Sign & Digital Graphics

December '19

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Page 33 of 72

"One of the most common points of failure in an LED illu- minated sign is the power supply," echoes Dion Flaska, product manager at Gemini, Inc. Adding that, "Power supplies typically include a four to five year warranty, but the best way to prevent these failures is to follow the device manufacturer's supplied wir- ing instructions and diagrams to ensure that the power supply is not over driven." On the whole, "Power supplies have a useful lifespan," states Mike Bluhm, director, product solutions-sign, Sloan LED. "If the sign maker locates these units in a small, hot location, the overall life will be shortened. If the sign maker installs more than what is recommended the unit will fail prematurely." A very common and prevalent enemy to power supplies and electrical signage in general is heat. The same can be said for damp or wet environments. Either case poses a potential point of failure in LED signage. "In terms of installation of the LEDs or power supplies them- selves, make sure they are kept away from water and heat," cautions Picot. Bluhm inserts that, "If the sign has any water intrusion, most LED systems will fail due to moisture damaging the circuitry. Other issues like connectors and power supplies can be experienced over time." Additionally, lack of ventilation, incorrect power to the sign and drilling into the cabinet may all cause failure in the sign, according to Salitrero. Again, specific to the actual LEDs, there is typically little to no maintenance required. Most of what users will encounter are prob- lems with keeping the sign face clean, battling inclement weather, protecting the electrical components, or other external factors. "When dealing with a high-quality LED display, component failure is not very common, especially for the first couple of years," says Salitrero. "What we find needing attention early on is actu- ally not hardware-related, but communications-based, such as IP addresses being blocked by firewalls and stuff of this sort. Opting for cellular communication which pulls the display off the client's network entirely is a great way to avoid this." Knowledge is Power Going into an LED sign project, sign mak- ers should be aware of specific details to pass along to their customers, includ- ing topics such as life expectancy, product quality, and comple- mentary components. S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • December 2019 • 29 Current by GE's suite of LED products includes the Tetra MAX and Tetra Stick. Images courtesy of Current by GE. Power supplies should be placed in a location that will not over- heat, or sometimes in a remote location with easy access. Image courtesy of Vantage LED. "One of the most common points of failure in an LED illuminated sign is the power supply," says Dion Flaska, product manager at Gemini, Inc. Images courtesy of Gemini, Inc. Image courtesy of Current by GE.

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