Sign & Digital Graphics

December '19

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28 • December 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE T ake a minute to recall a product promotion you may have seen that touted an item as "longer last- ing" or "worry-free." Companies want to give consumers the impres- sion that their offerings are flaw- less—absent of any characteristics that would cause them to fail. We know, however, that this cannot be the full truth. Cars need tune- ups, computers require updates, and windows must be cleaned. With this in mind, the maintenance aspects of sign projects— specifically those with electrical components—should not be ignored. No matter how serious a sign's malfunction, whether it is one faulty element or an entire collapse of the sign system, a sign maker must be on guard to help his or her customers through their troubles. Even with new technology that has brought more dependable products to market, such as high-quality LEDs and weather-resistant elements, there are ways to keep signs running longer and ensure customers' confidence in their investments. Because LEDs are so frequently used in electrical sign projects today, sign makers must have an expert grasp on how they func- tion in a complete sign system, and what may cause some sort of interruption in top-level performance. In general, "LED displays are actually low-maintenance units," says Josie Salitrero, national sales manager, Vantage LED USA. "As long as the units are well-ventilated, and power is adequate, there isn't much maintenance required." However, when combin- ing different pieces, third-parties and environments, there are certain factors to consider. Common Challenges When thinking of an "LED sign," remember that there is a team of components working together to provide an attractive and functionally sound illuminated sign. "LEDs, specifically, work as a system with power supplies," begins Natalie Picot, Global Product Manager, Signage at Current by GE. "There shouldn't be anything specific to be main- tained since LEDs as a product are maintenance-free. The things that may go wrong are that the LEDs go out, the power supplies go out, or there is an application or installation problem." As a point of reference, power supplies ultimately serve as the driver of the LED lighting that regulate the power to the LEDs. If a problem occurs within the power supply, it could cause the entire sign system to fail. L E D S I G N M A I N T E N A N C E Modern Light Fixers How sign makers can solve problems and provide continued maintenance for LED sign systems B Y R Y A N F U G L E R This sign is of a recent installation at SunTrust Park in Atlanta. Tetra PowerStrip was used for this installation because of the levels of brightness required for a prominent sign such as this one. The prod- uct installs easily into any cabinet signs using a rail. Images cour- tesy of Current by GE. Ryan Fugler is a free- lance writer and for- mer editor of Wraps magazine. He can be reached at rnfugler@ with ques- tions or comments.

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