Sign & Digital Graphics

March '19

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22 • March 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE Justifying the replacement of bulbs with LEDs doesn't always have to cen- ter upon a fixed product cost. There are other variables at stake that make LEDs the right choice. "RO I s can vary based upon local energy costs but are typically less than 24 months on a double-sided sign cabinet and are as low as 12 months for a single- sided cabinet," explains Vincent. "This includes a material mark-up and standard labor rates billed by the sign company. Typical energy savings are between 55 and 65 percent versus a T12." Another factor that can play a part in a retrofit decision is the weather. Severe conditions can negatively impact the per- formance of fluorescent bulbs. "Performance of an LED is virtually the same at 15 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas fluores- cent lamps dim significantly at extreme temperatures," tells Miller. Kerber agrees saying, "fluorescent lamps are impacted more heavily by the impacts of extreme weather." He adds, "Most commonly, cold temperatures. In cold temperatures, fluorescent lamps take longer to warm up, and they often don't perform at their peak brightness." Since illuminated signs are expected to look their best at night and dawn comes quickly during the cold winter months, Kerber concludes that, " LED lights can help make sure that a busi- ness's sign performs greatly during the cold months of the year, when your sign's illumination is needed the most." Achieving Success The success of a retrofit project hinges on a few outcomes. Kerber asks: 1. Does the lighting look even, with zero shadows or hot spots? 2. Does the sign look nice and bright when lit? 3. Was the install fast and smooth? Not having extensive knowledge about lighting sources or sign construc- tion, customers will look to shops for advice and expertise. This is when sign makers can explain why a retrofit is a viable solution. " One of the major benefits to the end user is that they are not paying an annual or bi-annual re-lamp. These represent real savings to the end user and PLED's online ROI calculator has a field to insert annual maintenance costs to determine the annual savings." —J. Bryan Vincent, Principal LED One benefit of LEDs is that they perform better than fluorescent bulbs in extreme weather conditions. Image courtesy of AgiLight. LEDs are reliable and efficient sources of light for retrofit projects. Image courtesy of James Markham, Ralph's Sign Shop, Inc.

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