What every school should know about LED Signs
When it comes to purchasing a Watchfire LED sign for your school, there are several factors to consider. Cost, reliability, and ease of use are usually at the top of the list. Unfortunately, if you haven't purchased an LED Sign system before, you are treading down an unknown path, and many sign companies don't truly understand the technology and the number of options available. We want you to understand there are many options when it comes to purchasing your LED sign, and most of those options are not going to be a good fit for you if your primary concern is reliability. China has spent years flooding the US market with cheap models with inferior parts and no service. Many sign companies are attracted to the possibility of selling customers these inferior products and boosting their bottom lines instead of offering a long-lasting option from Watchfire.
Cost of an LED Sign
The most common size and resolution we sell to schools are 3'H X 8'L with 16MM Full Color. This size provides sufficient space to advertise up to 5 to 6 lines of text at a 5" letter height. Because it's a popular size, many manufacturers offer this size at a discount to schools. You should expect prices for this size of the display to range between $10,000 to $11,000 for a single-sided screen to $18,000 to $21,000 for a two-sided display. This does not include the base, electrical, or communication methods. Most of our signs come in fully loaded around the $20K range, two-sided with permits and installation.
You might be thinking to yourself that those prices seem to be extremely high when you can find LED displays online for $6000 for a double-sided sign. Why the difference and why would I not just take the chance. Here is the primary reason, reliability, and longevity. Watchfire signs often last 12 to 15 years, and if you do need a part for a Watchfire sign, you can rest assured that you can get that part in as little as one day for ten years after that model is retired. Many Chinese products on the market tend to only last 2 to 3 years outdoors, and this is due to many factors. The internal components are unshielded and exposed to moisture. Inferior LED's, and when a model is retired, parts become unavailable quickly. The other primary reason you might want to consider a US-based company is support for your display. If you buy it online, who is going to fix it for you, and if the support for the company is in China or Vietnam, will you be able to reach them or even find a sign company that will want to deal with the headache.
LED Sign Reliability
Schools around the country are struggling to provide essential services to their students, so getting a sign system that is cost-effective and doesn't require much repair is paramount. Our vendor of choice for the last few years is Watchfire Signs. Signdealz has sold over 150 of Watchfire displays over the previous 3 years, and their service is second to none. They offer a five-year parts warranty that covers everything backed up with the Signdealz five-year labor warranty. If a part goes fails, Watchfire can overnight a new one. It's great to have a partner that cares so much about our customers' needs and provides excellent customer service. So, go ahead and spend $6K every two years plus maintenance on your Chinese LED Display. In the same 12 year period, you would have to purchase the foreign brand display six times, equal to spending $32K over the same period you owned your Watchfire LED sign for $18000. Once you include all of the maintenance headaches, warranty calls, downtime, Watchfire is a clear choice!
Ease of use
When you buy an LED sign system, you quickly find out that if the software is difficult to use, no one will want to post messages to the sign. Unfortunately, most software designed is created by engineers and software designers, and this often creates problems. The software can be clunky, take many steps to create a message, or have too many options that make it hard to train new employees. Watchfire message creation software is called Ignite, which is the best in the industry. Ignite uses a three step method to creating messages that are so easy, Signdealz has cut the time to train staff down to about 20 minutes vs. an hour for some of the other competitors.
So these are some of the brief points on purchasing an LED sign system for your school. Signdealz has the knowledge and expertise to help you determine the best sign for your schools specific needs and budget.