On average, quality LED digital school signs in Australia start from about $25,000. This contrasts with traditional changeable signs that start at about $2,000.

Why is there such a difference between the costs? And more importantly, is the higher cost spent to install an LED sign worth it? Here’s what you need to know.

What are LED digital signs compared to Manual changeable signs?

Chances are if you’re reading this post, you at least have an idea of what LED digital signage is and how it differs from its traditional counterpart. But just in case you’ve heard the term before and are not sure what the fuss is all about, this quick guide is for you.
LED digital signs are exactly what they sound like — signage that utilises LED digital technology. LED displays use thousands of light-emitting diodes (LED) to create the content of the signage. Because LEDs produce coloured light, the signage doesn’t require a backlight. Different coloured LEDs are grouped on the panel to create the full-colour pixels necessary for producing vivid content for the signage.

With advancements in technology, not only do the displays have the capability to show higher resolution content, but the methods to change the messages are often cloud based. This means that if you have internet access, you can update your message display from anywhere.
Traditional Manual changeable signs require the user to manually change the lettering and messages within a mounted display case. Whilst effective in many cases, they do not allow for real-time updates, rotating messages, or display images, just to name a few of their limitations.

Primary usage

The primary aim of using LED digital signs is to enhance the experience for the viewers. Most Schools request LED Signs to either enhance their communication with their parents, community, and students or otherwise to gain enrolments. In one case in a Perth School reported a 17% increase in enrolments. After tracking the lead source of their enrolments, they gave credit to their new LED sign for more than half of their increased numbers. Displaying pertinent information in an engaging digital format is a great way to stand out and improve the experience for the end-user.

LED digital displays also offer more flexibility, especially when compared to traditional static signage. They can make changes to the displayed content in real-time. This is what makes them so useful in places like schools and churches.

Because LED displays are bright, energy-efficient, and offer vivid colours, they are an excellent choice for large-scale digital displays, such as wayfinding, score tracking, announcements, and any other usage that demands high-impact visuals.

Why are they so pricey?

LED digital signs tend to vary widely in terms of quality. It’s important to understand these distinctions so you don’t assume all LED signage are expensive. In any case, LED digital signs are deemed expensive because they require special components to make them function. In fact, the LED components account for around 75% of the cost of the digital sign.

Some of the most important LED components that drive up the price of LED signs include:

Display

This simply refers to the screen used to display the signage content. Digital screens come in different types and sizes. This impacts the cost. Larger-sized screens with commercial-grade hardware will cost more than smaller, repurposed consumer devices.

Another consideration is where you intend to place the LED sign. If outside, then the display must be durable enough to withstand the elements. As you can imagine, this type of display will cost more.

Media Player

The media player is essentially a tiny computer that controls the content to be displayed on the LED sign. There are different kinds of media players available today, each with its own corresponding costs, which are reflected in the overall cost of the LED sign. Which one you choose will depend on your needs.

Whichever media player you decide to go with, keep in mind that you’ll need one for each screen display. So, if your premises has five LED digital signs spread, you’ll need an equal number of media devices.

Software

Many media players come with software already installed, but some don’t. In some cases, the software installed may not support certain types of media, so you’ll need to factor that in as well.

Software is important because it essentially controls the inner workings of the digital sign. For example, if you want the sign to display a specific message at a particular time, it is the software that lets you make it happen. Every premises disseminates information differently, so it’s important to choose software that will best meet those needs, not just the one that is cheapest.

Other critical factors that increase the price of LED digital signs

Warranty

Top-quality LED digital signs come with strong warranties of up to five years or more. Lower-quality signage, on the other hand, may have warranty coverage for only 12 months. Obviously, the longer the warranty coverage, the more expensive the LED sign will be.

It’s also important to consider the terms of the warranty coverage. If issues arise, some warranties require you to take the sign down on your own and then send it back to the manufacturer for repair. However, keep in mind that taking down a digital sign is not as simple as climbing up a ladder and unscrewing some bolts. It requires a careful process and an electrician, which will likely incur additional costs to complete.

Ultimately, it is more practical and cost-efficient for tech support to fix the LED sign on site, especially for troubleshooting or minor repairs. These LED signs are installed by professionals, so fixing them or even taking them down is not something an end-user would normally do. A great signage company will factor in some of the technical support costs into their LED signage pricing to offer onsite warranty. For added peace of mind, ensure your LED digital sign comes with on-site warranty.

Security 

This is something that many people fail to consider when buying LED digital signs. Security is a paramount consideration on two important fronts — to prevent hacking and safeguard against vandalism.

Remember that digital signage, much like most digital products, is capable of being hacked. The last thing you want is for your LED sign to be hacked and display erroneous or improper messages. You also want to protect the signage physically with a protective case to prevent theft or vandalism.

Signage security protocols come at a cost, which are reflected in the final price of the LED digital sign.

Ongoing maintenance costs 

These include software licensing fees, security updates, bug fixes, electricity costs, and general maintenance. These all contribute to the cost of owning an LED digital sign.

You can usually avoid many of these costs by working with the right signage company. There are companies can offer some these services at no additional cost.

Conclusion

LED digital school signs are comparatively more expensive than traditional changeable signage options. However, the investment can be worthwhile because LED signs can effectively increase end-user engagement and help your premises better meet its communications objectives.

Are you thinking of getting LED digital school signs? Let us know what you think about their relatively higher prices in the comments section below.

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