LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, which is basically a semiconductor that produces light. LED’s first were introduced in 1962 and mainly came in the red, but today the colors are endless. LED lighting is widely used and can be found in aerospace, automotive, marine, architectual and even household lighting.
Up front cost of LED’s could be considered on the exspensive side, but with the electrical operating costs being near 10% of what it costs to run neon, the costs can be recouped fairly quickly. You won’t be limited to a few standard colors with LED’s either like you are with neon. Lets say you have certain colors on the front of you building, you decide to paint and update the look of your building, but your red neon will no longer go with the updates. Now when you run a module inline with your LED’s you can chane from red to blue with the push of a button!
SIGNARAMA has been using LED lighting methods for our channel letters for over 5 years. We have extensive experience with multiple brands of LED’s and can absolutely troubleshoot any problems your existing channel letter signs might be having.
LED’s are also an excellent solution to replace your neon in your existing channel letter signs.
LED’s have an extermely long bulb life (100,000 + hours), require very little power (12 volts) to run and are extremely durable. LED’s can be run over with a car, submerged in water, and operate under extremely cold temperatures. These reasons and more are why more and more municipalities are converting many street lights and traffic signals over to LED.
Whether you are looking for Neon or an LED lit sign, let our expert staff at SIGNARAMA Detroit design and build a sign that is right for you!
We have taken a giant leap into the future of the sign industry! We are now printing on our new HP Scitex FB500 flatbed printer. This printer has tremendously cut the process of sign production time. Bottom line, faster turn-around time for our customers.
The capabilities are so vast with this new technology. Prints up to 1200 x 600 optimized dpi directly onto any rigid substrate, MDO, CoroPlast, DiBond, acrylic, lexan, aluminum and FoamCore up to 2 and a half inches thick! Prints white ink as well onto any color substrate. It also gives the customer the option of matte or gloss finish with full bleeds.
One project for example, was to create 85, 24×36 inch signs on 3 mil. PVC. Normally this would have taken 2-3 days to print, laminate and apply the printed media to the PVC. We knocked all these out in a day printing directly onto the substrate.
I can tell you working in the production department, the flatbed printer has changed the sign making game.We stand in awe watching the flatbed printer do it’s thing. Just as many of us did when we watched the Roland SolJet large-format printer for the first time several years ago.
Stop by SIGNARAMA in Troy, MI to check it out for yourself! Call us at 248-585-6880 for more information!
Today’s topic of discussion is raceways. No, no, not places like Daytona or Talladega, we’re talking channel letter raceways and the colors they are available in. If this is your first electric sign purchase, a raceway is an option for mounting channel letters to the front of your place of business. It is a box that comes in various sizes, but is roughly 5 X 8 inches and varies in length depending how long your sign is. It serves two functions; one is for mounting the letters to, and the other houses the transformer or power supply needed for the lighting of the sign.
Channel Letter Raceways can come in many colors to help make them disappear against the front of the building they are being mounted to or you could use the raceway as an accent color as well. The materials can be ordered in a variety of standard colors or, if needed, they can be custom color matched and painted per landlord or architect’s specifications.
As confusing and overwhelming as a channel letter sign purchase may seem, let our expert sales and design staff here at SIGNARAMA Detroit ease the process and help you pick the sign and raceway color that is right for you!
Great example of the speed and proficiency of our new flatbed printer here at Signarama. We received a rush order for 27 double sided, 18×24 coroplast signs for a golf outing. The order was printed and out the door within an hour!!! How’s that for turn-around time! Come in to see how we can help you!
The main common theme between LED and Neon is that they are both a source of light for signs (and many other items), but that is about it where their similarities end. They both have their place in the sign world, and in this portion of our multi-part blog we will see the basic Pros and Cons of each.
We will give a brief description of each here and go into more depth of both in future posts.
LED – Stands for Light Emitting Diode, which is basically a semiconductor that produces light. There are for more LED’s in everyday life than you may realize, such as car instrument clusters, watches, calculators, etc.
Pros to LED lighting for Signs:
- Extermely long bulb life (100,000 + hours)
- High light output with low voltage input
- Very low maintenance
- Extremely durable
- Unlimited color options
- Doesn’t use mercury or any other toxic chemicals to produce light
- Low power consumption
Cons to LED lighting for Signs:
- Up front costs invested in future proofing
- Some are somewhat directional (focused beam)
- As with anything, there are cheaper/less reliable brands
- Some higher wattage LED’s run hot and need a heatsink
Neon is a low pressure gas inside a glass tube with and electrode at each end of that tube. When high voltage is connected to the electrodes, it charges the gas to a point that it gives off light that can be seen.
Pros to Neon lighting for signs:
- Wide operating ranges
- Sometimes they don’t need a special power supply
- Can run on AC or DC
- Can be made into custom shapes
- “Old school” look and feel cannot be duplicated
Cons to Neon lighting for signs:
- They output very little light for amount of power required
- Limited colors available based on gas and glass color configurations
- The glass tubes can be fragile
- Generally only one color can be used at a time
- Very high maintenance costs
- One small crack and the entire piece is broken
These are just a few things to give you an idea of the good and the bad of each. In the sign world there is a time and place for LED and Neon lighting and at SIGNARAMA Detroit our expert staff can help you choose which is right for you. If you have questions about neon signs or are wondering why we choose LED’s for channel letters give us a call!
A few years ago, I became interested in Michigan’s fledgling film industry. Being a creative person, I saw this as a new venue to express my creativity. I took several classes on the inner workings of the motion picture business. Camera, lighting, sound, special effects, pyrotechnics and weaponry. I also realized how much work went on behind the scenes. I was fortunate enough to be in the art department and art director on our class final film project. One thing I realized is that every film project, no matter the budget, needs…SIGNS. There seems to be a sign for everything. Real places need to become fictional or “other” places. SIGNARAMA can make this happen!
This is where signs come in. Watch any movie and you will see signs. Business signs, road signs, vehicle graphics, posters, graffiti, flags, banners, props and products, etc. And that is just what you SEE. Numerous signs are also need behind the scenes to direct cast and crew to specific location shoots. These are usually in “code” so you don’t get a big crowd of locals jamming up the shoot.
I have worked on graphics for a few locally filmed movies such as the police cars in Scream 4. FYI: If you look at the police car numbers in the movie, they all are Michigan area codes.
I’ve designed and produced signage for The Wannabe’s, a tweener show shot in Howell, MI at the “Highland Academy” which was in reality is Renaissance Alternative High School. Exterior shots were from a school in California. However, all the interior shots were at the Renaissance Alternative School.
For this transformation, signs made this real high school look like another. Hundreds of signs were needed for, class rooms, flyers, posters, flags, banners for their drama stage productions, food and drink containers in the cafeteria, anything that would make this high school look real.
We at SIGNARAMA welcome the film industry and also welcome you to check out or facility for any future film project (no matter your budget) you may have. We have the background, experience and understanding to help achieve your creative dreams.
We have worked with many independent films and even a few big budget films like Machine Gun Preacher and Transformers 3 right here in Detroit!