Outdoor LED Sign Design and Durability

Electronics and moisture don’t mix, especially in the outdoor LED sign industry. Think about the conditions your sign will endure as it operates day after day without shelter from whatever Mother Nature has in store.

Many manufacturers of electronics use full encapsulation, or "potting", to protect circuit boards and other internal components from moisture, corrosion and shock/vibration. The use of a flowable material to encapsulate electronic components provides needed protection without interrupting the function of the components.

Watchfire electronic message center signs and Price Watcher gas price signs can withstand harsh climates because we apply a full module encapsulation that seals out moisture, corrosive salt and dust. Our process seals the module completely (front and back) and provides reliable protection against the elements – so much so that our modules can operate under water for months at a time.

Beyond sealing out moisture, the encapsulation we apply is an electrical insulator that protects our modules from the effects of airborne corrosive agents such as salt and humidity. To test this protection, our modules are subjected to the ASTM B117 salt fog test, which is used to measure the corrosion resistance of a product by exposing it to a salt spray or fog over a period of 60 days. Beyond the lab, hundreds of coastal customers can also attest to the reliability of our products in ocean air environments.

Module encapsulation is not new at Watchfire, and it's not limited to certain products. We have been using silicone gel to completely protect both the front and back of our modules for over 10 years. And unlike some LED sign manufacturers, this treatment is standard on every module in our product line.

Full encapsulation is but one design feature that allows our modules to withstand water while shedding heat away from the electronics. Each module also features a special network of copper that pulls heat away and dissipates it through the back of each circuit board. Our cross-vent cabinet then pulls cool air in from the front and circulates heated air up and out the back of the cabinet.

Simply put, our engineers have developed signs that are built to withstand the elements better than the rest. Watchfire LED signs are operating reliably in the field from the deserts of the American southwest to the tropics of Puerto Rico and the subarctic climates of Alaska and Canada.

To learn more about how design and construction impacts sign durability, download our free white paper, "Asking Hard Questions". This free resource outlines the questions you should ask when choosing an LED sign manufacturer.

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