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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.
Pillsbury Dough Boy Done Down & Dirty Article http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/252366791.html And we have another! Leak gas??? They make it sounds like a health hazard. This time right now it's in the hands of the city's heritage preservation commission. I wonder if the Heritage Commission has all the facts in front of them presented by Lawrence sign before they're about to make a grave, costly mistake. Once again we have a marker, a pinpoint for the future that we can look back on and there is no need to predict, it will happen, because they're choosing to change a light source to this classic retro sign which are lamps pumped with neon gas, in turn they are nothing more than glass and gas a light source that does NOT degrade in light overtime, who's light output is NOT affected by outside temperatures, and to be retrofitted to one that is. We've seen it a couple years back Genesee Beer http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5364-signs-of-the-times-february-2012-issue/ Just recently in Chicago http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/topic/6406-the-drake-hotel-sign/ If we were all to be a fly on that wall at the time of the sales pitch, I'm sure they heard fictitious and misleading facts like "Energy Efficient".."Green"...."it's GOOD for the environment"...."Return on Investment in just s a few years!"....and according to the article cost of operation will go from $15,000.00 to $1,000.00. Someone may even have pulled out a pamphlet from the Ventex marketing playbook which exaggerates a 15kv neon transformers as having 500+ watts and costs to be doubled. Someone could have even pulled out a Sign Builder Illustrator and pulled out the article where Magic Mouth says LEDs he can save everyone 80% in cost of operation because his magic way is more "Efficient". I'm just very sure that whatever sales pitch was pulled it was unbelievable, somehow the Genesee Beers that were served were labeled as a IPA Craft beer. But for whatever reason maybe it was the overwhelming marketing moment, the show pony walking on it's hind legs, the salesmen juggling fireballs and no one bothered to take a sip of the beer to notice it tasted like tap water....maybe that was the idea, conjure a distraction. Should we so much as dare to take a thought at the idea that it was NEVER even brought up that maybe a money saving way to all this could be to keep things in heritable preservation, keep the historic value, is maybe just cut the ends off all the red neon pumped glass and re-pump the lamps? Wow, 60+ more years of life!! What else can we do? Hmmmmm, let's think about re-engineering the Transformer placement. Make some shorter runs maybe? Replace all the wiring? Hmmmm, do all that and we can add maybe another 20 years until a neon transformer replacement somewhere in the sign MAY be needed. Oh look, Red Neon Lamps do NOT degrade in light over time but LEDs do. How long before another retrofit should we predict? Or the replacement of a Electronic LED Driver? Couple years, less than a year? If this sign has been around since the 40's, the LED light alone won't even last a fraction of that. Should we even think that someone ever mentioned that the Neon cost of operation is only 3.6 watts per foot to the average 1.25 watts per foot to that of a Flex LED strip when it comes to red? If so, how did they get the $15k to $1k a year in annual operation??? What were these magic numbers that's saving in over 93%??? These numbers even top that of Magic Mouth himself and The New England Sign Spinner. We have a new player in town obviously. Of course it's been in "disrepair", I'm sure it's been nothing but talentless sign and lighting companies who have just over the years been replacing lamps and components and never actually fixing the issue that started it all in the first place. When said and done, and after the dog and pony act is finally gone long gone from the conference room, the excitement of of something "new" is diminished in the minds of the project managers and architects and the once classic sign, morphed into political correctness will soon turn into maintenance calls. The one year warranty by the sign contractor will expire, the 3 to 5 year warranty of LED lamps manufacturer will maintain for a short time but the labor costs in that period to change out those components will be absorbent. Shoulders will shrug, the look for answers will just turn into excuses and "...well...". That sexy attraction of this project will loose it's luster and maybe if the same people within the city are still employed in the same positions maybe, just maybe someone will take an actual sip of that ol stale beer to see what it tasted like and discover what it was that they actually got served that day. Then just like the Citgo Ballpark sign, they will have bought their own little Citgo project that went from Neon to LED Retrofit, to LED to LED Retrofit. Just like the other previous projects. I hope Lawrence sign doesn't remove all of the Neon Housing holes, they WILL need those down the road a lot sooner than they think. Somethings definitely getting/coming out of this oven for those 93% in saving that we saw on the baking product box, but it won't be a batch of cookies that mama used to make, something coming...it's just going to be a little flat in appearance and tasteless after the first bite and so on after that. With the cookie tray out and ready to eat and for a most likely 48 year Return on Investment. Retrofitting this project from Neon to Neon could have been in the thousands ($) range in materials alone, instead it will be in the tens of thousands range + the labor........well...that's what you get!! Bon Appetit Minneapolis!!!