Digital Billboards Franchising: Pro and Cons


Is air conditioning on digital billboards really needed? As it often happens, the answer is "it depends".
But statistically, from my experience, I would say that only less than 10% of the LED screens needs it. Which means that more than 90% don't need air conditioning.

What is the Main PRO of Air Conditioning?

An effectively designed and installed air conditioning system provides higher protection in extreme weather conditions. In general, such conditions are mainly in Middle East countries and tropical areas.

Cooling down the air inside the modules allows you to:

(1) reach higher brightness because you can increase the LEDs brilliance without the risk of overheating

(2) and therefore extend the electronic components lifetime which otherwise would be considerably shorter in such extreme weather

But if there are such advantages, why aren't ALL electronic billboards on the market equipped with air conditioning? Because despite this undoubtable benefit, there are some critical consequence that must take into account: 

What are the Main CONS of Air Conditioning?

(1) Consumptions: with the A/C the power supply rise to approximately twice the consumption of the LED screen only. That's because in order to cool down a system, you need roughly as much energy it was needed to heat it up. In some very extreme conditions, the final cost was even more than doubled.

(2) Maintenance: in order to keep the air conditioning system working effectively all the time, you must dedicate a considerably higher amount of time (scheduled maintenance, systems checks etc).

(3) Complexity: by adding another significant element to the equipment, such as the A/C system, you add the number of potential inconveniences

(4) Response: the LED billboard supplier is of course your only reference for the installation, but due to the fact that the A/C is covered by the warranty from the third party, the response time could be slower than you wish.

(5) Direct and Indirect Costs: last but not least, the overall cost of the equipment is higher.

And it is important that you do not only consider the direct cost, which is the cost of the A/C system. Indeed there are more subtle expenses that are more difficult to control but that can have a big impact on the final investment.

Such indirect costs are: higher cost of the structure to support the extra weight (usually about 30% more weight), higher cost of transportation (for the same reason), higher cost of installation (more connection, more people needed).

Final Thoughts

So as mentioned at the beginning, each case must be analyzed to decide whether the A/C system is really needed or not.
In general, I would say to trust what we (or your supplier) suggest you: our technicians have more experience and they can use mathematical models based on the average temperature in your area to decide whether the A/C is needed or not.
Furthermore, due the 24 months full warranty, it is in our interest to provide you with a product that will run smoothly and with no problems.

Latest Installations

The images below and the one at the top of the post, are taken from a recent installation in Greece of a proMarket 410 with Air Conditioning (4x3 meters).