LCD and LED roadblocks and how E-paper can solve them

Visionect, 31 Aug 2022

When you’re looking for a digital signage display, you really only have three options: LED, LCD, and e-paper. Each device comes with pros and cons, depending on what you’re using it for. The cheapest solution might not offer you the best ROI for your particular use case. There are installation and operational costs to consider, along with analyzing how effective the device is.
Each of these factors contributes to your ROI and the effectiveness of your indoor digital signage displays. When choosing your digital display, it’s important to keep the full lifespan in mind to wheedle down to the best solution for the problem you’re trying to solve. Let’s have a look at some pros and cons to narrow down your options.

LED/LCD roadblocks

LED and LCDs are easily available and, upon first glance, quite affordable. However, six key factors might affect your ROI:

  • Installation costs. While the initial costs of LED and LCDs can be quite low, the installation often costs more than the device. LED and LCD devices can’t operate on battery power for long periods of time. Therefore, they need a constant supply of power. Loose cables aren’t only ugly, but can be safety hazards. Companies end up spending thousands on drilling and wiring just to supply their LED/LCDs with power.
  • Energy usage. An active LCD refreshes about 50 times per second (4,320,000 times per day) regardless of whether the image is static or changing. An average display consumes about 2,592,000 mA of power every day. Ultimately, LED/LED displays aren’t considered particularly power-efficient.
  • Longevity. When considering ROI, the longevity of a solution is often overlooked. However, if one solution lasts twice as long as another, it’ll probably save you money in the long run. What’s more, reliable solutions are worth a lot too. A long-lived, durable display can perform its job without fail for greater periods, making it an efficient, effective solution. With their high refresh rate and baseline materials, LED and LCD technologies don’t have a great lifespan. Ultimately, these displays overheat or burn out.
  • Effectiveness. Glare can be an issue for LED and LCDs, making them hard to read in certain environments. A hard-to-read display is an ineffective display, reducing the overall ROI of the investment. Additionally, LED/LCDs don’t hold up in extreme temperatures. Put them in direct sunlight and glare might be the least of your worries. The devices are already known for overheating and may malfunction in the wrong circumstances.
  • Long-term cost. To summarize, four main factors affect the long-term costs of LCD and LED displays. First is the upfront cost of the device. Second, the costs of installation and wiring. Third, the electricity costs due to their high power consumption. Fourth: the price of replacing the devices after they wear out, overheat, or fail in any way.
  • Unsustainable. While some LCD and LED manufacturers use sustainable resources, the inexpensive ones do not. If you’re choosing an LCD or LED display based on lower upfront costs, chances are it’s not constructed sustainably. What’s more, with such high power consumption, even “sustainable” LCD and LED solutions aren’t the best for the environment.

E-paper technology for the win

So, how does e-paper stand up? Can the technology make up for these LED/LCD roadblocks, or is it just hype? Is e-ink paper the most energy-efficient digital signage out there?
Why don’t you decide:
✓ Installation costs
The best part about e-paper displays is that they’re virtually wireless and require little to no installation. No holes in the wall, no unsightly cables, and no contractors are required. Instead, they can be mounted on virtually any surface. Each device can run for months to a year on a single charge, making maintenance a breeze.
✓ Energy usage
E-paper displays only use power when you change what’s on the display or when the wireless display pushes over WiFi for new updates. In fact, an e-paper low-power display can use merely 0.008% of the power an LCD display requires in a day. The ultra-efficient technology hardly makes a dent in your electricity bill. What’s more, the low power consumption allows these devices to run on battery power, lasting months between charges.
✓ Long-lived
While a baseline LCD might be cheaper upfront, e-paper devices make up the difference in longevity. With such low refresh requirements, electronic ink displays are dormant most of their lives. This inactivity greatly increases the lifespan of the devices, resulting in an ultra-low failure rate and incredible longevity.
✓ Effective
Electronic paper displays are just that — digital paper. As with paper, these displays reflect light in the environment off of the surface of the display. The result is a glare-free experience, improving screen readability in any setting. What’s more, electronic ink displays function perfectly in a wide range of temperatures, thriving from 32°F to 122°F (0°C to +50°C) and working in more extreme conditions.
✓ Long-term cost
Contrary to LED and LCDs, e-paper displays cost substantially less in the long run. The initial purchase price is about equal to a high-quality LCD display made of sustainable materials, but that’s where the similarities end. E-paper technology uses very little energy, keeping utility costs down. The displays require no installation, aside from the two minutes it takes to mount them on a surface. Their low refresh rate gives them an unparalleled lifespan, keeping replacement costs negligible.
✓ Sustainable
As far as power consumption goes, e-paper displays are naturally more sustainable than LED or LCDs. Therefore, e-paper technology has a small carbon footprint in comparison. Many top-of-the-line e-paper devices are made of quality, sustainable materials that are reusable or recyclable, making e-paper the most environmentally-friendly display technology on the market.

Place & Play takes the cake

When choosing your own e-paper display, why not choose a solution that’s world-renowned for its state-of-the-art, sustainable, and user-friendly design? Visionect’s e-paper technology has won multiple Red Dot awards and the prestigious iF Design award.
Made of sustainable materials and build to last, Visionect Place & Play displays check all the boxes. Each device runs off of 1% of the power traditional LCDs run on. The magnetic mount can be attached to any surface without the use of tools or wiring. The glare-free display offers a classic look to any environment.
With no installation costs, low energy usage, durable design, and an effective display, Place & Play is the most cost-effective solution on the market. 
Contact our sales team to learn more about our digital display solutions.