energy Star Certification

As you begin the process of selecting digital displays, the term "Energy Star" becomes your guiding beacon. The Energy Star certification is more than just a label, it's a seal of approval indicating that a product meets stringent energy efficiency standards.

For businesses, this certification serves as a reliable compass, directing toward displays that not only perform but also do so in an environmentally conscious manner.

Consider this certification as a roadmap, guiding you through the myriad of options. Energy-efficient displays, whether LCD, LED, or OLED, often proudly wear the Energy Star label (they are also usually called Energy Star products), signaling a commitment to reduced energy consumption.

It's not just about selecting a screen, it's about choosing a partner in your quest for efficiency.

LCD displays

LCD displays are perhaps the most popular choice in the world of digital signage, known for their reliability and versatility. Over time, these workhorses have undergone a transformation, embracing energy-efficient features to meet the demands of an energy conscious market. 

And as LCD is often the cheapest option for digital signage, with options to use computer monitors or consumer grade widescreen TVs, it might seem like the energy efficiency is sufficient for your needs.

In fact, there are some benefits to using LCD screens for digital signage.

Automatic brightness adjustment

Automatic brightness adjustment is a key feature that sets energy-efficient LCD displays apart. Picture a screen that intuitively senses changes in ambient light and adjusts its brightness levels accordingly.

This not only ensures optimal visibility in varying lighting conditions but also contributes to significant energy savings by preventing excessive screen brightness when not needed.

Sleep mode and reduced power consumption

Beyond automatic brightness adjustment, many energy-efficient LCD displays incorporate sleep mode functionalities. During periods of inactivity, the screen can enter a low-power state, conserving energy without compromising on functionality.

This eco-friendly innovation not only aligns with sustainability goals but also translates into tangible cost savings for businesses in the long run.

Easy to set up

Because LCD screens are usually consumer grade technology, such as computer monitors, they can be set up and operated without technical assistance. If you can mount a TV or monitor on the wall on in your retail space, you can be running your displays in no time.

And while they might not save energy like some of the other options on our list, they are an easy way to use digital signage.

LED screens

LED displays have gained prominence in the digital signage arena for their durability and high visibility. This is particularly true when it comes to external displays, as LED tends to be brighter in direct sunlight, as opposed to LCD screens.

In the realm of energy efficiency, LED displays also often outshine their LCD counterparts, offering businesses a compelling balance between visual appeal and responsible energy consumption.

In fact, LED screens consume around 50 to 70% less energy than other types of screen, making them a very energy efficient option. However, they do cost a little more in terms of initial outlay compared to LCD screens.

Longevity and Efficiency

LED technology not only delivers bright and clear images but also boasts an extended lifespan compared to traditional LCD displays. This longevity translates into reduced maintenance costs and a lower frequency of replacements, contributing to long-term cost-effectiveness for businesses.

Remote Management

The efficiency journey doesn't end with display selection; it extends to how these displays are managed. LED displays often come with remote management capabilities, allowing businesses to control and optimize screen settings from a centralized system. This not only streamlines operations but also enables real-time adjustments to brightness levels, further enhancing energy savings.

Minimizing the Carbon Footprint

Beyond cost savings, LED displays contribute to a reduced carbon footprint. The energy-efficient nature of LEDs, combined with their extended lifespan, aligns with sustainability goals. Businesses embracing LED technology are not just making a choice for efficiency; they are also making a statement about environmental responsibility.

Cost effective outlay

Despite the fact that an LED TV or monitor does cost more than LCD, they are still relatively affordable. So if you are looking to reduce energy consumption with your digital signage, you might weigh up investing in LED vs LCD screens.

OLED Displays

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays represent a leap forward in screen technology, offering businesses a perfect synergy between visual brilliance and energy-conscious design. OLED displays are known for their ability to deliver deep blacks, vibrant colors, and energy efficiency that surpasses traditional LCD counterparts.

OLED displays were originally invented to be a greener LCD, as they don’t require a backlight to light up the image, which saves energy. This could mean that an Energy Star certified OLED screen will be the perfect solution for a business looking for the most sustainable and cost effective choice.

However, OLED screens tend to be much more expensive than other screen options.

Save energy with Every Pixel

OLED displays operate at a pixel level, meaning each pixel is independently lit. This allows for precise control over brightness levels, with individual pixels turning off completely to display true blacks. The result is a visually stunning display that also translates into energy savings, as power is only consumed by the pixels in use.

Balancing act

While OLED screens excel in energy efficiency, it's essential to consider the specific needs of your business. OLED displays are often favored for applications where visual quality is key. For businesses prioritizing both efficiency and visual excellence, OLED displays present as the perfect option.

OLED screens also emit a surprising amount of heat, which can affect large areas if there are too many of them. Oftentimes, this is not ideal, as this “warming” effect can range from less than a Celsius to 2-3 degrees or more.

Is OLED more expensive than LED?

When it comes to choosing your digital signage display, cost outlay might be a deciding factor. While LED screens have been around for a while, they are relatively cheaper than OLED screens.

And while the long term cost savings might be significant, it can take time to recoup, making it less of a consideration for companies looking to save money on their initial signage investment.

Of course the cheapest digital signage screen is LCD, which is also, relatively, the least energy efficient.

Are video walls energy efficient?

Because video walls can be constructed from any of the available display technologies, video walls can vary in terms of energy efficiency. The power consumption of video walls depends on factors such as the type of displays used, the size of the video wall, and its brightness levels.

For cost effective energy-efficient video walls, consider opting for LED-based displays with an Energy Star certification.

These screens often feature automatic brightness adjustment and sleep mode capabilities, further optimizing energy consumption.

Additionally, remote management using tools such as ScreenCloud allows businesses to control the entire video wall from a centralized system, ensuring efficient operation and minimizing unnecessary power usage.

However, as more and more options appear on the market, your best bet is to look at the current trends regarding sustainability and go with a choice that makes the most sense for your business needs.

Manage digital signage with ScreenCloud

The choice of the most energy-efficient digital screen for your business depends on various factors, including your specific needs, budget constraints, and environmental considerations.

When it comes to managing your digital signage, ScreenCloud is the most efficient way to create and manage your content. Whether managing one screen, or a network of digital signage across your network of different venues or franchises, ScreenCloud connects quickly and easily to all signage hardware.

Get started with ScreenCloud for free.

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