Bright Long Lasting Channel Letters, and What It Takes
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K-Gang 0357-2.jpg

 

---> Sign Syndicate Special 100 RECKLESS-2 NC LED Modules for $99.99 <---

 

 

As some of you may already know The Sign Syndicate has been testing NC LEDs since 2010 in Project Tighty Whitey, The Red Light District, & Blue Light Special and after the first 8,000 hours I was pretty impressed in "PTW", even in that short about of time we saw no light degradation (Lumen Maintenance). So I was always interested to see how they progressed, err....regressed in light as time went on.

 

As many of you know, I don't use LEDs as a primary light source for channel letters unless I have too.

 

When I have had to use LEDs over the years I've always been real careful about what LED manufacturer I use, and there is a VERY, VERY short list of who I use/used because I'm one of the few electric sign manufacturers that offers my clients a 5 year electrical "Worry Free" warranty that INCLUDES labor to change any electrical component out and I stress....."I"...chose to use for their sign.

 

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***NOTE: First thing you should note, the NC LED series modules carried here on The Sign Syndicate are NOT the same carried by others.  The quality, intensity and life of our Reckless and White Horse series is far more superior than the various version caring the NC LED name and using different grade diode chips.  What you see and read about here you will NOT obtain from other suppliers despite what they might tell you.

 

For this very reason you can pretty much chuck most LED marketing brochures in the garbage that states their LED's last 50,000+ hours of operation without loosing any light output. Most of the time they've never even tested their own to see how long they last of they take a result of 2 to 5 thousand hours and project to you the consumer those results which usually show little to none and project them in a slow gradual path of light loss. You can't do that that with LED's, but you can when it comes to light degradation with Neon & Fluorescents who have a much larger case history to go off of and it's just phosphor loss unlike LEDs which have so much more to loose.

 

Most sign shops stick to the 1 year state mandatory (contractors licensing law) warranty, and "optional" or limited component warranty that does NOT include labor for up to 5 years. So should some component YOU chose crap out on your client then I guess they call you, you get a free replacement from the manufacturer and YOU end up charging YOUR client to replace something YOU specified out.....oh real nice!!!

With my clients I put my money where my mouth is, so that's why my list of who to use is short, if it goes bad because of what I specified out I eat it, NOT my client!!!

 

5 years is a long time, and those who pay attentions to the 3rd party testing that The Sign Syndicate has been doing since 2008 knows most LEDs don't last as long as claimed, at least when it comes to "usable" light.

 

I've been using NC LED for a particular program for a few years now where I have to use LEDs because the use of electrical component clearance is impossible for Neon. Over the years the results have been awesome using NC LED, and of course happy clients.

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NC LED Reckless In Action  - These white 6500 NC LED's are used for the orange "Orange" and gray "Fittness"...yes that is 3M MED Gray over white acrylic, those LEDs are so bright they appear white! The red "Theory" is of course red, NOT white! By comparing the outside lighting with the Digital Display you can note that this picture image is NOT overexposed to give the false appearance of a brighter illuminated sign!

OTF NCLED.JPG

 

NC LED Reckless In Action - These Reckless 2 6500K LED's as illustrated  for "Fitness" again show the light output of these powerful modules and what to expect.  The Amber and Red NC LED modules are also Constant Current LED Modules for that extra long life. 

IMG_0621.JPG 

 

The main reason why I choose to use NC LED for my program before we even started selling it here which is obviously recent, is because from the testing we have been doing here namely Project Tighty Whitey as it applies here.....there are a few things in common the brighter white LEDs in the comparison that last longer than others have in common.

 

1st....Their made in Korea, very tight quality control, think "Japan"!.......NOT China where they have quality control issues. Don't let anyone tell you different, there is too much of a track record and case history for INCONSISTENCY and manufacturers have to constantly hold the hand of the Chinese to make sure they're getting consistency and this is why American companies play musical chairs with Chinese plants who make their products.

 

2nd....Their constant current, or current regulated on each module...NOT constant voltage aka "Eco". So if you're not familiar with that term Constant Current just know each module is 12 volts from the first to the last on a string. A LED module that is ...NOT CC is constant voltage, aka "Eco"! Those are unregulated and the first LED module on a string is different than the LED on the last, or middle. It also means the first LED on the string could be taking a big hit from the power supply because it's not regulated and you'll get faster degradation as well as uneven lighting.

 

CONSTANT CURRENT vs CONSTANT VOLTAGE

 

 

This is not to say others that aren't with similar characteristics will last nearly as long (there have been exceptions), in past versions degradation over 15,000 hours or 5 sign years is left on 8 hours a day has been about 0 to 3% of the original illumination, that's something that should interest you and the end user, and newer versions only get better with heat dissipation.

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LED Comparison A small comparison of common purchased LEDs for medium sized channel letters and how they compare in brightness to the NC  Reckless 2 LED.

 

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LED Comparison A small comparison of common purchased LEDs for medium sized channel letters and how they compare in brightness to the NC  Reckless 3 LED.

 

NC vs Princi 0916-900.jpg

 

NC LED come with three different diode manufacturers, SOL, LG, & Samsung ("Reckless"). I took a personal hand for us to use SAMSUNG, their white is brighter than the other configurations, it's more of a true 6500 white, and you need bright! The LED colors that we stock are SOL chip.

 

Every LED manufacturer has their marketing claims on Lumens, Viewing Angle, Lens..no lens, etc etc etc. From the Neon & LED testing we have been doing here on the Sign Syndicate they can throw all that out the window because it doesn't translate into anywhere when it comes to the sign industry, how we use them, and how it makes them last over time. 90% of the time it's just a sales pitch to throw at you on why you should buy their over another one. Who cares about Lumens when it comes to signs...we light up a sign face and only care about surface light! Viewing angle??? Don't get me started!

 

What do we care about being in the sign industry? That it's bright, and most importantly it lasts over time....well...at least the client does more so than the sign sign shop because it's them who will have to pay to re-retrofit to something else.

 

So, we're very happy to offer the NC LED "Reckless" light source product to our members that we know works as an option for your sign projects here on The Sign Syndicate. It's nice to add another High Brightness LED to our line up, AND the Reckless-2 is the brightest LED in it's class of under 1 watt per module and under 3 watts per foot than anything on the market today!

 

If you're the type of shop that just likes to stick to big name LED manufacturers because you think you're playing it safe and you're also not too familiar with the testing The Sign Syndicate has been doing since 2008 let me just say this. From all the testing we have been doing with out benchmark testing, and we've talked about it a lot in the past. You pay a lot of money to big name LED manufacturers and the product itself is most of the time is average and most a lot of times subpar compared to what's out there from a few small select LED manufacturers. You pay a lot and you get very little. What I mean by that is, you don't get a whole lot of light in return and you could pay significantly less and get a brighter light output and a product that will even last longer. Not all big names, but you'll have to download the quarterly results that we have in the Board forum and judge for yourself.

Like I said, there are VERY good results from a FEW select companies in Project Tighty Whitey and NC LED is one of those few, AND that's why I'm very proud to offer it to our members.

 

Why leave money on the table choosing someone else and why not have a more satisfied client using NC LED?

 

NC LEDs come in both forms, Constant Current "Reckless" as well as Constant Voltage "Eco"(ECO Series), we will be concentrating on the Constant Current versions of these LEDs

 

Basic NC LED Specs

• IP68

• 5 Year, 50,000 Hour Warranty

• Constant Current (Regulated) not Constant Voltage like cheaper "eco" LEDs

• Made in Korea.....NOT made in China

• High Brightness LEDs

• Samsung Diodes for white

• Sol Diodes for color

As I stated above, we're offering 100 of the most versatile NC LED "Reckless" Modules which is the two diode Samsung configuration, the Reckless-2 powered by Samsung for only $99.99

 

Specification Cut Sheets (Updated 4/25/16)

NC SS Brochure.pdf

 

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The NC LED Product Line Up

NC HLS White Colors.jpg

 

Lastly I need to mention that I power up these bad boys with our also Korean made LED Power Supplies by Union Elecom

 

So if you're burning out those cheap import Chinese LED power supplies, (even the so called "Engineered In America...Made In China.." type) and you can't figure out why after loading your power supply to a safe 50 watts on your 60 watt power supply which REALLY may only be able to handle a 40 watt load because of make, convection cooling, and due to the environment in which it's in you might want to get a hold of their derating curve chart and see what your product may be able to handle.  Plastic power supplies = NOT good.

 

So....we now stock the Union Elecom Class II, Listed, 60 watt and 120 watt (Dual channel) LED Power Supplies.  These LED Power Supplies are IP68, and  fitted with 1/2" nipples so you can simply hook up the primary with a junction box that has 1/2" thread knock-outs so you don't need a Transformer Box to house your power supply for remote installs.

 

Again, why Union Elecom if you're not familiar with the name or company?  

 

First, their Korean, that means high quality standards.  This is what they do, this is what they do best....they make power supplies.....solely!   Unlike some other companies who offer power supplies but it's not their primary focus, they really make LEDs or other products as their primary.  They just "offer" a power supply to go with their LED's.  THAT can be bad and as we all know, we've seen plenty of failure on the field whr we have to come back and replace over and over again!  

 

UNION ELECOM LED POWER SUPPLY 

Union-120-Watt-WH800.jpg

 

 

Members can purchase these LEDs by phone (858) 880-1400, emailing us orders@thesignsyndicate.com or use our online Shopping Cart LINK

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I'll be the first to say that's a Sexy Banner, good job! :thumbs::P

Second, we love the NC's and have been buying them from the Syndicate just this year and production put away the others to collect dust. Our production guy said the modules are Sexy with appearance and because of the color differential making them easy to identify. How came to that conclusion and word choice I don't know, but I thought I'd use to explain the banner, it's bold!

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Mike,

Yes you can!

Which is one of the advantages of using Constant Current LEDs, their regulated to be on 12volts, unlike Constant Voltage LEDs where the slightest fraction of a volt like 12.25 can kill rapidly degrade a system.

We saw this In The Great White Hope back a few years ago where a small fraction killed a Permlight set and I had to go back and put another string/set in and adjust an Axiom Power Supply to exactly 12 volts. Also why I use the Axiom Power Supplies because a major majority of the LEDs we have been testing are CV LEDs and I want to assure everything is operating on 12 volts so no LED has an advantage with a slightly higher voltage on the line making it slightly brighter.

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I want to let everyone know that I updated the above information. Just so everyone knows in case you do not.

NC LED's come in two forms, Constant Current (HLC Series) as well as Constant Voltage (ECO Series).

I'm only going to stock the Constant Current HLC Series because of the test results. This is not to say their less costing Constant Voltage ECO series does not do well but I only want to distribute the cream of the crop, I'm putting myself in the shoes of the consumer, I would want what lasts, and not something lesser the sign company thought they should use.

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We have used quite a few of the NC LED's on several jobs now. We really appreciate that we are getting .9 watts for the same price we were purchasing .5 watts. Where we were double stroking the .5 watt modules from a different company, with the .9 watt and wider 120 degree angle, we are single stroking these much more which saves us money. We also appreciate the IP 68 rating. Overall, the quality control on this product seems better than the previous modules we were buying that were produced in China. We plan to keep this as our primary LED module in our production.

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Ive always been told that the Koreans have superior products as opposed to the Chinese

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It's true in a lot of sectors.

As far as the sign industry goes I think you can say it rings true. In a lot of conversations with component mfg's one common detonator is quality control.

If you're not around on their grounds to constantly maintain and hold their hand, then as soon as you turn around or walk away after inspection there's a big chance quality just changed. Something got swapped out to save THEM cost or on labor. One of the funny back stories you won't hear anywhere else is, a lot of our electric sign component mfg's play musical chairs with plant manufacturers over there. One company will vacate a plant because quality sucked over time or a big boo boo happened, then another will occupy the same plant, then shit happens all over again....think neon transformers.

There are some products this industry uses that are produced from over there that is okay, but it's not common.

Korea on the other hand genuinely cares about what they produce and put it though the test like you would expect a plant/mfg would. Sort of like over engineer attitude. They have a harsh environmental seasons and they put these LEDs for example through all that. Korea is also obviously more of a capitalistic market than China, and accountability/responsibility is on the higher agenda/priority list.

Since we have been doing our testing here on our various tests since 2008 I don't think we've had a Chinese LED product perform as well as those made here in the US, Japan or Korea.

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We've used these on a number of projects now and have been super happy with the results. The standard 2 diode modules are small enough that we can replace the 'mini' modules we have been using on certain jobs and increase our light output at the same time. With all of the testing that has been done on this site, Eric seems to have a pretty good feel for what products are a cut above. Let face it, we all take a leap of faith to some extent when trying out new products. I would much rather try something that has some experienced sign people vouching for it as well as using something made anywhere else but China lol. I think these are going to find a permanent home on my short list of modules!

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I know some Sign Syndicate members who went to the ISA Expo in Orlando this last week got a chance to come by and the NC LED Booth and it was good to see some of you.

IMG_1147.jpg

NC LED had a nice booth and it's getting better and better everytime.

I thought it very interesting that quite a few Major Sign Suppliers took the time to send their "Lighting Engineers" to the NC LED Booth to try and fish/learn more.

Even funnier that they tried to attempt to become distributors. This has to tell you that their not too confident in their own choices and vendors whom they represent. So when they say THEY have the best and brightest, what does this tell you? It tells me it's just a marketing statement....something just simply executed and never explained.

Does this mean they've lost confidence in possible companies like AgiLight, Osram, Principal, Sloan & GE, and even their own Home Brew "In House" Brands that they stock???

What should this tell those LED manufacturers?

I don't know about that and that's for others to come to their own conclusion BUT it tells me we're doing a pretty good damn job of educating the electric sign industry about what it is their using and what they could be doing to better the finished sign projects they are fabricating. The reasons why made in China, cheap eco constant voltage, discolored low grade high numbered "P" chip diodes, or mediocre pay more and get less in returns LED modules don't make sense.

For those who missed it we had a little light show that compares the NC LED Reckless-2 against AgiLight, JT LED, JS LED, Hanley LED Peregrine, AA LED, and a few others. All we had to do was light them up and those observing made their own evaluations on appearance in brightness, and temperature, uniformity from a case I built. Some competitors products were just gross, far off from 6500K I didn't have to say anything to those observers, and I don't need to repeat those comments made.

Lots of people poked their phones in to take pics of the case and comparison, Kirstie was kind of bothered and so were the NC Guys but I said it was "okay", if those sign shops build their own cases to compare most would see and know what we've been discussing here. So I welcomed pics, take it back home and think about it, think about what you saw.

IMG_0599.JPG

You should also note.

We're not going to wine and dine customers or possible customers to use our products that we trust, and have tested.

I'll let those large sign suppliers do that, throw parties and invite you, shower you with food and alcohol, take YOUR purchasers and project managers to a cabin or weekend fishing excursion to BUY your puchasers business and I don't have a desire to bullshit my customers and tell you I'm confident in what I sell all the while looking for something better some others have tested and evaluated. When your purchaser and project mangers are bought lunches and gifts it means you as business owner are paying too much and not getting what you should be in return, but HEY....it's nice to be a purchaser who benefits, sorry you're not.

We've done the lengthy hard work, I've had my hand in it putting the ideal configuration together for the Reckless series and so far anyone who tries has been amazed.

No parties needed here, no large one page ads in the sign brochure/Mags it sells itself, and so far at the show there was a pretty good buzz all coming from the Sign Syndicate prior to the show from all the discussions, comparisons and explanations of why these NC LED's kick ass!!! It had both Sign Shops and Sign Suppliers looking.

One last time....NOT made in CHINA!!!

PS- We updated the NC LED Spec Sheet on the first page of this thread

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