Can you believe it took a home-made pie to change the letters on a school sign? That was the case with a customer of ours before they purchased one of our electronic signs for schools. When the administrative assistant needed the letters changed on the school marquee sign, she would bake a pie. The next day she would offer the home-made pie to the maintenance person in order to change the message on the outdoor school sign.

It became obvious to the school administration, changing their letters on their traditional school sign was a cumbersome process and a big reason why they needed to purchase an LED school sign.  An LED school sign that 

they can program for months in advance without ever having to worry about manually changing letters again.  I am sure it is the dream of many educational institutions to replace their old outdoor school sign with a new programmable LED school sign. You have seen it many times before, a school sign that is displaying old, useless information.  Sometimes this can go on for weeks and even months before someone changes the letters on their school marquee sign.  There are so many other factors besides changing the letters that make an old school sign hard to communicate information to the school’s audience.  

School marquee signs often have what is called a, ‘vandal cover’, on them to protect them from the wind, rain, snow and from people changing the letters on the school sign to form different words.  It is always embarrassing for the educational institution to see their school sign communicating some type of profanity laced sentence to the public.  The cover of outdoor school sign though, can be a nuisance themselves.  Many times, the vandal covers on the school signs are dirty and dingy and it is hard for people passing by in their cars to read the school sign.  Other times, there can be a glare caused by the bright sun shining on the surface of the clear plastic making the school sign hard to read.

Probably the worst case scenario for school signs with a protective cover is the difficulty or inability to open them.  Sometimes the locks can break, become frozen or the vandal cover of the school marquee sign can be too heavy for the person trying to change the letters on the school sign to open.  When they do get the outdoor school sign open it lends itself to a whole new problem with the protective or vandal cover.  How do you keep it open while changing the letters on the school sign? 

In a perfect world or when you first receive your school sign you may have gas charged lift supports that not only keep the school marquee sign open but actually can assist you in opening up your cover on your school sign.  Unfortunately, over time, the gas will escape the lift support device and leave you without any assistance. 

                                            That is when you have to take a piece of wood like a 2 x 4 and place it inside the school sign so whenever you need help keeping the school sign open you can simply prop up the cover with a piece of wood.  A failure of this system can lead to a very bad headache at best!

The school now has a new programmable LED school sign.  The administrative assistant is enjoying being able to program messages on the custom school sign.  There is always current and pertinent information on the LED school sign.  The integrated sign scheduler allows events to be programmed far in the future and events that have taken place are automatically removed from the sign.

The LED school sign shines bright all of the time without having a cover over it. There are many reasons why it is better for LED school signs not to have a vandal cover, so many that it can be a future blog topic.

I guess the only hardship from this story is the maintenance person that no longer has home-made pies made for him. I am sure he is glad to not have to go out all of the time in ever changing elements to change the letters on the old outdoor school sign himself..

Three major points to review when discussing the benefits of LED digital signage for schools verses a traditional school sign are:

Finding a person willing to change the letters in a consistent manner no matter what the circumstances verses one person being able to program the LED school sign with multiple messages over months of time with a PC and our proprietary software.

Making sure the information of the old school sign is relevant, current and not displaying old events verses an LED school sign that can be preprogrammed to make sure all information is current and relevant.

All of the disadvantages of having a vandal cover on your outdoor school sign verses an LED school sign with bright LED’s displaying easily readable messages without anyone having to physically be near the sign to change the information.