Sign & Digital Graphics

April '20

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S D G M A G . C O M • A P R I L 2 0 2 0 • 2 1 This is an examination of technol- ogy in LED signage, and what has been enhanced through the years is truly remarkable. Building on the Past LEDs have constantly improved upon their earlier designs, as well as over other similar lighting alternatives. Manufacturers have evolved their prod- ucts to meet the market's needs without sacrificing quality. "It has progressed tremendously," says Josie Salitrero, national sales manager, Vantage LED USA. "First of all, resolu- tion options are way higher than what they were back then, even five years ago when 20mm was still an acceptable pitch, it is now considered somewhat obsolete. Grayscale is rarely purchased anymore since the prices of full color have dropped so much, it makes no sense to go with a monochrome product." But when LEDs were first catching on, price was a major concern for sign shops as costs soared above more commonly used alternatives. "Twenty years ago, red was outselling white," says Rob Riley, sign channel ter- ritory manager, Keystone Technologies, noting the expensive price point and inconsistency in color among white LEDs; shops preferred to stick with more traditional neon or fluorescent lighting options. "Red LEDs were the first color to make sense pricewise as well as provid- ing more consistency in color. Red came on the market under 10 dollars a foot, and since there are a lot of red channel letter signs, as well as red LEDs, red was the perfect solution to effectively illu- minate faces without color washout like you'd get with white LEDs." Today, white LED color consistency can be maintained. "Scale (Volume) and improvements in manufacturing have allowed LED makers to provide a much narrower bin range to produce integrators," explains Bryan Vincent, partner, Principal LED. "Whereas before an integrator had to purchase a full ANSI bin, they now can purchase a much narrower elliptical sub- bin." In fact, according to Vincent, the development of white LEDs has allowed for the general improvement in overall LED technology, including life expec- tancy, efficiency and size (See sidebar: page 23). " As far as modules in the sign industry, I believe they have bottomed out. They are pretty much at the low- est price they can go." —Rob Riley, sign channel territory manager, Keystone Technologies This job allowed for the replacement of old neon lights with LED channel letters resulting in more brightness and less main- tenance. Courtesy of Keystone Technologies.

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