Read what our team at the Cirrus Office has to say about the LED display industry, LED signs and Cirrus LED systems.

The Weather App is Live

At Cirrus we often get inquiries for temperature probes from our customers. Not only it is a standard item in the LED display world but in many municipalities, displaying the temperature is considered a public service and may therefore be required by a municipality before a sign permit is issued for the install of an LED display in the first place. With traditional LED displays, there is a large cable jutting out the side of the display which runs down to an even larger round pyramid of concentric metal pieces. The metal is there as a heat sink to try and deal with the variations in temperature that come from a temp probe being in direct sunlight or not. While not all that accurate, they do their best. With so much innovation going into a Cirrus LED display, we decided to streamline this process. We built LED Cloud and the N2 system to handle the most advance content management system and functionality you can have with an LED display. It's is a system that gets better and better every day as we continue to add new features. Today’s feature is our humble answer to the temp probe. It’s the Cirrus Weather App. The user simply enters a zip code, and the app will continuously download and update accurate weather information from the national weather service. Not only does it display temperatures, but it also provides a graphic showing current conditions just like you’d see on a web based weather forecast. This app is completely free. We will be releasing a more advanced version which will be offered as a premium app. That upcoming app will allow weather forecasts to be displayed, including highs and lows, in addition to a number of other customizable data points.

A Closer Look at LED Display Color Palettes

When dealing with color palettes of programmable LED displays, more is only better to a point. When it comes to color palette, a lot of ridiculous numbers are thrown around. Where else do you hear words like “quadrillion” and "quintillion" used but in the LED display industry? It's all based on the number of bits of color that can be handled by each LED diode or the total number of shades. One bit has two possible values (one or zero). Two bits has four possible values. The first being 1 or 0 and the second being 1 or 0 there are 4 total combinations that can be created for 4 shades. Jumping ahead to 8 bits, we have 256 possible combinations which create 256 shades. Keep in mind that this is 256 per color so in a full color display, we’re able to combine each of those shade levels (there are three: a red, a blue, and a green). Therefore we have (256) X (256) X (256) = 16.7 million. So an 8 bit LED display control system is capable of 16.7 million colors. A 16 bit display controller, you can imagine is capable of much more. This is the standard for most video displays and also what the Cirrus N2 is capable of. In a 16 bit system each diode is capable of 65,536 shades. When we total up all the colors we get to 281,474,976,710,656. That’s 281 quadrillion. Is that enough? Research has indicated that the human eye can distinguish between 100,000 (Calkins, David J. Mapping color perception to a physiological substrate. The Visual Neurosciences Volumes 1 and 2. The MIT Press, 1993) and 7 million (Myers, David G. Psychology. Michigan: Worth Publishers, 1995: 165.) different colors. So if we have the capability to identify a maximum of 7 million colors visually, does it really matter how many quintillion colors a display can show? This is a nonsense specification. Add to that that many major file formats such as .jpg are only 8 bits themselves (and therefore capable of only 16.7 million colors) does it matter if a display can show more than that? A display can’t show more colors than the content that’s being input. Be wary of the salesperson who's only advantage that they are able to show you is a greater number of colors. It's all just smoke and mirrors.

Stock Ticker App Added

A Stock Ticker App has been added to the LED Cloud. It is available on the App platform within LED Cloud and is available to all Cirrus users free of charge. Here is the description from LED Cloud: The Stock Ticker App allows you to bring Wall Street to your LED Display from anywhere! Configure this app and add it to your playlist in minutes providing a way to display securities of your choice in limitless configurations. The app allows you to display a company’s name, their stock symbol, and the last price it was traded at along with the percentage change for the day.Choose between showing one security or multiple. The content will show on your display one company at a time and move through the entire list of companies you picked. With this App you'll be able to: Stream securities pricing directly to your display as the trading day progresses. Customize the look by changing the size and location of the securities information that you choose to display on your LED screen. Choose how many securities to monitor and display at any given time. Use the Stock Ticker App to stay up to date on Market conditions!

Countdown App Added

Cirrus today added a countdown timer to the LED Cloud. It is available on the App platform within LED Cloud and is available to all Cirrus users free of charge. Here is the description from LED Cloud: The Countdown Timer App is a fantastic way to draw attention to your display by highlighting a time-critical event or deadline for your viewers! The app can be configured to a variety of different settings and styles making it both robust and easy to use. Let your audience know when a sale starts or ends, a sporting event begins, your store opens or anything else you can dream up. Simply enter the finish date and time in the app settings and let LED Cloud take care of the rest! Positioning and format settings allow the app to fit your display the way you want. This is a full slide app and can be added to any of your playlists with just a couple clicks! With this App you'll be able to: Display a live countdown until a specified event. Customize countdown settings to fit the format and style of your choice. Label the countdown any way you see fit! Customize the countdown format. For example, choose to display or not display seconds in your countdown in addition to a number of other features. Use Countdown timer to draw your customer's attention to time sensitive events and spur them to action!

App Platform and First App Released

Today at Cirrus we've released our LED Cloud platform app that runs on our LED displays. This is not the iPhone App or the Android App. What is LED Cloud? For those who are not well acquainted, LED Cloud is our cloud based content management system. It allows owners and operators of Cirrus LED displays to control their content from anywhere in amazing new, user-friendly ways. Our displays are typically installed as part of a signage application or for outdoor advertising. Users can control those outdoor led displays from any computer with a web browser, an iPhone or android app, and almost any new internet enabled device. Log on to LED Cloud at to create a demo account and test drive it for yourself. What is the LED Cloud App Platform? We built our software in the cloud for a few reasons. Among them are accessibility and convenience, usability and others. Probably the most compelling though is content. By networking every display we’ve manufactured, we’re creating an entirely new experience for users but most importantly, for the audience of our users. LED displays are a marketing medium after all. The app platform is a tool that allows us to create new apps quickly and effectively. It will allow us to keep building in features to augment the experience of using our content management system. Whatever we (or you) can dream up can be built in to the system. Users then select the apps they want, and install them into their account. If they want a feature (an App) excluded, they simply don’t install it. Via the LED Cloud we are able to format and stream content directly to all the displays in our network. The LED Cloud App is the way in which our users create, customize, and use those streams. It is an entirely new vision for what can be done with an outdoor LED display and the content displayed on them. What is this new App? Today we are launching the App platform and with it, our first app. The app is a time and date application. This app just scratches the surface of what an app can do but also fulfills the function of validating the platform and providing a basic feature which outdoor LED displays require. Through the simplicity though, you’ll also notice the customizability and elegance of the content that can be created. Close to 200 fonts can be chosen from. The feature is available now in Demo accounts within the LED Cloud. Trying is understanding, so log in to your free LED Cloud account today and test it! Future Apps which we will be releasing in the near term include a weather forecast app which will provide live updating weather forecasts to our outdoor LED displays and a countdown timer app which will be able to draw customer’s attention to time sensitive issues and events. Stay tuned for updates!

LED Cloud Tutorial Videos

Cirrus has released a series of tutorial videos to aid users in becoming acquainted with the LED cloud content management system. We will be adding to this video library on an ongoing basis. The first twelve videos have been placed on the Cirrus website here: http://www.cirrusled.com/products/led-cloud/tutorial-videos As features are added to the LED Cloud we will update corresponding videos to the site above, to our YouTube account, and within the knowledge base instruction and FAQ system built into the LED Cloud itself. For instant notification of the release of new videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

N2 Publication

The February 2013 edition of "Sign of the Times" will be featuring an Ad for the new N2 LED display system from Cirrus.

N2 Product Release Update

Update: At Cirrus, we have been buried in the development of N2 for months. We couldn’t be more excited about what we’ve created. Look for product details and updates on this site in the coming weeks. Also, look for our advertising in the February edition of Sign of the Times and also a product spotlight write-up feature in the same publication. Updated Release Schedule: N2 will begin shipping on April 1st. N2 will be available for preorder on March 1st. Visit our dealer page for an application to receive pricing on the system direct starting February 1st.

LED Cloud Software Update

Additions: We are continuing to add new features to LED Cloud, Cirrus's cloud based LED display software. As with any new updates to the LED Cloud, changes can be seen immediately and require no new installations or downloads. This month we completed development of the LED Cloud iPhone app. The iPhone app allows users to connect to the LED cloud via their iPhone in a simple and streamlined way. Users are able to: Power their display on and off. Schedule their playlists on the display’s calendar. View exactly what is playing on their display at any given moment. We added new account settings features, including the ability to change the background of your LED Cloud user interface. When logged in to your LED Cloud account, click on your user name in the top right hand corner of the page. Under the drop down menu that appears, click “My Account”. You will find the option for changing background on the menu listed on that page. If you haven’t created an LED Cloud demo account, you can do so by visiting cloud.cirrusled.com. Click the “Sign Up” button and follow the instructions to create your free account. What to look forward to in the next month: We will be releasing the Android version of our iPhone app for all those Android users out there. We are now busy working on our weather application. The weather app will allow users to display current weather conditions and full weather forecasts with up to the minute accuracy. The app perpetually updates itself. Beginning February 1st, we are implementing an online quoting system for select installers and sign shops. After filling in our on-line application and being granted approval, customers will be able to create quotations immediately and automatically for any sized display. Quotes can be printed to PDF or emailed directly to selected accounts.

Cirrus Announces New EMC System

Cirrus Systems Inc. (San Rafael, CA) has announced it N2 System of modular EMC panels that can be configured to can be configured to any size on-demand, the company reports. The N2 system comprises 12 x 12-in. aluminum-frame units and corresponding 12 x 12-in., encapsulated, waterproof, LED modules. The assembled unit can be as light as 5 lbs./sq. ft., the company states. The modules are serviceable from both the front and rear. A specially designed embedded controller is connected to the system to dictate the display screen's message, which can be edited via an iPad, iPhone or Android devices. Additionally, content such as weather feeds, sports scores, financial information, and twitter comments can be set to stream directly to the displays for live updating content.