As effective as “word of mouth” advertising is, having a tenant move in with a new sign installed next to your space is perhaps even more effective. After a new tenant, PROSTAFF, moved in and seeing their recently installed sign, Kemnitz Orthodontics decided to update its sign. The Kemnitz Orthodontics sign is about 10 years old, and while it had served its purpose well, it had lost most of its luster. It was time to either get a new sign or update the existing one.
就像“口口相传”的广告一样，邻居新租户的崭新标识可能更会促使你去更新自己的标识。Kemnitz Orthodontics就是在看到他们隔壁新租户PROSTAFF安装的标识后，决定对自己的标识进行更新。Kemnitz Orthodontics的标识大约有10年的历史，虽然它已经很好地发挥了它的作用，但它的照明功能也越来越微弱。是时候购买一个新标识或对现有标识进行更新了。
The Kemnitz Orthodontics sign, positioned on the wall between the PROSTAFF and Valley Chiropractic signs, is illuminated with white neon tubes while the other two signs are illuminated with white LEDs.
Kemnitz Orthodontics的标识位于PROSTAFF和Valley Chiropractic标识之间的墙壁上，他的标识使用的是白色霓虹灯光源进行照明，而其他两个标识则是使用白色LED光源进行照明。
The electrical was disconnected and the sign was removed on a Thursday morning. The sign, with 18" tall letters, actually consisted of three raceways attached to one another, but it was easier to remove it all in one piece. The intent was to re-install the sign the next day but in the event something unexpected happened, the shop would have the weekend to complete the project and the customer was comfortable with having the sign re-installed the following Monday if the need arose. Obviously, the goal was to eliminate as much downtime as possible.
Dismantling the sign began as soon as it was returned to the shop. After removing the screws that secured the trim cap and faces to the letter returns, the screws were placed on a “homemade” holder, a small corrugated box, and all the faces were placed in one location. It’s amazing what can get lost when there’s no plan.
Next, the neon tubes, wiring, standoffs, and transformers were removed and the standoff bases were ground flush with the bottom of the letter cabinet. The neon lighting for this sign required three 7530 transformers, each capable of approximately 216 watts of power.
Once the faces and the “innards” were removed and the inside of the letters was revealed, it was almost like a miniature “farm” had been placed inside each letter. It’s anybody’s guess what was “growing” inside but as the photos show, it wasn’t very pretty.
The letters and raceway were taken outside and power-washed as well as scrubbed with soap and a brush. Once the washing was completed, the letters and raceway were brought back inside so that all moisture could be removed from inside the cabinets. After wiping the interior of each cabinet, a hairdryer was used to ensure all moisture had been removed.
Once the drying process was completed, it was time to begin the initial placement of the LED modules and wiring. Nothing was secured to the letter backs until everyone was sure that the placement was optimal. After all the modules and wiring were placed, power was applied and each letter and checked to ensure even lighting throughout the letter. Confident that placement was correct, the adhesive on the back of the LED module was exposed and the module was secured to the letter back. In addition to the module adhesive, a bead of silicone caulk was laid down beside each module, as well as any wiring that wasn’t flush with the letter backs, to ensure all were secure. For this particular letter stroke, a single row of LEDs was sufficient to produce the desired, and customer-expected effect.
The white LEDs that were used for this project came from JT LEDs. There are three LED modules for every 12" of wiring and each LED module is 1 3/4" long, Each LED module puts out 0.4 watts, modules are spaced 2 3/4" apart, and one 60 watt power supply can power 130 modules. If you aren’t sure about proper placement for your LEDs, try consulting your LEDs manufacturer or use a program such as Sign Wizard.
用于该项目的白光LED由JT LED公司提供。每12英寸长度的电线上安装了三个LED模组，每个LED模组长1又3/4英寸。每块LED模组输出功率为0.4瓦，相邻模组间隔2又3/4英寸，一个60瓦电源可以为130个模组供电。如果你不能确定LED的正确安装位置，可以向你的LED制造商进行咨询或使用Sign Wizard等程序进行查询。
Once all the LEDs, wiring, and single power supply had been placed and sealed and before the faces were installed, another check of the lighting was done to ensure everything worked.
As previously mentioned, the sign was removed on a Thursday morning, beginning at about 9 a.m., and work stopped at about 4:30 p.m. that afternoon. All work had been completed with the exception of re-installing the faces. The next morning at about 8:30, one final check was made to ensure all the LEDs and wiring were secure and lighting correctly. The faces were re-installed and by 10:15 a.m.; the sign was re-installed on the building as if it had never been removed.
As can be seen in the photo comparison, there is a considerable amount of difference in lighting. The sign looks new once again.
Customers sometimes ask if their sign can be retrofitted without removing it. Winter conditions warrant this work be done in the shop. Under summer conditions, it is possible to field-retrofit a sign, but in the end, it will, almost every time, be quicker to take it down and do it in the shop.
The three transformers for the original neon sign consume 216 watts per transformer for a total of 648 watts. Presuming the sign will be lighted for 12 hours per day, 7,776 watts will be consumed. Converting to kWh, there are 7.8 kWh and based on an electrical cost of $.13 per kWH, it will cost $1.014 per day which, based on 365 days per year, will have an annual cost of $370.11.
The one power supply for the sign retrofitted with LEDs consumes 60 watts. Presuming the sign will be lighted for 12 hours per day, 720 watts will be consumed. Converting to kWh, there are .72 kWh and based on an electrical cost of $.13 per kWh, it will cost $0.094 per day. Based on 365 days per year, the sign will have an annual cost of $34.31.
One final observation. Obviously, the cost of electricity is not the same in all parts of the country and the numbers will always be different unless the cost per kilowatt hour is the same. Just as obvious, cost savings will differ with each sign and the color of LEDs. The cost savings cited were based on 13 cents per kilowatt hour for a specific sign with a specific amount of white LEDs and one power supply versus a specific sign with a specific, linear amount of glass tubes and three specific transformers that produced a specific color.
I don’t always recommend LEDs over neon because I truly believe there’s a time and place for both. LEDs have a tendency to degrade over time, but how much time and how much degradation will depend a lot on the quality of the LED, color, installation, and whether or not the correct power is being applied to the LEDs. The same thought pattern can be applied to neon as well. Additionally, any neon color, other than the reds or oranges, will dim in cold-weather states, such as Minnesota, and the colder the temperature, the dimmer it becomes.