LG Reseller Tests Transparent LED Window Film In Maine C-Store
September 21, 2021 by Dave Haynes
I haven’t seen that many examples yet of LG’s transparent LED window film in the wild, so I was intrigued to learn how a C-store was using the technology as a kind of digital window cling.
The retail-focused technology integration firm Abierto Networks tested the display giant’s 14mm pixel pitch film was used at a Café Nouria convenience store in Maine, which seems weirdly off the beaten path for retail testing until you look up the firm and see that’s where it is based.
Abierto says it did a blind study of convenience store shoppers and “found that LG’s 14mm pixel pitch Transparent LED Film encourages spontaneous purchases, deeply enforces messaging recall and improves brand perception.”
Putting messaging in the C-store window, looking out at the gasoline forecourt and the street, is seen as an effective tool for drawing people inside – something that’s always been the case but is particularly true because of COVID concerns.
“To date, the most common exterior-facing signage solutions have been traditional flat panel displays and low-resolution LED window signage, both of which have significant drawbacks,” says Rick Sales, President of Abierto. “We found that an OPEN.LED display (the company’s re-branding of the LG film) promoting quality foods and displaying animated graphics directly encourages spontaneous purchases and improves the brand’s perception as a more modern, upscale convenience store.”
The key value proposition over putting high-brightness conventional panels in the window is that a “regular” display will block the view out and in, while the film has a 73% transparency.
Abierto in its PR says it was “also impressed with the brightness and clarity of the 2,100 nit, 14mm pixel pitch solution, which has an ideal viewing distance of 25-75 feet, down from the 150-foot optimal distance typical of existing 24mm LED film solutions. According to LG, this installation is precisely what the LAT140 LED film was designed for.”
At 2,100 nits the LED display is below what operators like to see for outdoor-rated displays that win battles with the sun. Drive-thru and street furniture displays tend to be 2,500-3,500 nits. But 2,100 is seriously bright and with canopies that are common with retail storefronts, it would do OK with glare. At night, no issues at all.
The challenge with this tech is that pitch. As Abierto notes, the screens are best viewed at a distance, as up close, the pixels will appear distorted. Abierto says 25-75 feet but I would err much more towards the 75 than the 25. You can see the retailer (above) is using extra-large text and minimal images for billboard-like messaging.
I like this tech and we’ll see more of it. But the big moment will come when building glass will have micro LED inside the layers, with micro filament wiring. That will allow much tighter pixel pitches, but not at the expense of transparency. These LG films could, I’d imagine, have tighter pitches, but transparency would suffer, as would the point of them.
No idea on cost, but it is also intriguing to see this tested in Maine, which will give it everything from heat and humidity to bone-chilling cold, frost and window condensation.