Sign & Digital Graphics

March '19

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Page 27 of 233

24 • March 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE Principal LED holds to its mission to "simplify the lives of our customers." "Therefore, we tried to create a prod- uct that is versatile and simple to use and installs just like a T-12 lamp," says Vincent. "Since our product is a simple one for one changeout of a T-12, the process is basi- cally just like a re-lamp. The only differ- ence is that the T-12 ballast is removed, and the sockets become only mechanical holders. The 12V power supply is simply wired to each product, just like any other LED system. In fact, all of our Stik prod- ucts have three- or six-foot wire whips to tie back to the power source." Manufacturers are constantly improv- ing products and making them easier for shops to include in their projects. Retrofit jobs are no exception. "With so many LED offerings on the market, it's hard for a sign company to know all of the factors to accurately pop- ulate each sign they retrofit," Kerber says. "Therefore, many sign companies rely on their LED provider to provide LED Population Drawings or LED Layouts." Grimco supports a resource at Hanley that offers a do-it-your- self layout tool, populating LED drawings in an instant. "Knowing the factors above will help you know how and where to make the right adjustments to the populations you receive from your LED provider," Kerber continues. "The great thing about the LED Layouts that HanleyLED provides is that it also provides other crucial data that help customer estimate their costs for materials other than just the LEDs (such as the amount of Acrylic, Trim, and more)." Principal LED also offers an online estimator that will "recommend the ideal product given the depth and dimen- sions of the sign," tells Vincent. "We also have a U.S.-based estimating team that is available to assist. One advantage to manufacturing in the USA is that we can offer a very wide range of LED modules on a Stik, without having to wait for weeks or even months." The actual installation of the sign is critical to the project's success. Specific to the lighting, the replacement process should be fairly straightforward. "Be sure to disconnect all old electri- cal ballasts because they will not be used and likely be replaced with LED drivers," says Miller, though he warns, "Removing old ballasts can be difficult depending on the age and how well kept the signs are." Today, LED products are being made to specifically fit in a retrofit job. "LED bars that mount into the exist- ing fluorescent lamp sockets are becom- ing more and more popular," says Kerber; however, other methods include, "using brackets to mount your LED bars to the raceway or other pre-existing structure inside the sign. And lastly, mounting LEDs to a UL-recognized ACM baffle, then mounting that baffle with brackets to the structure inside your sign." Once complete, a sign maker can tout the finished retrofit sign as a dependable and valuable asset. And with LED light- ing replacing fluorescent tubes, the only "buzz" associated with the sign will come from those who see it. Among the most popular retrofit options is Grimco's Concorde Bar. Image courtesy of AgiLight. Manufacturers are constantly improving products and making them easier for shops to include in their projects.

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