Sign & Digital Graphics

December '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • December 2017 • 19 tomer understands that. If they are pri- marily interested in running text mes- sages, a monochrome display could work for their application." • Life Expectancy—In any situation, it always seems so morbid to discuss the finality of something that has so much life. But the reality is that signage does not last forever. On the bright side, EMCs will exude plenty of worth before their days are up. "A variety of factors will affect the life expectancy of a sign," Barr explains. "The quality of components used to make and EMC have a direct effect on the longev- ity of the sign in the field. A five-year warranty for most signs will ensure that the product is kept in operation and functioning well. With the use of qual- ity components, highly trained service personnel and the availability of replace- ment parts, some signs have operated for a decade or more." Ten years seems to be the default answer when electronic sign experts are pressed to give an actual number, but what Barr says is valid—the display's life is dependent upon the parts and mainte- nance that is put into it, and the general usage of the sign. "The real answer (of life expectancy) is difficult because of many factors," Hughes says. " LEDs are produced, pack- aged, tested, and categorized by quality and consistency. You can expect to get what you pay for. The best LEDs can be expected to achieve their half-life of brightness at 10 years, but content also drives degradation. The more white con- tent presented to the LEDs themselves, the faster they will degrade. White drives all three colors at max voltage. We equate it to driving your car at 6,000 RPMs. Content over time affects lifespan. For that reason, we suggest customers limit or manage the amount of white used. You can also extend the life of the sign by using the scheduling feature built into our software. Have the sign automati- cally turn off during off-peak hours or middle of the night." • Budgeting—As mentioned previ- ously, the question of price is one that's "Single-color displays are quickly losing value as full-color message centers become less expensive," says Paul Hughes, National Sales Manager, ThinkSign Inc. (Image courtesy of ThinkSign Inc.) always bound to arise. Sign users are ever conscious of their budgets, but they know that quality and value sometimes come at a cost. "Think of a digital display as an investment for your customer to grow their business, not as a capital expense," Bern says. "They'll attract customers with messages when they can turn into the parking lot to buy—unlike TV, radio, and newspaper ads. Running a digital display will cost less than the customer may think." Bern continues by explaining that customers can finance the display if they don't have the funds to purchase it upfront, and then recuperate their monthly expenses by running ads on the display. As a suggestion, Barr lays out a financing model for EMC customers. "Businesses should consider, and budget for dynamic displays within their marketing and advertising budget," he states. "They could consider an invest- ment starting at $20,000, which would be just over $300 invested monthly, or around $12 per day, over a five-year period." And as experts in this field, sign shops should lend their advice to customers if they have questions about the details. "In an on-premise scenario," Hughes starts, "we suggest calling a local signage partner to assist in finding out the maxi- mum square footage allowed. We find square footage to be the most limiting factor to budgets. Once that is identified, comparing resolution options is easy." Barr agrees by saying, "A site analy- sis and zoning ordinance review would

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