Industrial applications are often exposed to bright outdoor sunlight that might cause wash-out images and darker display screens, leading to lower contrast and blurry display quality. Therefore, a sunlight readable touch screen monitor provides high contrast, readable, and clear display quality to tackle daylight environments. This blog will dive further into the technologies behind sunlight readable touch screen monitors and their benefits on industrial deployments.
What is a Sunlight Readable Touch Screen Monitor?
A sunlight readable touch screen monitor is an industrial display monitor built to be not only viewable but clearly readable under direct sunlight exposure. However, high ambient light from the sunlight causes backlight, reducing its brightness, contrast, and sharpness. Therefore, the sunlight readable touch screen monitor must have a high level of luminance or nits to create a high contrast display, necessary to make the monitor visible against glare. This also means that these monitors need to be truly reliable because of its harsh environment of being outdoors and being constantly exposed to sunlight.
How Does Sunlight Readable Touch Screen Monitor Work?
TFT LCD, short for thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display, is sunlight readable touch screen monitor technology used to improve image quality. This liquid-crystal display utilizes a thin-film transistor technology that separates transistors for each pixel on display to minimize the amount of charge needed to control each pixel on display, thus reducing crosstalk between pixels and improving the performance image stability.
Each pixel in TFT LCD consists of red, blue, and green rectangles to produce different colors by adjusting the amount of light that passes through each pixel. The light from the backlight LEDs is located behind the pixel layer; this LED series emits a white light that projects through the LCD pixels. In addition, TFT LCD technology utilizes a light diffusing material between the LED backlight and the LCD pixel layer that scatters the light from each backlight LED to prevent bright spots on the touch screen monitor. As a result, with different color intensity combinations on each pixel, the sunlight readable touch screen monitor can produce thousands of colors in a single display screen.
What Makes Sunlight Readable Touch Screen Monitors?
High Nits Brightness
A nit is a measurement of how much light per square meter is being emitted from a source, measured in one candela per square meter (1cd/m2). An LCD screen is considered sunlight readable if it offers a minimum of 800 nits of brightness. Increasing the brightness of the touch screen monitor backlight is one way to make it sunlight readable. Therefore, most sunlight readable touch screens offer 1000+ nits TFT LCD to ensure clear vision against scorching hot direct sunlight on the screen.
Transflective TFT LCD
Another method to make a sunlight readable touch screen monitor is to convert the diffuser material that is located between the LED backlight and LCD pixels to a transflective material. Transflective TFT LCD is a TFT LCD with both transmissive and reflective characteristics. The reflective mirror layer faces the LCD pixels; therefore, when the sunlight enters, it will bounce off the transflective layer back through the pixels to the eyes. Thus, high sunlight intensity has a lower impact on readability as the sunlight is reflected through the pixels and contributes to LCD brightness. On the other side, the transmissive layer scattering the light passing through the LED backlight to the LCD pixels, but this does not allow as much of the backlight to pass through the diffuser layer, making it not ideal in indoor or low ambient light environments.
Optical bonding is an additional thin resin layer added between the touch screen and the TFT LCD layers. The resin layer consists of a plastic layer molded with a liquid synthetic resin that eliminates air gaps between the glass and TFT layers. In the touch screen monitor, the touch screen sensor is mounted in front of the LCD surface, causing a small air gap between these two components. Therefore, when sunlight passes through the touchscreen layer, some lights are reflected between the LCD surface and touch screen, reducing the LCD’s viewability. As a result, optical bonding reduces refractions on the screen since the sunlight can no longer pass through under the screen’s surface, increasing contrast and clarity.
Additional Features of A Robust sunlight readable touch screen
Extreme operating temperature
A sunlight readable touch screen monitor is often exposed to direct scorching hot sunlight, which means that the monitor must have high resistance against a wide range of temperatures. The liquid crystal in the monitor can be sensitive to extreme operating temperatures. If the temperature gets too cold, the liquid crystal may freeze; or if the temperature gets too hot, the liquid crystal may easily deteriorate. Therefore, it is crucial for the sunlight readable touch screen to withstand wide operating temperature. Premio’s sunlight readable touch screen monitors are built fanless with industrial-grade materials to withstand extreme operating temperatures ranging from - 20°C to 60°C, without compromising performances.
Resistive and Capacitive touch screen
Sunlight readable touch screen monitors offer two types of touch screen features to choose from, such as capacitive and resistive features. A sunlight readable resistive touch screen monitor consists of several thin layers. It works by applying pressure on the outermost layer, which later is pushed onto the next layer, allowing the touch screen sensor to sense pressure and register input. On the other hand, a sunlight readable capacitive touch screen monitor utilizes electrical conductivity to register input. Capacitive touch screen senses conductive properties, such as fingertips or conductive gloves. As a result, capacitive touch screens have higher responsiveness and sensitivity.
High Level of IP rating
Ingress Protection (IP) rating measures the level of resistance a sunlight readable touch screen monitor has against dust and water. A sunlight readable touch screen monitor is often exposed to volatile outdoor environments. That is why a high IP rating is needed to ensure durability, reliability, and longevity amid wet and dusty outdoor deployments. IP rating usually consists of two digits where the first digit represents solid ingress protection against tiny dust particles and the second digit represents protection against water. Premio’s sunlight readable touch screen monitors are equipped with IP65 to IP69K full protections against tiny dust, powerful high-temperature water jets, and water immersions.
Shock and Vibration
Some displays are attached to a machine or moving vehicle that shakes and vibrates frequently. Being exposed to constant shock and vibrations may be detrimental to the sunlight readable touch screen monitors. Therefore, Premio sunlight readable touch screen monitors have been tested and validated to endure 20G of shock and 1.5 Grms, 5-500Hz of vibrations due to their capabilities to utilize industrial-grade materials, minimize moving parts, and fanless architecture. In addition, Premio applies additional PET (polyester) film on the touch screen monitor to enhance durability, reliability, and longevity. This PET film is a high-performance, transparent thermoplastic with high tensile strength, Ultra-Violet (UV) resistance, and low moisture absorption. As a result, this sunlight readable touch screen monitor is often deployed in the most challenging industrial deployments.
Sunlight Readable Touch Screen Monitors Applications
Due to its capabilities to operate reliably under direct sunlight exposure and volatile outdoor environments, sunlight readable touch screen monitors have attracted a wide range of industrial sectors, such as:
- Transportation: marine, air, heavy vehicles, mining, fleet management, telematics, public transit, and cargo.
- System integration: machinery control, factory automation, environmental monitoring, home automation, and military.
- Point of sale: hospitality, digital signage, self-service kiosks, outdoor kiosks, and signage
- Data monitoring: cloud, IoT, medical, logistics, inventory management, and oil & gas utilities.
Sunlight Readable Touch Screen Monitor You Can Find
Premio offers three different industrial sunlight readable touch screen monitors to match different industrial requirements. In addition, the touch screen monitors come with an IP rating that ranges from IP65 to the maximum level of IP69K. Each one of the industrial sunlight readable touch screen monitors is engineered specifically to withstand the harshest industrial deployment with a high level of integrity, such as:
The IP66-69K SIO Series
This series of sunlight readable touch screen monitors are specifically designed to withstand high-pressure and high-temperature washdowns. SIO Series is made up of stainless steel SUS316 that provides additional protection against chloride commonly used in antiseptics and water purifiers. Thus, the SIO series are often deployed on display in hygienic and aseptic factory deployments.
The IP66 WIO Series
WIO series of sunlight readable touch screen monitors are built for outdoor dirty, harsh, and soaking environments. This series is built with integrated aluminum alloy heatsink technology and anterior heat-dispersion fins to tackle thermal concerns, usually deployed in mining and agriculture.
The IP65 VIO Series
VIO series of sunlight readable touch screen monitors is are known for its patented modular design (MDM). This MDM technology allows configuring the sunlight readable touch screen monitor as a monitor or a panel PC. As a result, this series of sunlight readable touch screens are often deployed in intelligent transportation and factory automation that benefits from the MDM versatility.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many nits are needed to make monitor sunlight readable?
Sunlight readable means that the display monitor is readable under high-intensity sunlight exposure during its deployments. Therefore, a touch screen monitor must offer 800+ nits to be considered sunlight readable. Still, most sunlight readable touch screen monitors now come with 1000 or higher nits of brightness to ensure application in outdoor high ambient light environments.
Can a sunlight readable touch screen monitor be dimmed at nighttime?
Auto-dimming features help adjust the backlight brightness to match current light conditions. This feature consists of a light sensor to measure the incoming light and lower the monitor’s light intensity to provide just a sufficient amount of light required for the user to view the monitor.
Are lumen and nits the same?
Both nits and lumen measure light intensity, but they are not the same. Nits measure how much light from the display screen goes directly into your eyes. But lumen is the total amount of light emitted directly from the source. In measurement, one nit equals 3.424 lumens, which means the source will have to give off three times as many lumens to produce a single nit.
Why is LCD monitor important?
Sunlight readable touch screen monitor utilizes LCD technology. A Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) is a flat panel display that uses the light modulating properties of liquid crystals which do not emit light directly. In addition, LCD offers several advantages that are crucial for outdoor industrial deployments, such as low-power consumption, slim profile, lightweight, excellent contrast, and a high number of pixels per square inch. As a result, LCD has been widely used in the commercial and industrial sectors.