Sign & Digital Graphics

September '19

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68 • September 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE W e as human beings love having options available to us. They come in many different forms: colors, sizes, costs and more. Having options keeps businesses running at a healthy level and allows for product improvement to take place. Think about the ongoing battle between soda pop manufactur- ers and how low-calorie options, flavor enhancements and caffeine free (or caf- Rock the Volt The many choices in powering LED signage systems, from source to setup B Y R Y A N F U G L E R Ryan Fugler is a free- lance writer and for- mer editor of Wraps magazine. He can be reached at rnfugler@ gmail.com with ques- tions or comments. Cost, quality, safety and reliability are all factors that will go into a decision about purchasing an LED sign system. Image courtesy GENLED Brands. feine loaded) beverages have flooded the market. It gives consumers a sense that they have control over what they are purchasing. The same can be said with the sign market. With illuminated signage, there is certainly a range of lighting options available. If a customer wants to include LEDs in a project, there are several sign shops and manufacturers that would be happy to provide the products and services. Moreover, these products can be customized based on the customer's budget, usability and location. Power is another important consider- ation, and with LEDs, voltage is a topic to address. Specifically, how much voltage is needed to power an LED sign? The two main options—12-volt (12V) and 24-volt (24V)—both have their place in the market. "NEC Class 2 power supplies can have 100-watt (W) output with 24V instead of being limited to 60W with a 12V output," says Mike Bluhm, Director of Global Product Solutions at Sloan LED. "This allows you to get more product on a power supply." But that's just the tip of the iceberg when discussing voltage options. To paint a better picture, we need to address the differences between 12 V and 24V, the benefits of both and the other elements that go into the LED sign. Differences In Voltage And Usage Using the most basic analysis, a sign's location, intended function, and general design will dictate how much voltage to use.

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