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    • By Erik Sine
      So, we finally did it.  It's been kicked around for months, prototypes, after prototypes and locked in on a configuration that we finally liked.
       
      As most of you know the Sign Syndicate we've been testing majority of the main stream LED's since 2008 in a unbiased benchmark comparison, tests such as "The Great White Hope....Project Tighty Whitey...Red Light District...Border Security & Blue Light Special".  Over that time we've seen some characteristics that we liked, made sense, understood what will last and won't.  What it means to be a High-End LED product.
       
      We have sold the NC LED's & Axioms for a few years now, as some of our favorites from the testing (Axioms no longer).  But it's been time to do our own, make it more custom and more perfect for the Sign Industry.  The Brighton line is made from those in the Sign Industry.....FOR the Sign Industry.
       
      It's BrightON, pronounced just like the city. 
       
      So what so unique about the Brighton?  For starters, we wanted it to be VERY efficient.  I don't know of another more bright and efficient LED module in it's class.  155 lum/W and 124lum with a 170˙ Batwing optic lens, most importantly when it comes the sign industry the important number is 63.09 Foot Candles on a sign face per Watt
       
      The important aspects of long lasting LEDs is of course finding the "sweet spot", where it's driven just perfect for light and power.  The Brighton is VERY under driven, less power, MORE light!  These can be spaced out pretty far due to the optics lens, it's brighter in angles than it is straight on, or up.  Under driving  improves thermal performance, which extends life all while getting higher Lumens per watt.  The Brighton LED is a High-End, High Performance LED module for High-End applications.
       
      For starters off the bat we will have a 2 Diode, (no need for a 3 Diode), 4 Diode, and our Sign Cabinet model 6 Diode (SunFire).  Shops won't need to stock multiple module types, the Brighton-2 is so versatile, you can use it for almost anything, just adjust the spacing.  It already comes with 7" inches of wire so jumping from one row to another is easy.  Space the center to center at 6" for good light, 5" center for Better Light, 4" for Best Light.  They're 1.7 mods/foot and work good for shallow 2" applications depending on face type to of course much deeper.
       
      Since these are driven so low, they don't generate a whole lot of heat, BUT, our Brighton-6 (2.8w) is Heatsinked on all Aluminum PCB for longer life.
       
      One of the biggest complaints we have received about LEDs when it comes to large projects like large letters or cabinets is......"We have to use so MANY Power Supplies!"
       
      A nice aspect about the Brighton is, it's a whole 24v system!  Everything!
       
      As sign companies we are redistricted by the Class II regulation of no larger than 5A per channel.  So 12v is restricted to 60watts, BUT....24v is restricted to 96watts.  24v will mean more modules per power supply.  You're now getting almost double the amount of modules for a project.
       
      24V cuts that amperage that runs across the wiring and module in half!  It reduces the resistance, reduces the heat and most importantly IMPROVES reliability.
       
      I think we can all agree that LESS is BETTER, less moving parts, the less you have to worry. 
       
      This is the first part of our Brighton Line, we'll continue to improve it widening the line and of course always always staying far ahead of the curve
       
       
      I'm including some rough test pics of our process and how they fair.  We should have these available in the first part of Fall.
       
      And yes, we will still stock, and continue to sell NC LED Reckless LED
       
       

       

      Early Try Out's, various wattage and diode mfg's
       

       
       
    • By Erik Sine
      So...
       
      I haven't posted any jobs lately and I need to play catch up.
       
      So I'll start with our latest projects and work myself backwards
       
      As we've discussed so many times on the Sign Syndicate.  There is a time to retrofit, and a time not too.  Neon and Fluorescent lamps/systems should not in most cases be retrofitted to LEDs unless accessibility calls for it.  Otherwise, it doesn't make financial sense for the consumer to do so, or....just so a shop can make a project sale on BS energy efficiency numbers and mythical saving $$$$

       
       
       
      So here are some retrofit jobs that make REAL sense.
       
       
      NEON RETROFIT
       

       
      Here's a chain of Studio's that I've been doing since the early 2000's. 
       
      This particular sign is only partially mine, everything from the Logo and red letters. 
       
      This was the first job I did for them leading up to fabricating all new signs for their locations.  The white is from the previous location and Neon has been in it's original form since the late 90's, and it's 6500K Snow White.  The logo is 15mm Tri-phosphor, Elite 65D I believe.  The Logo and Red was done in 2008.  It's very hard to tell because red and white is hard to capture and a cell phone cam does no justice but the White lettering is dimmer than illustrated and is about 50% of it's original light output. 
       
      Not bad for 20+ plus year old lamps!!
       
      So the owner called up and wanted a revamp.  Had I been the average shop you bet the immediate response would have been LED!  SAVINGS!!!!!  BULLSHIT!  BULLSHIT!
       
      Well, no. 
       
      We're logical over here in SoCal, a land where 50¢ modules would have replaced the Lamp Art.
       
      The logical choice, and more economical choice for the consumer?
       

       
      Going from a single halo phosphate 6500K Snow White Neon lamp to a Tri-Phosphor EGL Designer 7100 Series Lamps.
       
      When we moved and installed (2008) this sign we did so with Tecnolux Silicone GTO and Caps.  All that was needed for this retrofit was new lamps, and leaving the awesome silicone GTO and transformers in place!
       
      Now, I owe you a night shot, the iphone pic I took was garbage, so I'll update that soon.  But the Logo and White letters match up well, and even with the old faces, the sign illuminates like a new sign at night. 
       
      Forgot to mention, the white faces are also from the 90's and they've held up quite well, the Trim Cap is Plasco, also held up quite well for 20+ years old.  During the day, the ace look good, so no need to replace.
       
       
      LED RETROFIT
       
      So a new client...
       
      They called, they were moving and wanted to know if they needed a new sign or whether to fabricate a whole new on because the current was lit up like crap.   Had hot spots, dim a places, and just crazy outages in sections of letters.
       
      It would have been better had I taken night pics, BUT...I didn't know I would be posting and writing about it here so
       
      Had this been some other shop, I'm sure the nightmare would have continued
       

       

       

       
      Yes, two different LED manufacturers in the same sign Woohoo, the electric sign industry in it's finest form right here!  It made me SO proud!
       
      If you're familiar with Gaverieli Plastics, I need say no more, let alone Chinese JS LED's....well, their both China and their both crap. 
      They don't last, they fail, they cause companies problems with having to go back and replace and most importantly...They cost the consumer, YOUR client.
       
      The second sign which they had, made at a different time and by another company was US LED, also garbage.  Illumination was just as bad.  Sorry, didn't get pics of that sign because again, it wasn't my plan to make a post here
       
      If this wonderful, thoughtful sign package doesn't make you cry, I don't know what will.
       
      The original plastic was green vinyl over white acrylic and in such a short time this sign was beat, and probably why they called a new contractor for the work for their sign move.
       
      Well, a new sign made no sense. 
       
      They were just moving a few suites over and they weren't going to get a larger sign so the original would do.  New faces with 3M Lime Green over White acrylic.
       
      The most important aspect of this Sign....
       
      Yes! 
       
      NC Reckless-3 LEDs.  Top Tier Samsung Diodes running on a Constant Current system...NOT Constant Voltage.  1.2 watt modules.  Most important detail about our NC Reckless LEDs?  Their made in Korea NOT CHINA!!!
       

       
      Beautiful!
       

       

       
      Check out that crazy light meter reading!  That's almost 300 surface Foot Candles, which is about the equivalent light output to a 13mm Tri-phosphor white Neon Lamp behind white acrylic.
       
      If that is not simply utterly gross and disgusting, and you're not just sickened by that number, you have no stomach
       
      These Reckless-3 LEDs will NOT be powered up by their low budget power supplies but rather our Union LED Power Supplies made in KOREA, not CHINA!!!
       
       
       
       
       
       
      It's usually best to retrofit out with what was already in a sign, and not change one light source to another.  It's makes more financial sense in MOST cases, not all, but most.
       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Erik Sine
      NC LED Get's Better and Better $69.99!

       
       
       
      Introducing the NEW NC LED "White Horse" Wide Angle Constant Current Series.
       
      The White Horse CC series is a diffused lens LED module to better spread the light for shallow electric sign applications like 2" push thru architectural cabinets and channel letters available in 2, 3, and 4 chip diode configurations.
       
      The module is the same as the NC Reckless series discussed here
      http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/topic/7353-bright-long-lasting-channel-letters-and-what-it-takes/
       
      • IP68
      • 5 Year 50,000 Hour Warranty
      • 160˙ Wide Angle Diffused Lens
      • Constant Current, NOT Constant Voltage
      • High Brightness LED Module
      • Made in Korea NOT made in CHINA!!!
      • ONLY $69.99 per 100 WH2 Modules 42' Linear Feet
       
      NC LED DOWNLOADABLE SPEC SHEETS: NC-SS-0416-Brochure.pdf
       
      This White Horse series is a 160˙ degree light disbursement LED module and is the same chip for brightness as our Reckless series but because of the diffused lens the light is spread better for even lighting for shallow based sign faces for channel letters, dimensional letters or cabinets.
       
      As you know diffused wide angle modules won't be as effective for standard channel letter illumination as the Reckless series but great for shallow depth channel letters BUT, with the sick brightness of the NC Reckless LED series you can probably use this for both applications.
       
      Two great modules with the same makeup mixed with high Korean standards, with these standards think high, over engineered Japanese standards.... lastly..........say it with me.......NOT made in CHINA!!!
       
       
      For orders use our online shopping cart or to contact us call or email
      (858) 880-1400 / orders@thesignsyndicate.com


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  • Posts

    • Happy birthday Erik. I hope I keep my baby face like you have managed to
    • I was always under the impression that the mass produced neon signs where pushed through a die and made. I had no idea they where actually hand made. thanks for sharing.
    • I split these posts off to create it's own topic because it's far too interesting to get lost in the shuffle in a LED discussion.   Those are some awesome pics Frank, thanks for sharing those....oh and by all means I don't think anyone here can get tired from hearing about Neon!
    • Sure, I'm on the wrong computer but I have some of Fallon Shanghai...   This is an order for 3500 Miller Lite (Old Logo), we are waiting (too long) for Ventex transformers coming in from the states so all these are minus them - this was a typical month's production - we could do more but it was waiting for materials which always screwed with the schedule.   All the masterpack boxes behind are with the power supplies.  We only did pattern bending, no jigs or fixtures, with 25 benders.  Each table had a QC girl who checked every bit of glass made by the benders by slotting them into a jig.    We used all EGL glass and electrodes and when we ran out of clear I did source Chinese clear that was made for lamp manufacture (I kept this a secret that we're using Chinese glass lol).  On a side line I wanted to do our own coating, its not rocket science once you have the right phosphor / binder and kiln. I've coated before in Australia ( tes I was there too! ol).  Where people sourcing glass come undone - the glass formula needed to be for lamp manufacture and the tubes are acid washed and dried before packing.  If you just buy any clear glass its ok for small units ~4 feet. Anything more than 5 feet you're pushing it and 7~8 feet fuhgeddaboudit! Yes it will pump and age ok, neon looks good bright red but then after about a day or two the electrodes cannot keep up with the outgassing and the tube fails.    This is the pump I designed- 12 ports three bombarders (custom made with the secondary center tapped like a neon transformer for safety) at the far end was another pump. Each port could be isolated if there was a problem with a unit. We had three of these running continuously with two pumpers at each one.  One was the operator while the other one tipped off units on one end and connected six more on the other end.  So when one side was doing the final pumping down the other side was ready to go when the GTO was switched over.  My original plans had a bombarder GTO switch so it was just a flick of a switch to do the other side.  Our standard was the electrodes would be heated to a bright orange and we did a helium flush   The neon aged for 4 hours with the Hg in the trap, any unit not dull was rejected.  The ones that passed the first aging were aged for 7 more hours when the Hg was admitted. We had a lot of aging tables with three layers.  We could switch between 30 and 60mA, usually it was 60mA for 8mm we would use 30mA.  Aging neon with 30mA is too slow.     Cheers...   PS Don't get me talking about neon...I'll bend your ear off!
    • have any pictures you can share? sounds fascinating!
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