Sign & Digital Graphics

October '14

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Page 104 of 140

ELECTRIC SIGNAGE L EDs took about 10 years to transition from an unknown and hotly debated lighting source to one that would become widely accepted, and eventually dominate the channel letter lighting market. The transition from fluorescent to LEDs in cabinet signs will be greatly condensed, according to some LED lighting advocates. "LEDs will take over the sign cabinet lighting market much faster than they did with channel let- ters," predicts Jill Bonilla, marketing manager for SloanLED. And history—especially recent history—is on her side. With most of the bugs worked out of LED sign lighting systems, a now-proven track record, lower prices, brighter LEDs, better power sources, and a gigantic market ready to be seized, the odds are also in her favor. The odds are not only in favor of LED manufac- turers, but sign companies as well. There are a lot of opportunities for sign cabinet retrofits while new builds are more likely to specify LEDs, not only for sign cabinets, but other types of lighting like archi- tectural, cove, accent, other general commercial lighting and exhibit and point-of-purchase displays. For new builds, such as new shopping centers, lighting cabinet signs with LEDs is almost a given. It will take more time for older signs to turn over to LEDs, according to Bonilla. "We're finding that new builds are growing more quickly than retrofits for cabinet signs. When you go to a new build your ROI is quicker. The customer is L E D L i g h t i n g t r E n D s Light 'em Up All trends point to LEDs taking over as the dominant light source indoors, outdoors and traditional sign lighting applications B y r E g a n D i c k i n s o n Regan Dickinson is the former execu- tive editor for Sign Business and Digital Graphics magazine. He currently resides in Denver, Colo., where he continues to follow the signage industry. New builds for cabinet signs, are increasingly being completed using LED lighting systems, such as this recent outdoor project employing SloanLED's Signbox II product. (Photo courtesy of MidWest Sign & Screen Supply. Sign fabri- cated by Colorado Sign Fabricators) 86 • October 2014 • s i g n & D i g i t a L g r a P h i c s

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