Archive for the ‘Lighting’ Category

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.”

A Really Green Sign

Folks around the sign business are all a-buzz with the latest green technology keywords: Recycled is a big one, so is LED.  The cost savings and ecological benefits of these techniques are plain to see.   Recently, however, a new truly green sign was unveiled  by the Coca-Cola Company. 

A Truly Green Sign

Measuing 60 feet by 60 feet, the billboard helps rid the environment of pollutants by using recycled materials to cradle thousands of Fukien tea plants which filter the ambient air around the sign.   “This billboard helps alleviate air pollution within its proximate areas as it can absorb a total of 46,800 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, on estimate.” says Botanish Anthony Gao.  Each tea plant is capable of removing over 12 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year’s time.  Of course, old Coke bottles were used as recycled planters for each of the 3600 plants.

Fed by drip irrigation, also known as micro-irrigation, the signage system utilizes a highly efficient watering system which also saves in needed fertilizer by allowing the water to slowly trickle down to the roots of the plants. 

Now if only the energy produced by the Fukien tea plants could be used to power some LED lights, and shine the glory of eco-signmaking into the night, we would really be in green heaven.  Until then, read the full story here, or call your friendly CNP Signs & Graphics representative for the next best thing to plant-powered signs.

LA Drops Plans to Tighten Restrictions on Business Signs

LA businesses and the signs industry have won an important fight against harsh restrictions and fines considered by the City of Los Angeles, reports the Los Angeles Business Journal this morning.  The rules were considered by many business owners to be excessive – fines for a violation of a sign measuring 20 x 20 were proposed to be $6,000 for the first violation, $12,000 for the second, and $24,000 for the third. 

Instead the city is considering a proposal from business groups and the sign industry to levy a fee on all business owners with sign permits. The money would go to hire more inspectors to target thousands of business signs without permits, writes the Journal.

As we noted in the CNP Signs & Graphics blog months ago, the changes proposed by the City were highly restrictive. “The City of Los Angles wanted outdoor pole signs reduced from 42 feet to 25 feet,”  says Roy Flahive of CNP Signs & Graphics, a national sign company located in San Diego, CA.  “The signage allotment for a piece of property would have been reduced from 4 sq feet to 1 sq foot, per lineal foot of frontage, and it would have reduced monument signs by half.”

The new fees levied against businesses with legal signs will go toward hiring new inspectors.  These inspectors will be targeting the large number of illegal signs in the City.  Some estimates of illegal signage are up to 50% of all signs in the incorporated area. Business groups and anti-sign activists can agree on one thing – the illegal signs add to the problem of clutter and excessive ambient light.