Sign & Digital Graphics

June '18

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18 • June 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE and the florescent tubes created very noticeable hot spots due to their close proximity to the sign face (one inch). I also found a neon transformer inside the cabinet—still powered up with nothing connected to it. Clearly, the sign had a neon border on it at one point that had been removed." But it isn't solely the lighting aspect that sign makers need to address. The letters themselves, in both size and con- struction, play a major role in the retro- fitting process. Follow the Letter "The channel letter size and depth will dictate the amount of LEDs that will be needed for proper illumination at the face," states Joe Reis, director of LED Signage Innovations at International Light Technologies. A sign maker will typically want to use more LEDs as the letter gets deeper so that the light is adequately spread from the source. "Overall square footage of the sign cabinet, divided by the total lumen out- put of LED modules will give you a total lumen output per square foot of sign face," explains Reis. "My rule of thumb is minimum of 250 lumens per square foot." Anderson says that six inches was the standard depth for building neon chan- nel letters. "This depth is easily accom- modated by most retrofit LED products designed for channel letters," he contin- ues. "For even illumination, you'll gener- ally need the same number of 'strokes' of LED modules versus what resided in the letter before. There are now a vari- ety of LED modules designed for greater spacing, but in my experience these work best for cabinet retrofits rather than for channel letters." If there is a trend in channel letter size, it's that they have been decreasing in depth recently. A lot of this is due to how reliable LEDs are in sign projects. "With the availability of better optics over LEDs, channel letter depths have been decreasing," says Bluhm. "Neon channel letters are typically four to five Letter and cabinet depth has been decreasing due to LED lighting functionality. This sign is just two inches deep. (Images courtesy of Sloan LED)

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