Podcasts Archives - Kieffer | Starlite
LED Lighting Retrofits

The Benefits of LED Lighting Retrofits

Steve Born, Vice President, Client Services at Kieffer|  Starlite, and Daryl Foreman, Senior Vice President of Sales at Principal LED, gave host Hilary Kennedy a quick tutorial on lighting retrofits for signs. Born dove in with an explanation of what exactly an LED lighting retrofit is.

“An LED lighting retrofit is an upgrade to an existing sign when we want to update to a more efficient, effecting lighting source in your existing sign,” Born said. “Typically, we see that with channel letters on your building, but it is not limited to that. We also do retrofits on cabinet signs for buildings [and] for pylon signs and monument signs. So, any ground signs and whatnot.”

The retrofitting process includes:
·      Swapping the lighting with the new LEDs
·      Getting all the wiring in place
·      Cleaning up the existing signage to make everything look as good as new again

Foreman said that there are two crucial factors to weigh when considering a retrofit: energy savings and savings on maintenance. “Just as important as those hard numbers are, sometimes the soft benefits of LEDs will convince a customer to switch,” Foreman said. “The sign is the frontline of a company’s image, and no customer likes for their sign to be out. One benefit of LEDs is they typically do not fail catastrophically like the fluorescent lamp or like neon. They will slowly fade over time, but that’s a long period of time.”

With all of the benefits of retrofitting an existing sign’s lighting to LED, it makes sense not to start from scratch just because the lights went out.  For an analysis of your program and cost-saving review, contact a member of our team here.



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National Sign Manufacturing Day 2020

Sign Manufacturing Day is Oct. 2 and will offer interested students and others a peek at what can be a thrilling industry to work in and follow.

Mark McClellan, a Manufacturing Supervisor for Kieffer | Starlite, said it’s a perfect way for the industry to present itself to people who may not know what goes into crafting a sign.

“Sign Manufacturing Day showcases the sign industry by taking you to many different locations and showing you, behind-the-scenes, how things are built, the time and effort that goes into design, engineering, CAD, layout and the fine craftsmanship that takes place to actually make the signs that you see when you’re driving around look as nice as what they do,” said McClellan, who also is the president-elect of the Wisconsin Sign Association.

Those things are designed to arouse and interest and passion for sign making, especially for graduating high school students who aren’t yet sure what their next step will be.

The sign industry accounts for $37.5 billion in U.S. sales each year, according to McClellan, and can make for an enjoyable career.

“A career in sign manufacturing is very rewarding,” he said. “I would strongly suggest considering a career in sign manufacturing. We’re always looking for young, motivated people that are willing to [work] alongside somebody that’s been doing it for a while and learn what they’ve learned about all the aspects of building signs. Sign manufacturing is a well-paying job … and can give you enjoyment year-to-year, because every day is something different.”

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The Hurry and the Wait of Due Diligence


The “diligence” in “due diligence” is one of the most crucial aspects of signage, especially when dealing with multiple municipalities. On this episode of MarketScale’s Pro A/V podcast, Courtney McDaniel, Director of Client Services for Kieffer | Starlite, sat down with Sean Heath to discuss the fact that a quick and thorough start to a permitting process can help with the unavoidable wait that follows.

In today’s fast-paced environment, clients can get ahead of themselves when pursuing their signage goals. A recent situation demonstrates the need for information before beginning construction, McDaniel said. “What they did not know, what they did not ask before going into construction, was that the roof line comes into play for this city and their signage could not go above their roof line.”

The value a signage expert provides is quite substantial, explained McDaniel. “With our expertise, in terms of city codes, and also, taking it a step further, with our manufacturing and installation logistics, we can execute a signage program that’s just going to run so much more smoothly and be that much more effective.”

Municipal regulations can be a significant factor in a customer’s decision to open a location in that city.

“We have certain cities here locally, in North Texas, where they restrict what colors can be on a given sign,” McDaniel said. “We can inform the customer if they might be better off just looking elsewhere. Even just moving a couple of miles east or west of where they’re going, so they fall into another city’s jurisdiction.”

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Facility Manager Podcast

LISTEN: Is Your Outdoor Signage Driving Away Business?

Facility Manager Podcast
Possibly one of the most important aspects of a commercial business or facility is sometimes the last thing that is addressed by business owners or Facility Managers. Outdoor signage has the power to drive more traffic to your business, while also doing the opposite for poorly lit signs. Tyler Neubauer, National Signage Consultant with Kieffer | Starlite discusses best practices and strategies to leverage your outdoor signage.  Code checks and permitting may throw an unexpected curve ball into your plan, so engaging early in the signage process with a signage consultant and manufacturer can pay off long-term.  Planning is a crucial element, along with discussing your concepts and expectations upfront to create the optimal solution.

Click here to listen to our podcast  hosted by Javier Lozano, Jr., who creates a series of podcasts focused towards helping Facility and Property Managers.

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LISTEN: Looking Back at Neon Days Past with the Kieffer | Starlite Service Division

Neon signs conjure images of days past at illuminated drive-in restaurants glowing orange, red, and blue, but many people don’t realize most all modern signage uses neon.

On this episode of the MarketScale Pro AV Podcast, host Chris Reeves sat down with the Kieffer | Starlite Service Division to discuss changes seen in the industry within the past 15 years and what’s next for signage.

Kieffer | Starlite is a national sign company that specializes in manufacturing, service, and installation since 1956. In addition to sign installation and repairs for retail, hospitality and other industries, they do building and parking lot lighting, an essential function for public safety. Today, the Texas-based company has evolved to include LED reader boards.

“When I started here, it was neon exclusively,” a Kieffer | Starlite representative said. “The industry has made a lot of leaps and changes from there, using incandescent bulbs to doing chasing signs… From neon to LED lighting. from incandescent to full-color HD displays. It’s incredible what you can do with LED technology.”

But technology extends beyond the signs themselves. Kieffer | Starlite uses GPS location to help track sign vendors or installers and equips them with iPads and smart tablets in the field so they can upload photos and have manager signoffs.

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LISTEN: Kieffer | Starlite Career Opportunity – Nurturing Relationships as a Client Service Manager


On this Pro AV Jobcast, host Tyler Kern explored open positions at Kieffer | Starlite with vice president of client services Steve Born. Kieffer | Starlite is a national sign company that specializes in manufacturing, service, and installation since 1956 — and today they’re looking to hire a client service manager.

This position, which has available openings in Illinois, Texas, and North Carolina, is responsible for all sales administrative duties associated with repeat national accounts, which includes working with the company’s design, manufacturing and installation management departments to facilitate a smooth sale from start to finish.

“We’re looking for someone who is very well-organized, able to self-manage, multi-task, and handle large volumes of work,” Born said, emphasizing self-management because the company doesn’t micromanage its employees. “You do your thing day in and day out.”

Born said the ideal candidate has two to three years’ experience with at least an Associate’s Degree, which means this could be a great starting position for someone with great customer service and troubleshooting skills looking to join a well-established signage company. The position is Monday through Friday with rare occasional weekends and extremely limited travel.

Listen to find out what 90s metal band Born mentioned when he answered our signature question — If the company was a band, which one would it be — and find out to how to get in touch with Born directly to discuss the open positions.

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LISTEN: How Dallas’ Lakewood Theater Marquee Got Its Sparkle Back


Dallas’ Lakewood neighborhood is home to the circa 1938 Lakewood Theater, a long-standing piece of North Texas history. Not everything is brick and mortar though; when its iconic neon marquee needed refurbishment, owners turned to Denton-based Kieffer | Starlite.

On this episode of the Pro AV Podcast, host Sean Heath sat down with Mark Jackson, National Account Manager for Kieffer | Starlite, to recount how they helped bring the theater’s iconic neon sign back to its former twilight glory.

“There was certainly pressure to maintain the nostalgia,” Jackson said of starting the project in November 2018. “We wanted to maintain the originality of what the sign is.”

Kieffer | Starlite set about repairing the neon lights that panel the tower and replacing the lights found in the light ball atop the sign. They used one of the last full-functioning neon plants in Dallas to hand blow the glass tubes used for this unique lighting solution.

Jackson shared insight into the artistry as well as outdoor practicality for using neon in signs, rather than replacing with LED.

“Neon just has a certain quality that’s not the same with LED,” he said.

Maintaining its nostalgic cache was vital for a project like this, Jackson explained.

“What makes Lakewood unique is there are not many other neighborhoods that are so attached to things within their community like the Lakewood Theater,” Jackson said.

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