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Lightbulb Moment

Faux neon LED presents a new-school approach for an 
old-school look.




ALTHOUGH AUTHENTIC NEON signs still convey a vintage or classic feeling, faux neon LED signs are gaining in popularity. With advantages such as low-voltage input, programmable and color-changing patterns, light maintenance loads and more, faux neon captures that old-school feeling, but with a modern edge. And though few old-school neon applications top theater marquees, Signs by Crannie (Flint, MI) specified faux neon LED to radiate neon’s classic, red-orange glow.

Throwback Thursday

Signs by Crannie’s faux neon LED project was a throwback, a redevelopment of a 1930’s-style theater marquee. The Crannie team recreated the new artwork through CorelDRAW, which was later converted into SAi EnRoute for cutting on a MultiCam router. They designed a push-thru acrylic letter for the “Capitol” and “Now Playing” façade letters, and backed them with AgiLight LEDs and power supplies, as well as flashers/chasers from Great Lakes Sign Products. Signs by Crannie finalized the project with SloanLED FlexiBRITE on the ends of “Capitol” and on the marquee’s twin Watchfire Signs displays. “The landmark was carefully disassembled, measured, patterned and copied by our professional team of craftsmen that took great pride in recreating this historic work of art,” Signs by Crannie President Dan Crannie said.

It’s a Pink Out

Ruggles Sign’s (Versailles, KY) client provided the initial design concept of “Pink Beauty,” which Ruggles adapted using CorelDRAW, SAi FlexiSIGN and EnRoute. Choosing TruCast Fluorescent Red 9095 Acrylic faux neon, “The sign came together quite nicely with a combination of fastening, industrial adhesive application and soldering,” said Brad Turpin, Jr., Ruggles’ operations manager. That combination included translucent pink vinyl from Avery Dennison, Bitro Group’s TRACER X 4000K Ribbon LEDs, and Bitro’s OpticsPRO and BANTAM Plus 4000K LEDs. Ruggles trimmed up 150 of the signs in a short amount of time.


A Sign In 16 Days

Signs by Van (Salinas, CA) installed Stonies Taphouse and Bistro’s 2-in.-thick dimensional letters onto a 35-ft., LED-wrapped monument during the peak of COVID-19. Using products including GLLS’ Vivid Contour flexible LED, DUNA-USA’s CORAFOAM HDU, and SCM Group’s morbidelli m100/200f CNC router helped the shop complete their design and install in just 16 days, right before the restaurant’s reopening. “My team has been doing this for a long time and that gives us a major advantage against our competitors,” said Signs by Van Owner Jeremy Vanderkraats. “Having the ability to manufacture and test everything in-house is a game changer.”

For Mo’ Faux

This sign by Metro Sign & Awning (Tewksbury, MA) for customer Trillium used GLSS flex tube positioned inside 6-in. aluminum channel letters with multiple-color capability. An update this year will provide independent control and give each letter its own color. (For more on faux neon LED, click here.)

Regal Design

Ramsay Signs (Portland, OR) ventured way out of its home state when designing and installing faux neon LED signage for the Benders Landing Regal Cinema in Spring, TX. For one of Regal’s largest locations, Ramsay Signs linked up with architect David Breedlove of RLS Design Group (Birmingham, AL). Autodesk Revit software, France Lighting Solutions Fast-Pak power supplies and products from Celestial Lighting helped take some of the stress off this job, according to Ramsay Signs Owner Joe Gibson.




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The Sign Industry Podcast is a platform for every sign person out there — from the old-timers who bent neon and hand-lettered boats to those venturing into new technologies — we want to get their stories out for everyone to hear. Come join us and listen to stories, learn tricks or techniques, and get insights of what’s to come. We are the world’s second oldest profession. The folks who started the world’s oldest profession needed a sign.

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