The Ugly Truth About “Green” Digital Signage
With more and more industries going green out of concern for our environment, the question arises: how green is digital signage? “Green” digital signage has emerged due to the demand for eco-friendly technology, but for the most part, digital signage has a way to go yet before it can be considered truly “green.” It’s time to examine the ugly truth about “green” digital signage.
Perception of Digital Signage as “Green”
There exists a perception of digital signage as green. This is probably because digital signage doesn’t involve materials which must be shipped and refurbished repeatedly. Once a digital signage system is in place, you can program its content electronically, and all it may require are technical upgrades from time to time. It stands to reason that a solution, wherein you get your components in place via a one-time investment without need for frequent renewal of physical materials, is “green.” Or is it?
Digital Signage is a Power Hog
It’s time to face the facts: digital signage, presumably “green,” is – in the way it currently functions – a power hog. And as long as digital signage is a power hog, it can’t be truly “green.” Though digital signage is “green” in that it requires no printed matter and produces no paper waste, the components that make it work use a lot of electricity. For a technology to qualify as “green,” it must use resources as responsibly as possible. Do the large display monitors and media players utilized by digital signage truly use electricity as responsibly as they could? In many instances, the answer is “no.”
Digital signage components – such as many of the display screens and media players that are available – involve significant energy expenditure. When choosing components to implement for digital signage, it’s important to evaluate which ones are the most energy efficient. For example, LCD screens are more energy efficient than plasma screens. And the backlight on LCD screens can be turned down to further conserve energy. Media players can be shut off when the signage content system doesn’t need to be in use. All these practices can help reduce the carbon footprint of digital signage and help it be more energy efficient.
Trends for the Future
Happily, digital signage, like other kinds of technology, is developing rapidly, and part of this development includes striving for greater energy efficiency and more responsible use of resources. Trends for the future include the production of digital signage components that use less power and use it more efficiently. These components include innovative new media players and LED (light-emitting diode) backlit screens. Compared with traditional LCD displays, LED-backlit screens save up to 50% more energy. LED units produce less heat, so it’s easier to keep them cool. Unlike traditional LCD displays, LED screens don’t use mercury, a substance that can be harmful to human health and the environment.
The ugly truth about “green” digital signage is that some of its components are currently not energy efficient. But that’s changing. Innovations in digital signage technology are proceeding, just as in other areas of technology. Sustainability and responsible use of energy in today’s world demands new and cutting-edge solutions that prioritize and recognize, in their design and use, the fact that we simply must deploy technology in a way that minimizes harm to our environment.