Outdoor Mesh LEDs Now Bright Enough For Daytime Applications
February 17, 2022 by Dave Haynes
Semi-transparent mesh LEDs that have mainly been used in windows or inside buildings are now a combination of bright enough and light enough to retrofit buildings and use as 24/7 advertising and marketing machines.
Manufacturers used to tell me mesh LEDs were great for nighttime, but didn’t necessarily have the lighting power to overcome direct sunlight. That’s obviously changed, and there are mesh products that push 5,000 nits, which is plenty bright.
This is a new “freeform” LED display – I assume it is called freeform because it is outside the shape norms of billboards – on a building along a busy highway stretch of greater Salt Lake City. The display atop Security National Financial Corporation’s building in Murray, Utah was manufactured and installed by Daktronics, in partnership with YESCO. The more than 75% semi-transparent display sits atop the south side of the building and angles the east at the very end of the installation.
Dak’s PR on the project doesn’t get into brightness, but provides other details:
The first and largest freeform LED display in Salt Lake County along the I-15 corridor and second largest freeform display in the state measures 21 feet tall by 86 feet wide and features 25-millimeter pixel spacing to deliver visual imagery to passersby. It incorporates 131 horizontal rows and 1,040 vertical columns which allow light to pass through the display and into the windows behind the installation while projecting imagery outward.
Employees and patrons inside the building will also be able to look outward through the display and view the local landscape.
“This project continues to strengthen our partnership with YESCO through a custom LED application,” says Derek Dorow, Daktronics project manager. “We were able to draw on our experience with freeform LED applications and unique installation methods. Using past installations, we were able to provide a visual walkthrough to the customer, along with design criterion for YESCO’s engineering team. Our engineering teams’ early collaboration enabled our field team an effective and efficient installation that resulted in a great looking display.”
In total, the project took roughly 800 man-hours to complete.
Daktronics incorporates industry-leading environmental protection to ensure products operate as expected in the outdoor elements. Freeform LED technology has been used to cover windows, walls and entire buildings while also creating non-rectangular shapes and works of art.
The video below shows the 25mm screen working in full daylight. I wish it showed what it looks like from inside the office. I am sure you can, indeed, see outside from the affected offices, but it will still be a view obstructed by rows and strips of the metal or other material that holds the LED light emitters. I will assume the affected area is something like accounting or customer service, and not where the bosses are located.
I wonder, a little, why this structure was not just done atop the building, on the corner, but there may be height restrictions and other zoning measures that made that hard or expensive to pull off.
One of the appeals of these mesh products – apart from only partially obstructing views – is their weight. Less material means they can attach to structures without those structures, formally, needing to be significantly reinforced in some way to handle the weightload.