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Question LED Retrofit is washing out the sign - solutions?

Discussion in 'LEDs and Neon' started by Precision, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. Precision

    Precision New Member

    Aug 26, 2017
    Jurupa Valley, CA
    We replaced 4 large acrylic signs 2) 4'x8' and 2) 5'x10' 3'16" acrylic panels printed on Avery translucent vinyl on an HP360 with the rip settings to max ink density (supposed to be comparable to double striking). We also had an electrician retrofit the box with LEDs. All 4 of these are seperate cabinets.

    The LEDs are so bright they are blowing thru the color at night. Can anyone offer the best solution for this scenario. Is there a dimmer possibility for the LEDs or is a print thing and the acrylics need refaced.

    All opinions help me with possible solutions and are very much appreciated.

    Thank you,

  2. player

    player Major Contributor

    Apr 24, 2006
    The distance from the LEDs to the face is important.
  3. Mainframe

    Mainframe Very Active Member

    Print a reverse print on clear vinyl and ad it to the back of the faces.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. ams

    ams Very Active Member

    Oct 28, 2010
    #1. Make sure you never ever use clear polycarbonate/acrylic.
    #2. Always double strike the ink.
    #3. Depending on the LED's used, they should be anywhere from 3" to 12" away from the face.
    #4. Yes some LEDs are dimmable but not all of them. Check with the manufacturer to see if it's possible.
  5. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

    Oct 20, 2014
    Hattiesburg, MS
    I know this isn't what you're asking for a solution, but it's a pet peeve of mine....The only truly correct way to print a back lit sign (assuming you don't print white) is, color print, diffuser, color print.
  6. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    Sep 28, 2017
    ams is right. Hopefully you didn't use clear substrate! Our competitors are fans of using clear so they can get away with fewer led's... White print media does not diffuse the light nearly as well as white substrate. Try Arlon 4500G Clear and white lexan next time. As far as getting the led's to dim, usually this involves a 'costly' ($60) rheostat that you need for every sign. Rocox has several you can order direct. This will almost definitely shorten the life of the modules unless they are designed for it. The cheap option is some thoroughly opaque vinyl or black silicone. Black out every other led, or maybe every third... Maybe don't tell the customer how you went about dimming their sign though... Principle LED and so many other reputable manufacturers will take your specs on a cabinet and recommend the optimal product, quantity, and matching power supplies that will have a 5 year warranty.
  7. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

    Oct 20, 2014
    Hattiesburg, MS
    Is it too much light or are your lights "Hot Spotting"?
    If they're hot spotting, a couple things you can try is adding diffuser vinyl to the second surface of the faces and/or adding reflective vinyl inside the cabinet, on back and returns, to even out the lighting.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  8. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Trenton NJ
    This is how the big guys do it. the ones who do the big bank changeovers etc. We have good results doing what they do.

    Print on clear.. lam that clear print ...apply to white translucent face. (2447 if possible)
    Do the same in reverse and apply.

    As far as the led's go you have to understand and follow the led mfg rules of distance to face spacing etc for your particular scenario
    There are many different LEDs for different applications.It's not just throw some leds in the cabinet.

    Printing on white translucent vinyl is just dumb in so many ways.

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