Direct thermal printers contain a thermal print head that applies heat energy to a specially coated facestock that turns black when heated to create the required images. Direct thermal saves money by not requiring the use of an inking ribbon. However, the coated facestock is more expensive than non-thermally coated facestocks and is very sensitive to temperature, light, water, chemicals and hard use. The life expectancy of direct thermal labels is usually less than one year. Direct thermal labels perform best for short term or indoor uses such as products with short shelf lives, shipping or indoor inventory control.