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Light from Top

Posted on 2014-01-28
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Last Modified: 2014-01-31
I need to light up the sign shown below that will be completed using two sheets of fabric from this vendor http://www.bingbanners.com/graphicbanners.html.  It will need to be lit from the top on both sides.  As you can see, we are sitting at just over $80 for the fabric and I am hoping to do the light for that or even less.  Since it will be able to be plugged in at the bottom of the sign, that should help.

Assistance in finding an inexpensive resource for a light that would do this is greatly appreciated.

sign mock-up
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Question by:frugalmule
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by:viki2000
viki2000 earned 500 total points
ID: 39817013
This is not a direct answer to your question, but advices which should help.
It is not enough to find cheap lamp with strong light.
You should consider also the lifetime of the lamps and cost for changing the lamps/bulbs and the consumption.
Lately, during the last years, it is a big development in LED light sources.
I would definitely recommend to not use normal incandescent lamps, also not halogen which are strong light but with high consumption. The energy saving lamps might be a solution when they have enough power, but the best is if you invest in LED lamps.
It may be not the cheapest, but today you can get strong light with LED lamps, long lifetime (up to 50000 hours) and low electricity consumption.
What is not clear for me from the link above, how big will be your sign? Based on the area to be illuminated, you will know what lamps/projectors you need in terms of dimension, light, power and from here the price.

When you buy LED lamps you should consider few things:
- they also give heat, especially at high wattage.
- there are many LED lamps which are powered directly to the mains, meaning the electronic boards which drive the LEDs are inside the lamp close to LEDs. That is not really recommended, because the heat from LEDs affects the electronics, even if the lamp is manufactured with radiators, heat exchangers.
- I would recommend a lamp which has only the LEDs in the lamp and the power supply somewhere else, down in a box.

I tell you all these things from experience. There is a lot more, but I guess you do not need to know too many technical details.
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by:frugalmule
ID: 39817087
Thank you for your reply.  led sounds like a good option. The sign is 4 foot by 6 foot.  thank you for your help.
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viki2000 earned 500 total points
ID: 39817476
Here is a nice table for you:
http://www.energy.ca.gov/2005publications/CEC-400-2005-006/chapters_4q/6_Outdoor_Lighting_Signs.pdf

Read page 47-50.

I quote:
"
For externally illuminated signs the maximum allowed lighting power is 2.3 W/ft² times the area that is illuminated without obstruction or interference. One or more
fixtures must illuminate the sign area

"
In your case I would take 2W/ft².
With 4ftx6ft=24ft² you arrive at 48W, let's say 50W.
Then you may choose 2 LED lamps, each of 25W as maximum values.

Anything between 10-20W waterproof, outdoor, flood light, spotlight, will do it.
Have a look at some here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10W-20W-30W-50W-LED-Flood-light-Outdoor-Landscape-Lamp-/171051394078?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item27d375241e

http://www.amazon.com/Waterpoof-Outdoor-Security-Floodlight-Equivalent/dp/B006STWHE4/ref=pd_cp_hi_1
http://www.amazon.com/White-Flood-Light-Spotlight-Outdoor/dp/B007HZB4MO/ref=pd_cp_hi_3

The electronics is incorporated, but the housing is big enough to dissipate the heat.
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