Sign & Digital Graphics

November '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • November 2017 • 21 From a general sense, LED signs per- form well in a variety of environments. It's simply the planning that must go into the installation and type of products used that can vary. "LEDs can be used virtually anywhere fluorescent or incandescent lighting has been used. The important thing is to make sure the LEDs and drivers are rated for the environment where they will be installed," explains Harrison. "LEDs and drivers designed for indoor use should never be installed where they will be subject to rain, snow, condensation, etc. Follow the manufacturer's recommenda- tions and select components designed for the conditions where they will be used." Avoiding Trouble Since even the most skilled electric sign installers can run into problems with LED drivers, it follows that everyone involved with these signs should scru- pulously follow the appropriate steps. First off, "Make sure the driver is rated for the input voltage," says Vincent. "Many drivers are what we call universal (i.e. 110-277 VAC input); however, some will accept 110V only or 110/220V only. This is a simple but unfortunately com- mon mistake—the installer does not ver- ify the output voltage of the site. This can cause the power supply to fail." Meyne expands by adding, "If a prod- uct's operating voltage is unknown or in doubt, it is always safer to try hooking up to a 12 V power supply first, before trying 24V. A 24V LED on 12V power supply will simply not light up (or be very dim). A 12V LED on 24V power supply will kill the LED, due to overcurrent." Next, when looking at purchasing the LED sign's components, keep in mind that, "Often the driver and LED light are supplied as a matched package by the manufacturer. If purchased sepa- rately, a sign maker must first determine if a constant voltage or constant current driver is required," says Harrison. "Strip lighting is often constant voltage and rated in watts per foot. The wattage of the driver is determined by multiplying the length of the strip by watts per foot. A 60W - 12V Class 2 LED driver from Principal LED. (Image courtesy of Principal LED) Foster Transformer Company's dimmable 60 W universal driver. (Image courtesy of Foster Transformer Company)

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