Keypads intended for outdoor use are susceptible to fading from sun exposure. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays will beat down on the keypad, causing the outer graphics layer to gradually fade. This isn’t something that happens overnight. Rather, months of exposure to UV light will eventually cause the graphics layer to fade. In some cases, the graphics may still be visible enough so it doesn’t affect the keypad’s utility. In other cases, however, the keys will become transparent or otherwise difficult to see; thus, preventing users from distinguishing between the different keys.
So, how do you protect your keypad from such damage? Generally speaking, there are two solutions available to protect against UV fading and damage: either bring the keypad indoors or choose a UV-resistant keypad. Assuming the application requires outdoor use, however, only the latter is a viable option. Thankfully, UV-resistant keypads allow individuals and business owners to use their keypads outdoors without worrying about the sun’s rays fading the graphics layer.
There are several different configurations for designing a UV-resistant keypad, though most follow a similar structure. An outer UV-resistant layer is printed onto the top surface of the keypad’s foil substrate. When the sun hits the layer, it’s reflected back off the keypad rather than absorbing through. This essentially protects the actual graphics layer from sun fading and damage; thus, the keypad remains visible regardless of how long it’s been exposed to sunlight.
Not all applications require the use of a UV-resistant keypad, however. If the keypad is used strictly indoors where there’s limited-to-no sunlight, it’s going to offer any real benefits. Of course, there’s noting wrong with using a UV-resistant keypad indoors, but it’s not going to prolong its lifespan or otherwise improve its utility. On the other hand, keypads used outdoors can certainly benefit from a UV-resistant coating. The coating protects the underlying graphics layer from fading and damage, which subsequently increases the keypad’s lifespan and overall usage. This is one of the reasons why so many professionals choose UV-resistant keypads for outdoor applications.
In addition to a UV-resistant coating, the UV keypads offered here at Nelson-Miller are also incredibly then and compact. So, not only are they protected against UV light, they are also thin enough to use in applications where traditional non-UV keypads can’t be used. This makes them attractive choice for use in industrial machines and controls. Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of UV-resistant keypads and their benefits.