Sign & Digital Graphics

The 2015 LED & EMC Report

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L E D & E M C • June 2015 • 15 LED/EMC LED module Optics Channel Letter Optics and Options Straight talk about LED lenses and optic choices in channel letter applications B y F r i t z M a l y n e , J r . O ptics for LEDs are nothing new, and optics for the channel letter modules (CLM) have advanced at a fairly fast rate. However with all things new, there is always more to the story than meets the eye, the budget and the actual applica- tion need. First let's talk about the optic or lens or light-enhancing cover. When optics first appeared for CLM in the not too distant past, a light enhancing cover was placed over a standard chip. This was akin to taking a gallon of "light" and putting it into a 2 gallon container… same light is the same light, kind of like a pound of feathers vs. a pound of lead… they both weigh the same but they take up totally different spaces. In other words, adding an optic did allow for more light coverage, but it took the same "gallon of light" and spread it over a larger area, thus more coverage but less illumination overall. This low-tech principle is still available today and the burden of what is right for your needs unfortunately is on your shoulders to separate the good guys from the not-so-good guys. CLM Optic Considerations The main advantage of considering an optic CLM is first it should lower your Bill of Materials, and second it should provide more "chip" illumination to compensate for fewer CLM and a wider beam/light spread over a greater area. Fritz Meyne Jr. is the vice president sales for the Bitro Group. You can contact him at FritzM@ BitroGroup.com This H-shaped channel letter shows wide beam optics single row on the right side, and a double row of non-optics on the left side. You will notice the single row side is actually brighter. This shows the value of HB LED and optics vs. non-optic LEDs. There is a 50% prod- uct material savings.

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