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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.

 

 

 

Vehicle Graphics FAQ

So you want to turn your vehicle into a 24-hour-a-day billboard for your business but you’re not sure what that involves? Maybe you want to change the color of your personal car, or add some design elements to your motorcycle or boat? Below are a few of the most common questions we get when someone wants to know where to begin with vehicle graphics.

Fleet of service trucks with consistent brandingBox Truck Graphicsclean branding on the hood of each car in the fleetRetro Vinyl Graphics on a food truck

What are vehicle graphics?

We generally get two kinds of vehicle graphic requests: wraps and lettering. A wrap is created by printing with brilliant latex inks onto a specialized vinyl, then laminating it for longevity before applying it with pressure and heat to large sections of the vehicle. Wraps cover all the underlying paint so they can change the entire look of the vehicle. They’re a lot of fun and highly customizable. You can even cover windows with wrap vinyl; it’s a special perforated vinyl that gives the impression of a solid design from the outside, but you can see out from inside. Some wrap vinyl is created with specialty colors and finishes like color shifts, pearlized, matte finish, metallics, or even textures.

Lettering is done by cutting the designs out of a long-lasting, solid colored vinyl that is then transferred precisely onto the surface of your car, usually on the doors, rear, or windows. It’s a cost-effective way to use vinyl to customize your vehicle without everything that goes into a full wrap.

We can do full wraps, partial wraps, and combinations of wraps and lettering. As a custom sign shop, it’s our job to help you create exactly what you want.

How long do they last?

Most vinyls are guaranteed for two years with reasonable care. In our experience it can last much longer than that, especially if you care for your wrap properly. More on that later.

Can it be removed, and will it damage my paint?

Wraps can be removed and will not damage your paint, as long as the paint is in good condition at the time of wrapping. Most people find that the wrap protects the underlying paint.

Can you create a design for me?

You better believe it. Our experienced creative team will work with you to create the design that speaks your message best. Whether you just want to change the color of your car, or shout to the world that your business is out there and ready to serve, if you can dream it we can create it.

How much does it cost?

It depends! (You knew that was the answer, right?) Square footage, the amount of design, complexity of the install, all these contribute to the cost. All you need to do is call us or, better yet, bring your vehicle on over to our shop and we’ll get all the information we need to provide you a quote. And please don’t hesitate to tell us when you’re working in a budget, because we are happy to offer you what works best for your wallet.

How long does it take to install?

A large van will take about 2 days, where a small van or sedan would take a day. If you have graphics on your vehicle already that need to be removed, we’ll account for that in our time estimate.

How do I care for a wrapped vehicle?

Don’t wash a freshly applied graphic for at least the first week. Hand washing is best, but you can run it through a car wash if you wish. We do NOT recommend ever power washing any kind of adhesive graphics as they may lift and begin to pull away from the surface. Parking inside will help increase the longevity of your graphics, if possible.

Call Signwave at 631-761-9292 or stop by and see us. We’d love to answer your questions in person and get you started with a beautiful and profitable vehicle wrap today!

 

 

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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