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Why Do I Need an LED Retrofit?

Fluorescents can be a fire hazard. This sign is a perfect opportunity for a retrofit.

“Wow, it took me a while to find you guys!” Ever hear that from a customer, due to a dim, unlit, or damaged sign? At that point you call up your local sign shop and ask them to come out to replace a bulb, or check the wiring. At the time of the diagnosis they tell you that yes, they could replace the burned out fluorescent bulb or repair the wiring, but your best option would be to replace the entire works with an LED retrofit. Then they quote you a price that is quite a bit higher than a replacement bulb. What?!! You decide they’re trying to upsell you into a solution you simply don’t need. But what are the unseen costs you’re incurring by sticking with the old technology, and what is the ROI for making the switch?

Cost vs. Value

An LED bar that fits into your fluorescent fittings

  • Lower Maintenance Costs: LEDs cost less to maintain because you replace them less often. Fluorescent bulbs are cheap but fragile, and you have to pay for a bucket truck to come out and change them up to 2 or 3 times a year in some cases. LED lights running 10 hours a day can last up to a decade, meaning one trip to install and no more labor charge for years to come.  Your LED retrofit could pay for itself in as little as 2 years.
  • Lower Operating Costs: LEDs use about 1/3 of the energy of a fluorescent bulb, meaning your energy bills will be lower without sacrificing brightness. Also, fluorescents can lose up to half their output in cold weather, while LEDs continue to operate at full efficiency in both very high and very low temperatures.
  • Increased Visibility: LEDs are brighter than fluorescents. A regular fluorescent sign bulb shines in 360 degrees, wasting light that shines toward the back of the sign. The light from LEDs is directed straight onto the sign face for increased brightness and readability. If one LED module burns out, the overall effect to the sign is much less than if an entire fluorescent bulb burns out.

    Each LED element is quickly and easily installed into your existing sign cabinet.

  • Reduced Environmental Impact: Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and phosphor, and must be disposed of in an environmentally conscious way. If your company has green initiatives and goals, LEDs are a necessity.
  • You Can Keep Your Existing Cabinet: With an LED retrofit, you don’t need an entirely new sign. You can keep your existing cabinet and sign face, and our technicians will replace only the lighting elements. It’s a cost-efficient glow up for your sign that will immediately draw attention.

Double Your Value with a New Sign Face Too

Once your new lighting is in place, you may notice that your sign face suddenly looks a bit drab or old. Signwave’s experienced design team can create a bright, fresh graphic that will play off the new lighting perfectly. Done along with the retrofit install, you save even more money by avoiding two install trips. It’s a double whammy that will turn heads and draw in customers.

 

An LED retrofit plus an update to the vinyl face makes the K&M Truck Repair lightbox stand out in Ronkonkoma

A Smart Choice with High ROI

Choosing to update your illuminated sign with an LED retrofit is a smart decision that we recommend because it’s our job to boost your business: to help you get more attention and save money. If your lightbox or pylon sign isn’t looking its best anymore, give Signwave a call. We can find the best solution for you.

Neon – It’s a Gas!

The Las Vegas strip. The Pike Place Market sign. Times Square. These words probably all draw up images in your mind that have one thing in common: NEON. For over 100 years, the technology used to create neon lights has remained very much the same, and purists the world over still rely on it for colorful, eye-catching signage. From large, show-stopping outdoor signs to small interior window signs, here’s a little background info you might not know about your favorite gas!

The Discovery of Neon and History of the Neon Light

The chemical element neon was first discovered in 1898 by British chemists Sir William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers, who at that same time discovered two other inert gases: argon and xenon. When isolated inside a sealed tube, the neon emitted a very bright reddish-orange glow. However because so little of the gas was extracted during their small-scale air liquefaction process, it was too costly to use in quantity. It wasn’t until 1910 that Air Liquide business owner George Claude was able to produce enough neon in his larger-scale process to make it practical for use in lighting applications. His first attempt at neon lighting, to be used in home settings, was unsuccessful. But once he was able to channel the neon light’s extreme brightness and unusual tint into signage applications, the demand began to grow. He sold the first neon signs in the United States to a Packard dealership in Los Angeles in 1923.

Just three years later, Jacques Risler of France discovered how to create additional colors in neon. By coating the sealed tube containing the gas with different fluorescent coatings or “phosphors,” the ultraviolet light emitted by the gases inside caused the tube to glow with various colors. Colors outside the red/orange spectrum usually have additional compounds added to enhance the color, such as argon and mercury. By the 1960s there were about two dozen color options available, and today there are almost 100.

Iconic Neon

Here are just a few examples of how neon can be used to create signs that are recognizable the world around.

Classic Texas barbecue neon sign

The grandfather of all neon cities, Las Vegas

The Pike Place Public Market in Seattle boasts one of the most recognizable neon signs in the US.

Neon can be fabricated in a wide variety of colors

Your (Business) Name in Lights

One of the main benefits offered by neon signage is its longevity. A well cared for neon sign can last for years, even decades. But just as in the early 1900s, neon can be very costly to fabricate and repair, making it outside the budget of many small businesses. So what alternatives have come along? Enter LED technology.

Just a few of the color options in LED neon style rope lighting

LED (light-emitting diode) technology is used in just about every illuminated sign we create at Signwave, from lightboxes to channel letters. It’s super bright, cool to touch, energy efficient, versatile, long-lasting, and affordable. There are even LED rope products that can mimic the look of classic neon tubing with more flexibility and color variety. With all the options that LED technology opened up, a classic-looking neon sign with modern benefits is in anyone’s reach.

Are You Ready To Be Iconic?

Whether you’ve been in business for 40 years or 40 days, you can be a neighborhood icon with the right signage. Are you ready? Call Signwave today and we’ll come to you for a consultation and site visit. We can help you stand out in the crowd.

 

 

 

Using color to identify subsidiaries in dimensional lettering

A Perfect Season for Interior Signage

Wintertime is Interior Signage Evaluation Time

Why are interior signs important?

Outside all signs point to more cold weather to come, but inside it’s a perfect time to reevaluate your business’s interior signage. Attractive signs are much more than just bits of information to stick on a wall or door. After all, it’s not just your customers that use them as a visual marker. You and your employees and co-workers see them, walk past them, and work under them day after day. A drab, purely practical sign does nothing to inspire pride or productivity.

Cream and blue ADA sign reading "work room"

Do a site evaluation and make notes

Take a walk around your facility and see where you have a generic, off-the-rack sign, a piece of printer paper, or nothing at all to designate the different areas and offices. What message would it send to your employees and customers if you had a custom-made, coherent signage plan in place to increase visibility, decrease confusion, and create a harmonious work environment?

Where can we make improvement?

Consider these options:

  1. Signage in your company colors to designate workrooms, conference rooms, and storage areas
  2. ADA compliant bathroom signs that also sport your company’s logo
  3. Panoramic wall vinyl with photos depicting scenic areas in your town, or your products in action
  4. Cozy, welcoming signage in your staff dining areas
  5. Clear directional signage for your customers and visitors
  6. Custom nameplates for offices
  7. Long-lasting, custom made floor markings for social distancing and safety

Custom Motivational wallCustom Wall Graphics for Conference Room

There’s no better time than today

Right now is the best time to make those interior changes, before the warm weather calls us all outside again. Signwave can implement your vision, or start from scratch and come up with a full site signage plan to meet your aesthetic and your budget. Give us a call for a site visit!

color precision, color match, color perfection, color matching, sign color

Getting the Sign Colors Right

“Close Enough” isn’t good enough when it comes to your brand. Good signage has to match a business’ brand — everything from the establishment’s overall aesthetics, to the packaging, even their ad campaigns. If signage and branding don’t match, then recognizability will suffer as a result. A sign might be highly visible, but it won’t “click,”if it doesn’t connect with the product or business. But when it’s done right, when the sign colors and style match the brand, your signage will stand out and bring the customers in.  
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metallic lobby sign

Lobby Sign for Straight Line Source in Uniondale, NY

A Lobby Sign That Stands Out

Our lobby sign for Straight Line Source is quite a looker. The Uniondale, N.Y. company’s new dimensional logo is composed of precision-cut acrylic with brushed aluminum veneers. We worked closely with the client to understand their goals for the project, presented a number of design concepts, and showed them various material samples. After all, as the centerpiece, those brushed aluminum letters have to tell the brand story authentically. They assure us that this one does the job, with their logo fabricated of sleek metal bars resembling a graph showing an upward trend. It conveys the overall brand promise of helping customers grow their businesses. It shows a straight line to success, if you will.

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Event banner for Hauppauge High School Robotics

Making Your Events Memorable Through Signage

Some events are forgettable. But we’ve all been to events that we remember years later. Something about the atmosphere that the hosts and planners created left a lasting impression.

Event signage

The approach to the event is critical. Guests need to know where to park, and where the entrance is found. The right signage can help build excitement before even entering the site.

Once inside, your guests can be greeted with a wide variety of signage options. Consider banners commemorating the reason for the gathering. A “Step And Repeat” photo backdrop, containing logos of the sponsoring organization or sponsors is a must for guests to be able to create their own mementoes, or to assure the right publicity. Custom printed table throws, easel signage, and posters are all elements to consider. If an outdoor event, banner flags of all sizes and shapes can enter the mix, as can custom printed tents and canopies. If there’s an event stage for performances or speeches, consider custom backdrops and other graphics.

Give Signwave a call at 631-761-9292 for a free consultation.

Routed and Carved Sign Panels Make a Lasting Impression

Post and Panel sign with carved lettering and digitally printed graphics

Post and Panel sign for Malverne, NY school property with carved lettering and digitally printed graphics

Masonry and a routed and painted sign panel combine to provide a solid presence, identifying your school, institution or public area. Malverne UFSD administration had already worked with Signwave to create beautiful sandblasted plaques for their Administration Building, High School and podiums. They brought us back to recognize their Middle School, Intermediate School and Primary School for their being awarded “Blue Ribbon” status. After a planning session with the Malverne UFSD team, Signwave came back with a similar design for all three schools to assure a unified look for their district.

Carved, painted sign, with digitally printed graphics for the crest

Red brick posts support a carved, painted sign, with digitally printed graphics for the crest

Masonry is a popular medium for sign pillars – in this case, classic stacked stone – but they could be rendered of brick, PVC, wood, steel or even foam. Steel rails were inserted between the pillar courses to assure a substantial connection that would withstand the elements. Between the rails we mounted two sign panels, made of thick PVC.

This is where the Signwave design expertise shows its value. We routed the main panel into a classic shape to match the brand that the institution wants to convey – a classic, reliable institution that will serve the community for many decades. We carved the school names into the panel, and painted them blue and white to match the colors of the district. We printed their crest on digital media, using our latex print technology, and overlaminating to assure the colors wouldn’t fade.

After professionally mounting the panels to the rails, the signs were ready to greet all of Malverne’s students, staff and visitors. Signwave is proud to have been selected to create the public image of this school district!

sand blast stencil

Sandblasted Signs For Schools – What A Relief!

The Malverne Union Free School District had a new Administration team that agreed that a facelift was due. A new logo was designed, and they needed to update their building and podium signage to reflect their new look. After perusing our website, Signwave got the call.

The Signwave design team worked closely with them to define those sections of the logo to be raised or recessed, discuss textures and paint techniques, and mounting options. Then it was off to fabrication.

Painted sandblasted sign showing HDU substrate

Bold colors on a sandblasted sign

Sandblasting is one of several techniques used to create beautiful dimensional signs that can stand up to the elements. For this project, a block of High Density Urethane (HDU) was sawn and routed to size and shape. A vinyl mask was created to block off those areas not to be abraded by the blasting material, and the material (“sand”) was selected to provide the proper texture and density. The substrate was positioned in a protective booth and our skilled craftspeople blasted away.

Medallion sign

Medallion sign represents local school pride

After a perfect relief was achieved, it was off to the paint shop. Like many companies and organizations, color matching to their logo specifications was critical. After two coats of paint and two coats of polyurethane, it was handed off to our installation crew, just in time for graduation ceremonies. The four schools in the district were all looking their best with brand new dimensional signs, that will last for many years to come.

sand blasted sign

Modern techniques, traditional style

After that success, we followed up with more sandblasted signs for the District – a crest for the outside of their administration building, and a giant 7’ diameter crest for the High School. We also provided carved and routed monument signs for each of their school buildings, but that’s a story for another blog post.

Let’s talk about ways to show your school pride in signs.
Drop us a line or call 631-761-9292 to arrange a consultation.

 

lobby sign

Is Dimensional Signage Right For Your Lobby?

We get many requests from companies in need of lobby signs with their logo. Some are moving to new office space, others are looking to upgrade their existing lobby signs. We’re always glad to discuss their concepts, answer their questions, and make recommendations.

Dimensional lettering mounted over custom wallpaper

Dimensional letters can be mounted over custom wallpaper

A look at our gallery will show that there are a multitude of material options and styles to choose from. One option is custom wallpaper with the company logo incorporated directly into the design. Logos can be rendered in vinyl directly to a painted wall. Alternatively, a glass, acrylic, metal or wood panel can be mounted to the wall and flat vinyl of various colors, textures and sheens can be applied to it.

The most popular option is to render the logo with dimensional letters and logo shapes. These can be fabricated from acrylic, PVC, metal, wood or various other materials. They can have various finishes – gloss or matte, metallic or clear, wood grain – the imagination is the limit. The dimensional characters can be mounted flush to the wall, separated from the wall on spacers, or mounted to a backer panel made of an equally dizzying variety of material and shape choices.

dimensional lettering close-up

Depending on the material chosen, the narrowest stroke width is about equal to the thickness of the material.

In order to render a logo as a dimensional object, the letters must have an adequate minimum thickness (or “stroke width”) to be manufacturable. Even the most precise laser cutter or strongest acrylic will have challenges with certain designs. Depending on the material chosen, the narrowest stroke width is about equal to the thickness of the material. Thus, if you wanted to render a logo in ½” acrylic, consider that the minimum line width should be ½” as well.

But what if your company logo includes thin, delicate lines? There are still dimensional options available. Logos can be routed, engraved or carved in relief – on metal, wood, acrylic or PVC. A skilled and creative signmaker is up to the challenge of creating even the most challenging designs in a dimensionality that will upgrade your office lobby instantly.

Let’s talk about what works best for your logo in the interior space of your lobby. Drop us a line or call 631-761-9292 to arrange a consultation.

 

grand “lightning” logo rendered spectacularly in window perf

Signage Speaks Volumes for a Distributor in Islandia NY

If Your Walls And Windows Could Talk, What Story Would They Tell?

When Helios Tattoo, a manufacturer and distributor of premium inks, needles and supplies to the tattoo trade moved into their new headquarters in Islandia, NY, they wanted to make sure that their lobby, showroom and offices broadcast their brand to all visitors. That’s where Signwave’s specialties lie – in truly custom and unique brand identity designs for corporate environments.

Projects for the Helios headquarters include custom wall treatments

Projects for the Helios headquarters include wall treatments, lobby signage, window and door graphics, warehouse signage, and vehicle graphics.

We started with an overall consultation to understand what they were hoping to achieve with this project. We knew that we needed to provide wall wraps for their tattoo studio, window graphics to make an exterior impression, and a one-of-a-kind lobby wall. We broke the project into separate phases and deliverables to assure that the customer was satisfied with each sub-project before moving onto the next.

Phase 1 was the wall wraps. We worked closely with the Helios designers to create the image files that would show their brand at its best. We selected a matte calendared vinyl for the walls that we laminated with luster overlam to minimize glare under the studio lights but still make the images pop. Only seven days after design approval, their first guest Pro Team artists were cheerfully creating their amazing body art in the newly-wrapped Helios Hideout.

Translucent etch vinyl and white cut vinyl achieve maximum visibility.

Translucent etch vinyl and white cut vinyl achieve maximum visibility.

Next came the doors and windows. The front door obviously needed to present their logo to the public, attractively and with maximum visibility. We used a combination of translucent etch vinyl and white cut vinyl to achieve this. With printed color logos on their other doors, they were ready to move on to the grand “lightning” logo, rendered spectacularly in window perf. Window perf is a perforated adhesive vinyl that is perfect for office window treatments. It permits light to enter (thus not blocking the view from inside) while providing a full graphical brand treatment for outside the building.

Phase 3 was completed last week. We brought a number of samples of various wall textures to their team for selection and they immediately settled on a dramatic faux wall texture of brown stones with grey grout. We needed a lobby sign that would create an unforgettable impression, so we created a PVC sign with embedded red LEDs to cast a halo effect on the wall behind. The result was an eye-popping, dramatic welcome to all Helios visitors.

Signwave’s team isn’t done yet. Additional projects for the Helios headquarters include wall treatments for the offices, warehouse signage, and vehicle graphics.
We’re delighted when customers are pleased with our creations!

PVC sign with red LEDs casts a halo effect on the wall.

PVC sign with embedded red LEDs casts a halo effect on the textured wall behind.

We’d love to help you design your interior and exterior spaces too.

Drop us a line or call 631-761-9292 to arrange a consultation.

Door signs for both wayfinding and information at Long Island location.

Multi-Purpose Signs: Visibility and Wayfinding

What better way to let visitors and customers know how to find your new business than by posting a big beautiful sign on your door? And what if you have multiple doors?

Opaque door signage for privacy inside, information outside Suffolk County location.

Opaque door signage provides privacy inside, important information outside this Suffolk County location.

Recco Home Care in Suffolk County recently moved into a new office suite with multiple entrances to the parking lot. They consulted our sign shop to make sure that not only were they visible to the neighborhood, but that everyone knew which entrance to use.

Signwave recommended printed “window perf” signs on the glass doors. Window Perf is a fantastic material for providing full-surface signage that also permits light to come through so insiders can see through to the outside. It is available in different grades, that vary by the amount and size of the perforations, the color of the adhesive side, and the expected longevity. For Recco, we were able to clearly mark the customer entrance and the Training Room entrance, but also use the other door surfaces to direct customers to the correct door to use.

For extra visibility we added some cut vinyl window graphics that featured their logo and a description of the services they provide.

Grand Opening banner at new Suffolk location

Grand Opening banner at new Suffolk County location aids recruitment.

And to top it all off, a roof banner announced their Grand Opening for all to see. The outdoor signage not only called attention to the company’s arrival in the neighborhood, but also provided the phone number and web address, as well as information about the free training program. Because of windy winter conditions, this was printed on mesh fabric with reinforced webbing all around.

Now the neighborhood not only knows they are there, but knows how to enter. We also helped them spread the word about new employment opportunities in the Long Island community. Welcome Recco Home Care!

Front Door and window signs on Suffolk County building

Consistent branding with variable messaging makes it clear what Recco offers and how to reach them.

Window Perf is a translucent material available in different grades, that vary by the amount and size of the perforations, the color of the adhesive side, and the expected longevity. We’ll be glad to arrange a meeting to show you samples and discuss how this material can be used in combination with banners or other exterior signage to solve your wayfinding and visibility challenges.

Using color to identify subsidiaries in dimensional lettering

Building Client Confidence Through Office Signs

When the financial services organization The WizdomOne Group was moving into a new office suite in Islandia, New York, they wanted to create a reception area and conference room that cemented an impression of excellence in their visitors’ minds. They worked with a commercial interior designer for their furniture and carpeting, and called in Signwave to coordinate wall treatments and signage with their selected color palette. Signwave designed three separate areas of focus:

A reception desk backsplash sign.

Dimensional signs add a look of distinction to any professional office space. We recreated their logo on acrylic and metallic letters and shapes, and mounted them on spacers. We created a faux wood backer panel to give the whole welcome area a professional and luxurious touch.

A coordinated wall treatment for the lobby.

One challenge this company presented us with is how to show the four separate entities that were under their umbrella organization. We accomplished this by creating a wall treatment with acrylic stud-mounted letters, all in black, with one letter in the color of that subsidiary. Uniting them was a custom wallpaper treatment with a subtle print of their logo underlying it all.

Custom wallpaper for the conference room.

We brainstormed with the customer regarding what brand impression they wished to create, and developed a series of designs for their approval. All agreed that this custom “dictionary definition” look made the perfect impact. Our color managed print process created the image on textured wallpaper, in subtle shades of grey.

Visitors to their office are continually impressed with the beautiful signs that Signwave created for this new office space. Call us at 631-761-9292 for a free consultation to see how we might help boost your visitors’ confidence.

 

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