In our last post on preparing your signage for the winter period, we touched upon the great advantages that illuminated signage can yield for your business throughout the year – especially during the winter. As the days are shorter and we’re in the dark for longer, it is important for you to stand out and get noticed. With this in mind it is important to consider the options available for illuminated signs and how to get the best value out of them.
Neon and Fluorescent Lighting
Traditionally illuminated signs were produced using both neon and fluorescent tubing however these materials were not without fault.
Neon signs are produced by crafting and bending delicate glass tubing into the required design. This is then illuminated by a means of a high voltage ionizing a purified gas mix. This type of sign requires significant power to run and will require even more as the gas becomes depleted. Components of the signs can also experience burnout because of the high voltage needed and unfortunately have been known to be the cause of fires and therefore a fire switch is an essential part of the installation.
Fluorescent bulbs are typically straight components making them ideal for backlit displays and similar signs but not very useful in illuminating signs other than simple square or rectangular shapes. Fluorescent bulbs provide greater benefits than using traditional incandescent lamps producing both more light and emitting less heat. An issue with fluorescent bulbs is their decreased efficiency in adverse weather conditions limiting their use outdoors.
LEDs are more becoming increasingly economical and more readily available for use in a wide variety of sign making situations.
There are differences in the lighting effects between the different types of bulbs and it is important to understand these differences when considering the best solution to meet your needs.
There are a number of advantages that LEDs have over traditional lighting for your illuminated signs. Firstly they last a lot longer than traditional lighting. The bulbs we use come with a lifespan guarantee of between 7-10 years.
Secondly they are much, much, cheaper to run than traditional lighting as they use a lower voltage which can provide great cost reductions over the lifetime of your sign. Bear in mind, however, your initial investment will be more than you will pay for fluorescent bulbs but probably much less than you would pay for a complicated Neon sign.
Thirdly because LED’s emit very little heat compared to traditional bulbs they are generally much safer and less likely to fail (or burst into flames) due to heat build-up.
LEDs and Illuminated Signs
The total cost of lifetime ownership of LEDs makes a very attractive investment. Due to the increased lifespan of LED bulbs, there is less need for on-going maintenance. Because LEDs are much smaller than ordinary bulbs or neon tube, and they come on flexible cable, LEDs offer a far better way of illuminating smaller letters in your signs or curved shapes.
When installing your illuminated signage, there are a number of techniques and design effects to help further increase the impact of your sign.
A variety of colours can be produced using LEDs as the colour is controlled through the voltage. This also means that the colours can be easily changed through a simple electronic controller and set to a timer or a light sensing Passive Infrared (PIR) sensor that will ensure that when the sun is out, your sign stays out as well.
Illuminated signs are becoming a far better investment than they used to be so, if you have an idea for an illuminated sign for your business or operation, then please get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to ensure we turn your bright idea into a bright new sign that will help you get more customers round the clock.