New Version Of Hardened LED Displays Touted As Improving Visuals By Only Coating The LED Lights
May 20, 2022 by Dave Haynes
It has been a few years now since the first LED modules with hardened coatings came on the market – with the category taking on the general term Glue On Board (or GOB). Numerous manufacturers now have versions of roughly the same thing – modules coated and encapsulated in an epoxy coating that protects the fragile LEDs from impact and modest water damage.
Now a Shenzhen-based LED display maker called Desay Opto has introduced a new spin on that approach, called Lamp GOB.
What’s interesting here is that instead of the full module being coated with a glue, only the LED packages are coated. Desay’s approach is a “Nano Matte” acrylic coating that encapsulates individual SMD lamps (the LED light emitting packages), while leaving the surrounding area clear. The matte finish, along with the space between each lamp, means the surface of the display is much less likely to mirror any light back to a viewer. It also improves contrast by better showing the black on the substrate that the LEDs are mounted on, instead of that black being also bathed in the acrylic coating.
Desay suggests a larger and brighter lamp can instead be used to create the same fine-pixel density, as the lack of any kind of full module shield creates more physical room. The level of impact protection is not the same as when the entire module is coated, but Desay suggest it is otherwise far superior to other methods for shielding displays, especially the ultra-fine pixel ones.
Telematics Canada, which distributes the product in guess where, says it currently has 1.8mm eval units panels available for service providers who want to check it out.
This is quite interesting to me, as conventional surface-mounted LED displays are easily damaged, by accident or design. The little light emitters are micro-soldered on and are easily knocked off and vulnerable, as well, to things like fluids. The appearance of these GOB products from various manufacturers makes them impact-resistant and capable of being wiped and cleaned with a soft cloth. The down-side that I have heard come up is that the hardened coatings cause reflection, and affect visual quality in certain conditions.
This LAMP GOB approach angles towards providing protection, while also improving visual quality, instead of negatively affecting it through the reflection of nearby light sources.
The super-premium Samsung, LG and Sony microLED-ish products also have some sort of layer or film that shields the LEDs. Samsung says The Wall has “shock resistant technology” that also protects against water, dust and static shock. LG says it has a Full Black Coating on its Magnit product.
There are lots of instances in which big LED walls are out of reach and at minimal risk of damage. But in high traffic environments like rail stations, airports, shopping malls and sports venues – where there are many, many LED video walls within reach of people – having a protected product is important, preventing damage and likely saving a pile of money in repairs that are never or rarely needed.
Desay has Lamp GOB in seven SKUs in the TVB series, ranging from 1.5mm to 2.9mm. The product is out of R&D and shipping.
This image, below, uses a high-power flashlight to mimic a ceiling pot light or other light source, which seems to back up the assertion reflection is pretty minimal. I have seen some high-end products with a coating or film on them that were hard to even see from certain angles because of reflected ceiling lights.