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Feb 20, 2023 9:00:00 AM6 min read

Outdoor digital displays: What you need to know

Outdoor digital displays provide businesses with an excellent opportunity to reach their target audience with vivid and dynamic visuals that cut through the visual noise. However, there are a few things you need to know before investing in an outdoor digital display. We’ll discuss the key factors to consider when selecting an outdoor digital display and how to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment. Read on to learn more about outdoor business signs and how they can benefit your business.

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What are outdoor digital displays?

Outdoor digital displays are specially designed LED signs that are built to withstand outdoor conditions and operate nonstop, regardless of the weather. They are an effective way to capture the attention of potential customers and can be a great addition to any marketing strategy. When shopping for an outdoor digital display, it is important to consider the size, pitch (resolution), viewing distance, content, and durability to ensure you get the most value out of your investment.

The things you should know:

  • It’s a powerful marketing tool
  • What the heck is pitch?
  • Size vs. resolution
  • Content management
  • Weatherproofing
  • Why electrical matters
  • Support availability

It’s a powerful marketing tool

Outdoor digital signs are a powerful and effective marketing tool, capable of increasing brand recognition and boosting revenue by double digits. Digital signage stands out in busy areas and can cut through the visual clutter, allowing businesses to get noticed. It also opens up more opportunities to connect with passersby, allowing businesses to share promotions and thank loyal customers. With digital signage, businesses have an array of tools at their disposal to increase visibility and engagement. 

What the heck is screen pitch?

Pitch is one of those words that’s thrown around a lot about digital signage. But what does it actually mean? Pitch is the distance between the LED diodes. For example, on a 6mm display, there is 6mm between each pixel - the closer the pixels, the tighter the pitch. The tighter the pitch, the higher the resolution So a 6mm sign has a higher resolution than a 12mm because the pixels (the LED diodes) are closer together.
The resolution of your sign will directly influence what you can actually show on your sign. A high-pitch sign such as a 16mm might only be able to clearly show text, while a 6mm of the same size can show images and text and still be read. 

If you want to know more, we wrote a blog all about pitch to help you ensure you get the right resolution for your business.

Size vs. resolution

There are a lot of guides that say there is a set distance each pitch of a sign is best viewed from, but they often don’t take the size of the sign into account. Here’s the thing, the size of the sign makes a huge difference in what you can show at what pitch and have it be clearly read. 

If you are going to install a small sign that will be seen from up close, you definitely need to consider a higher resolution (lower pitch). The opposite is true if you are looking for a billboard that will be seen from a long distance away. A display as large as a billboard can afford to be a larger pitch because no one will ever see it up close, and at that size, it will have enough pixels to create a clear picture. 

So what’s the ideal size-to-resolution ratio? It varies depending on the project. You’ll need to answer questions like: 

  • How far is the sign from the viewer on average? 
  • How big is the sign?
  • How close will people get to it?
  • What do you intend to put on it?

And then, you can get to the root of what you actually need for your business. When you consider all these factors, you can ensure you get the right size and resolution to meet your goals. 

Content Management

The quality of hardware in your sign is essential for ensuring it functions properly and lasts for years, but the real power lies in the digital signage software. How you develop, update, and display content on your screens matters. You should ensure that the software allows you to design, collaborate, schedule, and monitor the health of your sign. You should be able to access it from anywhere, at any time, not just directly through the sign.

Cirrus provides our cloud-based digital signage software ScreenHub for free to anyone who purchases a Cirrus sign. It is the easiest-to-use outdoor software on the market and allows you to create, collaborate, manage, and monitor your Cirrus sign with the click of a button. ScreenHub makes it simple to keep your displays up to date and ensure maximum results for your business.

If you’d like to try out ScreenHub and see how you like it, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial now.

Sign up for a free trial


Outdoor displays need to be rugged to withstand the elements. Whether it’s scorching sun or freezing cold, you must know your sign can stand up to the elements. We suggest you look for an IP65 rating to ensure your panels are sealed against dust and water incursion. This way, no matter how the elements hit your display, you can be confident it won’t go down.

We also recommend looking for solid-state hardware that relies on simple ventilation (space between the sign and the wall or surrounding sign). LED displays that rely on fans for cooling bring moisture and dust into the display and can cause your display to degrade faster than it should.

Why you should care about your signs electrical

If you don't pay proper attention to the electrical requirements of your digital sign, you could get a nasty shock (pun intended). Poor power can have far-reaching consequences. It can reduce the lifespan of your sign and also put you at risk of a fire. On top of that, using the wrong electrical can void your warranty, leaving you with costly repairs and a huge headache. To avoid this, it's essential to bring in a certified electrician to install your outdoor digital display; they will make sure your sign is set up correctly the first time around.

At Cirrus, we have implemented processes to protect your signage. Our Cirrus Outdoor signs will automatically shut off if they detect poor power. Additionally, our ScreenHub digital signage software has a health dashboard that will notify you of any potential power problems, ensuring that your sign is safe from any power-related issues.

We took the time to write about the topic in greater depth and recommend you read that blog before you install a new outdoor digital display. 

Why you need to care about your digital sign’s electrical


You should ask about support when you are purchasing an outdoor LED display. While you will hopefully never need them, having responsive support is crucial to keeping your sign running and bringing in business. If your sign is down for an extended period due to overseas support or long wait times, you are losing out on business. 

At Cirrus, for instance, we keep our support team in-house so they can work directly with our team to solve customer issues fast. 

Ready to get an outdoor digital display?

Are you searching for the ideal digital signage solution for your business? Let Cirrus LED be the answer - we are dedicated to your success and have invested more than 12 years in research and development. Our LED signs are created with the highest quality materials and are assembled on the most advanced SMT line in North America, giving you the best possible value. Plus, with our Cirrus Complete warranty that covers both hardware and labor, you can be sure that your sign will last for many years. If you're ready to make an investment in an LED sign for your business, trust Cirrus LED for quality and reliability.