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Unlighted Channel Letters
"We're not open at night!" That's a common statement heard by sign companies when a customer is contemplating their new channel letter sign. It's understandable to not want to spend the extra money for a lighted sign. Keep in mind, however, the following problems with unlighted signs before you make your final decision:
The Larsen Transportation Institute at Penn State University has determined scientifically that externally lighted signs cause traffic to slow to read them, they are not as readable as internally illuminated signs, and cause traffic accidents.
The cost savings for an unlighted sign is insignificant compared to the cost of the sign. For instance, if you removed the lighting components from a 24" channel letter sign reading "FLORIST" you would save less than $500 and dramatically reduce your sign's effectiveness.
Surprisingly 30% of traffic on almost all business streets occurs when it is dark; people see your sign only if it is lighted when it is dark out, including on dark days when everyone else's sign is lighted.
With 18.6% of the entire US population moving each year, your sign will be constantly seen by MANY potentially new customers.
During a "brownout" power shortage in the State of Oregon, the State ordered that all electrical signs be extinguished. For the period of time that this advertising blackout existed, business losses were staggering. Many businesses reported as much as a 50% loss in revenue.
External Incandescent Lighting
Many "unlighted" signs are actually lighted by shining externally mounted lights on them
Incandescent (household) lamps begin disappearing in 2012, starting with the 100 watt lamp, and will be mostly gone by 2014.
The Government has mandated that all these lamps, with 22 exceptions, must begin being at least 25% more energy efficient starting in 2014, 70% more efficient by 2020.
Sign Service lamps are exempt, but these are not the type of lamps externally lighting signs.
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