Planar Launches New Outdoor Fine Pitch Displays As High-Bright LCD Alternatives

October 11, 2022 by Dave Haynes

If you’ve paid attention to developments in LED display technology, you’ve likely concluded it was only a matter of time before pixel density, durability and pricing started to make the technology competitive with high brightness outdoor LCDs – used mainly for Digital Out Of Home ad displays and drive-thru restaurant promotions and menu boards. That time is pretty much here, with news of Planar directly marketing a new series of outdoor fine pitch LED displays.

The Portland-area company, owned by China’s Leyard, has launched the Planar Luminate Ultra Series, which has models in 1.5mm and 1.9mm pixel pitches, and pushes up to 3,500-nit brightness (that’s in line with better high-bright LCDs). The display modules, importantly, also have am IP65 coating that protects the LEDs and counteracts high ambient light.

“We have seen strong demand for high pixel-density LED displays designed to perform in sunlight and outdoor conditions,” says Steve Seminario, VP Product Marketing at Planar. “Planar Luminate Ultra Series brings together fine pitch, high brightness and a coating technology that protects while delivering beautiful outdoor viewing. It’s a unique combination we are excited to bring to customers.”

Planar says the product is available starting this month through its reseller network.

LED has supplanted LCD in the video wall market and one of the next use-cases that would likely see a shift to LED was in high-bright outdoor displays, once R&D advances and manufacturing volumes reduced costs for fine pitch to levels competitive with LCD. Even at a very tight pitch of 1.5mm, an LCD display will have much more pixel density and produce better visuals when up close. But there are lots of ads and information posters that don’t need to show the smallish characters of menus and directories, and LED does not have the same challenges with heating and cooling as LCD technology.

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