LEDs and Lighting - July 2012 | Sign Update Feature | Table
 

LEDs and Lighting - July 2012

Ecolux advanced trough lighting is a top seller at Portland Lighting

Ecolux has been such a revelation in the first 12 months since its launch that it now tops sales over its fluorescent counterparts within the range at Portland Lighting.

From the outset Ecolux was driven by professional lighting design and upon its launch, Portland described it as the most technically advanced LED trough light of its kind in the UK.Co-op signage ecolux lighting

A unique 90 degree magnifying lens was developed to give an even spread of illumination over larger signs. Customers have quickly switched on to the 75 per cent savings to be made in energy costs over fluorescent, and the greatly reduced maintenance required with the prolonged lamp life of LEDs. Roll outs for Bet Fred, Co-op, Tesco and One Stop convenience stores, Greene King brewery and a successful introduction to the illumination of bill boards have seen Ecolux sales and reputation rapidly grow within the trade.

For further information or to download Portland Lighting’s brochure, go to website www.portlandlighting.co.uk or telephone 01922 721133.

LED Solutions launches new third generation Light Panel

UK LED supplier LED Solutions has introduced its third generation LED Light Panel to the market, one that is set to eliminate the issue of LED spotting within slim lightbox applications.

LED Solutions has noted a growing trend towards signs with shallow return depth and with lightboxes following this trend the company needed to create a suitable external edge illumination system. The new LED light panel uses high brightness triple die LEDs embedded within 8mm acrylic that has a matrix etched on the rear. The dot matrix helps spread the light across the full face of the panel and produces a bright and even illumination that stops the problem of spotting.

illuminated LED Light Panel on Canon signageThird generation LED Light panels

The light panel has been created for illuminating retail displays, light boxes and fret cut fascia signs as the panels can be created to fit into a variety of applications.

General Manager Robert Coulson says: “Our new Lightpanel product now embeds the LED to create a completely waterproof system suitable for all external applications”.

LED Solutions discovered in the past that one of the problems with manufacturing the Lightpanel was making sure that the connections were secure. This issue has now been resolved with the latest panel as all connections, along with the LED are potted within the panel using a water clear resin, which in turn keeps the panel IP Rated.

LED Solutions can supply the LEDs in a wide variety of colours and colour temperatures to individual requirements, with a colour changing option also planned. The high brightness LEDs used to illuminate the panel use a Triple Die chip and have been manufactured to a bespoke size board of just 6mm wide.

Marketing and Sales Executive at LED Solutions, Luke Dalton, has described the impact of having the latest Light panel available: “Our latest light panel has allowed us to resolve the issue of illuminating slim applications with an even and bright illumination. The new panel is by far superior to the previous model and with potted circuitry and brighter LEDs we are confident that this product will be a success”. LED Solutions currently keeps stock of the panels in sizes ranging up to 2000mm x 1500mm which can be cut in-house to any specific requirement. Larger panels up to 3000mm x 1500mm are available made to order, although it is hoped to stock the larger sizes in the future.

For further information visit the website www.ledsolutions.co.uk or tel 0116 262 5933.

Light Pockets from Fairfield Displays – a brighter way to create illuminated signs

LED light pocket signage in shop windowLED light pocket on display
Fairfield, an established specialist supplier of illuminated graphic displays, has become extremely well known its range LED Light Pockets™ over the last year. Trade customers are so pleased with new LED Light Pockets and their quality that repeat orders are rolling in and the range is the company’s fastest seller in 2012 to date.

The usage of LED Light Pockets is spreading across many different markets as the concept is becoming known by more and more people. The Fairfield LED Light Pocket has now been used in markets as diverse as funeral parlours, solicitors’ offices, receptions of office buildings, holiday centres, restaurants and museums.

When selecting an LED illuminated panel system extreme care should be taken to select a reliable supplier who will guarantee the product and has a proven track record of supplying top quality products. As a trade supplier there is little worse than having complaints from your customer. When you look in a catalogue or on a website it’s very difficult to judge the brightness of the LEDs or how well the light travels across larger panels.

Fairfield offers a complete demonstration pack so that the trade can show the quality to their clients, plus everything is fully guaranteed.

Fairfield now has three separate ranges of LED Light Pocket which means there is a design to meet differing client requirements. Standard units are available from A4 to A0 and Light Pockets can also be made in single width or multiple widths and heights.

Shop window light pocket signs

Ultra-bright white light or a warm light can be specified. Due to client demand Fairfield has also designed panels that have one extremely bright side which reflects out into the street and with a softer light for the interior. This design has proved especially popular in office environments where staff work close to the window display. Fairfield has found that in more traditional buildings and areas where soft lighting is used the warm light meets clients’ requirements.

Custom coloured back panels or coloured surrounds can be used to help enhance brand image and the coloured areas can be screen printed to re-enforce a corporate identity. The panels are supplied as standard with a silver printed border, on request any colour can be printed which gives an individual touch to the design. Floating directory signs can be created which are excellent for use in reception areas. The LED Light Pockets are supplied with a choice of width of borders so that when space is tight, more pockets can be fitted into the area. Fairfield has a national team of highly trained consultants who will be happy to visit your office and present the very latest designs.

For further information or to arrange a free demonstration telephone 0845 619 9880 or visit the website www.fairfielddisplays.co.uk

SloanLED introduces a mobile app for the sign maker

SloanLED has released what it believes is the first mobile app designed to make estimating channel letter signs quick and easy. The SloanLED Quick Count is a handy calculating tool for estimating the amount of SloanLED product needed to populate a channel letter sign.

quick count-mobile app on iPhoneThe Quick Count mobile app is available free for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android devices via the Apple iTunes App Store and Google Play. The app is available in English plus six other European languages, is very user-friendly and can switch from imperial to metric units and vice versa with a click of a button. The app was designed to give the sign maker a tool to provide a quick estimate at their finger tips when talking to a customer. SloanLED also offers an online estimating tool in addition to its free and more comprehensive in-house estimating service.

To find out more about the mobile app or to see instructional videos visit the website www.sloanled.com/mobileapp/ or telephone +1 888 747 4533.

Curved LED Light Sheet launched – and shortlisted for ARC Innovation Award

Something simple is often at the heart of the most effective solutions driven by innovation. Addressing a problematic feature of a retail space, a structural column, Applelec experimented with curving the acrylic used in its LED Light Sheet with a view to developing a slim, curved light box. The result is an 8mm thick curved panel which delivers bright, even illumination.

To create Curved LED Light Sheet, a clear PMMA acrylic is etched with a uniform matrix using patented 3D V-cutting technology and cut to a specified shape and size. A drum is then constructed to a required radius and the acrylic is oven heated around the drum and then pinned while it cools and sets. Once cool, thermally managed LEDs are securely embedded into the sheet in a second patented technique which ensures the unit is robustly constructed and runs cool to touch.Applelec's new-antistatic room

Developed to illuminate graphic advertising messages within a retail environment, curved LED Light Sheet can be used to create interior or exterior design features and to illuminate a variety of surface materials.

The bespoke construction of LED Light Sheet is not compromised and remains a feature of the curved units which are created to client specification and embedded with LEDs in a variety of colour temperatures.

Curved LED Light Sheet was shortlisted for the inaugural Innovation Awards at this year’s ARC (Architectural, Retail and Commercial Lighting) show and featured in the Innovation Centre throughout the event. In further developments, LED Light Sheet has recently been awarded an IP67 rating for units which are manufactured to this specification. The IP67 rating reflects the unit’s capability to withstand ingress of dust and water and ensures it is suitable for exterior applications.

For further information, visit the website www.ledlightsheet.co.uk or telephone 01274 774477. Curved LED lighting sheet

New Lumirescent Hv Fast Fit LED Strip – designed to offer worldwide standardisation

Insight Sign Systems, a leading supplier of lighting to the sign trade, is about to launch a product that could revolutionise LEDs by offering the same standardisation that fluorescent lamps provide. Richard Rinn, Managing Director, explains more.

30 metre back-lit sign

For the past five years, Insight has been busy developing its own brand of LEDs, named Lumirescent, to compete with the staggering amount of LED variations being used for the illumination of signs.

To be truthful, I personally was very happy with fluorescent lamps, after all since they became commercially available around 1930, the basic design has not changed that much. This in my opinion is testament to a very good design; even though they are manufactured by some of the world’s largest companies, such as Philips and GE, none has had to introduce any truly significant changes to the overall design. However, what these companies can offer is long life fluorescent lamps which last 50 per cent longer than LEDs (yes, 50 per cent longer) with some having a stated life of 79,000 hours, losing only 10 per cent lumens during that time.

How can any LED system compare with this, coupled with an 80 year track record? Nevertheless, all the current hype is about LEDs, telling us they are the future, combined with the fact that fluorescent lamps are becoming very expensive and more difficult to obtain, due to China controlling more than 95 per cent of rare earth phosphors and cutting back on export levels; so as you can appreciate Insight was not going to get left behind. I hoped to do some price comparisons between LEDs and long life fluorescent lamps, but I’m still waiting for prices for the latter, weeks after asking. I’m starting to believe that, together with the HF control gear to operate them; long life fluorescent lamps are so expensive that no-one actually has them in stock. (I would like to hear from any one who does and actually has a price list?)

Internal view of highlight Hv

Despite being happy with fluorescent lamps, our Lumirescent LED system has now overtaken fluorescent used in our products, so much so that we are considering that by the end of this year we may no longer use fluorescents lamps at all. This is a big step to take, with fluorescent still accounting for around 30 per cent of the illumination we fit, but due to the large amount of variations in gear trays such as, quads, triples, twins and singles, then six lamp lengths, keeping control of stock has become an unwanted task when you consider that our Lumirescent is on a roll and we simply cut it to whatever length is required. We do still have to stock various sizes of driver however, but only for our 12V variation.

It occurred to me that if we drop fluorescent lamps and lose 30 per cent of the sales, which come about almost purely due to fluorescent’s lower selling cost, then we may suffer, especially when we keep hearing about the state of the economy. But after a year of research and designs, I decided that an alternative to fluorescent lamps was required, one that offered a more comparable price but with more benefits - no big task then?

hightlight Hv with 120 LEDS per metre

I can reveal that being a hyperactive person I am always looking for new ideas. I studied the market for illumination, checking to see if the ideas I was having were available already. For instance, I had always wondered why fluorescent lamps did not work directly from the mains 240V, as the electronic ballasts which operate the lamps are very expensive and many fail before the lamps. I then noticed that LED rope lights worked direct from mains, using only a small rectifier. This is when the idea struck, produce a Lumirescent strip that works directly from the mains, so we could dispense with drivers and wiring, which would greatly reduce the purchase and labour costs.

This we have now achieved with Lumirescent Hv. Furthermore, at 14.4W consumption per metre, we have managed to reduce the running costs by more than 50 per cent when compared with fluorescent.

When I started the research I found that 220V strips already existed, a bit like rope light, but most were not that bright, and none offered more than 60 LEDs per metre. Also, the cut length was one metre, meaning matching the exact length of a sign would not be possible. I then decided to produce our own from scratch, using a bespoke PCB which would allow 120 LEDs per metre and a cut length of 500mm. This enabled us to control the quality and choose the best chip and LEDs possible. Designs were then implemented on new extruded aluminium lighting profiles such as Highlight Hv Halo-light, all designed around this new strip. After a lot of hard work and expense, all have registered trademarks and both profiles are now on the market.

Lumirescent LED on a roll from Insight Sign Systems.

You would have thought that was that, it would now be just a case of getting on with appointing reputable distributors in every country to sell as much of the products as possible, but fluorescent lamps continued to bother me. I want to drop them, especially as we now have a very cost effective alternative. I kept trying to figure out what was bothering me, and now I know: standardisation. That is the secret of fluorescent lamps’ long reign as the world leader for all these years, they have been the normal and most standard way of illuminating signs.

Yes, perhaps 40 brands or more exist, but they are all interchangeable. LEDs on the other hand come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and brands, and many different designs. This means we are in danger of losing this very important standardisation, which exists among many other electronic items such as televisions, phones and computers. They all operate from standard formats, meaning no matter which country you sell them in, they will provide the same quality of operation. Car companies are now doing this after almost going bankrupt. World cars are the buzz word – the same design to suit all countries.

So how could Insight make Lumirescent Hv match fluorescent? Simple, we offer standard linkable lengths which fit sign cases in the exact way fluorescent lamps do; so by August this year Insight will be offering Lumirescent Hv Fast Fit Strips, a plug in and light system available in 500mm, 1,000mm, 1,500mm, 2,000mm and 2,500mm lengths. We have designed a custom extruded aluminium heat sink mounting rail to which the strips will be bonded using 3M 6682-200 adhesive heat transfer tape, supplied complete with wired plus and sockets. They are then fitted to sign case or display just as you would fit fluorescent lamps, same spacing, (depending on sign case depth) same overlapping to avoid shadow gaps.Profile cross section of Hv light.

The main difference is that you will have no wiring to complete. It will take you only the same time as it takes to fit the t erry clips for that secure the fluorescent lamps, then just connect all the wired male plugs to the female sockets, and you’re ready to connect and illuminate.

prototype lumirescent LED strip fitted in small sign case.

Think about the savings, the reduced weight, and the fact that you will never have to go back to replace a burned out ballast or driver, coupled with the enormous advantage of it being so simple and offering the same standardisation that fluorescent lamps offer, and the fact that the majority of sign companies know how to fit them. Price-wise, Lumirescent Hv Fast Fit Strips will be bang in the middle between standard fluorescent with control gear and LEDs with drivers. As for brightness, it will be equal or better to that of the large well known brands of LEDs on the market.

Lumirescent 12V is already specified and being used in KFC drive through menus, Nisa food stores, and many more large retailers such as McArthur Glen Designer Outlets. Insight’s confidence was boosted even further when main sign contractor Signs by Morrell and McArthur Glen recently sanctioned the use of Lumirescent Hv in a very large three-sided 8,000 x 8,000 mm digital printed, back-lit mono post sign that’s around 30m tall is installed in Italy. This will not only save McArthur Glen a lot on capital expenditure and labour costs for fitting, it will reduce the consumption and remove the weak link in any LED chain, the driver. This will also act as a test centre for Lumirescent Hv as far as reliability is concerned, a tough test as the location is a very hot one, and although the case will be ventilated and fitted with a thermal cut-out; anyone working with LEDs knows that they do not like heat.

Find out more at the website www.insightsignsystems.com or by telephoning 0141 774 5990.

Design by Hinchliffeart.co.uk