Sunlight-Readable Displays and Monitors: An Overview

sunlight-readable LCD

Sunlight-readable monitors and displays are now more popular than ever before. These advanced displays have been commonly used in the military and in the marine industry for many years, helping with navigation and other high-level tasks. Today, more companies are using sunlight-readable LCD screens for different industrial and commercial uses. Many business owners are finding that sunlight-readable screens have many advantages for their staff, operations, and commercial purposes.

What is a Sunlight-Readable Display?

Sunlight-readable screens are essentially outdoor monitors that can be used in daylight. There are many industries and businesses that rely on screens for a variety of tasks. For instance, a fast-food chain might use a screen for its drive-thru while a mining or excavation operation may need displays on its site. However, the problem with traditional displays and screens is that they are not readable in bright conditions outdoors. Daylight washes out the screen and adds a glare or reflections, which make it difficult to impossible to read.

With high-brightness sunlight-readable displays, screens are visible in even the brightest lighting conditions, allowing them to be used outdoors for a variety of purposes. Particularly in situations where either safety or accuracy is important, such as in marine navigation, daylight-viewable screens can provide reliable use in all daytime lighting conditions.

Sunlight-Readable Monitor Technology

There are actually many different types of daylight monitors. In fact, a daylight LCD may combine two or more of the following technologies to provide the most effective use.

Transflective Sunlight-Readable Displays

Transflective LCD screens reflect ambient light to increase the brightness of the screen. These types of daylight LCDs have both a reflector and backlight. While the backlight helps brighten the screen, the reflector can actually use ambient light to increase brightness and reduce reliance on the backlight. The brighter it gets outside, the brighter a transflective screen will be. The downside to these screens is that they can have poor transmission, contrast, and colour.

Optically Bonded Sunlight-Readable Displays

Displays with optically bonded glass are a more advanced option suitable for industrial use. These high-bright LCD screens join the front and internal glass of the screen together. This has a number of benefits: It not only reduces glare and reflections from sunlight but also increases the ruggedness of the screen, allowing for more durable use in different applications, temperatures, and weather conditions. These types of displays are typically considered the best sunlight-readable options for industrial use.

Anti-Reflection and Anti-Glare Protection Glass Coating Technology

Even a high-brightness display will be unreadable in daylight conditions if there are reflections on the screen’s surface. To combat this, an anti-reflection coating can be applied to the screen by the manufacturer, almost eliminating all reflections and glare.

UV-Protective Film and IR Heat Rejected

Even if a screen is sunlight readable, it can be easily damaged by UV rays, particularly if it’s frequently outdoors. UV-protective film and anti-IR solutions protect screens from sun damage and ensure they remain sunlight readable.

Benefits of High-Brightness Sunlight-Readable Monitors

Sunlight-readable displays have many benefits. There are advantages and disadvantages depending on the technology used.

Transflective displays are typically cheaper option that works well for personal or more casual use. As well, transflective displays are typically good for power conservation. The downside is that a transflective display can have poor colour, contrast, and image readability some of the time.

With optically bonded glass displays, you get a more advanced solution for outdoor use. Optically bonded glass drastically improves outdoor readability and also carries many other benefits for ruggedness and durability. These displays are more suited for industrial use. The downside is that they are likely too advanced for a regular consumer or small operation.
Protective glass coatings and film are good for reducing glare and protecting your screen; however, on their own, they may not provide enough effect for sunlight readability. Instead, these are best used as complementary technologies on a sunlight-readable screen.

The best sunlight-readable screens will use a combination of different technologies and techniques to ensure your screen can always be used effectively outdoors.

Looking for a sunlight-readable display? Nauticomp Inc. is an established display manufacturer with worldwide brand recognition as an innovative industry leader. We are dedicated to providing high-performance displays that are at the forefront of leading-edge display technology. Contact us at 1-705-328-2992 for Canadian service and at 1-800-267-9491 for U.S. service.