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Know Your Options: Buyer’s Guide to Parking Lot Pole Lights

 

We get it: as a business owner, you probably don’t lie awake at night thinking about your parking lot. But there’s a lot you could gain if you did ‒ especially when it comes to lighting!

 

Parking lot lights prevent accidents, improve customer safety, and protect your property from vandalism. And with a bit of thoughtful planning, you can reap the benefits of good parking lot lighting and still keep the operating costs low.

 

Let’s start with the basics: getting to know your options when it comes to parking lot pole lights. Here, we’ll take a look at:

  1. The ideal type of parking lot lighting for most commercial properties in Ontario;
  2. Factoring pole light into the equation;
  3. Understanding light distribution; and
  4. Getting your new pole lights installed.

1. Selecting the Ideal Pole Lights for Your Business

 

The two most common types of parking lot lighting you’ll see on the market LED and metal halide products.

 

If it’s efficiency you’re after, any lighting expert will point you toward LED lights for your parking lot poles. Compared to traditional lighting, LED lamps and fixtures consume drastically less electricity.

 

On top of that heightened efficiency, LEDs provide superior luminosity, brightness, and uniformity.

 

Let’s do some quick math. Depending on the season, your parking lights operate for 13-plus hours per day. Currently, you're paying an average rate of 13 cents per kilowatt-hour to operate them. At 400w, the typical metal halide parking lot light uses around 1,898 kWh a year ‒ while the equivalent LED light uses just 275 kWh. That’s a whopping $210 in savings per light pole!

 

When you're looking for LED parking lot pole lights, several critical considerations are involved, such as:

  • The product should pass Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) standards. The IES monitors and controls the standards and illumination guidelines for outdoor lighting in North America.
  • Your choice of pole light should have passed the ASTM B117 salt fog or salt spray testing, which ensures a minimum standard for corrosion resistance.
  • Most municipalities in Ontario require that parking lot lighting not exceed 10 lux or 1.0 foot candles of illumination. Make a call to your local planning department or consult with lighting experts to learn which rules apply to you.

2. The Importance of Pole Height

 

It might seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget this all important piece of the puzzle when you’re knee-deep in lumens and kWH!

 

When it comes to pole lights, the height of the pole dictates the distance of the light’s dispersal. It’s a major factor that determines the lights’ efficacy and luminance.

 

Keep in mind that many poles come with the option to mount more than one light on each one ‒ frequently, there will be 2 lights per outdoor pole in parking lots. If you’re dealing with something over 25ft, there will likely be 4 lights per pole, which allows for more coverage while using fewer poles.

 

3. Understanding Light Distribution

 

Here are the various distribution levels you should consider when choosing parking lot pole lights. For more information on LED distribution, check out our guide on Choosing LED Lights For Your Parking Lot.

 

Type III LED Lights:

  • Ideal for roadway lighting, public parking, and parking lots needing vast illumination.
  • These lights are installed at the side of the area, allowing the light to outwardly project and fill the space.

Type IV LED Lights:

  • These lights generate a semicircular light, best used for illuminating parking lot perimeters.
  • Type IVs are mounted on building sides.

Type V LED Lights:

  • These lights are an ideal fit for commercial parking lots where customers require evenly distributed light.
  • Type Vs are luminaire-mounted close to the center of roadways, center islands of parkways, and intersections.

4. Energy-Saving Lighting Controls

 

To keep the cost of operating parking lot pole lights to a minimum, you must either reduce the amount of time the lights are on or the energy being consumed. The good news is, outdoor lighting controls make it easy to get these variables under control.

 

The two most common parking lot lighting control solutions to help you to maximize energy efficiency:

  • Photosensor-based controls that adjust light levels in real time based on the available sunlight.
  • Timeclock-based controls that adjust light levels at a set time of day, regardless of weather conditions.

At Sign LITE, our outdoor lighting technicians will help you determine which lighting control system best suits your needs. Reach out to us to learn more about our parking lot lighting services.

 

5. Parking Lot Pole Light Installation

 

When you’re budgeting for a lighting overhaul, installation is an integral part. Installation expenses will include materials, delivery, labour, and equipment (you’re going to need more than a ladder to get this job done!) For brand-new installations, you’ll also need to foot the bill for having the poles put in place, including the electrical connection.

 

Light poles generally have base manifold plates bolted into a concrete base. Ensuring you have a base wide enough to handle the manifold plates requires a careful review of a manufacturer's specifications.

 

Sign LITE has a modern fleet of vehicles with certified technicians that are capable and qualified to service all your on-site lighting, including installation and service of parking lot pole lights. Whether it's replacing a lamp, a fixture, or an entire pole we’ve got the skills and equipment to get the job done for you in record time!

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Know Your Options: 5 Types of Commercial LED Signs

 

Signs aren’t just a piece of scenery. The right type of commercial sign can be a powerful competitive advantage in attracting consumers' curious eyes.

 

Signage is proven to increase foot traffic, sales, and community awareness. In fact, your signage tells an important story about your business ‒ one that can make or break a customer’s decision to set foot inside!

 

For this reason alone, high-quality signage is a non-negotiable must-have for any commercial establishment. The real question ‒ one you’ll need to answer before you get that winning sign made ‒ is which type of signage is right for your business.

 

It’s a big decision. So, let’s take a look at the various commercial LED signs at your disposal!

 

But first…

 

Why Choose LED? Advantages of LED vs. Fluorescent or Neon

 

You might be wondering why we’re not talking about fluorescent or neon signage here. Fact is, for most businesses, LED is bar none the best choice in terms of pricing, quality, and convenience.

 

The primary benefit associated with LED lighting for your storefront is its budget-friendly nature. Yes, upfront, they might seem a touch costlier than fluorescents...but over the long haul, their tremendous lasting power and reliability mean you won't waste money on sign repairs and replacements.

 

Moreover, you benefit from a brighter light that illuminates your storefront, attracting onlookers more successfully than traditional signage.

 

LED lighting is also mind-boggling in its flexibility compared to other signage. For instance, there are types with technology in place for entering sign edits, tweaks, and adjustments in your computer. You don’t need to use any manpower or physical exertion!

 

Lastly, LED lights consume 2x to 4x less electricity than signs with incandescent and neon bulbs.

 

5 Types of Commercial LED Signs


1. Cabinet Signs

 

 

These are "box"-type signs that are internally illuminated. They load hyper-efficient LED lighting into either plastic, vinyl, or routed aluminum faces. Choosing this option means you're guaranteed to grab customers' attention and turn their heads.

 

For a very reasonable price, cabinet signs make a significant impact.

 

2. Channel Letters

 

 

LED channel letter signs are characterized by their custom-fabricated aluminum and dimensional lettering. They’re constructed with durable plastic or aluminum facing, helping ensure an extended shelf-life. You can internally illuminate this sign with low-voltage LEDs.

 

Choosing this option gives your storefront a finished, modern aesthetic that’ll establish your business as a trendy hub.

 

While these signs look good during the day, the nighttime is where they truly shine, with LED lights built into the letters! It’s also possible to reverse the lighting when you direct it out of the back of the letters onto the building, creating a halo effect.

 

3. Electronic Message Centres (EMC)

 

 

EMCs or digital LED signs can be programmed from any laptop or desktop. If you choose this option, you'll revel in its flexibility and the positive difference it makes on your foot traffic and revenue.

 

EMCs, bring you versatility with pricing, too. You can purchase something more frugal, such as any monochromatic make, or select something extravagant (e.g., high-resolution video displays.)

 

Seeing as you can adjust this sign within seconds to get your preferred message across, this might be one of your top choices! For instance, an EMC allows you to inform customers about specials and one-day offers that spark urgency in your target market.

 

4. Monument Signs/Ground Signs

 

 

These signs are mounted on the ground. They are best described as low-profile and architectural in nature.

 

Diversity stands out as a primary benefit with monument/ground signs because they come in almost all shapes and sizes! The aluminum used for its structure is custom formed with decorative brick or stone.

 

5. Pylon Signs

 

 

Our list's last signage option is freestanding, offering the durability associated with its steel structure and concrete foundation.

 

Frequently, you'll find the pylon models have internally illuminated letters with LED lighting. Choose this option if you want your business's name to etch itself in the majestic skies!

 

Are you interested in LED signage options or your storefront? Provided you're aiming to bolster brand awareness and your bottom line, your answer should be a resounding 'yes.' Contact Sign LITE today to learn more!

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How To Choose The Right Type Of LED Lights For Your Parking Lot

 

You've honed your craft as a business owner. Your customer service is on point. Product selection is unrivalled, and your facility's layout is 100% conducive to sales.

 

However, successfully operating a business like yours doesn't start in the aisles and end at the cash desk. Instead, it begins and finishes in your parking lot.

 

Optimizing your parking lot setup rests on a few factors, with one of the primary ones being quality lighting. First and foremost, lighting helps prevent accidents, illuminating your extended property so pedestrians and drivers can see ‒ this advantage should speak to you, as it will help you avoid any legal issues that could stem from accidents.

 

Beyond that, well-lit parking lots make customers feel safe, whereas dim settings give people a sense of danger and fear.

 

Furthermore, quality lighting protects your business from vandals and other potential criminal activity. Those who intend to perform unlawful acts will always veer towards properties with darker lighting to protect their identity.

 

Next, we’ll examine the three main types of LED distribution, and you can decide which might work best for your establishment: type III, IV and V LED lights.

 

1. Type III LED Lights

 

Say your lighting-based needs revolve around roadway lighting, general parking areas, and spaces requiring vast illumination.

 

In the above instance, Type III distribution will fit the bill.

 

More specifically, Type III lighting must be located at the side of the area. This way, the light outwardly projects and fills the space, producing a filling light-flow.

 

The preferred lateral width of Type III light distributions is 40 degrees. It’s meant for luminaries mounted on – or around – the side of medium with roadways or spaces. These areas shouldn’t be wider than 2.75 times the width of the mounting height.

 

2. Type IV LED Lights

 

Are you looking for LED lighting to mount on the sides of your building and walls?

 

Then you’ll want to perform product research on the top Type IV lighting distribution on the market. This distribution type produces a semicircular light, optimal for illuminating the perimeter of parking areas and businesses.

 

Type IV lighting’s intensity levels don’t change, all the way from 90 degrees to 270 degrees. Laterally, this kind of LED distribution has a preferred width of 60 degrees.

 

Ideally, you’d incorporate Type IV distribution for side-of-road mounting on wider roadways. Note that the roadway width shouldn’t be more than 3.7 times the mounting height.

 

3. Type V LED Lights

 

How does a circular light distribution with the same intensity for all angles sound for your parking lot?

 

If it sounds like music to your ears, then considering looking into Type V distribution. Its circular symmetry of candlepower is – for all intents and purposes – the same at each lateral angle.

 

Ideally, you'd use Type V distribution luminaire mounting. This would be done either at or close to the center of roadways, center islands of parkways, and intersections.

 

Furthermore, these LED distributions are ideal for commercial parking lot lighting. Plus, consider using these in your parking lot where your customers will benefit from evenly distributed light.

 

Other Factors To Consider When Purchasing Parking Lot Lights

 

Here are the four critical considerations you should keep in mind when seeking out the ideal LED lights for your parking lot:

 

a. Watts

 

Determines the overall light output. The LED chip brand directly impacts brightness, while the LED colour decides the light output.

 

The quality of materials’ being used also determines the brightness. Different LED bulbs give unique light outputs at equivalent wattages, depending on how they were manufactured.

 

There is varying wattage ideal for various settings. For example, 3w LED bulbs are often used in lampshades, under benches, candle bulbs and spotlights, while 5w bulbs work best in bedside lamps and wall fittings.

 

b. Lumens

 

Measures the overall amount of light emitted by the source. Although two LED area lights share the same wattage, their lumen levels can differ, in which case you can look at use lumens instead of watts to gauge what bulb is brighter

 

c. Beam Angles

 

A 120 ° beam angle applies to LED bulbs and LED strip lighting. However, choosing LED spotlights requires plenty of thought about what beam angles work best. For example, a 60 degree beam angle works with 10-feet high ceilings. Conversely, a 24 degree to 30 degree beam angle is ideal for 15-feet-plus ceilings

 

d. Colour Rendering

 

This is the light source’s ability to provide colour-reflection on an illuminated object. When the colour rendering index is high, the closer it will be to daylight illumination. Your choice of colour rendering should come down to how often the lights are used

 

While Knowledge is Power, You Should Still Work with a Professional

 

When making purchasing decisions, it’s always wise to perform the essential product research to get the most value from your investment. Another way to extract tremendous value from your LED lighting is by hiring a professional to install them correctly for optimal performance.

 

Sign LITE has a modern fleet of vehicles and equipment ready to service your parking lot lighting in Southwestern Ontario. Our certified technicians are capable and qualified to service, repair, install, or retrofit your commercial or industrial exterior lighting.

 

Call us at 1-877-884-9950 or reach out to us online to learn more about our lighting services!

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"Dustless" Blasting? Tips for Safer, Cleaner Media Blasting

Ever heard of a “dustless” form of media blasting?

 

The term dustless blasting has gained a lot of ground in recent years. As great as this so-called dustless blasting sounds…unfortunately, such a thing as doesn’t really exist.

 

Yes, certain media blasting methods are safer and cleaner than others. But no matter what method you choose, dust – along with certain health and safety risks – will always be present.

 

However, with the proper precautions, it is possible to greatly reduce the amount of dust produced in the media blasting process.

 

The following media blasting tips will go a long way to help you keep your commercial property (and you) safe and clean in the process!

 

1. Wear Proper Media Blasting PPE

 

Media blasting uses pressurized air to shoot pieces of an abrasive material out of a nozzle to strip paint, rust, or other blemishes from a surface. Some particles are bound to become airborne in the process. Even if dust is not visible, that doesn’t necessarily mean it's not lingering in the air.

 

For this reason, media blasting operators should wear personal protective equipment.

 

Respirators help keep dust in the air from entering the lungs, reducing the risk of breathing problems. Loose-fitting respirators tend to provide a more comfortable fit than tight-fitting respirators. Instead of being tightly sealed to the face, loose-fitting respirators rest on the media blasting operator’s shoulders, allowing for proper air circulation around the head and neck to help keep the operator cool.

 

Hearing protection is also necessary when working around blasting equipment and compressors, as prolonged exposure to these loud devices can increase the risk of hearing issues. Luckily, some respirators come equipped with a communication system in the helmet, making it easy for operators to communicate without removing the respirator and hearing protection

 

Blast suits, gloves, and boots provide additional safety and comfort for the operator. Nylon blast suits are designed with the operator in mind, as it is made using lightweight, durable, and breathable material to ensure the operator is kept cool and protected from any abrasive material kickback.

 

Face shields and eye protection serve as additional precautions. Often, face shields are integrated into loose-fitting respirators and operators do not require a secondary face shield. However, it is strongly recommended other individuals on site not wearing a respirator should use safety glasses or a face shield as alternative eye protection.

 

2. Choose a Safe Abrasive and Media Blasting Method

 

The method we use at Sign LITE is referred to as a wet abrasive blasting or hydro blasting machine: it uses compressed air to propel a mix of water and crushed glass against the surface of the object to be cleaned. The glass strips the surface, while the addition of water cuts down on dust.

 

Why use crushed glass?  To put it simply, crushed glass media blasting is safe and effective. And unlike supposedly “dustless” alternatives like soda blasting, crushed glass media blasting doesn’t leave a messy residue behind on the surface. That means no extra clean-up work for you to deal with.

 

Crushed glass media blasting also happens to be the most eco-friendly way to remove graffiti; since glass is inert, non-toxic, and non-hazardous, it does no harm to the environment!

 

3. Hire a Media Blasting Professional

 

Media blasting is harder than it looks – which is why it’s important to hire a professional to ensure the job is done right the first time.

 

As you might imagine, media blasting is easy to mess up. The wrong blasting abrasive, improper equipment, or simply using the blasting unit incorrectly (like turning the pressure too high) can just as easily damage the surface you’re trying to save!

 

Professionals carry liability insurance that will cover these kinds of damages. So, not only is the likelihood of something going wrong much lower with a professional but also there will be a way to make reparations.

 

Like any power tool, there are cheap media blasting units and more sophisticated ones. You get what you pay for. The high-end equipment that will yield the best results is not cheap. If you’re trying to save money by not hiring a professional, this certainly isn’t the way to go.

 

Finally, a media blasting project will take time. If you’ve ever undertaken an improvement project on your own, you already know that it will always take longer than you expect. From researching the right unit to rent and media to use to doing the actual job, it will take hours, perhaps days of your time.

 

As a busy business owner, you know your time is worth more than that!

Not to mention, you won’t ever be able to do the job with the same precision and to the same quality level as a professional. Don’t stress over pinching a couple of pennies and let the pros handle this improvement project for your business.

 

Got a burning question about media blasting? The Sign LITE team knows its way around a blasting gun, and we’re happy to help. Reach out to us today to learn more!

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Why Media Blasting Should Never Be a DIY Job

 

Did somebody leave unwanted ‘artwork’ on the side of your building? Or perhaps you’re restoring an old bench that has rusted, or a wall covered in chipped paint.

 

Whatever it is, your cleaning job warrants a little more than just elbow grease and a sponge.

Media blasting could be your answer, but be warned – it’s not for the faint of heart! Don’t let the do-it-yourself blasting videos on YouTube fool you. Read on to learn why media blasting should never be a DIY job!

 

What Is Media Blasting?

 

Ever heard of pressure washing? Media blasting is similar, but a little more sophisticated. With media blasting, we use specialized equipment to blast a mixture of water and small particles of material at the surface.

 

There are various materials you can use in media blasting, including crushed recycled glass, silicon carbide, plastic beads, and metals like aluminum oxide, steel grit, or steel shot. To strip more delicate surfaces, you can lower the blasting pressure and use softer media.

 

Whatever media you use must be appropriate for the job. Otherwise you run the risk of not even making a dent in the stuff you’re trying to clean off…or, worse, destroying the surface underneath!

 

Media blasting is a blanket term that refers to all kinds of blasting with a wide variety of materials, or media. You’ll also hear a few more specific media blasting terminology, like hydro blasting (when you use water) and sandblasting (when you use sand.)

 

Why You Should Hire a Media Blasting Professional

 

There are many improvement projects that you can take on yourself as a business owner to save a little cash. You might think that renting a media blasting unit and dedicating an afternoon on a slow day is worth it. But media blasting is not a good DIY job. To properly restore your surface, it will need to be cleaned by someone who knows what they’re doing.

 

Here are a few reasons why.

 

1. It’s Easy to Mess Up

 

As you might imagine, media blasting is easy to mess up. Choose the wrong blasting material, use improper equipment, or simply use the blasting unit incorrectly (e.g. turn up the pressure too high) and you can damage the surface you’re trying to save.

 

At best, you can create a worse problem that will be more expensive to fix. At worst, you might damage the surface beyond repair!

 

2. The Right Tools For The Job

 

As with any power tool, there are cheap media blasting units and more sophisticated ones. As usual, you get what you pay for. The high-end stuff that will yield the best results is not cheap. If you’re trying to save money by not hiring a professional, this certainly isn’t the way to go.

 

Renting a unit for a one-time job is usually what people will choose and it can seem like a good choice, but you won’t know what type of unit you’ll need for the job. Even the person renting it to you won’t necessarily know because they haven’t seen your project.

 

On top of that, you don’t know what type of media to choose or how hard to blast it. Only an experienced professional can choose the proper equipment for the job.

 

3. What About Insurance?

 

What if you decide to take the chance? What happens if you mess up the project? Or worse, someone gets hurt in the process?

 

Professionals carry liability insurance that will cover these kinds of damages. So, not only is the likelihood of something going wrong much lower with a professional but also there will be a way to make reparations.

 

4. Time Is Money

 

Finally, a media blasting project will take time. If you’ve ever undertaken an improvement project on your own, you already know that it will always take longer than you expect. From researching the right unit to rent and media to use to doing the actual job, it will take hours, perhaps days of your time.

 

As a busy business owner, your time is worth more than that!

 

Not to mention, you won’t ever be able to do the job with the same precision and to the same quality level as a professional. Don’t stress over pinching a couple of pennies and let the pros handle this improvement project for your business.

 

Your Solution for Media Blasting

 

From chipped paint to graffiti removal, no job is too large for our professional media blasting teams. From quality equipment to knowledgeable professionals we have the resources to complete whatever job.

 

Whether you need to remove rust or clean up a concrete or brick wall in Southwestern Ontario, we’re the ones for the job. For a free quote, reach out to us online or give us a call at 1-877-884-9950 today!

 

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Crushed Glass Media Blasting vs. Sandblasting

You know how LED lights came along and ultimately overtook incandescent lights, making the traditional bulbs irrelevant?

 

The story of glass media blasting versus sandblasting isn’t all that different.

 

For years, sandblasting was the go-to method for restoring various surfaces. But more recently, other forms of media blasting – like glass media blasting, soda blasting and hydro blasting – came along and knocked sandblasting off its perch.

 

With that, the industry-standard was changed, and sandblasting was made obsolete.

 

Much like LEDs presented customers with a far superior experience than standard incandescent lights, glass media blasting is not only safer than sandblasting, but also more effective and environmentally sound.

 

Let's take a deeper dive into this topic, exploring why crushed glass media blasting is the method of choice for your cleaning and property restoration needs!

 

What is Sandblasting?

Sandblasting is the process of propelling a stream of abrasive silica sand against a surface under high pressure. The stream's forcefulness peppers the glass to etch or clean the target surface.

 

In some cases, the term sandblasting is used as a catch-all for all forms of media blasting. However, media blasting professionals tend to discourage this use, since it ignores the significant differences between sandblasting and other abrasive blasting media - which we’ll talk more about in the sections below.

 

Why Sandblasting is Obsolete

Simply put, sandblasting is bad for you and bad for the environment.

 

The abrasive material used in sandblasting, namely sand, contains crystalline silica. Inhaling crystalline silica which can result in dangerous respiratory diseases like silicosis, a fibrosis of the lungs.

 

This condition, also known as dust lung, can be caused by the sand debris breaking down into even smaller particles, which get inhaled.

 

Because of this, responsible media blasting companies have turned away from sandblasting in favour of safer, cleaner methods, like crushed glass media blasting.

 

What is Crushed Glass Media Blasting?

Crushed glass media blasting is used by many to restore walls, fences, or to strip paint/rust from a car, and bring commercial properties back to life. It's an excellent, efficient tool for ridding buildings of old paint, grease, graffiti, and rust!

 

The process involves compressed air that propels a combination of crushed glass and water against an object's surface. Dust is eliminated by the water while the surface is stripped by the glass.

 

Here’s why this blasting method is faster, gentler, safer, cleaner, and more sustainable than sandblasting!

 

1. A Time-Efficient Restoration Method

When your beautiful property has become inundated with rust or graffiti, it becomes about a thousand-times less appealing to customers. It's a situation that must be handled pronto!

 

Crushed glass media blasting will answer this need for quick and practical work, as it cuts through rust, paint, and oil like a hot knife through butter. Blasting an entire building can be completed in what seems, relatively, like the blink of an eye!

 

2. Removing the Nasty Chemicals from the Equation

If you hired someone to sandblast or strip a surface with chemicals, you’d likely have to shut the area down for a day for safety and potentially lose out on revenue. With crushed glass media blasting, harmful chemicals aren’t a factor, so you can get back to business as usual as quickly as possible!

 

The environmentally friendly nature of this method also makes it safe to use around plants, water and wildlife, so you won’t have to worry about the Ministry getting on your case.

 

3. Sustainable and Economic

Crushed glass media blasting is sustainable through and through. The crushed glass used in media blasting is made from recycled bottles, giving these materials a second useful life - plus, it can be collected and used over and over again without letting anything go to waste!

 

4. Provides a Finish that Speaks for Itself

Let’s face it. Sustainability, safety, and convenience don't amount to much if the finished product doesn't look all that appealing! As a business owner, you know it's not good enough to just remove graffiti or rust—you need something that truly makes your building stand out.

 

The good news is, when you hire someone to crush glass media blast your property, you'll be blown away by the professional finish!

 

5. Keeps The Underlying Surface Safe from Damage

Don't be fooled by crushed glass media blasting's take-no-prisoners approach with dirt, grime and graffiti. When it comes to the underlying surfaces, the process is utterly harmless. Crushed glass media blasting does just enough to bring back the original appearance of wood, concrete, fibreglass, and stainless-steel surfaces.

 

You won’t have to worry about any further blemishes caused by the blasting. It strictly fixes without creating any additional issues!

 

Out with the Old and In with the New

When it comes time to restore your property's surfaces, you don’t have to think twice about the method of choice. Crushed glass media blasting gives you so much more than sandblasting! Reach out to us online or call us at 1-877-884-9950 to book your media blasting call today!

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How Well-Designed Signage Can Skyrocket Your Retail Sales

If you’re part of the decision-making process for a retail store, we have a vital message:

 

Stop sleeping on your signage!

 

Signs can play a critical role in your overall success with brand recognition, identity, and revenue. If you’ve put in the work that goes into creating a profitable business model, but you’ve neglected your retail signage, you aren’t giving your store every chance to succeed!

 

To be precise, there are three distinct ways signs can help to skyrocket your sales in the retail space:

 

  1. Bring in new customers.
  2. Generate more sales.
  3. Help customers find their way around a store.

 

Let’s take a closer examination of why designing your signs with a strategic approach is critical to your overall success!

 

 

1. Signs Bring in New Customers

 

Did you know that 50% of potential customers will drive by and not find a business because the signage was either small or unclear?

 

That statistic alone is reason enough to pay specific attention to the design of your signs!

 

You could miss out on starting a lifelong relationship with a customer just because your retail signage didn’t stand out or send the right message. If you assess the lifetime value of a customer, that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars per person over a sustained period.

 

Then, multiply that by how many other customers aren’t visiting your store because of a poorly conceived sign…the missed opportunities missed will keep you up at night.

 

But let’s not strictly focus on the negative here. People who never would have known about your store otherwise can be directed there via effective retail signage!

 

In fact, one-third of surveyed customers were drawn into a previously unknown store because of its signage.

 

Also, signs have a way to reinforce brand awareness even if they’re well established. There’s research citing that 35% to 46% of first-time customers learn about a well-known business because they saw a commercial sign in passing! 

 

2. Signs Generate More Sales 

 

Look at your signage as the first layer in your sales and marketing strategy.

 

When you get more people coming into your store, with appealing products and top-notch customer service, sales will increase exponentially.

 

It’s the natural flow of things. You can’t sell your products or services to keep those profit margins soaring if nobody’s visiting you!

 

Your messaging design gets people into the door, so they can be given a chance to fall in love with your retail business. In proving this point, sales increased from 2.5% to 7.1% when stores installed signage to sides of buildings that were previously without such messaging!

 

It’s a direct correlation and proves why store owners and leaders need to put significant amounts of energy into the design and written communications on signs.

 

There’s further research delving deep into how much a store’s signage impacts overall sales. There was a study from the University of San Diego on behalf of the California Electric Sign Association and the International Sign Association. Those involved ascertained that there was a 4.75% boost in annual sales for businesses that added one sign.

 

Now, imagine you’re earning $1,000,000 in overall revenue per year. One commercial sign could help generate $47,500 more in sales. From there, imagine if you add two or three new signs and the impact it could have!

 

3. Signs Help Customers Find their Way

 

Not only do signs help people arrive at your store, but they’re also integral to helping your customers once they’re on the premises.

 

Useful signage throughout your establishment can help people find departments and products they wouldn’t see without it.

 

Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer and think about all the times you’ve been at a store and given up finding a product because it was too confusing. Designing clear wayfinding signs mitigates that issue, ensuring a seamless shopping experience!

 

This kind of sign-related strategy can encourage customers to purchase items they weren’t initially planning to buy. There have been studies stating the around 50% of impulse purchases stem from wayfinding signs pointing customers to one location throughout a store.

 

Beyond that, you should contemplate the entirety of the customer experience at your store. It doesn’t begin and end with the products or services you’re selling!

 

As such, wayfinding signs are ideal when directing customers to amenities like parking, entrances, checkout, and customer service areas. Such measures alleviate much of the stress that can be prevalent while shopping, especially in a busy store (as yours will be with all your new signs!)

 

 

Taking This Blog Seriously is a Positive Sign

 

We understand that with all the moving parts that go into running your retail store, some aspects of your strategy can fall by the wayside.

 

However, some strategies are far too integral to your success to be overlooked – such as ensuring you have effective signage. There’s an exponential chance for growth and success when leveraging the value of well-designed signs.

 

 

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How to Boost Sign ROI & Get The Most From Your Commercial Signage

Signs aren’t just meant to look pretty! Commercial signage is an investment in your business – one that should pay you back in the form of more customers, sales and revenue.

 

So, do you feel like your signage is pulling its weight?

 

Let’s talk about how you can get the best return on investment (ROI) out of your signage. Here’s an inside look at the signage best practices followed by sign fabricators, consultants and business owners to maximize sign ROI!

 

1. Function Always Comes First

Smart, well-designed signage can do many good things at once.

 

Truly great signage can send the right message while at the same time reinforcing your brand and giving your clients or customers a better experience.

 

But here’s the thing…a sign can’t do much of anything if it’s not nailing its most basic function: communication. Readability should be priority number one!

 

All your graphics and signage, from pole and pylon signs to awnings and window graphics, must be clear and readable. That all comes down to key features like font size, colour, choice of type, sign placement, and lighting conditions.

 

Don’t leave all the work to architects and brand experts – work with an experienced sign fabricator and installer who knows the fundamentals of creating an effective commercial sign!

 

2. Minimize Clutter

Successful signage strikes a balance between quality and quantity.

 

Sure, you want to give yourself the best chance to get your message out there – and that means strategically placing different signs in different locations. You’ll want a tall, permanent pole-mounted sign to catch the attention of drivers, of course. You might also place smaller, temporary lawn signs to draw attention to sales and draw in foot traffic.

 

Trouble is, temporary lawn signs, posters and other promotional material can easily become distractions. When you have too many signs, you run the risk of “watering down” and reducing the impact of your main signage.

 

This is exactly the reason why most major franchisors lay down the law with their franchisees, placing strict guidelines on the use of small, temporary promotional signage!

 

In other words, you shouldn’t clutter up every inch of your real estate with signage. Focus your attention on creating high-quality permanent signage and go easy on the temporary ones!

 

3. Make Signage Part of Your Management Practices

“If you want design excellence, you need to reward it.”

 

Wise words from James Damian during his time on the board of Buffalo Wild Wings – a restaurant chain that’s become known for a sleek, modern and community-focused exterior look complete with iconic signage.

 

Successful retail and restaurant brands take sign design and deployment seriously! The higher-ups at Buffalo Wild Wings see the value in giving each location the right look and “feel” and treat it as integral from the ground up.

 

To that end, staff at the company are held accountable for signage and rewarded for a job well done.

 

It’s no wonder the Sign Research Foundation sees Buffalo Wild Wings as a textbook example on how to increase sign ROI!

 

4. Be Part of the Community

Successful retailers are built on community outreach, and one of the best ways to foster customer loyalty is to match your signage to the character and scale of the neighbourhood.

In other words, it pays to fit in!

 

No one likes it when a business rolls into town and sticks out like a sore thumb. On the other hand, storefronts that make the effort to belong to (or even enhance) the area earn customer goodwill from day one.

 

The success of this approach to signage is clear in places like Uptown Waterloo and Downtown St. Jacob’s, where successful business use a variety of electric signs, awnings, window graphics, wall murals and other displays in harmony with the historical character.

 

This is why it always pays to work with a local sign contractor who knows the community (and any applicable sign regulations) inside and out.

 

5. Use Quality Materials

We get it: retailing is a cost-sensitive business. Sometimes, it feels like a race to the bottom.

Many franchisors and developers have a reputation for putting cost-savings over quality whenever they can be found. Unfortunately, that often includes the quality of their commercial signage.

 

It’s no wonder some businesses have to pay out the nose for sign repair or replacement every few years!

 

But leading companies know the value in effective signage – and understand that investing in quality materials will yield a higher return on their investment in the long run. They also establish relationships with qualified sign fabricators who take a role in the development process.

 

Get the Most Out of Your Sign Investment

Remember: your commercial signage is the first impression most people get of your business.

 

An effective, clear, and well-designed sign is one of the best investments you can make in getting people through the door.

 

We’re here to help you get the most value out of all your commercial lighting and signage. Call Sign LITE for fabrication and installation of illuminated and non-illuminated signs for your Southwestern Ontario business. Our certified technicians are also standing by to repair and service your existing on-site signage quickly and effectively.

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LED Sign Retrofits, by the Numbers: Is It Worth the Cost?

Admit it: you did a double-take when you opened your hydro bill last month.

 

These days, who doesn’t? For many Ontario businesses, utilities are consistently near the top of operating expenses.

 

That’s why it’s become increasingly important to lower your energy consumption in all areas ‒ including your signage.

 

Should You Retrofit Your Sign With LED Lighting?

The good news is, the sign industry has stepped up to meet your energy reduction demands.

 

Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and strip lights can drastically reduce what you spend on your indoor and outdoor commercial signage. And thanks to LED sign retrofits, you don’t have to invest in a whole new sign box or cabinet to do it.

 

Still, when your goal is to cut costs, you’ve really got to consider whether investing in any kind of sign upgrade ‒ even a basic retrofit ‒ is really worth the money.

 

Sign LITE has completed commercial sign retrofits and installations across Ontario.

 

Truth be told, without knowing about your business, we can’t say for certain whether an LED retrofit is right for you.

 

We can only share what we’ve seen firsthand in our experience as sign installation and service technicians.

 

Sign LITE has been servicing business owners across Southwestern Ontario for the last 40 years – since before LED signage was really even an option. We basically had front-row seats to watch LED lighting technology evolve!

 

Today, we routinely help businesses achieve savings of hundreds, even thousands of dollars in annual energy costs through LED lighting and sign retrofits.

 

Here is why, by the numbers, LED sign retrofit is well worth the investment.

 
1. LED Signs Operate at 80% Efficiency

All forms of lighting (including fluorescent tubes, LEDs and neon) turn some of their energy into heat instead of light. However, LED lamps are engineered to minimize energy waste as much as possible.

 

A sign box or cabinet retrofitted with LED lights will convert at least 80% of its energy into light, generating the same amount of light at less than 50% of the operating cost of traditional fluorescent tube lights.

 

2. One LED Lamp Runs On Just 12-18 Watts

What’s more, LED lights run on less than half the electricity of most equivalent fluorescents. Your typical fluorescent tube takes between 32 and 40 watts, while an LED runs on an average of 12 to 18 watts!

 

At a cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of 20.8 cents (the on-peak rate for small businesses as of January 2020), the difference between fluorescent and LED lights is around 236.52 watts, meaning you could save $49 a year for every light you retrofit.

 

Granted, the savings won’t add up as fast as a more extensive LED light retrofit (across all your exterior or interior lights), but it’ll still pay for itself in time ‒ not to mention other cost savings.

 

Get in touch with us today for a Free Estimate on your LED sign retrofit project.

 

Sign LITE services outdoor and indoor commercial signage, like this brilliant sign at a food court in Ontario.

 

3. LED Lights Have a Lifespan of Over 25,000 Hours

Of all the light sources available for commercial signage, LED signs last longer and deliver the best long-term performance by a mile. Many LEDs have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours, with low-end LEDs offering up to 25,000 hours and the top-rated bulbs lasting 200,000 or more. This impressive lifespan means you’ll go far longer between fixture and lamp replacements than with fluorescents!

 

Newer fluorescent tubes have a much longer lifespan than their predecessors, but even the high-performance products tend to need replacement after 15,000 hours’ use. Fluorescent lights also lose efficiency with age, requiring more current is required to achieve the same lighting output.

 

Although LEDs do lose efficiency as current and heat output increase, the drop is relatively low compared to fluorescents, so you can hold off on replacing LEDs for longer.

 
4. LED is Virtually Zero-Maintenance

Don’t get it wrong ‒ switching to LED lights doesn’t mean you can sit back and let your sign run on autopilot. You’ll still want to clean, inspect and service your sign on a regular basis, especially before and after the winter months.

 

But as long as they’re sealed and safe inside the sign box, your LED sign lights won’t require all that much maintenance.

 

Not only do LED lamps have a longer life than fluorescent lamps, LEDs aren’t nearly as fragile as fluorescents, which can fail in sub-zero temperatures. And unlike fluorescent lamps, LEDs won’t flicker or turn pink towards the end of their lives.

 

Where fluorescent lamps and ballasts are replaced frequently, a commercial LED sign can go for years with little more than routine sign maintenance.

 

Does your sign need a facelift? We’ll send a sign technician to service your sign on-site. Reach out to us today to request a free estimate.

 

5. An LED Sign Retrofit Can Be Complete in Just a Few Hours

Don’t believe it? Check out this video of a technician installing an LED sign kit in under an hour. Better yet, you’ll see how it compares to a fluorescent sign installation!

 

Many existing fluorescent sign cabinets use T12 lamps, which lends itself to a fast, one-to-one LED retrofit. Signs comprised of individual channel letters can also be populated with LEDs. No two signs are exactly alike, but there’s always a solution ‒ and often, it can be said and done in an afternoon.

 

Another job well done. Canada's most trusted brands trust Sign LITE for sign service and installation!

 

Learn More About LED Sign Retrofits

Reducing operating costs requires some tough business decisions, but this is one decision that won’t keep you up at night! Switching to LED sign lights is easy, and it can save you hundreds or even thousands in sign repairs and maintenance costs.

 

Sign LITE has a modern fleet of vehicles and equipment ready to service your commercial sign in Southwestern Ontario. Our certified technicians are capable and qualified to retrofit your signage quickly and effectively.

 

Call us at 1-877-884-9950 or reach out to us online to learn more about our LED sign retrofit solutions!

 

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5 Powerful Ways to Improve Your Electric Signage Operating Cost

 

Illuminated signs are fixtures of our modern city landscapes. It’s hard to imagine life without them! But few among us really stop to think about what it costs to keep those beacons alight 365 days a year.

 

Granted, sign lighting usually isn’t the biggest drain on your monthly expenses. Thanks to solid-state lighting, the overall energy footprint of electric signs is fairly insignificant.

 

Still, every illuminated sign you install at your locations does add to your overhead. We can help you keep those costs as low as possible ‒ without compromising on the beauty and effectiveness of your signage.

 

Here are several ways to reduce what you spend on operating your electric signs!

 

1. Optimize for Ideal Brightness

Think brighter is always better? Not quite.

 

According to the Lighting Research Center, many signs are designed to be far brighter than they need to be. Not only does this result in higher energy use, it also contributes to light pollution, which has an impact on all of our lives.

 

What’s more, signs that are too bright are actually ineffective  ‒ or even offensive, Have you ever received complaints from the neighbours about brightness?

 

The level of illuminance should be such that your sign is readable, but not excessive. Both the International Sign Association (ISA) and the Lighting Research Centre have provided guidance on this matter.

 

Call a sign lighting professional for help fine-tuning signs at your location. Not only could it reduce your hydro bill, but it’ll ensure your sign gets noticed for the right reasons!

 

2. Get an Energy-Saving LED Retrofit

The promise of brighter, more efficient LEDs has encouraged their use in all sorts of outdoor lighting applications, including parking lot lighting and backlit signs.

 

In fact, sign manufacturers have been leaders in championing the adoption of LEDs! By the time LED lamps became widely available in the mid-2000s, we’d already been using solid-state lighting for over a decade.

 

Today, LED lighting is often the single most energy-efficient options available for commercial signage by far. LED bulbs last 25 longer and use 75% less energy than fluorescent bulbs.

 

Not ready to replace your signage outright? We can retrofit your single or double-sided sign cabinets on-site. Call us to get an LED sign retrofit quotation!

 

3. Install Illuminated Sign Controls

Chances are, you’ve got some type of automated control system for your exterior lighting already, like an on/off timer based on the time of day. But what about your illuminated signage?

 

Lighting controls have been proven to reduce lighting energy consumption by as much as 70%. If your set-up isn’t hardwired for this kind of automation, you could benefit from a wireless control system that can relay commands between signs, sensors and controllers.

 

4. Be Proactive About Maintenance

You wouldn’t wait until something goes catastrophically wrong to get your car serviced, would you? Don’t let it happen to your illuminated signage either! Preventative maintenance is crucial.

 

Treat your signage as an investment, The more you keep up with scheduled service, the longer your sign is likely to last ‒ and the less likely it is incur unexpected repair costs. Proactive maintenance could save you a lot of money over the course of its lifetime.

 

As an added bonus, Sign LITE provides our customers with our innovative Night Watch program at no extra cost! This involves a regular, after dark inspection of your location and a next day report of any locations that need attention. It’s the easiest way to identify quick repairs before unnecessary (and often costly) problems develop!

 

We repair and service outdoor electric signs for all businesses at competitive rates. Contact us to book your service appointment today!

 

5. Keep Your Sign Squeaky Clean

This is one of the simplest and fastest ways to cut your costs down a notch, Obviously, a sign that’s covered in dirt, grime and cobwebs doesn’t shine nearly as bright as it should!

 

By some estimates, cleaning up your outdoor lighting (including illuminated signage) van make them 20-30% brighter at no additional cost whatsoever.

 

Always follow the steps outlined in your sign’s maintenance manual when it comes to cleaning. Be careful, as the surface could suffer damage from certain cleaning chemicals. When in doubt, just contact a sign lighting service professional!

 

Your sign is the first impression of your business. A well-functioning, energy-efficient sign is money in the bank! To learn more about keeping your sign at its best, contact the service professionals at Sign LITE today.

 

 

 

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Danny Sullivan
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November 30, 2020
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