Sign & Digital Graphics

December '19

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • December 2019 • 31 Power Supplies Just to re-emphasize this point, many of the problems that users discover in LED signage begin with the power sup- ply. "If the sign does go out, the first thing one should do is troubleshoot the power supply. The LEDs may dim or turn off, which may mean the power supply has failed or may mean there is an issue with the LEDs," Picot shares. "Oftentimes the power supply has pro- tective modes that shut down or roll back the power supply when a short or similar has been detected in the system—for example one of our most popular power supplies shuts off to pro- tect itself in the event of overheating or a short in the LEDs." Issues with the power supply can sometimes baffle the user, so sign mak- ers should review these possible scenarios with the customer. If onsite maintenance is required, "The best solution is to first disconnect the LEDs from the power sup- ply and check the output voltage," asserts Picot. "If there's no voltage you probably have a power supply issue. From there you can go about replacing the power supply, however it's important to try to troubleshoot why the power supply may have failed in the first place so that one can prevent it from happening again." In many cases, sign makers can default to what manufacturers suggest as far as voltage, product volume and installation procedures. "Most LED sign product manufac- turers recommend how much product to load on a power supply," says Bluhm. "They are also required by UL to provide installation instructions for safe instal- lations. That being said, we see quality issues when these guidelines are not fol- lowed. Other issues can happen when the sign maker introduces third party com- ponents like flashers, DMX controllers or poor-quality dimmers." Color Variation "Another common problem is color variation," shares Flaska. "Prior to instal- lation, and preferably prior to letter LED population, all LEDs should be checked for color consistency. Color variation can occur even within the same lot or box of LEDs, so this check is very important to avoid costly repair/re-install costs." Color is an element that most LED sign customers will want to guarantee is as accurate as possible, especially when working with a specific selection. Any imprecisions in color, and also bright- ness, will cause frustration among all parties involved. "Color variation is a rampant issue with L E D lighting systems," asserts Bluhm. "LED chip manufacturers sort their product by color. If the application Image courtesy of Current by GE. • Now you can form, notch and flange channel letters from .032" to .063" aluminum coil, 1" to 6" in height for less than $50,000 • Cutting, notching, flanging functions all utilize powerful hydraulics INCLUDES NEW Trade Up A Notch program with guaranteed trade-in value between years 3 & 4! ChannelBender EX 303.798.7110, ext. 203 Introducing the NEW

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