CHICAGO – While the weather outside here is frightful, brand managers, marketing and advertising firms, and others developing and deploying in-store retail marketing programs huddle inside Navy Pier to find out the latest at the Shopper Marketing Expo.
LexJet is here in Booth 720, sharing our expertise and insight on producing eye-catching, effective promotional and branding programs with large-format inkjet printing. One lucky attendee will also walk away with a Canon iPF8300 inkjet printer. Not a bad deal at all.
Speaking of wide-format printing, in addition to the usual mix of display hardware, there are some notable developments in LED technology you ought to know about for lighting alternatives. Two companies – LEDCONN and Louisville Lamp Co. – are showing their LED lighting products for edge-lit and backlit large-format graphics.
For years, LEDs have been steadily gaining acceptance as an alternative lighting source, particularly in the sign industry for lighting channel letters. Just a few years ago, the only economically viable LED light source was the red LED. Since then, white LED costs have plummeted while the quality has gotten significantly better.
Moreover, LED lighting is much easier to install and service, it’s longer lasting and is more energy efficient than traditional lighting sources like fluorescent bulbs. For large-format print providers this is fantastic news because it will help sell more backlit projects to end-use customers.
LED providers like LEDCONN and Louisville Lamp have been working on viable solutions for backlit cabinets and appear to have been successful. LEDs can be used to provide different effects, from a more typical backlit to edge-lit and other halo-lit applications. And, since LEDs are tiny and compact, the cabinet profile is much slimmer, for an elegant, screen-like display.
Printing guru and Color Cossack, Tom Hauenstein, he of the infamously awesome LexJet Great Output Tour, said the one thing to look out for with LED lighting is that it’s cooler/bluer than other light sources. Therefore, it’s recommended that you test and experiment with images on the light source to see how they shift and adjust accordingly. Also, you might be able to request a warmer version of the LEDs from the manufacturer or supplier.
Other companies in the industry, like Sylvania and SloanLED, have been concentrating on the larger outdoor backlit cabinets and very close to revolutionizing this part of the sign industry as they did with channel letters (it’s estimated that most channel letter installations are now done with LEDs rather than neon).
Now is an excellent time to look into LED lighting as part of your large-format print services. The qualities and benefits of LEDs, as well as their novelty and eco-friendly aspect, provide additional opportunity and profit potential
Tomorrow, look for a Shopper Expo wrap-up on the “path to purchase,” how that path is changing with Internet media and smart phones and what it means to you.