Sign & Digital Graphics

The 2015 LED & EMC Report

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16 • June 2015 • L E D & E M C On the other hand a high brightness chip set is needed to make this simple principle work at its fullest, all things equal. Think of your car's headlights—typi- cally a mirror-type reflector behind the bulb gathers the light and spreads if over a determined area in front of your car. However, when you need more illumina- tion and hit the "high beam" button, the reflector is not changing, there is more power being driven to the filament/bulb. In simple terms, for an optic-enhanced LED to properly work with the men- tioned advantages you have two choices; overdrive the LED (typically not a good solution for longevity) or use a premium HB-type chip(s) with higher lumen out- put. Now we are getting somewhere. While optic enhanced CLM are now mainstream, it is important to compare standard 120 degree beams vs. optics. A very easy and factual example that was on display at a recent trade show illus- trated two brand names of CLM istalled in a single channel letter—an "H". One side of the letter was illuminated with a double row of standard 120-degree beam CLMs in a 10" stroke; and on the other side of the "H" was a HB 160-degree sign row of optic CLM. The optic CLM needed seven modules, and the double row of standard CLM required 13 mod- ules. So the unit price of the non-optic vs. the optic gave the unit price favor to the non-optic CLM. Yet when the cost of 13 vs. seven modules was factored in, the optic offered a lower overall job cost, less labor to install and less liability after the sale, As you always hear from me… Buyer beware. Dual-Beam Solutions Additionally with the advent of optics, newer dual-beam solutions are offering real advantages by directing the light beam in two different directions instead of providing a simple conical beam. This format offers even more BOM savings, especially when used as designed and directed. These dual-beam optics are great for narrow stoke letters where you typically have to increase the CLM count This letter N shows wide-beam optics single row on the right side and double row non-optics on the left side. You will notice the single row side is brighter. This shows the value of HB LED and optics vs. non-optics. There is a 50 percent product material savings. Four non-optic CLM in the same size letter. Use a premium HB-type chip with higher lumen output for an optically-enhanced LED.

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