Iconic Retail Brand Installs Transparent LEDs in Storefront to Engage Passersby


How can retailers capitalize on passersby and heavy foot traffic? The answer for most of the lifespan of retail has been signage. In the modern world, that signage is now digital. However, there hasn’t always been a viable solution due to natural light. For window digital displays, there have been two major concerns: Can the digital signage compete with direct sun? and How can they be installed to not impede natural light from flowing into the space?

That’s the quandary that faced one of the world’s most celebrated retail brands, Levi Strauss. Their flagship store on Market Street in San Francisco sees a tremendous amount of foot traffic. They wanted to capitalize on this with dynamic content powered by digital signage. Transparent LED displays were the solution that answered all their concerns.

What is transparent LED digital signage?

The descriptor transparent is used because the display is a glass window integrated with a touchscreen, allowing for light to pass through in both directions. This is different than standard screens, which have backlit components that illuminate the pixels on the screen. This creates visibility for viewers. For the screens to be transparent and allow the dual light pass through, an alternate light source is used that does not block the display. These transparent LED displays also have lower power consumption, consuming roughly 10 percent of the power of a traditional display. The screens have transparent components such as cathode, anode and substrate. They are designed ultra-thin and are more flexible in comparison to other screens.

Transparent LEDs also allow for 3-D content, which has become a sought-after feature for retailers. When brands can use 3-D advertisements, it changes the way in which they can communicate ideas and engage with users. These displays also offer tools for easy communication, delivering a positive customer experience.

What problems do transparent LED displays solve?

  • Smaller space requirements do to slim footprint and no need for external rigging structures
  • Eliminates the need for additional lighting behind display due to 6-80% light transparency through the screen vs traditional LED video walls
  • Displays can be customized to fit existing window frame openings and structures
  • Eliminates traditional signage that blocks light and valuable window front
  • Reduces labor for content renewal or traditional signage

Potential Applications of Transparent LED Displays

With recent advances in non-traditional LED displays, Transparent screens have opened up new opportunities to place digital signage in places most people would not have in the past. Transparent displays integrate seamlessly into architectural facades bringing digital media to the forefront of design. With Urban development booming, you can create anchor piece to large window fronts in retail, landmark buildings, public venues, hotels, airports and much more.

How Levi Used Transparent LEDs

Transparent screens have varied uses, depending on your goals and what type of experience you want to create. For the Levi storefront installation, the first challenge to overcome was the natural light that was flowing through the windows. Levi wanted to counter the light, so it didn’t interfere with view ability, while also allowing the natural light into the space. When they came to PixelFLEX with their ideas, we immediately recommended FLEXClear, which is a 65 to 75 percent transparent LED display. The ability for the FLEXClear to remove hurdles related to natural light made it an optimal choice. The direct sunlight and ambiance were no longer an issue. The FLEXClear solution actually leveraged these issues, turning them into assets.

The Levi flagship store, on famed Market Square in San Francisco, enjoys a steady stream of foot traffic. The goal was to turn window shoppers into in-store shoppers. With its outward facing windows, the storefront was ideal for the FLEXClear solution. The completed project offered dynamic content that is vivid and visible to passersby, while also allowing natural light to stream into the store. Learn more about the features and benefits of FLEXClear and how it can invigorate your space today.