Why Watchfire?

Watchfire has been the industry leader in image quality, durability and ease of use since we introduced our first outdoor LED signs in 1996. Today, we're one of the leading digital billboard manufacturers, with more digital outdoor customers than any other manufacturer. We manufacture each digital billboard in our Danville, Illinois, plant.


Watchfire Digital Outdoor exclusively serves the outdoor digital display market, and everything we do is focused on building the best looking, most reliable outdoor digital billboards available anywhere. Watchfire digital billboards are more energy efficient, more technologically advanced and more user-friendly than ever. Keep reading to see how.



From the very beginning, Watchfire has designed our digital billboards with efficiency, sustainability and durability in mind. We recognize that green products are more than just good for the planet. Billboards that consume less energy are a better investment for buyers because they reduce ongoing cost of ownership.


We use energy-saving and environmentally friendly components and design specifications. Watchfire is continually raising the bar when it comes to sourcing high-efficiency LEDs, using a custom-designed, high-efficiency power supply and a sign ventilation design that has never needed air conditioning or heaters. Our billboards also feature automatic dimming at sundown and an optional photocell to adjust brightness in all light conditions.


With each year, we've greatly reduced maximum Amps service requirements. As an example, we lowered maximum Amps on a 16mm bulletin from 168 in 2009 to 98 in 2010 then 69 in 2011, and to 50 Amps today. That's a reduction of 71% over five years. Our 19mm bulletin (14' x 48') is now rated at just 50 maximum Amps.

UL Image


The Most Energy Efficient LED Billboards Available

But don't just take our word for it. In 2011, Watchfire became the first in the industry to earn UL-Energy Efficiency Certification, a testament to our compliance with the strictest efficiency requirements in the US and further proof that ours are the most energy efficient LED billboards available.


The UL-Energy Efficiency Certification was developed to assist manufacturers with testing and certifying products for compliance to energy efficiency requirements contained within Title 24 of the California Energy Commission's Building Energy Efficiency Standards. Certification standards include mandatory automatic control requirements and standards that set limits on installed lighting power for illuminated signs.


Besides UL-Energy Efficiency Certification, Watchfire billboards are compliant with UL 48, the standard for safety of electrical signs and the National Electrical Code.


Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Besides designing energy efficient digital billboards, Watchfire works to reduce environmental impact from chemicals, waste and power consumption related to the manufacturing process. We recycle scrap from production, including metal, paper and wood products. We also filter and reuse water used to rinse components.


Our workforce-related refuse is collected and recycled, and our plant is designed to promote cross ventilation, eliminating the need for air conditioning. Air scrubbers reduce airborne emissions, and compressed air is cycled on timers to increase plant efficiency.


Making our products eco-friendly is good for the environment, good for your bottom line and just good business. It is philosophies such as this that have kept Watchfire going for over 80 years.


About Watchfire

Watchfire was founded in 1932 in Danville, Ill. For the next 70 years, we were known as Time-O-Matic, Inc.  Our product line included sign flashers, time and temperature displays and message centers based on incandescent light bulbs.  We began building LED signs in 1996, and you'll find our signs in all 50 states and in many countries. We were the first digital billboard manufacturer to acquire more than 100 digital billboard customers, and today we have more customers than any other manufacturer.

We take great pride in building the finest looking, most durable digital billboards available anywhere in the world.  

As we continue to grow and lead the way into the future of digital outdoor, we look forward to more ground-breaking technology, enhanced messaging capabilities and excellent service and reliability.


More Reasons to Love Watchfire

Watchfire's digital billboards feature:

  • Even greater energy efficiency. A Watchfire True-19mm bulletin, for example, now requires just 50 maximum Amps.
  • Front- and rear-service cabinets simplify maintenance, improve appearance and lower the overall weight of the structure.
  • Higher-efficacy LEDs effectively deliver a wider viewing angle and truer colors.
  • Ignite┬« Online offers Web-based access to upload artwork and manage schedules, and tools to create dynamic content including RSS feeds (for news, sports scores, stock quotes, weather forecasts, etc.)
  • Enhanced medium to long range viewing on our Watchfire E-16mm - more data with fewer LEDs through an image processing algorithm to effectively achieve the same resolution as the True-16mm.
  • Preferred Plan Option takes service to the next level with three tiers that can be customized to take pre-installation, sales and marketing, and long-term operations off your plate entirely.


Designed to Stand Out

Our superior resolution is just one reason for the best image quality in the industry.

  • Our True-12mm packs 576 pixels into each square foot, our highest resolution available.
  • Our True-16mm packs 324 pixels into every square foot.
  • Our True-19mm packs 256 pixels into every square foot (10-15% more than 20mm boards).
  • Our E-16mm optimizes more data with fewer LEDs through an image-processing algorithm that effectively achieves the same resolution as the True-16mm, making it ideal for medium- to long-range viewing.
  • All Watchfire LED boards boast the truest, deepest color palette in the industry, for richer, more vibrant images.
  • Whole-sign color calibration using Radiant Imaging's gold-standard calibration system on every Watchfire billboard. This eliminates color variations and "tiling" or "quilting" in the source image.
  • Our louvers are manufactured using non-reflective matte polycarbonate plastics and are designed to trap light, resulting in deep blacks and outstanding contrast.
  • Our digital billboards have field-adjustable brightness of 5,000 - 7,500 nits, giving billboard operators complete control to dial-in the perfect setting for a combination of optimal readability and energy-efficiency. Settings can conserve up to 40% of energy use.


Engineered to Stand Up

  • Our digital bulletins weigh as little as 6,200lbs - which means fewer structural upgrades and lower installation costs.
  • Fully encapsulated LED modules on all Watchfire models seal out moisture so thoroughly that they run underwater for months. No other product can withstand such a test.
  • Just two connections per module - Minimized connections result in lower likelihood of service.
  • Multi-channel Data provides redundant protection against data loss, to isolate a service issue to a single module and keep messages readable.
  • Watchfire boards never require air conditioning in any situation. This reduces up-front cost and weight and lowers energy bills and predicted service.
  • Our 5-year warranty is standard on every digital billboard we build - and has been for years.


Proven to Perform

  • Ignite┬« Online is designed specifically for Watchfire billboards and can easily create complex advertising schedules, including dayparting, multiple ads per advertiser, time/temp and counters. Ignite Online features greater advertiser control and RSS capabilities and is included with every Watchfire billboard.
  • Automated diagnostics continuously scan the entire billboard and send an immediate e-mail to report problems.
  • A webcam provides real-time visuals of performance and sign schedules.
  • 100-steps of automatic sign dimming ensures appropriate brightness for each billboard location.
  • Connectivity via broadband wireless streamlines communications set-up (DSL/cable is also available).
  • Printable proof-of-performance provides detailed reports for your advertisers.


Service After the Sale

  • Access our Help Desk Support and Automated Diagnostics for the lifetime of the board - no field service contract is required.
  • Our exclusive Preferred Plan has three unique options that enable our customers to be successful faster. Ask us for more details.
  • A dedicated project manager provides assistance in the coordination of manufacture, delivery and installation, including:
    • Coordinating communications with the structure company
    • Managing project timelines and ensuring on-time delivery
    • Assisting in the coordination of field crews
    • Arranging set-up and launch of Internet connectivity
  • A Watchfire on-site field technician trip is included in with every billboard.
  • Our Field Service Dispatch and Management Program is offered for timely management of service issues with a network of technicians nationwide.


Our experienced technicians are available to help you select the digital billboard that best fits your needs. Request Info Online or call 800-219-0496 to learn more.