Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Illuminating His First Amendment Rights With A Programmable LED Sign


In Land O’ Lakes, Florida, a man named Jeff Griffin is in hot water after he parked a portable message board with three-second LED bursts. Much like a professionally done programmable LED sign, his LED sign showed his personal preferences for the upcoming election campaign. The sign is parked in front of Fairhaven Farm and is visible to travelers on State Road 52. Griffin, a business owner, ranch manager, family man and a Republican activist, explained that he had hoped the medium would be the message. The improvised programmable LED sign is a sample of what he and an engineer with LED manufacturing experience (the same one who made the now controversial LED sign) plan to create and eventually sell. Of course, his political preferences are just icing on top a contentious cake.

Now, Griffin is looking for a lawyer who is willing to advance his arguments—he claims the county is trampling on his First Amendment Rights. As it is, Pasco County has adopted a sign ordinance in 2002. The ordinance states that “activated signs” and “vehicle signs” are prohibited. The county responded by sending Griffin a cease-and-desist order citing his violation of the said ordinance. The man, however, is not one to easily back down. He moved the improvised programmable LED sign into the second fence line and added a disclaimer—“Jack Griffin endorses”—before the loop of candidate names he endorsed. Now it has become a battle between local ordinance and First Amendment rights.

One of the politicians endorsed by Griffin is arguing for a “reconsideration of the ordinance” citing the fact that the county itself uses programmable LED signs. Meanwhile, the man on the hot seat himself was quoted saying, “They put a bull’s eye on my back; I’m proud to wear it.”

Now that’s one man who is clearly attached to his LED sign.





Friday, December 2, 2011

Programmable LED Sign Eyed To Bring Advertising Dollars To Local High School

In our previous blogs, we shared with you stories on how a programmable LED sign can affect the dynamics of a community and even how it can affect the way we communicate while on the road.

A local high school in Nebraska is looking at bringing in local advertising dollars courtesy of a proposed programmable LED sign. York High School is entertaining a proposal from businessman George Darlington who represents a company, which provides LED signs for use in athletic venues such as school gyms. The proposed LED sign will be used as an avenue to sell ads to local sponsors for $700 to $800 with a part of the proceeds to be funneled in to support school activities.

According to the school’s Activities Director and Assistant Principal Jerry Dunn, the proposal seems “safe” for the school and it presents a “good opportunity.” He noted that while it will essentially become an advertising space situated within the school’s gym, the role of the programmable LED sign “would be minimal at best.”

Darlington’s company specializes in putting up digital boards to support local athletic programs. The businessman explained that communities who have his LED signs find that they “take pride” in what they are able to do for their local academic institution through the business generated from the signs.

The proposed programmable LED sign will have ads that change on 15-second intervals. It can also have a backlit display, which will display 30-second ads. For now, the school board is on the early voting process regarding the future of the proposed programmable LED sign.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Programmable LED Sign Gets Board Approval

Programmable LED signs do have a way of attracting attention—even the unwanted kind.

In Gurnee, Illinois, officials have finally agreed to allow the Warren Township High School to erect programmable LED signs at the entrance of the O’Plaine campus with messages changing at a 15-minute interval. The LED sign was a gift from a recent batch of alumni.

In October, the village board rejected the school’s request to put up the programmable LED sign primarily because of the distraction it posed to drivers. The fact that the 11-square-feet LED sign could be a nighttime nuisance to neighbors was also considered. The decision came after a stalemate in which board members could not agree on the length of time between changing messages. The original request had been for 10 minutes but several board members at the earlier meeting wanted 15 minutes.

The programmable LED sign in question has the ability to flash up to five varying messages in two lines of copy for a length of five seconds to 99 minutes. According to the Warren High School principal and facilities manager, programmable LED signs will be beneficial for students, faculty and the community.

For now, the controversial LED sign will be in use and its fate will be reviewed again in six months.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Do You Like Vietnamese Food?

If you have a food establishment you want advertised through a programmable LED sign, you need to be witty, creative and straight to the point. Like this:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Products On Sale!

This Holiday season, light up your homes with affordable and beautiful Christmas lights!

Set of 2 Color Changing LED 4"
Starburst Outdoor Ornaments with Silver Battery Compartments
for only $29.99


6 Figurine LED Color Changing Teddy Bear Garland
for only $9.99



Monday, November 21, 2011

Real Life LED Stories: Graphics-less Programmable LED Signs?


One of the main selling points of programmable LED signs is that you can post both text and graphics with minimal effort on your end. However, in St. Petersburg, Florida, an ordinance says that programmable LED signs can only have text, not graphics.

According to the report from ABC Action News, the owner of Northeast Animal Hospital, Dr. Mark Scribano, spent about $40,000 to put up his programmable LED sign for advertising purposes. The LED display used to show a kitty and a dog in need of dental work. Now, the LED sign only has text. It was earlier approved by the City of St. Petersburg but a new city ordinance declared graphics on programmable LED signs are not allowed because they are “distracting.” Non-compliance merits a fine.

Other affected business owners are also standing up against the ordinance. Pam Levitt had her programmable LED sign approved two years ago and she is not ready to turn off her $52,000 digital sign. A council member has expressed concerns that “St. Petersburg could look like Las Vegas” if more flamboyant signs popped up.

Based on this view, it seems programmable LED signs at St. Petersburg will remain graphics-less for some time.

Since such ordinance is beyond anyone’s control, the best thing to do is to make the most of what you have. Rather than having no programmable LED sign for your business, get creative and leverage on the power witty words can bring.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Programmable LED Signs For Your Car?

We’ve told you about the various uses and benefits of programmable LED signs—how you can use it to improve communication systems in schools, for businesses and even in churches. But have you ever thought of how a programmable LED sign might be useful for your car?

In Australia, a man named Gagandeep Singh has. He has found another way to communicate with other drivers while on the road. Instead of multiple car horns or rude hand gestures, he developed a new rear window LED system that “offers feedback to bad drivers” such as those who like to tailgate.

Singh’s very own programmable LED sign is home made out of LED lights and has pre-programmed messages such as “Driving slow!”, “Keep distance!” and “Keep right!” The LEDs (or light emitting diodes when spelled out) are spaced at 2cm intervals covering the entire rear window of his Volkswagen Polo. The space is just enough for short, two-word scrolling messages. Now for safety driving advocates, Singh says it doesn’t get in the way of his rear vision.

This daringly digital driver has more plans for his portable programmable LED sign. According to him, he is “attempting to add a Bluetooth receiver so drivers can update the LED sign via a mobile phone.” Let’s just hope he doesn’t resort to texting while driving or it’s the traffic police who’ll be tailgating his rear.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Best Places for a Programmable LED Sign

Top quality LED signs don’t come cheap, but you will notice that more and more of these digital outdoor advertising tools are popping up. That’s because a programmable LED sign is an effective advertising and marketing tool that gives instant results. In comparison to more traditional forms of advertising, LED signs have also proven to be more cost-effective in the long run as it is easier to maintain and is more durable.

Of course, purchasing a LED sign is just the beginning of the process. The next important step is to place the sign in an area where it will be most visible to the largest number of people. A programmable LED sign, no matter how vivid the colors are or how complex the animation is, will be useless in the wrong location.

As a leading supplier of these digital signs, Affordable LED shares quality tips on the best places for putting up a programmable LED sign.

1. Do not place your LED signs and digital displays on the upper part of a tall building. The higher they are from the ground, the smaller they appear, thus making them less effective in delivering your message. Putting up your programmable LED sign in a higher location is also more expensive because of the additional equipment needed to install the LED walls, so you can imagine how much money, effort, and potential business you will lose with just one wrong strategy.

2. Screen poles are LED sign-friendly. It is relatively easier and cheaper to install a programmable LED sign on screen poles. Some companies even offer the metal structure (either a single or double pole) that supports the sign up for display.

3. Trucks and other moving vehicles are also LED sign-friendly. It is also a smart advertising investment because moving vehicles reach a wider market and logistically, you will not have to worry about building permits. Plus, the space on a truck or a bus is cheaper than a space on a building. Check with local authorities for traffic laws regarding LED signs on vehicles.

4. Indoor programmable LED signs are a good way to attract customers from the inside. The additional brightness provided by the LED signs call attention and is a quick way to draw passersby to your establishment.




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Local Business Spotlight: Small Business Café Portofino Witnesses Increase in Sales Through Programmable LED Signs

Many business establishments, especially local and small businesses, take advantage of programmable LED signs to boost their sales. This is because programmable LED signs help drive traffic towards an establishment, in this case, a quaint restaurant located in Hiawassee, Georgia.

Café Portofino owner Ken Merritt has noticed an increase in its sales as people immediately began to flock the restaurant, especially during Fridays and Saturday nights. The primary reason Merritt opted for programmable LED signs is because the location is somewhat hidden, nestled somewhere in Dogwood Lane as one drives by Highway 76. The location is itself a challenge, which is why Merritt turned to non-traditional advertising tools to boost his café’s sales and visibility.

Now that the restaurant displays its products, events, and new menu items through the use of programmable LED signs and illuminated LED displays, people instantly recognized Café Portofino, even from a distance. Those driving by Highway 76 are treated to scrumptious views of Café Portofino’s best-sellers such as Chicken Marsala, Lobster Ravioli, and Filet Mignon.

Thanks to programmable LED signs, people are now aware of the existence of Café Portofino along Highway 76, despite being in existence for over two years.

This is just an example of a success story brought about by the installation of programmable LED signs and other digital signage. Programmable LED signs are invested upon by business owners because of these outdoor signs are bright, energy-efficient, and attractive. Additionally, programmable message boards have animation features that will entertain its readers, aside from the fact that these LED signs can display a variety of messages such as business hours, promotions, events, and new items.

AffordableLED.com, an online depot of LED signs, has a wide selection of programmable LED signs both for indoor and outdoor use. The California-based LED sign manufacturer also has an impressive selection of solar/garden lighting products, modules, border lighting, and illuminating LED boards.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Programmable LED Signs for Your Business

LED signs come in different technologies. Nowadays, businesses prefer to invest in programmable LED signs because they can be easily operated and programmed to perform a variety of functions and display a number of messages without being manually operated all the time. This way, establishment owners can devote more time to other aspects of their business. Programmable LED signs are manufactured in three basic types. Choosing the right type for your business is crucial for its success in bringing more customers and increased foot traffic in general.

Here are the basic types of programmable LED signs manufactured by LED manufacturers nowadays.


1. Indoor programmable LED signs – Programmable LED signs manufactured for indoor use are not as bright as those displayed outdoors or semi-outdoors. Indoor programmable LED signs are what you call a “matrix” display and are readable when displayed indoors. Because they are meant to be displayed indoors, indoor programmable LED signs are not as weatherproof as outdoor signs. They are, however, cheaper than other digital signage products.

2. Semi-outdoor programmable LED signs – Thinking about outdoor signage, semi-outdoor programmable LED signs may be a bit confusing. What differentiates it from outdoor LED signs is that these programmable LED signs are bright enough to be displayed outside, except they are not as weatherproof and durable as outdoor signs. Typically, semi-outdoor programmable LED signs can be viewed outdoors by placing them indoors, facing towards the window where passersby can easily read them.


3. Outdoor programmable LED signs –As the name suggests, these programmable LED signs are manufactured for the sole purpose of being displayed outside business establishments. Not only do they have the “lamp” display that semi-outdoor programmable LED signs have, but they can also withstand harsh temperatures and weather fluctuations. Outdoor components typically seen in these types of programmable LED signs are waterproof enclosures and outdoor rated power supplies.

What programmable LED sign you choose is up to you. You only have to make sure that it fits your objective and target your desired audience to make programmable LED signs work for you.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Benefits of Investing in Programmable LED Signs


Programmable LED signs serve a number of functions, the chief purpose of which is to advertise. While some establishments and small business owners display programmable LED signs on their windows, major advertisers and even malls, nowadays, use digital signage to promote other business establishments located in the area. Other entrepreneurs also take advantage of programmable LED signs by buying space in major traffic locations.

Programmable LED signs start at relatively low prices, especially if purchased from reputable LED sign manufacturers who offer discount and wholesale prices. This is one reason why small businesses invest in programmable LED signs. Managing programmable LED signs are also inexpensive, especially if you use it in the long run. This is because programmable LED signs are flexible, which means that they can be programmed to operate only for a certain time and messages can be modified at will. Additionally, programmable LED signs offer a number of animations. Owners can choose among scrolling, twisting, zooming, and other types of brilliant movements to keep the readers entertained.

To operate programmable LED signs, one simple tip is to plug-and-play the digital signage as soon as setting the mount. With the right instructions, you can immediately start increasing brand awareness among your customers. Of course, to get programmable LED signs going, a computer must be available so the signage can be operated remotely. Through the help of a computer, programmable LED signs can be pre-programmed at different times to display a variety of messages with an assortment of animations. By doing so, specific audiences are being targeted directly throughout the day.


Aside from programmable LED sign’s animation features, owners can also maximize its usage indoors or outdoors. Outdoor programmable LED signs are also manufactured to withstand not only harsh temperatures but vandalisms as well. Because of the LED technology, readers from hundreds of meters away can easily read the message displayed in programmable LED signs. Some manufacturers also offer the option of displaying the time, temperature, and date functions.

Programmable LED signs are not only beneficial for businesses in terms of marketing purposes, but these products are also energy efficient and long-lasting, with a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Back to Basics: More LED Sign Vocabularies

By this time, readers are already aware of what LED stands for. LED, or light emitting diode, is the main source of light for LED signs, a marketing tool that is said it to be the future of advertising. There are many factors in LED signs that operators and owners need to know. Additionally, these elements will largely determine what should be displayed in an establishment. Here are some of the most common terms you will encounter should you purchase a LED sign or already own one.

1. Degradation – Degradation is when a LED sign begins to lose 20% of its brightness, which often occurs during the first 2 to 3 months of usage, or a total of 2000 hours of use. A LED diode’s degradation after that slows down, so slow that it is unnoticeable to the human eye, and eventually dies after 100,000 hours of operation.

2. LED Diode Density – The density of LED diodes reflects the general performance of a LED sign. Generally speaking, the more LED diodes per unit area, the brighter a LED sign will operate, thus giving better performance.

3. Matrix Resolution – The matrix resolution basically defines how many pixels are available on the LED sign. For example, an LED sign with a 320x480 resolution means that there are 480 pixels from side to side and 320 pixels from the top to the bottom. A higher matrix resolution will yield better performance, giving images a better display.

4. Pitch – Pitch is the measurement of a pixel’s center to the next. The pitch is the main factor in determining the LED sign’s resolution. Smaller, tighter pitches will give you more pixels per unit area, thus providing a better resolution.

5. Pixel – Short for “picture element”, pixels are the image components of a LED sign’s overall resolution. More pixels equate to higher resolution which in turn produces a greater picture quality. Grayscale or monochrome LED signs have one or more LED diodes of the same color while color LED displays have LED diodes of different colors or a single diode with semi-conductor chips that emit light with different colors.

6. Viewing Angle – Diodes emit either a single, narrow beam or a wider array just like a bulb. High-beam diodes produce a narrow angle, focusing on a single spot whereas wide angle diodes have a wider range of light across a horizon.

These are the most common LED sign jargons you will encounter when choosing a LED sign. Knowing what these terms mean will help you decide the type of LED sign that is appropriate for your business.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tips on Finding Cheap LED Sign Deals

You’ve seen them everywhere. Whether it’s at your favorite coffee shop, along the road, in front of the church or the school—LED signs are everywhere. It is the latest in digital outdoor advertising and for good reason. It is relatively more eco-friendly, it’s effective, it’s durable, and it’s cost efficient. However, even with the proliferation of LED sign manufacturers both online and offline, finding a good and cheap LED sign deal can still be a tricky process. Here are some simple tips to make every penny count when it comes to purchasing your own LED sign for your business.

1. Decide on your desired specification. Installing a LED sign is not as easy as just buying one and hanging it outside your store. You have to know how big you want it to be and where you want it placed. Keep in mind some key factors when making this decision. Outdoor LED signs have to be brighter to compensate for ambient lighting from the sun. When it comes to color, you have several options. You can have it in single color or multi-color, animated or stationary and you also have to decide how many lines your LED sign needs and whether or not you want to incorporate graphics. You can also have a programmable LED sign which will allow you to change and update the message on the screen as often and as quickly as you want. If this is all too complicated for you, you can buy ready-made LED signs which are generally cheaper.

2. Shop around. This is easier to do online. Once you have your list of specifications, you can start looking around for your LED sign supplier. Some of the factors you can take into consideration, aside from price of course, should be product warranty, mounting mechanism, cables and power supply, software (for programmable LED signs) and after purchase customer services available.

3. Buy second-hand. If you are really on a tight business budget, you can look for shops using LED signs that are about to close and offer to purchase their used signage for a discounted price. Just make sure to ask how long the sign has been used and about any maintenance and repair issues. If it’s cheap but too worn out, consider investing in a brand new LED sign from a reputable supplier or you might end up spending more for constant repairs.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

LED Sign Projects: Building a Large LED Sign

Earlier in this blog, we taught you how to produce your own LED sign with six simple steps. While that activity centered on creating small to medium-sized LED signs for your business, this time we offer you a larger DIY LED sign project – creating a large LED sign . Large LED signs are guaranteed to help attract potential customers’ attention or simply give your business added exposure. This may be moderately challenging but here are the steps to making your own large LED sign.

1. Prepare the following materials:
a. Poster board
b. Hole punch
c. Scissors
d. Craft knife
e. LED light bulbs
f. 22-gauge wire
g. Switch
h. 4 AA Batteries and holder
i. Wire cutters
j. Soldering iron and solder
k. Glue
l. Pencil

2. On a sheet of a poster board, draw out the shape of your large sign. Use illustrations, lettering, and art. Define the areas that will be lit by the LED light bulbs and then cut the sign’s borders out from the poster board.
3. Using small circles, draw the areas inside the shapes and lettering that will be lit by the LEDs and cut these areas out using a hole punch. The circles should be smaller than the LEDs and can be spaced accordingly but should fill out the areas inside the letters and illustrations on the sign.
4. Apply glue around the opening of each hole and push a LED firmly through the front of the sign. Do this for all the holes, filling them with the appropriate LEDs at the right spot.


5. Connect all the positives to positives and negatives to negatives using a soldering iron and solder them to secure them in place. A piece of wire can be used to bridge connections for wider gaps.
6. At the back of the sign, attach the battery holder for the AA and the switch. To make a complete circuit, the battery holder’s negative post should be soldered to the negative LED wiring while the battery holder’s positive post should be connected to the negative end of the switch. The positive end of the switch should be connected to the positive wiring of the LEDs.
7. Place the AA batteries then into the battery holder and flip the switch to turn it on.

Creating a large LED sign on your own is definitely cheaper. For a more professional looking LED sign, check out AffordableLED.com’s wide selection of LED signs for indoor and outdoor use. AffordableLED.com also offers programmable LED signs, business hour signs, open LED signs, and writable LED signs.