Jump to content

If You're Looking For Premium Electric Sign Industry Components From Trim Cap, LED's, Neon Supplies, Power Supplies, Pattern Paper.  Then Please Visit Our Online Store or Feel Free To Call Us For Inquiries or Placing an Order!!
Buy Now

Looking for a fellow Sign Syndicate Company Member For A Sign Install or Maintenance Call?
Click Here

For Sign Company's Who Work As Subcontractors
Before You Work For A National Sign & Service Company You Need To Look At The Reviews Of These Companies Before You Work For Them. Learn When To Expect Payment From Them and What It's Like To Work For Them, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly. Learn and Share Your Experiences Yourself For Others

Click Here

Trouble for the Electric Sign Industry

Recommended Posts

In such a short period of time we've seen a lot of Electric Sign Component manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers fold and go out of business or get gobbled up by others.


ISA or International Sign Association in strong armed/mafia form gobbled up all independent state Sign Associations...they're still there, but they all have one voice to follow now.  When this all happened it was an entertaining little civil war as it was happening.  You didn't read about that part of it because well....those voices were silenced and there was no platform at the time for those in those smaller associations to voice their opposition, no way to be heard and you sure wouldn't read about it in any Sign Brochure Rag (Magazine)




Principal LED buys Transco(Neon), then buys Ventex (Neon / LED), then buys Aries Graphics (Neon/LED Wizard), recently buys Sloan (LED).....now I hear they bought property in the land of Oz...


A lot of smaller Sign Suppliers are no longer around.  If you're on the West Coast then you know Interstate Electric just folded up very fast practically overnight and POOF!....gone.


Tubelite & Denco merged as one company, and just now Grimco gobbled up TubeLite & Denco.


So what does this all mean?  


Well this usually happens during a bad economy, businesses merge to survive, and most of the time when they consolidate the outcome means it's Big Business....not good for the consumers, those consumers.....is this very industry.


Like with most laws of the marketplace with less competitors, it mean less choices, options, and of course higher prices....higher prices because, well....why drop prices when there are less competitors out in the marketplace to compete for your business.  Lesser options of where to buy and what to buy, lesser options like what electric sign components are in our marketplace.


Competition brings better options and components into our marketplace, but at this point there is no drive or incentive for a component manufacture to build better products.  In fact, I've already seen this retard, and I've been seen sub par products in the LED Modules being produced and made available.  Many won't notice, many don't even know what they're even buying.  Many are just "WOWED" at the new "10 year product / 5 year labor warranty" and think how wonderful!




The real fact of the matter is at this point the only real hard part is getting to the 5 year period.  

Beyond that it's just a matter of the manufacturer handing you a few bags of newer LED modules, patting you on the back of the head and telling you to go away.  


Ask yourself, would you ever use your warranty for anything beyond the 5 years or just refill your client for a new retrofit?  How many business signs actually last that long before becoming rebranded?  I would say the chances of a sign lasting longer that 10 years is fewer than a rebrand or s business just seising to operate.


So users have the Wow factor of the 10 year warranty.  They are also may not know....they are being charged more for this warranty because it's sold as a premium service.  10 years "sounds" better than 5, what users don't know is that the 5 year warranty is probably the better product in some cases, the 5 year warranty product company just hasn't caught up to the 10 year scheme yet.  It is a scheme, just read the warranty yourself.


Here's what happened in a short period of time.  


LED technology has gotten better, and of course less expensive.  But the choices for what sign module producers choose to specify and putting together has been garbage.  


Garbage why?  


Well, there is less competition now, less choices.  With fewer Sign Suppliers now there are less choices.....you have Principal LED, and Principal LED...oh and.....Principal LED.


What I'm seeing right now is more eco modules and less premium modules.  What I mean in eco modules is...Constant Voltage LED systems, and inefficient chips (higher power needed for more light), along with very poor bins of white (sorting process).  In fact, these days, the 6500 whites look dirty and inconsistent across a say...30 module string.


In premium modules it's the opposite.  


Up until not too long ago most of the industry was going to CC Systems or Constant Current.  You pay just a tiny bit more...but it mean longer life, and consistent lighting from the first module on a string to the last.  The chips being used were more efficient (more light for lesser power).  You have to remember, when it comes to LEDs, the more power the greater the heat, the greater the heat the shorter the life.  These days, you may not get catastrophic failure like th old days where diodes outright fail and turn off, but you'll get faster lumen maintenance or degradation, and in a lot of cases depending on chip quality...color shifting.


In premium modules, the white rendering is better.  A 6500K white will look white on a premium module.  Do your own comparison, put LED modules in channels and put white acrylic faces on them and do a comparison.  What you thought was 6500K from one module manufacturer looks really gray, or green, or blue compared to a quality module using quality chips.  


When we were doing the Electric Sign Industry benchmark testing The Great White Hope & Project Tightey Whitey, etc.... everyone in the industry was able to see the differences of the Bins, the chip quality in light produced for power out in and what was failing and what was not. 


Project Tightey Whitey (6500KLED Modules) & The Red Light District (Red LED Modules)


PTW Compare 13.jpg RDL 0713.jpg



The Great White Hope (6500K LED Modules)

GWH Feb 12 Compare.jpg  



Project Border Security (Blue Neon & LED Flex)




Before you ask on those whites....


YES, those are ALL 6500K modules.  Not so white when you compare huh?


I would gamble to say half this industry won't care when reading this.  Most think it's just about building, billing and profiting and living our lives the best we can with greater worries about real life outside of work....as it should be....I get that.


In some ways I've always had some Nerd traits in me, and that's why I'm writing this.  


The bottom line is, there are only a few LED Modules I would say are "Quality", and you won't really find them in your local now shrunk Sign Supply options.  


Right now you're paying more for less under the guise marketing scheme of a "10 Year Warranty" and most deceivingly you're buying a product from a name that once actually produced good products but using that "name" to sell a product because you know that "name".  They're taking advantage of your ignorance and lack of caring/understanding


You won't read about any of the information put here in our supposed Sign Industry News Magazines because they have been nothing but Brochure Rags where all you have to do is either purchase advertisement space or become one of their contributing "Writers" which they have always been desperate for since they aren't from this industry they only want to sell to it.  


So become a writer/contributor and through the backdoor, promote your product....indirectly..  Who is going to discuss the shrinking marketplace and degradation of product quality.  No one like to name names there.


You won't read about any of this in any Webinar, Seminar or Newsletter from our Sign Associations, because just like Brochure Rags....Advertising and Booth Space Sells.  


I've sat in Association Boards, money dictates all decisions like you wouldn't know and most in them are sheep....except for the "Lifers" who have been there since day one if they're still breathing and they not only sit on one board but even multiple across state lines in different associations.  It's a good way to get influence and sell it, most importantly it's a good way to push yourself and own agenda across the industry.  The good doers are short lived realize it's not for them, and leave after a short time. 


Maybe if nothing else I awake from this hibernation I've been on for some time and take some small steps of my own and put out for our Great Trade some revised Benchmark testings on LEDs & Neon.  I can see another Great White Hope IV (White LEDs), Red Light District II (Red LEDs), & Project Border Security II (Neon & Flex LED).  To show where this industry has improved....and where it's failing.


It's not just about LED modules where I have involvement, it's our whole industry.... where to buy, what to buy is shrinking....and what you are told and what you read, is believed...the opposition is not there....but it's here.


In just a short time with the test market shrinking news of the Denco/TubeLite/Grimco the social media posts by them and ISA is about cracking open Champagne bottles....but if you read the comments if they haven't been turned off yet is about users being concerned about lesser competition and lack of future "option"


The future of this industry and where it goes will be interesting....




Maybe Stay Tune!!




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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

So this got even worse If what I'm hearing is true.  The word from a few Hanley Reps just said that Principal / Sloan just bought them out.


Fewer Choices....Lower Quality.  



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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Early on, my feeling was this little module was going to be the most popular module we will have.  You can do so much with it, Channel Letters, Reverse Channel Letter Halo Lighting is Ridiculous.  This module has been best for shallow faces from 1.5" to 5"+.  If you liked the quality of the Sloan Prism, this is the better module for 1/3 the price.     To date, it's been the hardest to keep on the shelf and in stock.     Beginning of next year we are widening the options of lighting with  Ruby Red, Cobalt Blue, Sunflower Yellow, Green and for whites 4000K, 5000K, 7100K to go alongside out 6500K & 3000K.   Demand has been phenomenal.  Running short has been a good problem to have.  
    • So this got even worse If what I'm hearing is true.  The word from a few Hanley Reps just said that Principal / Sloan just bought them out.   Fewer Choices....Lower Quality.      
    • NEW YORK, United States, Nov. 22, 2023 -- EasyCut Studio, a worldwide leading developer of sign-making software solutions, has launched a new enhancement to its industry-leading vinyl cutting software, Easy Cut Studio, which now includes true shape nesting. this enhancement tool takes sign making to a whole new level. Efficiently nest all your objects to save on time and material.   Nesting is the process of placing your design as efficiently as possible to save on production materials. This new feature enables all users to reduce their material waste in average by 40%. The intuitive and powerful option improves the arrangement of multiple objects per job by rearranging the objects based on their actual shape.   “Thanks to the latest updates, the newly added nesting feature efficiently nest all objects to save on time and material, designers can enjoy creating more in less time,” said Eric Lee, Senior Product Manager for EasyCut Studio. “Starting from now, users will be able to upgrade their Easy Cut Studio to Version 5.026 in order to experience the full range of new Nesting features and improvements. It's simple, intuitive, fully automatic , and no training is needed.”   In addition to the new nesting feature. this update also includes more than 10 new cutter drivers, the official support of macOS Sonoma, several bug fixes, compatible with several new vinyl cutters and improvements to the stability and performance of the software, enabling users to design, print and cut more efficiently than ever before. So this latest version will definitely amaze you.     Easy Cut Studio Release v5.026 includes a host of new features, including:   l  Fixed a problem with incorrect dimensions for Print+Cut groups. l  Fixed a problem with Print+Cut with Janome Artistic Edge 15 cutter. l  Fixed crash issue when printing and cutting with KNK Force cutter. l  Performing the advanced nesting by moving the object including the rotation. l  Fixed a problem with manual laser alignment with Titan. l  Fixed crashing problem with offset path. l  Fixed the issue of incomplete cutting or random cutting. l  Fixed the issue where users were unable to connect to the Summa machines via USB. l  Adds support for JiaChen JC-E, JiaChen JC-H and JiaChen JC-DS series. l  Adds support for UKCutter V-series. l  Adds support for Vevor KI series. l  Other stability improvements. l  Official Support for Windows 11 and macOS 14.2 Sonoma.    For more information about Easy Cut Studio, visit https://www.easycutstudio.com/     Pricing and Availability: Easy Cut Studio offers a free 15-day trial, along with direct customer support. The program works on a Windows PC or Mac including the newer Mac Silicon processors. Users can try out the new features by downloading the free demo version, or purchase the full version starts from $59.95 USD for the lifetime.     About EasyCut :   Founded in 2007, EasyCut is a software company that develops sign-making software for Windows and Mac devices. We have always worked closely with cutting plotter manufacturers around the globe. Thus we adapt our vinyl cutting software for different technologies and continuously adds support for new cutting machines and improve the printing and cutting workflows.  With a focus on excellence and user satisfaction, EasyCut continues to push boundaries in software development, delivering reliable and problem-solving solutions for users worldwide.                                                                 ### MEDIA ONLY CONTACT:   Eric Johnson Director of Marketing E-mail: support@easycutstudio.com Website: https://www.easycutstudio.com/
    • Sign Journeyman Electrician / Serviceman Hanson Sign Company, located on the beautiful Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State, has been in business since 1964.  We are known for the great care we take with clients and employees alike.  The Sign Electrician will be responsible for ensuring that sign installations and service are executed to code and meet company standards. Specific responsibilities include: Troubleshoot sign issues and determine repair requirements.  Install various types of signs and hook up to electrical circuit if required.  Operate with safety as the primary concern for team, customer and self. Job Requirements: Journeyman Electrician in Washington State 04 (signs) or 01 (general) electrical license.  Valid drivers license.  Professional appearance and personality.  Must be willing to work in attics, crawl spaces and aerial lifts / bucket truck up to 60’. Other Abilities Safely ascend and descent ladders.  Regularly lift and move up to 50 lbs.  Good mechanical skills set such as: working with hands, tools, climbing, good sense of balance, bending, kneeling, crouching, etc. Job type:  Full time, some overtime and travel.  Hours are 7:30am to 4:00pm Monday – Friday. Salary:  $36 - $42 per hour depending on experience. Benefits:  100% paid medical, dental, vision plan.  Matching 401K, paid vacation and holidays. Well maintained equipment, including new Altec trucks. Drug testing and employment physical may be required.
    • Discussing the BrighON LED Module Lineup for the Electric Sign Industry   A brief description about the High-End, High Efficiency BrightON LED Module Line for the Electric Industry by @Kgirl. These LED Modules are made for everything from Channel Letters, Sign Cabinets, Architectural Elements to General Lighting.   • The 24V & 12V .8 watt BrightON II • The 12V 1.2 watt BrightON III • The 24V & 12V 1.6 watt BrightON IV • The 12V .72 watt BrightON Lightning • The 24V 2.4 watt BrightON SunFire • The 24V 3W RGB+W BrightON Sirius  
  • Create New...