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

Friday Highlight!

Another week has come and gone and we are reminded why we should stick to the strong stuff next week...coffee.

For those of you anxiously watching the clock today, ready to run out and take control of your three-day weekend, why not spend some time browsing through our many many photos. It is a great way to spend some "extra time". This week we are showcasing our installed for Shawnee Honda Polaris Motorsports in Oklahoma! This massive display stands at 12 feet x 12 feet and is a great example of the customizability of display size. Our displays are made up of 1ft. x 2ft. modules. Each module is made to provide the option to be interconnected in order to make your signage as large or as small as you need it to be. This also means that at any time, if the sign size needs to change, you can remove or add modules to make it a better fit for you. Our different modules, those for Blade X in the 9mm or 12mm and those for Solo Fire and Ice are also interchangeable. Our universal framework allows for our different modules to be exchanged or upgraded without having to remove and reinstall your sign. The display at Shawnee is a very large version of our Blade X product. This is an RGB display that can show 281 different colors. Blade X is also available in three different resolutions. Shawnee's is a display with a 16mm resolution meaning that the viewing distance from the sign is recommended to be at least 60 feet. This is because it is meant to be seen by traffic that will initially be traveling towards the sign from a good distance away. This is always a great option for a display that is very tall and needs to be seen from the road, even if it is not roadside.   If you are interested in building a sign of your own, take a look at our product page. Then I would suggest either calling at the following number:  877.636.2331 or contact your local sign shop and ask about our products. In addition, for those of you who don't already know, we do post updates on all of our products on our blog and social pages. This along with our Friday Highlights and other fun photos and news stories can be found on the following networks and by going to our homepage. Facebook Twitter Ello Pinterest Instagram  

5 Big Markets Using Digital Signage

Digital Signage is becoming the most popular form of advertising. It is quick, it is easy, it is eye catching. If you are currently considering the switch to this updated advertising system, consider the following industries that are helping to push digital signage to the top.  

Sports

Nearly every sports arena, from the full fledged football stadiums, down to the university fields, incorporates digital displays.  Actively changing displays draws in locals that want to know when the homecoming game is and it rallies the hundreds of thousands of people cheering on the playoff teams. For those of us who can't afford the nosebleeds, we are consistently looking to see what kind of signage is around so we can keep updated on the scoreboards. For those of us who can't afford the nosebleeds, we are consistently looking to see what kind of signage is around so we can keep updated on the scoreboards. Sure enough, there will be a very large screen at the each of the four directional points of the stadium informing us of the numbers, replays, and current action.  

Gaming

Very few would guess the gaming industry would use digital displays when there are so many different gamer-specific platforms to consider when physically participating in the games. However, much like the sports related industries, gamer gather from all around the world to participate in huge tournaments. For example, there is currently a DreamHack competition taking place. If you were to follow the link HERE, you can see that Twitter Gaming has an intro video to the tournament. In the first few seconds, it shows an enormous crowd. They will be watching the gaming on...yup...a humungous screen that can show them all of their favorite gamer's active screenplay.  

Fast Food

Driving down the highway it is incredibly difficult to point out businesses without digital signage! That is because this is the easiest way to let people know where your business is. These displays not only let you know when the pumpkin spice kick begins but also approximately when to turn into the driveway of that particular business so you can buy said pumpkin spice.

Financial Institutions

Banks and Credit unions turn to signage as a useful tool in informing the public about what makes them stand out from the others of their like, in the area. Popularly they will showcase specific rates that they can provide to new users. They also display what items or processes are included in their financial options/accounts, for example, "free checking" or "zero atm fees". And of course, there are the quirky phrases that also get brought on board like, "Got Debt?".  

Car Washes

Car washes are necessary throughout the different stages of your car's life. This is why there are so many of them. Car washes are popular users of digital signage for similar reasons as the fast food chains. Partially because of competition and because of where they tend to be located. Any business stationed street side against major traffic will probably be looking to upgrade their own signage with the other businesses making the switch along the same street. If there are several of the same business on that one street, business owners will be looking to make that switch earlier than the others along with supplying the best content which is afforded them by the use of an LED.  

New LED Cloud Options!

Cirrus' LED Cloud is always being updated for the benefit of the user. With its newer platform, we would not have expected anything less than a new set of features to follow suit. As of today, two features, in particular, have been introduced. These are the News Feed and Stock Ticker options!  

News Feed

The News Feed will pull trending news topics from the web onto your digital display. This is a great device that will allow you to keep not only your customers informed but the general public as well. It will be a great way to draw the public to your sign as different hot topics cross over the screen. It would be hard not to stop and read up if weather concerns or the current political climate was in question and playing at my local grocer. Overall it keeps the community engaged with your business. Cirrus News Snip 2  

Stock Changer

Similarly, can be said of the stock option. This will allow the user to showcase stocks that they have chosen. Popular stocks could be Apple, Google, Snapchat, and Instagram. This is a fun option to try out and it can be a bit more customizable in that the user can choose which pieces of information show up (Name, symbol, current price, price change, percent change). They can also move each line of information around like a regular line of text. Cirrus Stocks Snip 3   If you cannot remember the last time you logged in I would highly recommend going in and trying out a few of the newer options in order to spruce up or switch up your sign a bit. It is always a good idea to test out new features in order to figure out which ones will work best for you! For more information on Cirrus Systems, Inc. or Cirrus LED Cloud, go to our homepage. For more ways to keep updated, follow us on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Fewer Connections = Fewer Problems

Cirrus LED is a supplier of efficient and innovative LED digital displays. But, being that we are a younger company compared to the very generational industry we are working in, many people are a bit wary of our products. To ease these worries I will be comparing our devices to the MTBF standards discussed on Digital Signage Today's main page. MTBF Standards stand for the Mean Time Between Failures. This measuring tool determines the reliability of a device based on the number of connections a device has considering that each connection could one day become a point of failure. This standard was first contracted by AT&T and has since become, "the gold standard for evaluating the design of electronic products and projecting how many hours will pass between failures" (DST).  The overall impression that this rating provides is that if the device has fewer connections/points of failure then it is a more dependable device. This rating looks at three areas, connection numbers, cables, and the strength of the separate components.

Connection Numbers

The example provided on their site was a 14in by 48in LED display made up of 611 modules, each with 11 pins (including their power and data connections). All together this brought their number of connections up to 6,721 for that single display. Now perhaps this particular display type is not suited for the large outdoor signs but when considering how high these numbers can be in comparison with our own signs, there is no real argument. Each individual module here at Cirrus is fairly large scaling in at 1ft x 2ft. Smaller individual modules will always mean more connections because it takes more modules to create the display size desired. One of our most popular features is that Cirrus LED displays contain so few connections. Each module only has 3 pins going in and 3 going out for power and 5 going in, 5 out for data. This gives each 16 total connections.

Cables

Cable connections can tangle you in problems the more there are. That is why cables are also taken into account under the MBTF standards. This number is made simple with Cirrus' two powerful cable connections made to the back of each module, which can then link to other modules, allowing the size of the display to be a customizable option. This is why the displays can also be set up on site. Only two connections need to be attached to the back of each module, one for power and one for data. The first module will have the power cable attached to the controller as opposed to the additional modules. The controller also has one cord that plugs into the designated outlet.

Component Strength

This section of the assessment is made to determine how well your display can measure against the weather. Cirrus displays have an IP67 rating meaning that they can be fully submerged in water and are protected from all elements. This is because our devices don't require moving parts each component is also covered by a conformal coating. Our displays don't have to be monitored moisture build up, they will not overheat and break, and they are built to prevent dust and dirt from getting in.   Cirrus Systems, Inc. provides customizable and reliable LED digital display devices that are easy to install, expand, and maintain. We are a young company that is continuing to prove that we can effectively create creative and efficient solutions to the problems related to LED displays.
If you would like to learn more, head over to our products page. For more information, you can go to our homepage or follow us on our various social media outlets! Facebook      Twitter     Pinterest     Ello     Instagram

5 Popular Uses for Cirrus LED Displays

Our displays are used for a variety of different businesses. They provide a very manipulative platform on which to advertise making them an easy choice for business marketing. For every business though, it is always nice to find out what types of programs Cirrus users prefer and how they use them, in order to figure out if we are a good fit. Here are 5 examples of popular uses for Cirrus LED Displays.   #1 - Live Feed Universities and high schools especially, enjoy the live feed option. By using our Cirrus Cloud System, the program used to design your display content, you can live stream events like football games or high school lacrosse matches. As long as the videos have an open URL (usually found on the school's webpage) the video can be streamed on your display. This allows universities to reel in more of the passing crowd as well as get the locals more excited about the university events because they can see them as they travel by.   #2 - Scheduling Restaurants are very fond of our flexible scheduling options. Our display software allows for the creation of "playlists". These playlists are made up a selection of slides picked by the user, that are set to play one after the other. Playlists can be set to play at specific times and days meaning you could schedule your lunch menu to repeat every day from 11 AM to 1 PM, or your weekend entrees pictures to cycle through only on Saturdays and Sundays from 5 PM to 9 PM.   Tower Theater#3 - Retrofitting The classic look of a Theater movie board is beautiful. Simple and elegant, it is a staple look for the industry. This leads me to the topic of retrofitting. Our LED systems can be installed within pre-existing signage structures. Theaters use this form of installation in order to easily replace their letter boards with a Cirrus LED digital display, usually a Solo Ice.  Cirrus is the only provider of an all white digital display, it incorporates over 65 thousand different grayscale shades making the classic look obtainable even with the LED upgrade.   #4 - Weather Protection Businesses stationed in Florida and Maine are amongst those who have to consider the weather before considering a sign. Unless they are buying a Cirrus LED. We have several displays in both those states as well as states that are frequented by dust storms, heavy rains, and crazy heat. Our design scored an IP67 rating, has no moving parts, and doesn't need to be monitored for moisture build up.   #5 - Changing Slides Digital displays are fantastic for Business parks because of how much content can be included on them. You are able to shift through different business signs and information. This is great for directing general traffic but also shipping trucks and those traveling to meet and negotiate with your business.    

Digital Signage Regulations South Dakota Business Owners Need to Know

South Dakota is known for its Black Hill Spruce trees, Black Elk Peak Mountain treks, ring necked pheasants (who incidentally go missing at times due to the frequently seen coyotes), Mt. Rushmore, and of course good ol’ country rodeos. It is certainly a hikers haven and a great place to pick up a few postcards. This state of “Great Faces, Great Places” also happens to be a happenin’ place for those who work in the signage industry. So, we've compiled some digital signage regulations South Dakota business owners need to know:   Every state has a series of official regulations describing both the types of displays and how they are allowed to function within that particular state’s lines. Even further, each state’s specific town is allowed to develop their own particular ordinances in order to adjust these regulations to fit the needs of each town.   With all of this information spread out in a million different areas it is pretty easy to get bogged down under all the technical jargon. In order to put a few minds at ease we at Cirrus Systems, Inc. have gone ahead and pulled the town ordinances for the towns of Yankton, Rapid City, and Sioux Fall and made them a bit more digestible for the average person not born in the powdered wig days. Yes, sadly we removed all of the “shall nots” and “therefore art thous”. Per convenience we have also provided the links to the official ordnance pages and section numbers to help people find the information they need a bit more quickly if they need to refer to the documents themselves.   We have also provided links to our own site so business owners, looking for an all around solution to some of the difficulties encountered while reviewing ordinances, can find relief in our available systems and software that work to make their displays fit both their business’ and their town’s needs!

Digital Signage Regulations South Dakota Business Owners Need to Know

  Yankton  -  Ord. No. 711, § I, Article lll. - Signs Sec. 27-77. (Media prohibitions) In Yankton, South Dakota there are many forms of signs that are prohibited by use within the town. These include, certain types of Banners, Beacon signs, Flashing signs, Gas pump bollard signs, Inflatable signs, Searchlight signs, Streamer sign, and finally Trailer or vehicle signs. Thankfully digital signage, like the LEDs provided by Cirrus Systems, Inc. did not make the list of prohibited mediums leaving them to be a very popular display option. Sec. 27-71. (Definitions) When it comes to digital signage Yankton more specifically describes them as, electronic message signs, which are considered an on-premises sign capable of displaying words, symbols, figures or images that can be electronically or mechanically changed by remote or automatic means. You will be able to search for this term amongst the ordinances in order to find information more quickly. Sec. 27-75, 1-10 (Sign design, construction, illumination, height and maintenance) Yankton’s first and foremost concerns are the conditions in which you must keep your sign. As a result, these are listed first. This is a large concern for most towns as they do not want signs flying around their yards during windy days or collapsing onto a property. Signs must comply with the town’s building and electrical codes as well as built using a permanent structure. They can also not be built on telephone poles, trees, or street signs. In addition the sign must be legible, cleaned regularly, and not defective. If it is, then the owner of the sign will be notified and asked to remove it or meet the requirements addressed. Cirrus signs are lightweight, easy to maneuver, and can be built to fit nearly any size needed, as well as retrofitted in order to fit existing display structures. This way you can reduce the hassle of having to switch out your current display and can insure that your display will fit securely into the existing framework.  Lighting is also a popular topic. In Yankton signs are required to have ambients lighting monitors which can adjust the brightness. This is to avoid affecting passing traffic or workers, for example it is nice to grab drivers attentions but blinding them may cause more crashes than customers. The signs cannot reach a brightness of over 0.3 foot candelas (defined in U.S. terms and regulations below). This poses no problems for Cirrus users as our display software allows you to schedule your display’s brightness so that it automatically adjust throughout the day.   Sec. 27-78. (Content neutral prohibitions) As for Yankton’s take on allowable sign content, it cannot resemble or imitate traffic signs since that could potentially confuse drivers or passerbys. They also cannot contain flashing media or be placed in any way that blocks government signs/signals, obstructs pedestrian or vehicle views, or on public property.     Rapid City - Ordinance number 6103 Sec. 17.50.080 (Definitions) In Rapid city, South Dakota an electronic sign can fit many ordinance descriptions including off-premise and on-premise signage. The main areas to look under for more specific ordinances include the following: Animation which are any signs that include moving graphics, symbols, designs, pictures, animations produced on a digital display. Electronic Message Center or a sign that can display words, symbols, figures, or images, that can be changed electronically or mechanically. Illuminated Sign where illumination is produced/transmitted through the sign face. Flashing Sign where the illumination of the sign can change rapidly between a high and low intensity. Sec. 17.50.080 C (Enforcement) Off-premise signs in Rapid City have been specifically asked to avoid content that includes moving animation, graphics, pictures, or video. Whereas other signs are generally prohibited from displaying flashing, blinking, or traveling lights. As well as content that obstructs or mimics traffic controls or related terms such as “Stop”, “Go”, “Danger”, “Warning”. Sec. 17.50.080 M (Advertising Message Required) Surprisingly you are not allowed to not show anything on your digital sign. If your sign does not have running content for a 30 day period you will be notified and asked to remove your sign. By planning your display’s ads ahead of time, which can be done using any of our displays, you can avoid this easily. By using our displays you can program different ad arrangements to play on a regular basis so you can avoid the dangerous blank screen. Sec. 17.50.080 N (Sun Brightness) Brightness levels for signs are also measured in candelas here and, like Yankton, cannot exceed .3 foot candelas above ambient light. There is a table in this section of the ordinances that provides a table of the area of your sign and the resulting affected distance. The brightness will need to be measured by a building official. Sec. 17.50.080 O (Existing Digital) Now, for the content that will be played on these displays. Messages and images, and really all other content must be static. These images then cannot change until they have played for a minimum of 8 seconds.   Sioux Falls - Section 160.577   160.577 B (Illumination) In Sioux Falls, South Dakota it all comes down to content speed.  Messages that move/switch content must be slow moving, they can dissolve, fade, scroll, travel but cannot be fast paced, blinking, or flashing. Any display of this kind is also required to have automatic dimming controls in order to meet ambient lighting conditions. Similarly to the other South Dakota areas, the brightness cannot exceed .3 foot candelas above the ambient light conditions. Cirrus’ LED Cloud Software makes it easy for these settings to be put in place. With this software you can schedule your ads and determine how fast/slow they run. You can add transitions as well as control the brightness of each display as it plays throughout the day. Section 160.579 (Nonconforming signage) Like all displays permits are required for the purchasing and placement of these signs. If you are looking to enlarge a sign or change its sign you will most likely have to arrange for a different permit to be approved. To learn more about digital signage regulations South Dakota business owners need to know, contact Cirrus Systems and we can connect you with one of our trusted South Dakota Sign Installation Professionals, including Creative Surfaces and Ace Neon Signs.  
There are some rules that are similar across the U.S. when it comes to the content, structure, and permitting of a display.
  • Signs cannot contain profanity, defamation, threats, illegal activity, deceptive or false advertising, or otherwise inappropriate visuals.
  • Your display must have a secured permanent structure
  • Your display must meet building and electrical codes
  • Permits must be obtained before the building of a sign.
    • Check to see if permits need to be acquired for sign size changes and location/position changes.  
  • It is also typical for the illumination of a sign to be measured in candelas vs. feet or inches. This form of measurement takes into account how much light is visible over a three-dimensional angular span (click here to read more about this measurement).
Many of the regulations listed above are similar to those of other towns within South Dakota's borders. This can serve as a helpful resource when trying to get an idea of what your town's ordinances might look like. For more information on topics like this, digital signage, or Cirrus as a whole, check out either our Homepage or our News page.

NEW LED Cloud Youtube Tutorials!

  We have recently created a series of tutorials regarding our LED Cloud software! This is the software that we use to program our LED displays. This software allows the end users to design and create unique advertisements that truly suit their business. It also allows them to regularly change their display's content. It is very user-friendly but this doesn't mean that there is not a learning curve. This software is always updated on a regular basis. Which means that if you haven't logged in for a few weeks, you may not have realized some of the changes. Either that or when you do log on you will be very surprised by all of the additions. We provide two services that can help to accommodate you to these changes. The first is our TUESDAYS @ TWO sessions, open to our current display users. Each week on both Tuesday and Thursday at 2 PM EST our support services hosts a 15-minute, guided, instructional session. These will cover a brief overview of the system, recent updates to the system (such as the look and placement of buttons), new features that were released over the last few weeks, and a general Q+A. Participants can either call in to join these sessions or log in online to attend. Secondly,  we have included a series of tutorial videos on our Youtube page. These will be continuously developed based on our display user's and sign shop's most popular questions. Currently, aside from our active display videos (definitely should watch those too) and our build time videos, we have six videos posted on our page. As of now, we have a video on editing slides, scheduling, reordering your current slides, uploading images, creating a display, and creating a playlist. To see each of these head on over and browse through our videos by going to youtube.com/CirrusCystemsInc or by clicking HERE.    

An Interactive Medium

Digital signage is both a fast-growing industry as a whole but also becoming a popularly used interactive medium. This is easily noticed on any long drive as you pass by sign after sign, "70% off", "$20 oil changes", "Large fries with every meal purchased". If I had to guess I would also say that the letter board on your left describing the specials didn't catch you attention as much as the LED sign on the right pointing out the fast-food drive through.  This is probably true for a number of reasons, first of all when you are driving who isn't in the mood for fast food? Secondly, Digital signs don't have to remain stagnant like letter boards and other still signage. Instead, they are bright and commanding, and their content changes.   In a recent interview included in Digital Signage Today, Paul Ducharme of Liquid Outdoor was discussing the importance of digital services. "The beautiful thing about digital is there is no extreme lag time with the creative," he said. "As soon as it's ready, it gets posted. With a static billboard, you've got to print it on vinyl, you've got to ship it, you've got to hang it; that's a three-week process. With digital, they just email us a file and it's up within five seconds" said Ducharme. "... Everything in the outdoor space is turning digital. Everybody in this lifestyle mall arena is rushing to convert everything to digital."   This is why so many companies, small businesses, retail shoppes, and enterprises are switching over to digital marketing. This allows the marketing to change with their industry and change with the market no matter what the time or season. In Digital Signage Today's One Display To Go Please, it was included that, "Dunkin' Donuts recently saw the benefits of using digital signage to reach customers at unusual times. For example, if a location has unseasonably warm or cold temperatures, it can easily take advantage of this oddity by marketing weather-specific foods such as hot or cold drinks, according to Paul Murray, director of digital innovation at Dunkin' Brands."   This is certainly a powerful market and it is quickly adapting to be the most functional. Here at Cirrus Systems, Inc. we are looking to better prepare you for this market's rapid changes with our own innovative digital signage collection. You can check them out on our home page and read more about the signage industry by referring to the links included within this post.  

Friday Highlight!

For those of you who thankfully survived the mounds of paperwork, loud copiers, and meetings that occurred throughout the week, congratulations! I will let us leave this week on a high by sharing on of the photos we received this week! Below is the Jenkinson's Aquarium in Point Pleasant, New Jersey! They installed quite a large custom display standing at 12 x 16 feet, a 9mm full-color display. They are clearly having some fun with it as they have an active penguin cam along with their text ads featured daily. Aquarium edited 2   Every week we like to highlight our favorite photos and videos. Be sure to follow us on our Facebook and Instagram pages in order to see them! We also post blogs regularly which you can find on by going to the news section of our website Cirrusled.com. For example, did you know we were featured on this year's Inc. 5000  list? No? check out our blog from yesterday!

Inc. 5000 includes Cirrus Systems, Inc. in their 36th annual list!

It has recently been published that Cirrus Systems, Inc. has been included amongst the Inc. 5000 list!   This, the Inc. 5000's 36th annual listing, presented a compilation based on company growth between the years 2013 to 2016. Cirrus Systems, Inc. was one of twelve Maine based companies to be included, overall coming in at place number 783 with a calculated 585.7% growth rate over this three year period. The industries related to Cirrus Systems' LEDs also grew considerably over this time period with advertising and marketing increasing by 158% and media by 198%.   “Being included in this prestigious list of companies is truly an honor and a testament to the hard work and passion of our team,” said David Rycyna, CEO of Cirrus Systems, Inc. "As we continue to expand our operations in Saco, we hope that this recognition will help to promote and strengthen Maine as a hub for technology and manufacturing."   The list as described by the Inc. 5000, "The fastest-growing private firms in America are creators. They create companies, they create value, and they create jobs --619,631 of them over the last three years. Here, by sector, are the companies whose creativity propelled them to the top of this year's Inc. 5000." Companies that were considered were required to be privately owned, have started earning revenue by March 31st, 2013, had no less than $100,000 in revenue in 2013, and no less than $2,000,000 in revenue in 2016. Mainebiz also reported on this year's Inc. 5000, more specifically listing the 12 Maine businesses that accompanied it. On their listing, we came in as the second business with the largest growth in the state!   “We see this recognition as an opportunity to reflect on our past successes, while sharpening our focus on the future,” said Rycyna. “From the expansion of our in-house LED manufacturing facility, to the impending launch of a new line of products and software services, we already have our sights set on next year’s list. For more information on Cirrus Systems, Inc. visit our main page at CirrusLED.com or CirrusLEDGrowLights.com