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Home » Applications & Technologies » Lighting Applications - Signage
Applications & Technologies

Lighting Applications - Signage

LEDs are the light source of choice for electronic sign and signal applications due to their small size and robustness. In selecting LEDs for signs, the key characteristics to look for are robustness based upon environmental considerations; required visible wavelengths; output lumens per LED; and emitted beam angle from the LED (since adding additional optics may pose additional cost and/or design obstacles).

Signage Lighting Block Diagram
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This design is for reference only. The design, as well as the products suggested, has not been tested for compatibility or interoperability.

AC-DC Driver Modules for Signage Lighting Applications

An LED AC-DC Driver Module is a packaged, functional assembly of electronic components that operates as a power source/power supply that either adjusts to or provides a constant voltage or constant current for the LEDs. This is configured to be an AC branch circuit supply on the input and an AC output.

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Integrated Circuit Drivers for Signage Lighting Applications

An LED Integrated Circuit (IC) Driver is a power source/power supply that adjusts the voltage or current to LEDs, ranging in complexity from a resistor to a constant voltage or constant current power supply.

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LEDs for Signage Lighting Applications

High Power LEDs are defined as individual components that are greater than 0.20 watts (Voltage, nominal * Current, nominal). High Power LEDs have exploded in number over the last decade as new semiconductor technologies have allowed higher power densities to be obtained.

High Power LEDs are generally smaller in package size and find applications where traditional lighting sources will not fit. In addition, LEDs may consume lower power, provide longer lifetime, be more robust and can be switched On/Off at very high rates of speed.

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Thermal Protection for Signage Lighting Applications

LED lifetime is compromised by operation at higher temperatures. To protect LEDs against heat build-up, thermal substrates may be used. Thermal substrates may be attached to High-Power surface mount LEDs to provide an effective and efficient thermal passage, which reduces the exposure of the LED to high temperature. A Heat Sink is a passive component that cools a device by dissipating heat into the surrounding air by transferring thermal energy from a higher temperature to a lower temperature. By increasing surface area and/or increasing cool air flow across the surface of the component the level of heat transfer can be improved. Thermal adhesives and/or thermal greases may also be used to improve heat sink performance.

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Shunts for Signage Lighting Applications

A Shunt is a protection device which allows electric current to pass around another point in the circuit when an LED element in an LED string fails to an open circuit. This ensures the remaining string of LEDs will continue to function. There are many cases in which high reliability of the LED lighting must be maintained, such as LCD backlighting, transport lighting, avionics, intrinsically safe, and low maintenance lighting.

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