Archive for November, 2011

Another Bright Idea – Sign Company Uses Green Lighting

CNP Signs & Graphics take advantage of SDG&E Business Savings ProgramAs a sign manufacturer, CNP Signs & Graphics has had more than its share of bright ideas over the past 60 years.  None of them, however, has been quite as illuminating as removing 207 light fixtures from their production floor this past month. 

CNP Operations Manager Bob Lenzini explains the move as part of an SDG&E Energy Efficiency Business Incentives program to replace older fixtures.  “For a total cost to the company of $373, we will save over $21,000 this year alone,” says Lenzini.  How’s that for a great return on investment while going green and helping the environment?

CNP Signs & Graphics has several departments in their San Diego manufacturing facility including sheet metal, welding, painting, plastics, shipping and more.  Each area had from half a dozen to several dozen of the old Magnetic ballast fixtures that took 96” inch fluorescent tubes.   Those lights lit up the production floor from early morning until the last worker left late in the evening. 

Today there are the same number of fixtures hanging above the work areas of CNP.  However, the new fixtures are half the size of the old ones – at 4 feet, and they have a couple of other interesting features.  The new ballasts are electronic and much more energy efficient.  The bulbs for the new fixtures are T5.  These replace the old T12. 

Ever wonder what “T” stands for? Tubular.  The number after the “T” is the size of the light measured in 8ths of an inch.  So the T5 bulbs are much smaller, yet are 51% more efficient.  They also produce a better quality of light.  Measured in CRI (Color Rendering Index) the T12 produced about 62CRI, while the new T5 bulbs rated an astounding 85CRI.  And the lumens?  Forget about it.  The T5 outshine the old T12 by 103 LPW (lumens per watt) to a mere 78 LPW.

Of course, as a sign company, this kind of technical data is right up our channel lettering, but Shop Foreman John Murphy put it a bit more clearly when he said “you’ve almost got to wear sunglasses out there.”

A final note on those smart lights – they have motion sensors to know when workers are in the area.  No motion, no light – no light, lower electric bills.   As Bob Lenzini says, “it’s great when making the company greener also makes it more profitable.”

Murals of La Jolla

Murals of La Jolla Image above La Jolla Cove

Public art on a grand scale now accentuates the natural beauty of the La Jolla Cove and other locations in the downtown area of this tony beachside community. “Brain Cloud” and “53 Women”, the 4th and 5th art pieces of the series, have recently been installed as part of an effort to beautify and bring attention to the arts by the La Jolla Community Foundation.

The Murals of La Jolla project is the most visible enterprise for the Foundation, whose charter directs them toward “improving the atmosphere, ambience, and cultural lifestyle of La Jolla”. The scope for Murals of La Jolla encompasses up to 12 large format art pieces either painted directly on the walls of local businesses, or printed and stretched across frames erected on the buildings. The remainder of the art projects will be installed over the next year in the La Jolla business area.

Installation of these very large pieces (Brain Cloud, by John Baldessari for instance is 36 ft. by 40 ft.) was a challenge for CNP Signs & Graphics, the San Diego-based firm that provided the expertise for printing and installing the pieces. Instead of simply hanging a printed banner, the art is being stretched across aluminum frames that hold the 15 oz. vinyl taut, flattening the artwork and creating a more finished look.

A normal building installation would not be a problem for the 7o year-old sign manufacturing and design firm, but access to the building was restricted to a steep staircase coming up from the La Jolla Cove. The 40-foot roll of canvas weighing nearly 600 pounds needed to be man-handled from street level up the staircase before it could be attached to rooftop hauling systems that lifted the canvas into place.

Artist Baldessari, whose roots are here in San Diego, created the whimsical “Brain Cloud” which pictures a floating brain-shaped cloud over an idyllic San Diego beach scene. His intention was to create a shift to our perceptions of the world around us.

Both “Brain Cloud” and “53 Women” are printed on vinyl and then stretched over aluminum frames installed on the building sides. The frames will remain in place over time, but according to the La Jolla Community Foundation, the pieces themselves may change as new works are commissioned.

The frames installed by CNP Signs & Graphics will endure for some time as they are made of extruded aluminum and painted with Matthews Acrylic Polyurethane to protect the system from harmful UV rays and corrosion. This protective coating means the frames can survive maintenance free for years, if not decades.

For more information on the art installations, visit the Murals of La Jolla website. For more information on public art projects, signs and sign installation, contact CNP Signs & Graphics.