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Illuminating Signs with Solar For Advertising And Marketing

SEPCO 12/4/12 9:30 AM
Illuminating Signs with Solar For Advertising And Marketing

Solar power systems can be used for many applications; however, one application that is overlooked is how solar can be used to power signs that utilize internal illumination. This means the sign has LEDs mounted inside a sign cabinet, and there are usually no flood fixtures. The LEDs come from various sources, typically from Sloan LED, Principal LED, or Hanley LED Solutions, but there are many other manufacturers out there that specialize in this form of lighting. However, when there is no AC power at the sign’s installation location, how do you power the LEDs? This is where a solar solution can come in handy.


Solar for Internal Signs

These internal signs can be installed for businesses, schools, hospitals, government offices, and even churches. These signs are used for advertising a location and providing additional information, such as addresses, operation times, etc. The signs are standardly built with a box with an acrylic front that contains the company's information or channel letters that will need illumination from behind.


Vision Sign Solar Power System


The solar power assembly will not affect how these types of signs operate. The signs combine solar power with current sign-building techniques, therefore requiring no special modification to existing signs or major changes to signs currently in production. Sometimes, the LEDs may need to be modified to accommodate the solar power assembly’s operational constraints.


How the Solar Works

The solar panel provides power generated by the sun and stores it inside the battery assembly. The battery assembly then runs the lights at night to shine through.


Like with any other standard light, the system provides a 12 or 24 VDC output to the LED modules. No AC power is provided at the sign, and the AC power supplies that are typically installed are removed. Many times, a DC-to-DC converter will hold a steady 12 or 24 VDC to the LED modules if they are not equipped with a constant current board. Sometimes the converter is a step down from 24 VDC to 12 VDC when required.


Texas Trust Solar Sign Lighting System


The solar mounts on a pole nearby the sign installation location facing directly south with no shading. This allows the solar to capture the most sunlight while not constrained by the installation location. This is also perfect for installations where the sign is in the shade or odd location.


On occasion, there are abilities to mount the solar power assembly on top of the sign and store the batteries inside the cabinet. This style of installation is rare and only available in areas with no snowfall. This also halves the amount of solar insolation available and doubles the size of the solar.



Benefits of Illuminating Signs with Solar Power Systems

There are many cost benefits to illuminating signs with solar power systems, especially for internal signs. The biggest cost saver; the sign does not require the infrastructure it takes to connect to electric lines as a power source, nor is there a monthly power bill from the energy company. Because of that, these sun-charged illuminated signs are quickly gaining in popularity.


There are also practical benefits to utilizing solar for powering internally illuminated signs. These signs can be installed in very remote locations where grid connections are not able to be extended or are too complicated or expensive. One of the best examples is a median on a busy roadway. Solar is a great solution to provide power to these locations and reduce installation costs of bringing in grid power.


South Texas Medical Internally Illuminated Sign with Solar Power


Solar sign lights can also be utilized for many other purposes, including advertising and marketing. They could be used to illuminate signs at schools or municipal buildings to announce upcoming events past regular hours. A Realtor can even use the signs to give an edge over the competition by illuminating a sign to advertise a house for sale beyond normal daylight hours.


The utilization of the sun as an energy source is also an important marketing signal to potential businesses or clients. It shows an entity's willingness to take responsibility for its energy footprint. Putting the sun to work for you by utilizing solar energy represents a sustainable and renewable energy commitment from your organization, and your customers will be appreciative.


As you can see, there are many reasons to look at utilizing solar for your internal sign lighting project. It is a great way to provide power to the LEDs without compromising the sign’s design and operation. It also projects an overall green image while also keeping some green in your pocket. Definitely a win-win.


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