1.11.19- Signs of the Times published an article this month discussing neon and electric-sign retrofits. This is always a hot topic within our industry and determined on a case by case basis. The decision is driven by the customers objective for the look and performance of their signage/lighting. Our experience is that neon is typically replaced with LEDs.
Kieffer | Starlite was featured in the article written by Mark Kissling where the case is made that neon and electric-sign retrofits perform better, last longer and are cheaper. We discuss the recent renovations completed for Micheals storefront signage located at the Mays Landing, NJ and North Hills, PA locations.
Highlights from our interview include: “Based on our recommendation; neon was failing in both,” said Rob Fehlman, director of national service for Kieffer | Starlite. “In some cases, we see gen[eration] 1 or gen 2 LEDs failing as well,” he also noted. Though the energy savings of LEDs is a contributing factor to replacing neon with LEDs, the renovations for Michaels result “mostly to get proper lighting consistency and longevity of having a new LED product,” Fehlman said.
Kieffer | Starlite used SloanLED products for this and all their Michaels jobs. “This is a customer-specified product being used in all of their new signs,” he said. “This creates a consistency that helps with future service.” Company installers removed and replaced the signfaces for these two locations, saving the customer money versus doing that separately, and stripped all existing lighting components. They then cleaned the insides of the sign cans and installed new LEDs using a layout provided by SloanLED for each letterset. The install team then ran secondary wiring, supplied the power and tested all lighting before the new signfaces were attached. “All in all, a single Michaels sign takes about eight hours to complete,” Fehlman said.
The result for the two northeastern Michaels’ stores is “lighting that is usually much more consistent and brighter,” he said. He notes that in most cases Kieffer | Starlite is replacing 10- to 15-year-old neon when making these renovations, “so these signs look brand new when complete.” The retrofits are expected to last another 10-15 years, Fehlman stated, depending on the usage, adding, “Power supplies will probably need to be refreshed after about 5-7 years, also depending on usage.”
“Based on our recommendation; neon was failing in both,” said Rob Fehlman, director of national service for Kieffer | Starlite. “In some cases, we see gen[eration] 1 or gen 2 LEDs failing as well,” he also noted.