The operational lifetime of an LED Display is determined by the lifetime of the LEDs. LED Manufacturers estimate the LED lifetime to be 100,000 hours under certain operating conditions. LED Display end of lifetimes is when the frontal brightness has decreated to 50% of original brightness.
Three primary factors determine LED lifetime:
Manufacturing process of the LED
Driving (powering) method of the LED
Temperatures present at the LED die during operation
LED thermal management is vitally important to maintaining LED lifetime. Increasing the power through an LED increases brightness but reduces its lifetime due to increased heat generation. Increased exposure to higher temperature also shortens the lifetime. LED thermal managerment can only be done through the LED lead frame by conducting the heat to a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and by allowing allowing airflow to cool the LED lead frame.
LED Display components must be designed to handle a wide rang of outdoor environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity. All components must be coated to protect from possible corrosion.