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October 2015 Electric Sign Industry Neon & LED Test Comparison Results

Sign%20Syndicate%20Kgirl%20Tests.jpg

Below are the various categories of our test results made available for the electric sign industry. You can download the newest Sign Syndicate test comparison .pdf result sheet at the bottom of every Light Project Test entry with the most current date from the links below.

Please remember....we have now made these light testing results available to you for free. If you feel like you have learned/gained something from these results or found that these results have saved you money by choosing one product over another please help support us in upgrading your free membership, or by purchasing various sign supplies we have available for you & your company. Many of our sign supply products are usually well below what you might pay for at one of the mainstream sign suppliers and some are bundles with free shipping. We've attached many various banners to the results in hope something may grab your eye.

As always, enjoy the results and hope you learn as we do going down this adventurous path!

One big add we did this period was change over all projects from the Tutorial Board to our forum board, mainly because we are getting ready to go through a major software upgrade for the site. This period we also added a new side by side comparison from project start to current activity.

Amongst our various light projects this month we added in some LEDs from Principal LED as well as NC LED

The Great White Hope II (Year 1 & 2) The high powered white Neon & LED test comparison for large channel letters and sign cabinets, comprised of high powered LED modules 1watt+/3watt per foot+ and above with Tri-Phosphor Neon Lamps. (7,000+ hrs)

Project Tighty Whitey - (Year 5 & 6) - The white exclusive LED only test comparison for mid (.85 watt modules and below) to mini sized LED modules. (39,000+ hrs)

The Red Light District - (Year 3 & 4) - The Red Neon & LED channel letter light source test comparison. (31,000+ hrs)

Border Security - (Year 3 & 4)- The Neon & LED border tube lamp test comparison. (23,000+ hrs)

Blue Light Special - (Year 1 & 2) - The Blue Neon & LED test comparison for channel letter. (12,000+ hrs)

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

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    • By Erik Sine
      The BrightON-II LED  .vs  The Principal Qwik Mod 2 LED
       
      So....we've been getting lot's questions on how our New High-End BrightON II LED compares to The "New" High Efficient Principal Qwik Mod 2 LED
       
       
      Well, we did a quick "side by side" benchmark comparison to find out.
       
      They have some basic similarities.  
       
      • .8 watt modules
      • Both 170˙/175+ Optics
      • Both have Aluminum PCB
       
      We compared both LED modules and placed them in 24" x 4.5" x 5" channels using a standard Plexiglas MC white #7328 white acrylic face to simulate a wide channel letter stroke .  Modules spaced 6" OC from one another and 3" from the channel walls.
       
       
      Now to find out what the differences are...
       
       

       
       
      Once we lit the channel compartments one big difference was the white appearance of each light source.
       
      The Principal Qwik Mod produces more of a yellow white illumination on the sign face, whereas the BrightON II is more of a True White.  The pictures here may not do justice as it's hard to capture Real Time and Real Life along with how your display may be calibrated.
       
      Both BrightON II & Principals's Qwik Mod are .8w modules....The BrightON II is 24V LED module, the Qwik Mod is 12V LED module.  
       
      24V means half the current flowing through the system of a 12V system, which translates to lesser heat, lesser resistance than a 12V system.  A 24V system is more reliable and a longer life system over time for the very reasons I stated.
       
      A 24V system allows you to use a larger single watt channel PSU (96w).  The BrightON LED system uses the France Lighting Solutions "True Power" LED Drivers to complete the system, "True Power" means users are able to load the PSU to 100%, where as other LED PSU's are recommended not to go beyond 85% of the rating.  A full load 96W France PSU can load 120 BrightON II LED modules.  France Lighting Solutions LED Drivers are the only Drivers to date that are 100% loadable.
       
      With a 12V system a single channel 60W LED PSU is typically loaded at 85% or 51W of a 60W unit, or 63 Qwik Mods.  You can load more modules on a single unit but you would have to be looking at using a 120W PSU that is a dual 60W channel unit.
       
      Luminance
      Right away the biggest take away from this LED comparison in the image below is the Sign Face Surface light output results in Foot Candles using a ExTech Light Meter measuring the High's and Low's in the 7" x 4" rectangle area of the acrylic face.  
       
      The BrightON II has a Foot Candle Average of 209 versus Principal's Qwik Mod coming in lower at 171 Foot Candles.
       

       
       
      Constant Current
      A HUGE difference which will play big in lighting and in life is how the current is driving across each module.  The BrightON II is of course Constant Current, NOT Constant Voltage.  The Qwik Mod is Constant Voltage.
       
      The quickest, simplest explanation and differences is this.  On a Constant Current system, each module has a current regulator chip which means each module is current regulated, and protected not to overdrive and create more heat and run hotter.  The first module on a Constant Current string is equally as bright as the last module on a string....the result is consistent lighting.   If you've ever paid attention to the light testing we have been doing on The Sign Syndicate since 2009', you would know that the best and lowest light degradation or Lumen Maintenance results always came from CC LED systems, Constant Voltage or "Eco" Modules not so much.
       
      In a CV System you better hope your LED PSU is not driving above the intended voltage of 12 volts.  A slight increase in a fraction of a volt... say...12.2V can kill a LED system fast depending on the makeup of the Modules.  When we did our Light Testing "The Great White Hope" we had a incident where a LED PSU operating at 12.25 was used on a Permlight "El Plato Module which was CV and in under 30 days the original output dropped 30%.  We had to kick out the PSU and start over with another string of EL Plato's using a manual adjustable LED PSU to assure not to go above 12V.
       
      On a typical CV System on long runs the first module will be brighter than the last module on the same string, inconsistent lighting, with a not well regulated LED PSU CV LED will tend to run hotter and brighter in some areas causing a shorter life.  The system is solely dependent on the module resistors for protection.
       
      In Short....
      Constant Voltage = Lesser LED life over time
      Constant Current = Longer LED life over time
       
       
       

       
       
       
       
      Lighting Angles
       
      Below.....you can take what you want from this part...
       
      We used equal underexposed shots from both LED light sources from a Canon SLR Camera instead of Real Time to show our audience where the optics is transferring light
       
      We used a lighting angle chart that we created, made up of 1" grids just to help in displaying where the optics and throwing light.  Both Module have wide angle optics, I would just say that the Brighton II throws more light towards the edge of the chart and a little higher up the middle.  
       
       

       
       
       
      What It All Means
      In closing, the biggest differences that can be taken away from this benchmark comparison and what separates the BrightON II are a couple of big factors.
       
      • The BrightON 24 volt system which has half the amperage, heat, & resistance than the 12 volt Principal Qwik Mod LED system.  You're also able to load more LED modules on a 24V system than a 12 volt system
       
      • If you're looking for a more "Purer" white light source, better bin, then the BrightON LED Module family is for you.
       
      • More light for less power on the sign surface....better chip efficiency... that was just displayed and shown in Foot Candles....BrightON II  209 FC over Principal Qwik Mod 2  171 FC
       
      • Probably the single most important factor?  The BrightON LED Family is Constant Current rather than a lower costing system that uses unregulated current in Constant Voltage.  What that means for user is....Longer Consistent Life Over Time
       
       
      The New BrightON LED
      The previous High-End BrightON LED version has had a lot of success since the launch.  What is new?  Only some miner changes were made to make a already superior LED module even better.  Same high efficient chip, improved 6500 Kelvin, different optics.  
       
      Not that we needed it but, the BrightON is, and has always been underdriven but....we changed from a Fiberglas PCB Board to Aluminum.  Aluminum provides better thermal cooling, but again, it wasn't needed....it's just nice to brag about it and say we have Aluminum.
       
      The New BrightON LED Family will in stock by early May 2021.
    • By Erik Sine
      We have always been proud supporters of our Electric Sign Trade and have always been proactive in doing what it takes to help preserve our Trade and it's most valued tradition....that being Neon.  
       
      Despite the misinformation that has been put out about Neon for decades now, Neon is very much a light/energy efficient light source and the most durable light source we have in our trade over time and we have plenty of case history to support this. 
       
       
      WATCH OUT
      As most of you may or may not know, there has been a huge shortage of the availability of Glass Neon Housings for Neon....and what has been available has been a lot of Chinese Fake UL Marked (Embossed on the glass) Neon Housings in the market for some time.  
       
      They Claim a UL mark, BUT...they aren't a U.L. Recongnized accessory or sign component     .i.e. SSI / "Neo" Glass Housings have no valid listing with fake embossed UL Emblem
       
      The biggest complaint for some time has been the threads are terrible and it made tightening at times near to impossible.  The other bad aspect was that the glass walls were too thin, and with just a little bit of heat they were cracking or a incidental drop bump might cause them to crack and break prematurely, some simply cracked on tightening mechanically to a sign body .
       
       
      Also, it's bad news if you're a Wholesale Shop or Custom Sign Shop integrating these knock-offs into your signs.  It's passing along a fake listed product and should something happen like a "fire" I can't imagine Insurance Companies will be too happy about the use of a "knock-off"  
       
      I've done my best in the past to look for and supply vintage housings that were listed for the Neon Arts and help with keeping that art going with Porcelain or older glass housings which we still do have plenty of (#100's & #300's).  But now we have those hard to get components to keep those awesome Neon Open Faced Channel Letters and Wall Signs going without running into shortages of components or options.
       
      NOW IN STOCK - Westrim U.L. Recognized Sign Accessories #100, #200, #200P, #300 Neon Glass Housings
       
      You can Purchase these from our store or contact us to place an order or inquiry (858) 880-1400  |  orders@thesignsyndicate.com
       
       

       
      NOW IN STOCK - Westrim U.L. Listed #100, #200, #200P, #300 Neon Glass Housings
       
      You can Purchase these from our store or contact us to place an order or inquiry (858) 880-1400  |  orders@thesignsyndicate.com
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By JeffMix
      Opportunity Neon Person! Know a good bender who thought neon was over, well it's not!
      Great signs
      Good pay/benefits
      Super clean shop and top of the line equipment
      Neon work!
      Good damn people.
      Music City!
      I can't say enough what a good place this is to work. They've been in business now for 40 plus years. Super solid reputation in the city and well connected. They've done 90% of the signs on Broadway and they're full of neon. I've been here for 2 years now with 40 hours of work every week. If the glass is slow you can also jump into electrical etc. I had been out of the trade for a dozen years and didn't think I'd find a job again doing glass full time.
      If you're a solo one person shop and sick of those headaches come to Nashville. I wasn't looking to leave however our 3 grown kids are all back home in Vegas and 2 of of them sign guys (where did I go wrong?) My friend Bong Gonzalez  passed from covid and I'm going to be taking over his position in Vegas. I really wish that this was not the case. He and his Dad were staples in the neon world in Vegas and just damn fine men.
      Again if you were a bender back in the day, it's like riding a bike. In a few days it was mostly all back and now I have a greater appreciation for something I thought was gone. Again you're in a shop with super talented folks front and back.
      Please email me pictures of your work and your experience etc to jeff@joslinsign.com
       
       
    • By Erik Sine
      After a lot of inquiries I'd just like to mention that we now have plenty of stock Brass Neon Tube Supports, the conventional 1.75" size.
       
      You can place orders using out online cart in case quantities of 500 or smaller quantities of 100
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Erik Sine
      **OUTDATED POST & INFORMATION**
      Our Current New & Improved LED Technology LED MODULE is the BrightON LED Series 
      More Light per Watt, Longer Life, Lesser Modules & Cost... located Here
       
       
       
       
      If you can find an LED that competes with our Reckless NC LED I should would like to know.
      Is it Constant Current and NOT constant voltage? Reputable high grade diode such as our top tier Samsung? Is it consistent? Is it made in CHINA? Most importantly does it last? How do you know it lasts? I'm not talking about catastrophic failure and I'm talking about gradual light degradation in a short about of time. The Reckless is only 3% light loss in 15,000 Hours. Are they IP68 for wet location?
      So far everyone who has tried has bought more as it relates to the applications they use it for.
      The Reckless is the brightest in it's class under 1watt modules or 3 watts per foot


      Constant Current Red HLC2


      Also, introducing our new LED Power Supplies. Union Power Supplies, IP68 for wet location, they come in 60 watt, and dual channel 120 watt units

      So far we haven't seen any LED manufacturer who claims to be the best or brightest in the same class compare in a true white rendering, in brightness, or in longevity. American companies using Chinese LED's just don't seem to last or stay consistent over time.

      THE RECKLESS
      • IP68 UL/CE
      • 5 Year 50,000 Hour Component Warranty
      • Constant Current
      • 3% Lumen Maintenance in 15,000 Hours
      • Made in Korea
      • High Grade Tier Samsung Diodes
      Most importantly.....NOT made in CHINA!!!!
      You can visit out online Shopping Cart and order here or call in 858-880-1400 / orders@thesignsyndicate.com
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