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Sign & Lighting Maintenance Programs. John Noonan ImageCare Maintenance Services . Presentation Outline. Sign Maintenance : Sign & Lighting Programs What to look for in a Sign & Lighting Maintenance Provider LED vs. Neon: Discuss the known Advantages and Disadvantages of LED Technology

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Sign & Lighting Maintenance Programs

John Noonan

ImageCare Maintenance Services

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Presentation Outline

  • Sign Maintenance:

    • Sign & Lighting Programs

    • What to look for in a Sign & Lighting Maintenance Provider

  • LED vs. Neon:

    • Discuss the known Advantages and Disadvantages of LED Technology

    • Discuss the technical side of Neon vs. LED, with examples

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> Why should you maintain signs and lighting?

  • Your sign identifies your brand, its condition (good/bad) portrays your image!

  • The ILE state; “Good lighting promotes a feeling of security and well being; bad lighting kills people, places and jobs.”

  • National Crime Prevention Council maintains that proper lighting can reduce crime by up to 20%. - Performing regularly scheduled maintenance on your sign will ensure it has a long life and helps prevent crime for the long-haul”, says NCPC Director of Research and Evaluation, Jean O’Neil.

  • A quality maintenance program can anticipate outages, track problems and trends by location, and repair faulty or recalled equipment before the need ever arises.

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> Maintenance Program Types

  • On Call Program:

  • Simple and flexible way of submitting service requests

  • Pre-agreed schedule of rates for labor, equipment & material

  • Planned and Preventative Program:

  • 24 or 36 month agreement

  • Scheduled cleaning, inspection, and re-lamping service

  • Complete and total maintenance solution

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> Maintenance Program Types

  • Planned and Preventative Program:

  • Scheduled cleaning, inspection, and re-lamping (or LED Retrofit) services

  • Use a “milk route” system to obtain efficiencies and cost savings

  • Why not perform other value-added services?

    • Pressure Washing

    • Sign face replacement or new “Refurbishment” system

    • Painting

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> Maintenance Value Added Services

  • Value-Added Services Cost Analysis:

  • Average retail sign maintenance call = $650 to $1,050

    • Travel & minimum labor = $200 to $350

    • Parts and materials = $250 to $400

    • Additional on-site labor time or equipment = $200 to $300

  • Thus, Average Travel, Labor & Equipment = $400 to $650

    • Or 60% to 70% of charge


Additional 2 labor hours and $100 material for added service

increases call 30% to 40% or approx. $300

As a separate call add travel and equipment = $500 to $650

thus, savings can be 40% to 45%+ if performed with on-call

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> Management Resources

  • Provider should supplement your management resources.

  • They should manage, implement and execute all service requests.

  • Provide customer service systems, procedures and pricing.

    • Nighttime survey watch

    • National disaster recovery readiness

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> Centralized Documentation Can Track Trends & Costs

On-line reporting and analysis

Centralized documentation tracks problems and trends by location, by sign

Information should be maintained for future use in reducing sign repair and maintenance expenses

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> Highly Trained Service & Electrical Technicians

  • Provider should have a network of service technicians in your area to assure your signage and lot lights will be repaired:

    • Promptly

    • Efficiently

    • With Minimum Downtime

    • Without Customer Business Interruption

Must be trained and have complete sign knowledge (not just lamp changers)

Licensed electricians can be provided for any extensive electrical requirements

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> Experts in New Technology & Special Projects

LED repair and retrofitting

EMU/EMB maintenance and repair

Banner installation, repair and removal

Pressure washing of signs, drive-thru components, canopies, sidewalks, etc

Sign face “Refurbishment” systems

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> Web Access can make the process more efficient

  • Provide easy web access for:

    • Reporting service requests

    • Tracking service requests

    • Storing service work performed at each location

    • Customized reports

    • Photographs of signs and lighting elements at each location

  • Information accessible electronically to registered users

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> Signage Maintenance Issues

  • Ballast / Transformer Failure

  • Neon Gas Leakage

  • Lamp Replacement

  • Wiring Degradation (short circuits)

  • Dirt, Mold and Water Stains On and Behind Sign Faces

  • Chipped, Faded or Oxidized Paint

  • Rusted Support Columns, Anchors and/or Sign Retainers

  • Sign Face Discoloration

  • Lighting Hot Spots and Dead Spots

  • Flex Face Tension Control

  • Moisture Accumulation

  • Disaster and/or Storm Damage

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> Summary of Provider Requirements

  • Should be signage experts with fully trained staff (don’t just change lamps)

  • National service provider or local to meet area needs

  • Maintain a web based extranet reporting system or simplified tracking system

  • Dedicated call center or quick response communication system

  • Provide added value through:

    • Image preservation

    • Investment protection

    • Predictable maintenance expense

  • A single source or regional solution

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Identifying Components in a Typical Sign

  • Channel Letter

  • Raceway

  • Sign Face

  • Neon

  • Housings

  • Transformers

  • GTO Wire

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Understanding The Circuit

  • One Component Fails, Entire Circuit Goes Out

  • Transformers (Ground Fault Protection) UL2161

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What Causes These Components To Fail

  • Moisture

  • Transformers Over and Under Performing

  • Poor Connections

  • Spacing of GTO Wires

  • Poorly Processed Neon

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Common Concerns w/ LED’s from Retailer’s Perspective

  • I have been using Neon for years. Why change?

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Common Concerns w/ LED’s from Retailer’s Perspective

  • If Led's are so great why are sign companies still using neon?

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Trained Service Techs and Product Availability

  • Ok I'll switch, what now more problems with finding trained service tech, and what about replacement LED's who carries them is this going to become a nightmare.

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Energy Savings Truth About LED’s

  • Is the energy saving really there, or is this a smoke show with marginal real savings and tons of soft (avoided cost savings)

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Light Output of LED’s – Are We There Yet?

  • I'm hearing that the white LED is still years away on adequate lumen output, is this true, and how does affect the cost with needed more LED's to achieve adequate light output.

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Advantages Common to All LED’s

  • Fast field installation

  • Less shop labor

  • LED modules require less service

  • Increased advertising value with LED’s

  • Longer life

  • Less insurance risk

  • Fewer primary electrical circuits are required

  • Increased employee productivity

  • Less damage to wall

  • Safer to use

  • Fewer warranty calls

  • Longer manufacturers warranties

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Variables that affect layout of LED’s

  • Depth of letter

  • Interior reflectivity

  • Shape of letter

  • Projection angle of LEDs

  • Color of plex

  • Translucence of plex

  • Wave length matching

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What is the major justification for buying white LED’s?

  • Appearance:

  • More light over time.

  • Greater uniformity.

  • Cold weather appearance.

  • Less outages.

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LED Retrofits in Channel Letters

  • Long Life – Comparable to Neon

    • 10 to 25 year life to 50% lumen depreciation (depends on LED color)

  • Reduced Maintenance Cost

    • Fewer system repairs maintenance service completed on-site

    • Longer warranty 2 to 5 Years vs. 90 days to 1 year (Neon Industry)

  • Energy Efficient – Reduced Energy consumption

  • - Energy savings up to 85% (Magnetic coil), 60% (Electronic transformers)

    • Tetra watts per ft. (1 to 2 watts depending on color)

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LED Retrofits in Channel Letters (cont’d)

  • Low Voltage Light Source

    • UL/CE 3V to 24V low voltage power supplies (Reduced risk of fire)

    • No dedicated line needed (2161 ground fault)

    • Reduction in # of 20 amp circuit breakers needed (LED - .34 - .9 amps)

  • Solid State Technology - Durable/Robust

    • Less shipping damages (No glass or filament breakage)

    • Low temperature & wind (vibration) stability (operating range –40C to +85C)

    • No disposal costs (void of mercury)

    • Europe ROHC compliant (Lead free)

    • Less weight, reduce structural material cost in the letters (shipping charges)