Archive for March, 2015

Illuminated signage, part 2: illumination

Posted on: March 6th, 2015 by Babiche Stegeman-Snip 1 Comment

Not only in terms of colour, design and size there is a lot to choose in illuminated signs. When it comes to light sources for the illumination there are many possibilities as well. Although nowadays LED lighting is used more and more, neon and fluorescent lighting are still options.

LED vs neon and fluorescent lighting
One of the reasons for the increasing use of LEDs is that there are many opportunities and in most cases the results of using LEDs are comparable with neon or fluorescent lighting. The principle of neon lighting is a gas-filled glass tube in which gas discharge light is generated by means of high tension. One of the benefits of neon is the creative design, the used overlying glass tubes are relatively easy to deform, think of well-shaped ornamental letters. With fluorescent lighting ultra-violet radiation is generated by means of a mercury discharge. This radiation is converted into white light by phosphor powder. One of the reasons to choose fluorescent lighting is the often lower investment compared to the use of LEDs. Especially when the singing is going to be used for a relatively short period of time. Traditionally fluorescent lighting is preferred over LED lighting because of the higher RA value, which benefits the colourfastness. LED lighting, however, is getting better in this area and will be at the same level soon.

Benefits of illumination by means of LED lighting
LED is an electronic semiconductor component that emits light when an electric current is transmitted through in one direction. Due to the good lighting quality and the extensive design freedom when it comes to colour and appearance LED offers lots of options for illuminated signs. One of the additional benefits is de long life span of at least 50,000 hours and the use of low voltage of 12 or 24 volts. This means that LED is less harmful to the environment in comparison with neon and fluorescent lighting.

The colour temperature of LED is indicated with Kelvin. Most illuminated signs are conducted between 4000 and 6000 Kelvin (white). But for the illumination of, for example, a sign with a red front plate 1000 Kelvin (red) is often used. In combination with a red opal acrylic this offers the best results.

As mentioned in the first blog of this series the illumination of signage is closely related to the chosen colour and the depth of the sign. This is because the amount of LEDs is not solely determined by the selected light intensity, but by the depth of the sign and the chosen front colour as well. The illumination of warm colours requires fewer LEDs in comparison with the illumination of dark earthy tones like brown, green and blue.

Another advantage of LED over neon and fluorescent is the opportunity to make LED dimmable. Nowadays it is even possible to adjust the light intensity from a distance with an app on your phone. Basically we now always advise illuminated signage based on LED lighting. Only when the situation specifically requires a different source of light we will move to neon or fluorescent.

Illuminated signage, part 1: colour and design

Posted on: March 3rd, 2015 by Babiche Stegeman-Snip 1 Comment

Illuminated signage is one of the most remarkable types of brand identity carriers. We see them in all imaginable sizes, shapes and designs. The technical design and illumination of the signage is dependent on three important factors: the design, the technical and graphical execution of the design and the production. We will discuss these factors in this blog series.

The design
The look and feel of the signage is determined by the design you choose. The graphics, colours, fonts and spacing are all matched in order to create the desired effect. The brand identity colour should convey the emotion your brand stands for. Red for passion and determination, green for nature and durability, the cool colour blue for reliability or the warm colours yellow and orange to achieve a positive and cheerful attitude. The colour of your choice has some consequences for the way the signage will be illuminated. For instance, warm colours like yellow, orange and red are easier to illuminate than earthy colour tones like brown, green and dark blue.

Technical and graphical execution of the design
Once the design is known, the technical and graphical execution will be determined. Partly dependent on the measurements, we make a choice for the type of front panel of the signage. Signage with a size above two metres is usually executed with a canvas front panel, whereby the design is printed directly onto the canvas. Signage up to two metres is generally provided with a white or coloured opal front plate, fitted with translucent foil. The size of the illuminated sign is also key to the depth of the sign. The standard depth for signage provided with a canvas front plate is 300 mm, while the depth of signage with an opal front plate varies between 150 and 300 mm.

Except for illuminated signage in the shape of a light box, organisations can choose for illuminated box letters as well. The large variety of possibilities with box letters will be discussed in another blog. The chosen colour and depth are of importance for the illumination of the sign. For example, do you choose LED, Neon or fluorescent lightning? Read more in our next blog in this series!