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TOPIC: Signs and Wonders

Re: Signs and Wonders 04 Dec 2003 13:23 #28498

  • tratcliff
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Very good and interesting info, Christopher.
Thanks for providing it.

But 4' x 8' seems like a pretty small marquee. My marquee is about 6' x 15'.

How much does the cost multiply with increases in size?

Does the LED you are talking about display in color?
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Re: Signs and Wonders 05 Dec 2003 10:15 #28499

  • jimor
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Remember that Christopher is trying to sell something here, so his advice is not really unbiased, since he has a definite and understandable bias towards LED signs. Having said that, it should be admitted that LED signs are all the current rage and do provide some real advantages: Long Life LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) typically operate for many decades if not damaged in contrast to a few hundred hours for standard incandescents, though it is hard to find a sign using them anymore since fluorescents with life spans of about 20,000 hours have been commonly used since the 1940s.

Will a larger LED sign cost much more? YOU BET IT WILL!! The signs are really computer-controlled displays of thousands of pixel-like elements which can form entire images in addition to letters if your sign is big enough and you have enough pixels (small clusters of LEDs) to have enough resolution at the optimum distance from the sign. The technology of LEDs has been around since the 60s, but only for a few years now have they had entire pre-potted (cast in epoxy clear plastic) arrays (clusters) of LEDs in all three primary colors, thus making possible relatively full color displays of images -- though don't expect photographic quality! IF you want photo images, arrange for back-lit large scale transparencies, though these are quite costly to make up yourself. See if they are available from your booker or distributor, but these require suitable frames back lit by fluorescent lamps, yet they are probably the only display medium with the visual impact of LED images, short of turning your marquee into a giant TV screen.

Those municipalities with legitimate concerns about moving images distracting drivers should be considered. While Christopher and other salesmen need only be concerned with sales, you must consider if you would even want to be tangentially concerned with accusations that your signage distracted a motorist and thereby contributed to an accident. Yes, we all should be attentive drivers and incapable of distraction, but this is the real world we are talking about, and there are some sign makers who would consider it a compliment to say that their sign was so 'good' as to be able to grab someone's attention from the road. Will the pedestrian the motorist kills likely agree with them, or will those reading of the traffic mortality think well of you and your sign? It is one thing for a motorist to quickly scan static letters, it is quite another to be entranced by a moving image in vivid colors! Something to think about. Jim
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member:
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Re: Signs and Wonders 09 Dec 2003 11:25 #28500

While the information I provided may seem biased because I do sell these types of signs, it was merely in reply to the original opening question on this subject, and was for your own benefits for justifying the need for these types of displays; regardless of who you purchase it from. The information can also be found in other media, publications, websites, etc. It's not just from our company. You can find it anywhere.

To answer "tratcliff's" question first: there is a definite cost difference when upgrading display sizes and colors (most companies offer monochromatic and the option of full color). Cost of the units is all dependent on the size, character height, LED color, etc. It's like buying a car. The more options you want, the more the price. The cost subject perhaps may be something to discuss off-line. I don't want this to turn into a public sales attempt (although, it may not seem that way). Everyone has the ability to choose who they purchase from. Someone had a question, and I answered it.

As for the safety factor concerns, studies have proven that LED's do not cause traffic accidents by distracting the drivers. The findings actually show that these signs tend to slow drivers down and enhance driver awareness.

From a common sense point of view, consider Las Vegas. If LED displays do pose a traffic safety hazard, then why aren't there thousands of daily accidents in Las Vegas? The obvious answer is that they do not pose a safety hazard. This subject is also very similar to cell phones, guns, etc. Many will say that cell phones and guns kill, and others wil say that it's the person behind the item that kills. Draw your own conclusion.

State DOT's would also universally demand the demise of changeable message boards if they were somehow unsafe. In fact, many of our states DOT's increasingly use LED EMC's as the central part of their arterial, trailer mounted, and permanent over-the-highway IT (Intelligent Transportation) programs.

The studies are out there. Just like any other major investment, read a lot about them, and educate yourselves before you dive in. Changeable message signs are not for everyone.

Merry Christmas
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