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With Principal LED and Sloan's V-series (value line) LED lines hitting the market at extremely low pricing I noticed a surge in shops literally flocking to save on peanuts.

 

Here's a warning, be weary....It seems like Principal LED has taken a large step back in LED module quality as all their LED modules have gone all Constant Voltage.....no longer Constant Current.  

 

Sloan's newest Value 4 line....the 2LED Module is now .96 watts per module with modest light output for that power....this module is also Constant Voltage Not Constant Current.  My thoughts on Sloan is for a high wattage module for modest light, it means the chip quality is not very efficient (Light output for power in).  They're having to pump in more juice to get more light.  More power means more heat, more heat is what kills LED life.

 

Constant Voltage Modules have no current regulation, their dependent on resistors and light output for the first module on a string is brighter than the last on that same string.  Constant Voltage Modules have a much shorter life than a current regulated Constant Current LEDs, where all modules on a string are equally bright.

 

An efficient LED chip will put out more light for lesser power, the lesser the power the longer the life.

 

Hold on to those long warranties....if they're still valid.  You'll have a lot of paperwork to fill out and keep track of

 

 

Sometimes companies get so large they end up using their name to sell products for products that use to be better....

 

Just some thoughts and opinion

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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  • Similar Content

    • By Erik Sine
      The BrightON-II LED  .vs  The Principal Qwik Mod 2 LED
       
      So....we've been getting lot's questions on how our New High-End BrightON II LED compares to The "New" High Efficient Principal Qwik Mod 2 LED
       
       
      Well, we did a quick "side by side" benchmark comparison to find out.
       
      They have some basic similarities.  
       
      • .8 watt modules
      • Both 170˙/175+ Optics
      • Both have Aluminum PCB
       
      We compared both LED modules and placed them in 24" x 4.5" x 5" channels using a standard Plexiglas MC white #7328 white acrylic face to simulate a wide channel letter stroke .  Modules spaced 6" OC from one another and 3" from the channel walls.
       
       
      Now to find out what the differences are...
       
       

       
       
      Once we lit the channel compartments one big difference was the white appearance of each light source.
       
      The Principal Qwik Mod produces more of a yellow white illumination on the sign face, whereas the BrightON II is more of a True White.  The pictures here may not do justice as it's hard to capture Real Time and Real Life along with how your display may be calibrated.
       
      Both BrightON II & Principals's Qwik Mod are .8w modules....The BrightON II is 24V LED module, the Qwik Mod is 12V LED module.  
       
      24V means half the current flowing through the system of a 12V system, which translates to lesser heat, lesser resistance than a 12V system.  A 24V system is more reliable and a longer life system over time for the very reasons I stated.
       
      A 24V system allows you to use a larger single watt channel PSU (96w).  The BrightON LED system uses the France Lighting Solutions "True Power" LED Drivers to complete the system, "True Power" means users are able to load the PSU to 100%, where as other LED PSU's are recommended not to go beyond 85% of the rating.  A full load 96W France PSU can load 120 BrightON II LED modules.  France Lighting Solutions LED Drivers are the only Drivers to date that are 100% loadable.
       
      With a 12V system a single channel 60W LED PSU is typically loaded at 85% or 51W of a 60W unit, or 63 Qwik Mods.  You can load more modules on a single unit but you would have to be looking at using a 120W PSU that is a dual 60W channel unit.
       
      Luminance
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      The BrightON II has a Foot Candle Average of 209 versus Principal's Qwik Mod coming in lower at 171 Foot Candles.
       

       
       
      Constant Current
      A HUGE difference which will play big in lighting and in life is how the current is driving across each module.  The BrightON II is of course Constant Current, NOT Constant Voltage.  The Qwik Mod is Constant Voltage.
       
      The quickest, simplest explanation and differences is this.  On a Constant Current system, each module has a current regulator chip which means each module is current regulated, and protected not to overdrive and create more heat and run hotter.  The first module on a Constant Current string is equally as bright as the last module on a string....the result is consistent lighting.   If you've ever paid attention to the light testing we have been doing on The Sign Syndicate since 2009', you would know that the best and lowest light degradation or Lumen Maintenance results always came from CC LED systems, Constant Voltage or "Eco" Modules not so much.
       
      In a CV System you better hope your LED PSU is not driving above the intended voltage of 12 volts.  A slight increase in a fraction of a volt... say...12.2V can kill a LED system fast depending on the makeup of the Modules.  When we did our Light Testing "The Great White Hope" we had a incident where a LED PSU operating at 12.25 was used on a Permlight "El Plato Module which was CV and in under 30 days the original output dropped 30%.  We had to kick out the PSU and start over with another string of EL Plato's using a manual adjustable LED PSU to assure not to go above 12V.
       
      On a typical CV System on long runs the first module will be brighter than the last module on the same string, inconsistent lighting, with a not well regulated LED PSU CV LED will tend to run hotter and brighter in some areas causing a shorter life.  The system is solely dependent on the module resistors for protection.
       
      In Short....
      Constant Voltage = Lesser LED life over time
      Constant Current = Longer LED life over time
       
       
       

       
       
       
       
      Lighting Angles
       
      Below.....you can take what you want from this part...
       
      We used equal underexposed shots from both LED light sources from a Canon SLR Camera instead of Real Time to show our audience where the optics is transferring light
       
      We used a lighting angle chart that we created, made up of 1" grids just to help in displaying where the optics and throwing light.  Both Module have wide angle optics, I would just say that the Brighton II throws more light towards the edge of the chart and a little higher up the middle.  
       
       

       
       
       
      What It All Means
      In closing, the biggest differences that can be taken away from this benchmark comparison and what separates the BrightON II are a couple of big factors.
       
      • The BrightON 24 volt system which has half the amperage, heat, & resistance than the 12 volt Principal Qwik Mod LED system.  You're also able to load more LED modules on a 24V system than a 12 volt system
       
      • If you're looking for a more "Purer" white light source, better bin, then the BrightON LED Module family is for you.
       
      • More light for less power on the sign surface....better chip efficiency... that was just displayed and shown in Foot Candles....BrightON II  209 FC over Principal Qwik Mod 2  171 FC
       
      • Probably the single most important factor?  The BrightON LED Family is Constant Current rather than a lower costing system that uses unregulated current in Constant Voltage.  What that means for user is....Longer Consistent Life Over Time
       
       
      The New BrightON LED
      The previous High-End BrightON LED version has had a lot of success since the launch.  What is new?  Only some miner changes were made to make a already superior LED module even better.  Same high efficient chip, improved 6500 Kelvin, different optics.  
       
      Not that we needed it but, the BrightON is, and has always been underdriven but....we changed from a Fiberglas PCB Board to Aluminum.  Aluminum provides better thermal cooling, but again, it wasn't needed....it's just nice to brag about it and say we have Aluminum.
       
      The New BrightON LED Family will in stock by early May 2021.
       
       
      **UPDATE**
      The BrightON LEDs can now be purchased from our our online store HERE, or you can order over the phone (858) 880-1400 |  orders@thesignsyndicate.com
    • By Erik Sine
      **OUTDATED POST & INFORMATION**
      Our Current New & Improved LED Technology LED MODULE is the BrightON LED Series 
      More Light per Watt, Longer Life, Lesser Modules & Cost... located Here
       
       
       
       
       

       
       
       
      Sooner or later top contenders have to duke it out, there's no avoiding it!  Some duck and weave away from a match, others hit it head on.  How long did it take Mayweather and Pacquiao to finally fight?  Too long, and was the wait worth it? 
       
      But what would happen if a Light Weight fought a Heavy Weight?
       
      Who would win?  Is it all about size?  Or can smaller and quicker win?
       
      That's the similar question I had, how would the our smaller 6500K "Reckless 3" that weighs in at just 1.2 watts per module to a bigger, more powered competitor....Principal LED's 7000K Street Fighter "Heavy Weight" that weighs in at 1.32 watts per module.
       
      Well, that's the match up, and we'll be having the match over Labor Day Weekend.  Stay Tune for the results!  I think we all might be in for a surprise....or maybe not!
       
       
      The Match Up:
       
      Interone LED 6500K - 1.14 watts

       
       
      NC LED - Reckless 3 6500K - 1.2 watts

       
      Principal LED Street Fighter - Heavy Weight 7000K True White - 1.32 watts

       
       
      ***UPDATED
       
      It's the end of Labor Day and the results are in.  It is an interesting matchup.
       
       

       

       
       
       
       
      The Winner is....... NC LED Reckless 3
       
       
       

       
       
      The interesting notes are as follows and very hard to tell from the pictures.  The difference between whites on the acrylic lens surface is, the Principal Street Fighter Heavy Weight has a slight pink hue to it where as the NC LED Reckless appears more True White.
       
      The Principal LED Street Fighters are larger in size than the NC LED Reckless hence the name "Heavy Weight"
       
      The Principal LED Heavy Weight on average is sold at $81 ($1.80 each) per packed of 45.  The Reckless 3 is sold in trays of 50 at $59.99 ($1.19 each, better jump on this soon!)
       
      The NC LED Reckless 3 is IP68, The Principal LED Street Fighter Heavy Weight is IP67.
       
      One thing to note, the Principal LED Street Fighter Heavy Weight was slightly handicapped in light output results.  The product is listed as 1.8 modules per foot, and in our display case of 2' x 4" x 5" Deep, technically if we could there should only be 3.6 modules displayed, but of course we cannot figuratively cut the module.  So realistically, even though the Heavy Weight showed 195.50 foot candle surface average, it should be slightly lower.  The NC LED Reckless 3 is two modules per foot.
       
      This is one of those accurate situations where you can truly say the NC LED Reckless 3 is "More efficient than" the Principal LED Street Fighter Heavy Weight, because it has a higher light output on the surface and it's doing it for a lesser cost of operation.  Most can't say this!  Most will compare products such as a Maglight and a Penlight and say the Penlight is more efficient because it's using less power, BUT what they don't count is the fact that the Penlight is NO WHERE near the light output as the Maglight
       
      This is most likely a result of the high tier Samsung chips and phosphors that we've configured into the system.  I'm not sure what the Principal LED Street Fighter uses.  Like we've seen in the past during out testing Neon lamp manufacturers that use Nichia of Japan Phosphors for their Tri-phosphor lamps over other Tri-lamps are are almost 30% brighter and appear more "White".  Phosphors when it comes to lamps is VERY important.  I'll have to ask what diodes/chips they use for their LED's and update this, last I read their LED's were manufactured in China/Taiwan with some assembly in Texas so it might be a Chinese Chip, but we'll update once we find out  .
       
      This is probably one of the most interesting matchup comparison's because of the smaller size powered LED (NC LED Reckless 3) out doing a larger, Principal LED - Street Fighter "Heavy Weight".  
       
      Sometimes a Light Weight can beat a Heavy Weight, not all the time....just sometimes.....like she did today.
       
      For more information on our NC Reckless LED Line you can visit this LINK
      or to direct buy from our online shopping cart LINK
       
       
      When you see words like....."Engineered" or"Assembled in America" it's short for saying "Made In China!"  Chinese parts....are STILL Chinese parts!
       
      In closing we can proudly say the NC LED "Reckless Line" which is ONLY sold through The Sign Syndicate and not other distributors is........NOT made in CHINA!!!
       
       
    • By Sign Ninja
      Got wind of this from a buddy? Anyone know about the sale and merger of these two companies along with Principal LED? What it might been for some products that might generate a conflict of interest that might cause some products to disappear out of the line up?
    • By Erik Sine
      On 2/16/2011 on N. Glantz's FaceBook page there was a question raised on their wall by a client or fan of theirs.

      They were asking if there was any sources they could go to to obtain information on benefits of energy savings using LEDs vs Neon in channel letters to show their clients. I pointed to some links here on some threads with various info. N.Glantz replied back pointing that person to Sloan LED's calculator.

      I then replied back after using the calculator that it was a pretty accurate compared to most that I've seen. I then set up a quick ROI calculations using the GW3 modules with neon on a set of 10 channel letters, and what the basic costs were, the ROI was something like 15 years or so, something like that it was long term. Letting the person know that using that particular module, it wouldn't benefit savings on energy annually because of the upfront cost.

      Now the post on their wall was deleted.

      That's not very nice. Was it something I said?

      Maybe if I would have plugged in JT LED's it would have stayed, but then we would get into a brightness issue as well.


      Some people just don't like the truth when it doesn't benefit them, what TRULY happened to standing behind what you sell. just because it was a higher cost vs neon for CL's doesn't mean it couldn't be used for something else in another application, or on a high rise building and such.


      This industry of ours, sometimes. How many more days till Vegas do we have? I need a beer.
    • By Erik Sine
      The Assault of our "Traditions"



      In another topic I started a week back or so is below but now I'm continuing in a new thread, because...jokes aside.
      http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/topic/6677-pillsbury-dough-boy-makeover-and-93-saving/

      Something big has changed, a more understanding behind the news article. A look into "Sign Mythology"

      See Sign Proposal from Lawrence Sign below:
      wcms1p-122428.pdf

      It's not very often, but I just read this a short time ago and I have to say my stomach dropped, you know that sick disgusted feeling you get right there in the center of your stomach?

      I'm attaching a document that was made public on another site thanks to Mike for making it public.

      If this doesn't sicken everyone in the electric sign industry I don't know what will, and this should.

      There is something that everyone in the electric sign industry should uphold no matter what light source you prefer or what your opinion is on applications. I'm speaking about upholding our traditions, and never giving them up to mis-characterization and mis-information.

      Neon has been around for a long time and there a place for it like everything else in life based on it's own merit and function in upon which it serves. Neon is also a tradition, OUR tradition no matter what you produce in this trade! You may have not been in the electric sign industry for a long time, you may be relatively new, and you may have never even touched, fabricated or installed any before ever. But that should not keep you from appreciating it's function and pure elegance. Right now it's being assaulted, mis-characterized, and outright LIED as a whole, just to make a buck for something that will not last as long as it can.

      There is a time and place in everything when it comes to the electric sign industry but Flexible LEDs should NOT be used to replace a historical sign, especially when the person doing the push sell of a repair or retrofit is doing so with false information and mis-leading the buyer.

      Well, that's what Lawrence Sign is doing right now.

      It's one thing to read an article online or in a newspaper, it's another to see a proposal from seller to buyer in print with false information which does nothing but desecrate and annihilate our traditions, that they themselves are apart of.



      LED Flex Strips do not have usable light at 100,000 hours.
      Red LED's degrade in light, Red pumped Neon does not.

      Red neon does NOT consume 20 WATTS per foot, that's ABSURD!!! That diameter neon lamps for that size project consume 3 to 3.5 watts per foot.

      it does not take $15k a year in cost of operation vs $1,000 a year to convert over to LED

      Now that we have a real proposal to go off of we can calculate/estimate the cost of operation.



      We can estimate that with the 11' letters have approx 93 feet of Neon (3 rows inches x 8.5), the lowercase and small capitals have 56' of lamps = 1,258' of lamps

      1293' x 3 watts per foot = 3,774 watts

      3,774 watts x 12 hrs x 365 days a year x $.15kwh / 1000 PC = $2,479.50, NOT almost $16,000 in annual cost of operation

      ​When it comes to the supposed "Yearly Maintenance" I don't even have a comment on that part, it just gets more ridiculous. If hail is a big concern for breakage then clear polycarbonate can come in real handy. So can hinge system.

      A Industry as a whole, this sign trade needs to care no matter what your preference is and how long you've been in this industry, as someone new to it, 2nd, 3rd generation....otherwise we will loose a big part of who we are and we shame those who came before us, we shame those who started our grand traditions.

      It won't come from our leadership in the form or associations, their just as guilty if not enablers of mis-information and mis-characterization of our traditions. The trade magazines? Just as bad, only trade magazine that actually reports now and IS "journalism", is "Signs of The Times".

      In the end, it's about how you and I conduct OUR business, how we sell to our clients, and how we want our "Signs" left behind. We're forgetting why we came into this industry, what it is to look back at something long after we put it up, long after. Lately it's just been bastardized by outsiders who just want to take our trade and traditions and turn it into a cheap commodity all because THEY have something THEY want to sell to us, we can even go a step further to say what THEY want force on us and what THEY want forced upon the end user.




      Integrity - To do what's right and not what comes easy, even when no one is looking.
      Traditions - It's who we are, and what we want to pass on to those after us.

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