By J. Bryan Vincent Just seven years ago, T12 was starting out in the light-emitting diode (LED) retrofit market. At the time, channel letter retrofits dominated the industry; however, the idea that a C$3 T12 could be retrofitted cost-effectively to an LED was a long shot and was exclusively reserved for high-maintenance locations. Regardless, the…
In recent years, many incredible innovations have reshaped the sign industry, but some of these changes have produced new challenges that need to be addressed. Lighting, in particular, is among the key areas where technological developments have caused their own difficulties. Lighting is the foundation of the modern sign industry. When the first major trade organization, the National Electric Sign Association (NESA), was established in 1944, it was built around a relatively small group of lighting suppliers that kept tight control over manufacturing standards. Over time, as NESA expanded in scope and became the International Sign Association (ISA), there was a concurrent expansion in signmaking materials and technologies, which made it more difficult to maintain consistency. The replacement of neon lighting with LEDs posed the greatest challenge of all.
In recent years, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have replaced neon as the dominant illumination method for channel-letter signage. Specific methods and principles need to be followed, however, to generate optimal results.
The 19th annual Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) Holiday Train program is currently underway, featuring two 305-m (1,000-ft) long, 14-railcar trains decked out with colourful sign lettering and images illuminated by light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
Gérald Collard, a 40-year veteran of neon lighting and glass art, has collaborated on projects ranging from commercial neon signs to advertising campaigns to album art to light structures for stage and film sets.
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