Sign & Digital Graphics

June '18

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • June 2018 • 17 "For channel letters, there are solid products from many manufacturers that easily illuminate standard channel let- ters," Anderson says. Because LEDs have become a depend- able, long-lasting lighting source in sig- nage, it makes sense to use them while replacing existing lighting elements in a retrofit project. Why Retrofit? "There are a few obvious reasons retailers (sign owners) are making a concerted effort to remove neon and replacing this light source with LED solutions," explains Michael Bluhm, director of Product Solutions—Sign Group, SloanLED. He points to energy as a top reason for replacing neon with LEDs, and the fact that operating costs can also go down as a result of making the switch. "Most neon signs use very inefficient core and coil transformers that increase line voltage from 110 up to 15,000 volts," says Bluhm. "This high-voltage supply compared to low voltage LEDs (12VDC to 24VDC) will require more energy to produce the same level of light. The ben- efit to the sign owner is immediate and can reduce their energy cost by 40 to 60 percent." LEDs are cost effective versus neon because neon "requires a neon bender to make the glass in the shape of the sign," continues Bluhm. "In addition, the ancil- lary parts required to install neon into a sign is more involved with GTO cable, electrode boots, riveted tube supports and conduit." Along with this, L E D s can lower maintenance costs due to their favor- able stability and longevity. They can also alleviate some headaches, as we've seen in real world applications. Going back to Anderson's 4' x 6' double-faced sign proj- ect for the florist, he noticed some red flags that came with the existing lighting. "Upon examination of the sign, many problems became apparent," he recounts. "The sign was only four inches deep, The New Yorker sign in New York City had old, broken neon that was replaced by SloanLED product in 2007. It still works today. (Images courtesy of SloanLED)

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