First let me explain what a faceshield is.
One of the ways to manufacture LED Signs is to put a piece of Acrylic or plastic in front of the the LEDs to seal the LED Sign. Take a look at this illustration:
Manufacturers who use this method of sealing their LED Signs tout it as protection against vandals. Is this true? Should you make sure you invest in LED Signs with a faceshield? Let’s think about it.
If you were a vandal would you spend your time in front of a sign that was flashing, blinking, and attracting the attention of the all the drivers going by? I think you would be more likely to spend your time in dark areas where you could cause your mischief unnoticed.
Out of all the LED Signs my company has sold we have NEVER received a report of one being vandalized. Not one.
If faceshields don’t really help to protect the LED Sign why use one? I have only come up with one answer: cheaper production. Soldering the LEDs directly to a circuit board and then sealing the whole thing with a faceshield is the least expensive way to manufacture an LED Sign.
That should result in a price break for the consumer but somehow it never seems to work out that way.
My company brokers LED Signs which means we can sell anybodies products. We will not sell LED Signs with faceshields and here is why:
LED Signs with faceshields seem to have more problems. This is just observation on my part, driving around my town and seeing which signs seem to have problems on a consistent basis. My guess is that faceshields are an inferior method of sealing LED Signs as I notice the most problems during inclement weather.
The next problem is that faceshield produce glare. As the sun shines on the face of the sign a certain amount of the light is reflected back, off the faceshield, at the observer which reduces the apparent brightness of the LEDs behind the faceshield. If there are LED Signs in your town, drive around and take a look at them. Compare the brightness of a sign with a faceshield and one without a faceshield **during the day** (pretty much all LED Signs look good at night as there is no daylight to ‘outshine’).
So, in my educated opinion, faceshields are not the way to go. Find a brand without a faceshield and you will be happier in the long run.
If you would like to read more information on LED Sign technology, I have written a ‘technology summary’ at hubpages.com/hub/LED-Signs-LED-Displays. Or just wait and I will write more in depth articles on the technology side of LED Signs here on this blog.
If you have questions you can always send them to me at keith*at*icatchdisplays.com (just replace the “*at*” with “@”).