Sign & Digital Graphics

June '17

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 85 of 104

S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • June 2017 • 79 Summarizing these points, the very nature of the LED lighting components will allow customers to save money. Horton says that costs after the instal- lation are "anywhere from none to very minimal. Our primary sign lighting products for letters exceed 100,000 hours of life while our cabinet products exceed 200,000 hours of life." Getting into the design and look of the sign really has more to do with the customer's preference than anything else. "If the client wants to update the graphics, doing that at the same time as the retrofit makes sense. If the cabinet itself is in poor condition, then updat- ing or replacing the cabinet may be required," says Reis. The same is true for replacing the sign's face or graphics, though Reis explains that "updating the graphics may enhance its overall look. Good LED sys- tems with a high color rendering index (90+ CRI) can really make the graphics 'pop' visually." Challenges of Weather Of course, any time a new sign is designed and installed there are usually obstacles that must be cleared. Installing an outdoor sign can present one of those challenges. According to Horton, "Weather is the main thing to consider. Most of the stan- dard products in the market today are 'damp rated' but not 'wet rated.' As long as the LEDs that are used outside are in an enclosure such as letters or cabinets, and proper drain holes are built into the signs, there should be no issues." Temperature changes can lead to some failures as well. The escalation in heat level will affect the performance of LEDs. "LEDs are subject to faster degra- dation in elevated temperatures," says Vincent. "In addition, power supplies give off heat and when that is coupled with the elevated heat inside the sign or on the roof of a building, the chance of failure increases." Extreme summer conditions cou- pled with the heat that is emitted by the power supply can reach levels of around 140 degrees F. "Therefore, it is not rec- ommended to use power supplies that have operating temperature ratings that are below 140 degrees F for outdoor applications," explains Vincent. On the flipside of the coin, very cold conditions will negatively impact the performance of neon and fluorescent lighting products, "whereas LED excels in cold environments," Reis says. "In many cases LED will be the better option for outdoor signage, especially in cold- weather regions." Aside from the external conditions of the sign, and more specific to retrofitting, there are customers that still really enjoy the visual effect of neon. Can sign makers offer anything from an LED perspective that re-creates a neon glow? The short answer is, not really. But there is a longer explanation. "I may be called a traditionalist here, but in my opinion the nostalgic glow of skeleton neon is really hard to re-create The very nature of the LED lighting components will allow customers to save money. CONSIDERATION RESULT DURING RETROFIT Replace cabinet or channel letters? Customer's choice - usually only if there is damage. Change the sign face? Not required, but new faces may enhance the appearance. Reconfigure the electrical? Not required, but energy usage will drop with low-voltage LEDs. Future maintenance costs? Will decrease; LED lifespan is over 50,000 hours. Retrofit Projects

Articles in this issue

view archives of Sign & Digital Graphics - June '17