Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scrolling LED Sign: Playing an Active Part in DOE’s Energy Action Month

What are you doing to save the environment?

This question might not be an interesting one but it is very relevant to each one of us today. We at AffordableLED are proud to say that we offer energy-saving scrolling LED sign for businesses that are attractive and effective at the same time. With the heart-breaking damages of Hurricane Sandy still visible in New York and the other parts of the East Coast, all of us are hopefully awaken that the wrath of climate change is for real.

The Department of Energy has marked October as the Energy Action Month as a support to President Obama’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future. In line with DOE’s call to action for saving energy, water and money of the American taxpayers, Cree, Inc. has published an infographic to help spreading the message.

Here are some fast facts from the said infographic on the savings potential of the LED technology:

  • -- LED lighting has the potential to cut U.S. lighting energy consumption by 19% in 2020

  • -- By 2030, the energy savings it has created could rise up to 46%

  • -- The estimated energy savings the year 2030 is said to be the equivalent of powering 24 million homes in the U.S. for an entire year

  • -- The majority of the energy consumption in the country is generated from commercial use

  • -- LED lighting is expected to represent 36% of lumen-hour sales in 2020

  • -- The expected lumen-hour sales of LED lighting fixtures is to increase to 74% by 2030

  • -- A significant increase in market penetration for LED lighting is foreseen as lamps and luminaries achieve their expected efficiency, lifetime and price targets

  • -- In 2030, the annual energy savings from the increased LED lighting penetration is estimated to be 300 Terawatt-Hours. This is equivalent to the annual electricity output of 1,000-megawatt power plants and to $ 30 billion worth of savings in that year alone

  • -- The same energy savings can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 210 million metric tons of carbon. This decreased amount of carbon emissions is equivalent to 86 billion gallons of gasoline emissions as well as electrical emissions from 96 million homes. Removing 150.9 million cars from the road can also create the same amount of savings from greenhouse gas emissions.

THE BOTTOMLINE: Over the 20-year analysis made by the Department of Energy, the cumulative site energy savings are estimated to total approximately 2,700 terawatt-hours. This translates to $ 250 billion in today’s energy prices.  

Do your part in creating this energy savings by switching to LED lighting fixtures for your businesses. Investing on a scrolling LED sign and other energy-efficient advertising signage is also one of the most practical business decisions you can make. Start helping to keep our planet livable by saving on electrical costs today. AffordableLED offers several LED advertising solutions that will surely fit your needs.

For more information on this study, view the infographic below.

Photo Credit: Mother Nature Network

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Golden Energy Saver: 50 Years of LED Technology and Many More For Shaping A Better Future

How does it feel to be 50?

If the LED technology could only talk, we’d certainly love to ask that. October marks the 50th Anniversary of the LED light technology that gave birth to scrolling LED sign, elevator lights and the OLED technology used in automobiles today. With the many innovations born out of the tiny red light bulb, we are surely on the right path to better energy efficiency that could save our planet.

When we wrote the 11 Points You Should Know About the LED Technology History in September, the golden anniversary of this much celebrated technology was still bleak. Our previous article was more of retelling how LED technology came to life.

Today, we are taking this opportunity to pay tribute to the father the LED, Nick Holonyak, Jr. and celebrate what lies ahead not only for this particular technology but its peripheral effects to others.

“I know that I’m just at the front end but I know the result is so powerful…” Holonyak said. “…there’s no ambiguity about the fact that this has got a life way beyond what we’re seeing.”

We at AffordableLED, couldn’t agree more with this great man that has made a positive difference in our daily lives. For the 50th Anniversary of his brainchild, Dr. Nick Holonyak took the time to share his joys in the video below. 

Nick Holonyak, Jr. was born on November 3, 1928 at Zeigler, Illinois in Chicago to Ukranian parents. He is the first member of his family to receive any formal education. Pursuing academic studies was a decision he pursued after working at the Illinois Central Railroad for 30 hours straight. The experience made him realize that a life of hard labor is not the life he intends to lead.

It was in 1962 when Dr. Holonyak invented a visible LED that had a practical use. He worked as a consulting scientist for General Electric Company at that time in Syracuse, New York. Since then, he was called the father of the light-emitting diode (LED).

Got any birthday messages for the LED technology?

Share your greetings, questions and well-wishes with us by leaving a comment below.

Happy 50th Anniversary to the LED Technology!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Digital Signage in Campuses and Best Practices You Can Apply Today

Still wondering how the Jetson kids went to school?

Though the popular cartoon series in the 90s has long said goodbye to its audiences, it is only today that we get a feel of how they lived in the future. Technology continues to be more sophisticated day by day. With that, a scrolling LED sign can be used in many different ways other than just advertising.

Academic institutions in the United States and all over the world have joined in the digital signage bandwagon as well. Digital Signage Today has shared an infographic with facts and information that shed light on this new inventive means of communication in campuses.  

Where do colleges and universities use digital signage?

  • -- Community information
  • -- Room schedules
  • -- Advertising network
  • -- Interactive whiteboard
  • -- Digital menu boards
  • -- Interactive kiosks
  • -- Entertainment networks
  • -- Campus events
  • -- Video walls
  • -- Video scoreboard

With the growing patronage and use of the digital signage platform in school campuses, here are some fast facts on digital campuses that shaping how students learn and use technology today:

  • -- By 2015, the growth of interactive flat panel display use for educational purposes is expected to increase to 22% worldwide and 47% in the U.S.
  • -- The global spending on IT hardware for education is expected to double by 2015
  • -- 2,200 North American campuses were expected to deploy digital signage systems in 2011. There has been a great increase from 1,500 noted in 2010
  • -- 13,000 units of digital displays were expected to be utilized in 2011. There was a significant increase from the 8,400 noted the previous year

How is a digital signage used by academic institutions?

Digital signage networks are mainly used for mass notification that happens real-time since messages on this digital technology is easy to create and edit. According to the infographic, 22% of schools use digital signage for that purpose and 47% more are planning to deploy the same mass communication channel in their campuses.

Using a digital signage within the school premises is no different than making use of this cutting edge technology for your restaurant or retail store. A white paper produced by NEC Unified Solutions, Inc. shares 10 helpful tips and guidelines on digital signage use:

1.      Centralization is important. Management and administration of digital signage systems should shared by authorized users.
2.      Automate content to be able to function even without a network connection.
3.      In creating the content, make use of an application that supports various rich media types including MPEG, AVI, JPEG, GIF and MP3 to name a few
4.      Scheduling the release and recall of content can keep the platform focused which will allow the audience to take notice and understand the information better
5.      Create a documentation scheme or protocol to make content accessible for re-runs or future use if needed
6.      Templates are timesavers. Having an easy to follow outline could reduce time spent in creating content
7.      Update platform sponsors and advertisers regularly through well-written reports
8.      Allow multiple individuals to have access to varying roles and responsibilities based on predefined access controls
9.      The building management as well as the content stakeholders should work hand in hand in order to maximize viewer experience
10.  Digital signage solution should delight others!

For more practical tips on using a digital signage, learn from the practices employed by college campuses by downloading the white paper here

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Digital Signage Innovation: BMW Installs Interactive Communication Kiosks in Italy Showrooms

Photo Credit: Digital Signage Today

BMW dealerships in Italy have recently gone all out in going digital.

With the help of digital signage industry players, the German brand has continued on to embody luxury by change paper point-of-sale displays with high-end interactive digital signage kiosks. BMW teamed up with multimedia designer Excogitare and the digital signage solutions friendlyway to carry out this innovation.

The new BMW digital communication system was strategically positioned in key dealership locations across Italy. This resulted to 100 installations of totems in the chosen showrooms. Each friendlyway kiosk features a dynamic digital content that aims to strengthen BMW’s branding proposition and engage prospective buyers during critical purchase decision points.

According to a representative of BMW’s Financial Services (FS), they had their eyes on innovating. And the friendlyway totem solution proposed by Excogitare is a sure fit to what they were aiming at which was described as “a robust and well designed unit that is easy to use and allows customers to get the information instantly.”  The digital solution now employed by BMW in their dealerships in Italy also has printed copies of brochures for customers.

Klaus Trox, CEO and founder of friendlyway said, “BMW FS asked for a ‘plug-and-play’ solution.” As a result, totems for the project were fitted with pre-installed software from the digital signage solutions company. Each unit only requires electrical connection and internet access to function as desired.

Alex Curti, networks and communications engineer of Excogitare, shed light to the functioning of the digital kiosks as he said: “The system is a mix interactive and one-way communication content.” He also adds that the totem is displaying information as a screen saver when not in use. But when customers stand in front, proximity sensors bring each kiosk to life and ready for use.

According to Trox, content used by BMW’s digital communication system makes use of content that are hosted as a service. Updating of content can be done remotely in a matter of minutes with utmost convenience allowing the Financial Services of BMW to offer fresh and relevant information to prospective buyers in real time and at a lower cost.

Are you also using in store digital signs in innovative ways?

Let us know of your technology by leaving a comment below.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Digital Signage Menu Boards: Changing the Food Service Industry

Every aspect of our lives has been touched by technology.

Our forefathers might have not imagined the changes brought about by the internet and other inventions that linked our time to theirs.

The food service industry has its fair share of using cutting edge technology today. Aside from the tools utilized to prepare food, sophisticated ways of presenting them as well as the business is also available now. Digital menu boards and scrolling LED signs pioneer the concept of interactive advertising for food service companies. Many fast food companies, cafes and bars among other food establishments have embraced these technologies and are continuously reaping the rewards of their investment that grow their respective ventures.

According to the infographic published by Digital Signage Today, here are the top benefits of having a digital menu board in your restaurant:

  1. -- Centralized control of menu board content
  2. -- Better pricing flexibility
  3. -- Less expensive menu changes
  4. -- Increased customer satisfaction
  5. -- Increased sales of promotional items
  6. -- Improved operational efficiency
  7. -- Better compliance with menu labeling laws
  8. -- Higher check averages
  9. -- Increased sales of high margin items
  10. -- Improved order accuracy
  11. -- Increased foot traffic
  12. -- Higher margin per transaction

The visual also provided these fast facts about the fast food services industry:
·         70% of sales made by quick service restaurants come from drive-thru purchases
·         27.3% of restaurants that have digital menu boards employ the same equipment
·         It takes anywhere between 7 and 12 months on the average to recover the investment made on digital menu boards
·         Digital menu boards brought about an average increase in sales of 1 to 3% for restaurants that have this feature. In more general terms, businesses with digital menu boards enjoy an increase in sales of not more than 3%.

Special Feature: Digital menu boards can help restaurants provide calorie counts to their customers

Under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, food establishments with over 20 locations are required by the government to publish calorie count on menus and menu boards for standard item offerings. The policy affected more or less 200,000 establishments. However, this ruling was able to help the 71% of adults who are trying to eat healthier meals.  

For more information on digital menu boards, take a look at the informative infographic below.

Top 12 Benefits of Digital Menu Boards [Infographic]
Top 12 Benefits of Digital Menu Boards [Infographic]
Compliments of Digital Signage Today

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Interactive Shopping Display by Adidas and How Your Business Can Survive Without It – Just Yet

Photo Credit: Gigaom.com

A touch screen scrolling LED sign is not unimaginable after all.

Adidas takes the spotlight on innovation initiatives as its fully functional virtual store in Germany goes for a six-week pilot run.

According to Digital Signage Today, customers can shop seamlessly by using the intuitive touch screen window display and their smartphones where the actual purchase transaction can be carried out. The life-size display products can be manipulated by shoppers for further exploration and play.

The process of real time interactive shopping begins with the user visiting of a URL in their mobile phones. Once users have accessed the online platform, a one-time PIN is required in order to be connected to the virtual shopping interface and shopping bag. Adidas goods placed inside the shopping cart automatically appears on the shopper’s smartphone.

Sharing of purchases through social networking platforms, social media sites and emails can be done with this inventive shopping concept of Adidas. Customers are also allowed to shelf their product choices for future purchase. Interaction with the digital mannequin to make them move or perform playful actions can be done through hotspot access points on the virtual screen.

If following the lead of Adidas when it comes to product display is not for you, here are two great investments that you should consider maximizing the exposure of your products when shoppers pay you a visit:

Display racks come in various forms. These fixtures are specifically meant to showcase your products not only in your retail shop also when you participate in exhibits, trade shows, fairs and other out-of-store selling activities. Plastic, sheet metal and acrylic are three of the most common materials used in making display stands.

In choosing pieces for your store, it is best to look at several considerations before proceeding with any purchase. A store’s interior design as well as company branding can have a considerable effect on store display preferences.

Apart from where you place the goods to be sold, having a good lighting system within the store is also necessary. Proper illumination can work well in highlighting your products. This will hopefully allow your customers to see your products in a different light that leads to the check out counter.

Find the latest news on lighting and digital signage innovations here AffordableLED.com


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

LED of the Future: IKEA Moving Towards Selling LED Lighting Only by 2016

Photo Credit: IKEA
IKEA once again strengthens their commitment to care for its customers and the environment. Though not in the form of a scrolling LED sign, the company strives to create a better life for many people by offering not only quality products but also those that make a difference like environment-friendly ones.

On October 1st, The Swedish global brand announced their plan to solely offer LED lighting fixtures by 2016. This can be seen as the continuation of their efforts to provide customers more energy-efficient bulbs that are great alternatives to commonly used lighting sources. In 2010, the home furnishing company began initiatives to phase out incandescent bulbs.  The effort is in support of the LED light revolution.

As IKEA vies to be the first US home furnishing retailer to exclusively sell LED lighting fixtures, they hope to set an example to set a green example to the industry.

“LED is a light revolution.” says Steve Howard, IKEA Group’s Chief Sustainability Officer. He continues,”… a small LED bulb can have a very big impact. It uses much less energy than a traditional bulb and brings a lot of home furnishing potential to the home.” Howard also stressed IKEA’s strong belief in sustainability. According to him, the company believes that everyone should be given a chance to lead a sustainable lifestyle at home.

In line with IKEA’s efforts to promote green lighting, the company is also set to change over a million lighting fixtures used by their stores. LED lights and other efficient lighting resources will be used as replacements. The initiative began with IKEA’s symbolic giving of LED bulbs to their 130,000 employees.

AffordableLED is one with IKEA in seeking to provide customers with better lighting alternatives by offering products that utilize the LED technology. Visit AffordableLED.com for attractive LED signs and other digital signage solutions that will deliver greater energy savings for your business.