Sign & Digital Graphics

October '14

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92 • October 2014 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE The Shallow End While the LED market expands, another trend with LED lighting is smaller and thinner, both for outdoor and indoor sign lighting. Bryan Vincent, a partner at Principal LED in San Angelo, Texas, says customers are increasingly requesting thinner returns and thinner signs. "Channel letters have been tradition- ally 5" deep because you had to stand the neon off of it so it wasn't spotting. Now, with LEDs there's a trend to go to thinner and thinner channel letters: 3" and even 1 1/2". While it may seem that makes the sign less expensive because you're using less material, it can be more expensive because you have to use more LEDs to disperse the light evenly," says Vincent. Since LEDs are points of light, the closer the light is to the face the more likely the viewer is to see those points, instead of evenly diffused light. Vincent adds that LED manufacturers have responded with LEDs with special lenses that push the light more to the side to eliminate the light-point effect. The ability of LEDs to operate in a thin profile has also brought them indoors into point-of-purchase and exhibit applications. Principal LED, for instance, offers a range of strip lighting specifically for point-of-purchase signs. "We do a lot of interior cabinet boxes and retail displays, and that's a big area of opportunity, but it can be very price- sensitive because it's often temporary. If you walk into a T-Mobile or Apple store you'll see a lot of interior back- lits. LEDs make it a lot easier to provide backlits for those applications where the retailer and the brand want something bright that catches consumers' eyes," says Vincent. "We're also seeing more RGB LED applications where the customer can change the color of the sign and create color-changing effects. There is an opportunity to offer a full solution in the future, including a software package and full remote control from a laptop or iPad. It's not a big market, but it's a viable option for someone who wants a more dynamic sign." In the exhibit market, Orbus Exhibit & Display Group has added a new line of LED lighting solutions in conjunction with its tension fabric displays and fab- ric architectural structures that can be incorporated and added to its displays so the graphics can be illuminated from the inside for added glow and attention. "There is a healthy demand for crisp, bright and semi-bright LED lighting in displays that help the exhibitors' exhibit shine brighter than their competition and make a more prominent presence on the trade show floor and event setting," says Natalie Whited, Vice President of Marketing for Orbus. "Illumination is an important piece of the puzzle to achieve the mood, style and staging that is desired. Merging shapes and structures Orbus Exhibit & Display Group has added a new line of LED lighting solutions in conjunction with its tension fabric displays and fabric archi- tectural structures. (Image courtesy of Orbus Exhibit & Display Group) Pricing for LED power supply hardware has gone down signifi- cantly in recent years. (Image cour- tesy of Allanson LED Lighting) LED lighting was used to inter- nally light these funnel-shaped trade show displays. (Images courtesy of Orbus Exhibit & Display Group)

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