As an illumination source, LEDs are considerably more energy efficient than many options such as incandescent and fluorescent lighting, but are still able to produce a very natural-looking white light.
This bright white light and the structure of LED pixels combine to give us dazzling digital displays, whether through static images, animations, or videos.
But there were several issues with older panel design that kept LEDs from becoming the overwhelming choice for digital displays.
However, technology is ever-evolving. One of these improvements was the invention of LED panels with cabinet-less design.
The Old Technology
The cabinet refers to a large box at the back of an LED display panel. This box opens to allow access to the inner parts of the display, such as circuit boards, and must be sealed against rain, wind, extreme temperatures, and dust.
In the cabineted design of original LED panels, we lose some of the energy efficiency gained by using LEDs. The cabinets require three-phase power sources, which draw more power.
This works well for the industrial facilities this type of power source was originally developed for, but are unnecessary for modern LED displays.
The cabinets are cooled by air conditioning units and fans. The heat build-up from these parts alone saps energy efficiency, but the air conditioning units and fans also require electricity to operate.
A cabinet with these features weighs approximately 10,000 pounds in a 14’ x 48’ display. Due to the three-phase power and heavy weight, cabineted displays are more expensive to install and require you to hire highly-skilled electrical technicians when maintenance is needed.
When You Remove the Cabinet
Removing the cabinet, however, reduces these problems. Cabinet-less design gives you an LED panel that is as little as one-third the weight of a cabineted one. For example, a cabinet-less version of the 14’ x 48’ display mentioned above would only be 4,000 pounds. Lower weight means lower installation costs, especially in transportation fees.
(It also just looks nice. Cabinets are bulky – cabinet-less is not. It’s like comparing your old CRT television to your sleek new LED screen.)
Cabinet-less design also results in:
- Increased energy efficiency through removing the fans and air conditioning units necessary for keeping the interior of the cabinet cool.
- Self-contained panels that are weather-resistant without additional sealing.
- Reduced maintenance costs through hot swappable panels that can be replaced by general maintenance personnel, not expensive electrical technicians.
And all of this can be done on the same single-phase power source used throughout the rest of your facility.
Life Without the Cabinet
Cabinets worked well at the time, but technology has moved on. With cabinet-less panel design, you get to save money in energy and maintenance costs while gaining digital displays that just look nice at your location.