Sign & Digital Graphics

October '14

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96 • October 2014 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE "A sign company can provide the customer with the pan channel, then go into the business and offer down lighting, menu board lighting, exterior lighting, cove or recess lighting, cobra heads and parking lot lighting. Someone can go in with a complete package with other lighting packages beneficial for that customer on both the inside and outside of the building," says Shane Mikkelsen, Western Regional Sales Manager for CAO Lighting, West Jordan, Utah. Mikkelsen says LED lighting is a chance to diversify and grow, not only the lighting application mix, but profitability. He sees sign lighting as complementary to other commercial lighting. "Why leave that business to someone else to be profitable with for architec- tural, commercial, and residential envi- ronments? All these different applica- tions allow someone to go in and say to the customer, 'We just built your sign; we notice you have a lot of interior cove lighting. Have you thought about light- ing them with LEDs so that it comple- ments the exterior of your business?' This industry isn't just about building signs; it's about building opportunity and building profitability by being diver- sified," says Mikkelsen. "Look at every- thing around you and provide a solution so your company can be a profitable company for a long time to come, espe- cially when times are tough." Mikkelsen adds that information about the simplicity, efficiency and ver- satility of LED lighting is getting out to lighting engineers and designers looking to solve lighting issues. Moreover, sign companies that are already well-versed in sign lighting have a lot of the expertise needed to offer other types of lighting with LEDs. But just like so many other lighting applications, there is more involved than just stringing up LEDs. "There are some things you need to learn before you do general lighting, but it's pretty easy and the specifications are usually well known. Accent lighting and cold-case refrigeration, for example, are low-hanging fruit and relatively easy to do," says Principal LEDs Bryan Vincent. "Still, there are a number of additional requirements and some degree of a learning curve. For instance, a lot of situations require a certain photometric pattern to meet the lighting specifications of the designer or the code. You need to under- stand what those things are so that what you provide meets that specification. There's software out there that allows you to import the photometrics for the lighting and apply that to a building. When you're talking about bulb replace- ments it's a little more straightforward, but when you get into an actual fixture it needs to meet a very specific photo- metric requirement. You can meet the lumen specification, but if the distribu- tion on the ground isn't correct you'll have dark spots." Ultimately, sign companies already well-versed in sign lighting have the capability and know-how to install other types of lighting with LEDs, though there are other criteria that need to be taken into consideration. Foremost among those criteria is whether or not it would be profitable to do so. " M o s t q u a l i t y s i g n s h o p s a r e UL-listed to put up electric signs, they have the customer base, the knowledge and they're already pulling permits," says CAO Lighting's Mikkelsen. "Customers are seeking them to build their signs and there are other opportunities within that general lighting plan. The education isn't substantially more than they already have, but it requires them to be open- minded and look outside the box." SDG (Images courtesy of CAO lighting)

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