In 2016 SDS / Adam's Tech introduced Innovation Award winning LetterForm Trimless channel letter coil to go with our ChannelBender Series channel letter machines. Here is a picture of a very recent job at Yesco using our patented Trimless LetterForm coil with the new Super ChannelBender they bought to replace their AccuBend Model 410. Our customers have seen a dramatic increase in the number of jobs specifying Trimless channel letters due to large commercial property companies like Simon Property Group and others effectively banning trim cap channel letters. I'm curious if others fabricators are seeing this as well.
By Erik Sine
Competition Light NOT "Usable Light"
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.
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.
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.
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
• 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 $89.99
Specification Cut Sheets (Updated 4/25/16)
NC SS Brochure.pdf
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
Members can purchase these LEDs by phone (858) 880-1400, emailing us firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online Shopping Cart LINK
By Erik Sine
We're SUPER excited on the new high-end upcoming USHIO LED Products that have been long over due.
LED WALL PACKS
Ushio America’s traditional wall pack LED light fixtures are manufactured with premium, long-life LEDs, cast-aluminum housings with shatter resistant glass and excellent thermal dynamics.
DesignLights Consortium qualified, the series is designed using the traditional wall pack appearance and replaces much higher wattage HID luminaires, saving up to 80% on energy costs. The traditional shape maintains an aesthetic appearance and will replace any building’s wall pack, or perimeter lighting.
The light fixture is ideal for outdoor applications such as parking areas, loading areas, carports, driveways and pathways. These are designed for wall mounting above four feet from ground.
All series fixtures operate on universal voltage (100-277V) with popular color temperatures (5000K and 4000K). Available in 42W and 60W, these LED fixtures come with Ushio’s premium 5-year limited warranty.
Energy Saving DLC Qualified IP65 Outdoor Rated Operating Temperature: -4° F to -120° F 15-30 Foot Height Performance Shatter Resistant Glass Dimmable (0-10V) Photocell Compatible Long Life: 50,000 Hours 5-Year Limited Warranty
Fixtures operate on standard voltage (120V) with popular color temperatures (5000K and 4000K). Available in 13W, these LED fixtures come with Ushio’s premium 5-year limited warranty.
• Energy Saving
• ENERGY STAR® Certified
• IP65 Outdoor Rated
• Operating Temperature: -22° F to -120° F
• Dusk to Dawn Photocell Included
• Long Life: 50,000 Hours
• 5-Year Limited Warranty
Ushio America’s series slim canopy mount LED fixture is DLC qualified and UL listed for wet locations with an IP65 rating, making it ideal for outdoor areas such as parking garages, walkways and building entrances.
The fixtures are built tough with an elegant appearance. They have a low-profile, aesthetically pleasing design with weather-resistant, die-cast aluminum housings and
shatter-resistant polycarbonate prismatic lens. Their dust-proof, sealed structure has multiple ½” conduit entrances on the side. These slim canopy fixtures support pendant mounting and direct surface ceiling mounting options.
Fixtures operate on universal voltage (100-277V) with popular color temperatures (5000K and 4000K). Available in 28W, 42W and 59W, these LED fixtures come with Ushio’s premium 5-year limited warranty
Energy Saving DLC Premium Qualified IP65 Outdoor Rated Operating Temperature: -4° F to -120° F Shatter Resistant Glass Dimmable (0-10V) Long Life: 50,000 Hours 5-Year Limited Warranty
AREA LIGHT FIXTURE
Ushio America’s Slim Area Light LED Fixture is constructed with a rugged, die-cast aluminum housing and its excellent thermal design makes it the perfect lighting solution for your parking lot, walkway, street, building flood up/down light or it can be used as an outdoor sign light.
The fixture provides energy savings up to 85% while eliminating maintenance as well as lamp and labor costs. These fixtures are available in a wide range of wattage selections to replace from 150W to 1500W HID fixtures.
Our fixtures are DLC certified and IP65 rated with five types of mounting options available: Swivel Bracket, Slip Fitter, Yoke, 6” Extruded Arm and Pendant Mount. Several photocell and motions sensor options are also available.
All series fixtures operate on universal voltage (100-277V) with popular color temperatures (5000K and 4000K). Available in 75W, 100W, 240W and 360W, these LED fixtures come with Ushio’s premium 5-year limited warranty.
Energy Saving DLC Premium Qualified IP65 Outdoor Rated Operating Temperature: -40° F to -122° F Dimmable (0-10V) Photocell and Motion Sensor Compatible Long Life: 50,000 Hours 5-Year Limited Warranty
Ushio America’s series security LED light fixtures provide bright, energy-saving options to replace old incandescent wall mounted security lighting or for new construction.
The fixture is ENERGY STAR® certified and provides energy savings up to 80% while eliminating maintenance as well as lamp and labor costs. It also comes with a dusk to dawn photocell sensor.
All fixtures operate on standard voltage (120V) with popular color temperatures (5000K and 4000K). Available in 13W, these LED fixtures come with Ushio’s premium 5-year limited warranty.
Energy Saving ENERGY STAR® Certified IP65 Outdoor Rated Operating Temperature: -22° F to -120° F Dusk to Dawn Photocell Included Long Life: 50,000 Hours 5-Year Limited Warranty