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当前位置:首页 > 杂志 > 2017年10月杂志——LED光源的改装方案



There is just no denying LED is a great "lighting solution" for our industry.


On the other hand, as simple as LEDs appear to be, they are not simple and they are not created equal. There is an LED for almost every lighting need, and in most cases the LED solution offers advantages no other lighting medium in the past can match. That being said, let's get to our two most popular retrofit needs and usage: illuminated letters and sign cabinets.


Illuminated Letters


There is an LED for any sized letter and, to be clear, not all LED modules are created equal nor are all LED offerings UL certified as a "retrofit". For those of you whom might not know, for a CLM (my acronym for Channel Letter Modules) to receive UL acceptance, there are a number of factors that must be met. While this might not be the place to go over these intricacies, rest assured this is a requirement in North America.


If you are retrofitting illuminated channel letters, they are or were probably illuminated by neon. With this option, the letters most likely have 5" returns, regardless if face or halo lit.This return depth will typically work in your favor and the stroke will also be in your favor to allow you to get your hands in to remove the neon components, stand offs and GTO wiring -- and most importantly to clean the letter interiors.


When retrofitting letters, you have two primary options: perform the retrofit as an R&R (removal and reinstall) or perform it on site. If on-site is your choice, things you need to consider:


On-Site Considerations:


Access. Overall, letters and site conditions. Remember, site labor is typically the most expensive part of a retrofit and can be compounded by ground-level access--or lack thereof--and power line restrictions, etc.


LED low voltage wiring access. This might need consideration if the letters are not raceway mounted. What is the mounting surface? This has a direct effect on your labor if you must drill holes; however, if the original lighting was neon, you might be able to use the neon wire holes.


Is there a Raceway? Possibly the easiest retrofit because all of your LED/secondary wiring can be in the raceway without any protective covering.


Color saturation. If existing letters had colored faces and colored neon, and you use “white” LEDs, the colored face will not look as saturated. Explain this to your customer-prospect should this be the case.


Additional considerations. Older plastic faces and trim cap can be a failure ready to happen under your watch, so you might want to list your potential adders for breakage for your customer in your agreement.



Removal & Reinstall Considerations:


Same as above, regarding access concerns.


Naturally, you will have labor to remove and reinstall. There might be some liability on your part for older plastics, etc., so do a very good site survey and cover any potential liability in your agreement.


It is possible if there is a raceway, could you leave it on site? Again, a site survey will confirm this.


Same issues with the face removal, even in your shop.


In your survey, determine if the sign codes changed. This is a very real potential issue regarding major repairs like this. Do not remove anything without checking the applicable code.


With the above thoughts, your LED materials will be pretty straight forward with the actual LED, power supply(s) and low-voltage wire. Regardless of either option. Deciding which option is very dependent on any given findings mentioned previously. A set of block letters with 3" strokes and an average number of letters might be easy to do on site. On the other hand, a large quantity of letters or narrower stokes might eat up a lot of on-site labor and the R&R might be a better solution. This option is also somewhat dependent of the weather conditions and available time to work in your shop.


Sign Cabinets



Our industry is steeped in, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and this opens this segment up to the three LED retrofit considerations, once you get past the fluorescent "easy out" mentality. It might very well be your customer demanding the update to LED, for all of the right reasons. So, let's discuss these three LED options and remember as with any retrofit, in any application and market, a site survey and full understanding of the LED system you might be considering is on you:


Grid System


A grid system is just that, a grid of LEDs, usually featuring vendor/factory preset options. The positive of a grid system is the factory preset options where the performance of even illumination is repeatable every time. These options typically are easy to use by rolling out the LED grid.



With this option, the existing fluorescent parts are no longer needed. The LED grid system can be installed in several customer choice options from an LED vendor track (easy) to your fabrication preferences. If not using the vendor track, it can be as simple as adding a lightweight angle to both top and bottom raceways and securing the grid system. Another is to use the angle on one end of the grid and a spring with an eye hook and J clip ... another very easy and resourceful option.