Lighting is important to any sign to increase its significance and impact. Therefore the lighting methods used should form part of the initial consideration and design of the sign. This of course impacts the budget, but any customer will find that it will be money well spent in the long term.
Traditionally signs have been illuminated through a number of different methods such as neon, fluorescent tubes and external lighting. In the last 5 years however there has been a new kid on the scene in the form of LED illumination. Below is a prime example of LED illuminated letters.
So what is the impact of LED lighting? Firstly, because the modules are so small these can be fitted into smaller letters and shapes than is possible from neon and fluorescents. There is also the capability to have different levels of lighting available such as brightness and fit adaptors which allows the variance of light and colour to change in order to grab attention, such as can be seen in the video below.
At the moment LED’s are a similar price to neon but they are coming down in price all the time. As with anything there are good LED’s and bad LED’s. It is therefore a good idea to know what brand of LED’s are being used in your illuminated sign and what guarantees they have, most reputable LED’s will have a guarantee of the number of hours they will last. Below is an example of poor LED’s.
Graffiti Design uses Sloane LED’s which are very reliable and guarantee 12k hours which is approximately 12 years before they will need to be replaced. The other benefit of LED’s is that they are easily replaceable when they do expire and if one brakes then you will not notice as there are so many.
Another benefit of LED’s is that they are more environmentally friendly; they use a lot less electricity than neon and fluorescent lighting and will pay back over fluorescent lighting within an average of 3 years. One final pitfall to avoid is spotting of LED’s, we overcome this by using diffusers to spread the light.