Illuminating the Issue- A New Study on Energy Use of Digital Signs

Posted December 22, 2010

Illuminating the Issue- A New Study on Energy Use of Digital Signs

By Mary Tracy

PlanPhilly

As digital signage continues to proliferate around the country, a new report, Illuminating the Issues, examines the technical, environmental, economic and regulatory issues surrounding this emerging technology.

Although much attention has been paid to the driver safety impacts, and aesthetics, until now there has been relatively little research regarding the environmental and energy-consumption issues raised by this new technology.

Mayor Nutter wants to make Philadelphia “the greenest city in America” and this report may help policymakers question whether expanding the use of LED signage will push the city farther from this goal when one digital sign will require as much energy as 30 average homes or 25traditional billboards.

The paper was authored by Gregory Young, LEED AP, an architectural designer and urban planner active in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Young’s research was supported by a generous grant from the Samuel F. Fels Fund, and performed in collaboration with SCRUB: the Public Voice for Public Space.