Posts Tagged ‘led sign’

LED Message Centers Are Not TVs

It is true, the latest version of color LED message centers produce TV quality pictures, but please don’t think of them as TVs during your buying process. There are many possibilities to consider to protect yourself from making a bad purchase. It is not as easy as just comparing specifications. There are many factors needing to be addressed by a seasoned LED sign professional to insure a quality installation and years of  profit producing use. Please remember a sign is an outdoor product that must be engineered and constructed to withstand: UV rays, heat, cold, water and wind damage. Not the sort of challenges experienced by a wide-screen TV. What do you think?

A recent incident reminded me of some of the heartache when the wrong message center is purchased. We were contacted by a business owner who had purchased a very inexpensive LED unit a couple of years ago. The sign never worked properly, it has been very difficult to program and when programmed the text would only work in red monochrome mode even though she had invested in a full color unit. We will offer her a high quality domestic unit to replace her problem unit. It is sad to see someone have to go through this kind of experience but it is not uncommon.

Following are some words to the wise to keep you from making a “bad purchase”.

1. SPECIFICATIONS DO LIE………we have experienced prospects who say “The other company’s specs are as good or better than yours”. For those who purchase an off shore EMC (Electronic Message Center), the specs do lie. The pixel pitch (resolution) turns out to be a lie. The LED’s are driven too hard, as in extra electrical current being forced into the sub par LED’s to make them bright enough causing extra heat. Heat is the main enemy of LED’s and will cause a rapid deterioration and eventual failure. The software is a nightmare to use and even when an adequate level of proficiency is achieved it still only has basic capabilities. Images are not crisp. Colors are not produced well. The sign cannot be automatically dimmed causing a sign that is too bright at night. The sign is not waterproof over a long period of time. There are hundreds of feet of wiring and connectors that will begin to breakdown over time producing service nightmares. HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOURSELF? Visit at least three of the manufacturer’s signs in the field and ask the owners of the businesses to share their ownership story.

2. HOW WILL YOU BE TRAINED TO OPERATE THE SOFTWARE TO PROGRAM YOUR MESSAGES?……… over the phone? Really? Do you want to receive your training to operate a piece of electronic advertising equipment costing tens of thousands of dollars during a two hour phone call and then be left out in the cold? HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOURSELF? Make sure you purchase your sign from a local sign company who has a software trainer who knows the software inside and out. The trainer will spend four to eight hours at your office teaching software use and answering questions. The trainer should also follow up 6 to 8 weeks after the sign is installed with follow-up training. The trainer should be available by phone or email to help with questions that inevitably arise as the sign is being used, better yet, participate in a hands on software demonstration.

A properly programmed high quality EMC

A properly programmed high quality EMC

3. WHO ARE YOU REALLY BUYING FROM?……… Is the LED manufacturer reliable? Do they manufacture their own signs or do they re-brand cheaply made imports? HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOURSELF? Make sure the business has several years of experience in manufacturing LED message centers. Ask to see at least three operating signs. Compare your findings to information you receive from other manufacturers.

My next installment will provide more buying tips.

Strickler Signs EMC Programmer Newsletter – Volume 8

Stand Out From the Crowd
Welcome! 2011 is in full swing and one of the first words that comes to mind is Growth. We already know Spring time brings new growth to the trees and fields abroad, however this year I believe that growth has a double meaning. As our economy begins the long climb from a global recession, we too will begin to re-establish our market share and grow our businesses.

Spring Time is slowly coming to our neighborhoods, and that means that seasonal products and promotions will be making their way to the forefront of our “to do” lists. There is no getting around them! And I can’t think of a better way to assist you in the task then your Electronic Message Center (EMC) Sign.

Whether it be a seasonal product, promotion, event, etc., let your EMC work for you. Plan aggressive schedules now for spring time events and let your EMC put the word out and grow your customers enthusiasm.

Be Direct with Your Message!  It’s All About Presentation…
Speaking the truth is a good thing, just be careful how you say it.  Promoting honesty and integrity is a GREAT way to run a business.  Never belittle your audience.  Keep the content positive and precise.  In most cases you only have a brief amount of time to “get the word across”.Late to Work 

Programming Tip – Spell Check is a Good Thing!
Don’t let an image of your sign be the next Internet sensation because of a spelling error.  Make sure to use the Spell Check feature located within the software before updating your sign.teem1

Welcome to the family 

Strickler Signs would like to welcome the following customers to our family of EMC Sign programmers.

Advanced Vein & Laser

Apple Automovive

Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar

Bob Ruth Ford

Grease Monkey

Heritage Valley FCU

Mountz Jewelers

SAVES Company 29

Universal Athletic Club

Thank You again for your continued support of W.J. Strickler Signs, and we look forward to being able to further assist you with all your onsite advertising needs again in 2011.  Please feel free to contact us if you have something you would like to see in future newsletters.


Strickler Signs Employee Spotlight

JeremiahJeremiah Reichert came to work for us as a sales representative in August of 2010 after spending time working in construction and manufacturing throughout the mid-state,  Jeremiah is a graduate of Hanover High School and currently resides in Hanover with his wife of 7 years Lindsay.  When Jeremiah isn’t working he is an avid sports enthusiast and enjoys Hunting, Fishing, Softball, Golf and Bowling. Jeremiah is a rabid sports fan and follows the Penn State Nittany Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Orioles, Duke Blue Devils and the Washington Capitals.  Jeremiah came to a realization that he wanted to learn and develop a career that would offer long term stability and financial security with a local organization that would allow him to have a career and not just a job, so he began the search for the company and the field he wanted to work in and sales seemed like the best fit for his long term success.  I personally have known Jeremiah over 13 years and can say that his determination and competitive nature will be a tremendous asset in the sales field, Jeremiah approached me asking A LOT of questions about the company and my experiences working here prior to beginning his attempts to seek out a position with the company.  If you haven’t already please take a moment to introduce yourself and I can safely say if you want to talk sports or hunting he will always be willing to talk and share information and ideas with you.

Use LED Truck to Promote Your Charitable Event

Use this truck to advertise your charitable event!

Use this truck to advertise your charitable event!

Strickler Signs utilizes a specially built LED message center truck for sales demonstrations, but we also help charities advertise their events by letting them park the truck at the event. We enjoy supporting good causes so we are more than happy to work with charities. We ask the event coordinator for sign content. After receiving the content, Derek programs the message center truck. The truck is delivered to the site, set up and the message center begins to advertise with the bright lights.

Some times we might not be able to meet a group’s schedule if the truck is being used by the sales staff, but other than that, we are happy to accommodate.  There are some other restrictions or considerations that may apply as well.

Message Center Signs Increase Sales for Banks and Credit Unions

Bank monument sign with EMC

Bank monument sign with EMC

Electric highway sign with LED message center
Electric highway sign with LED message center
On premise pylon sign with electronic message center
On premise pylon sign with electronic message center
” I am not exactly sure how much our business has increased at that branch, but I feel confident we have had a sustained 10% increase in business since you installed the message center”. That statement was made by a bank president referring to an existing branch where all we did was add an electronic LED message center to their sign. Please think about it, a permanent 10% increase in sales. How many changes can you make to increase foot traffic by 10% without adding staff or greatly increasing your advertising budget? Ten percent is rather mild actually, we have many testimonials with our customers crediting a message center with increasing their volume as much as 50%. The typical ROI for a sign is 2-4 years and when a message center is added it drops to 9-24 months. Considering a high quality domestic message center has a 10-15 year lifespan, well, you can calculate the real profit these advertising tools provide!
Message Center Advertising Benefits List
  • Using colored photos draws attention to your branch
  • Daypart advertising
  • Ability to advertise special rates and promotions
  • Promote community events
  • New messages can be easily added in a few seconds of programming
  • Ability to control the messages on all signs from one computer
  • Promote website
  • Use colored photos to help promote home and vehicle loans
  • Heightened “top of mind” awareness

I will finish with a quote from a bank that utilizes message centers at all of their branches where local zoning allows. “It’s amazing to see how the offices with the LED signs tend to open more accounts than the offices without the sign, especially when we are advertising rate driven products on the message centers.

Electronic Signs Increase Restaurant sales

Michaels Timonium MD

Michaels Timonium MD Genova's Hampstead MD

Corner Stable Baltimore MD
Corner Stable Baltimore MD

Our restaurant customers see very positive results from their electronic message center signs. The following list quickly illustrates benefits.

  • Day-part advertising   Advertise breakfast food in the morning, lunch specials at Noon and  dinner entrees in the evening


  • Displaying specials   Use the sign to promote your specials


  • Event advertising    Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Administrative Assistants Day…. you get the picture


  • Branding    Use message center as well as the architecture of the sign to convey your brand


  • Creating “top of mind awareness”    Repeatedly communicating with your audience moves your business to the forefront of their awareness


  • Help wanted    More applicants  faster for open positions gets the great employee in your organization quicker and for a lot less money than other forms of recruitment


  • Advertising new menu items    Build excitement and increase foot traffic


  • Advertising web site    Branding, branding, branding


  • Creating a relationship to the motoring public.     Makes them feel like they already know you even if they have never set foot in your business

A message center sign increases business from 10 to 40% long term. Following are quotes from some of our customers: “we have seen a dramatic increase in our business since the sign was installed”, “Our business increased about 25% the first year the sign was installed”, and “the sign at this store has boosted sales by 20%.



Even “Willie Days” Knows Signs Increase Foot Trafffic

Hey, are you aware of an exciting new business opportunity? The opportunity is a bright shiny new LED message center in your own front yard. Please click on the link to see what “Willie Days” has to say.

Willie knows that the power of and LED sign: WILL increase foot traffic, WILL increase revenue and WILL increase profit for your business! Remember, it’s fast, it’s easy! In all seriousness we have greatly increased our customer’s business in the past with message centers and we plan to keep on doing it. Here is a sampling of excerpts from actual customer testimonials; “I feel it is the best advertising dollars I ever spent”, “Our business increased about 25%”, and ” I personally was not sure we would notice a big difference, although we have!!!”.

 There you have it, a way to increase your business by making a one time capital investment that will bare fruit for many years to come.

Electronic Signs Increase Restaurant Sales

Electronic LED signs have, and continue to increase our restaurant customer’s sales with double digit increase being the norm!

First off, let’s talk about what an on premise freestanding business sign really is, it’s “on site advertising”!  Please think about it, a sign is advertising to thousands of prospective customers every day. A properly designed sign is portraying who you are to twenty, thirty maybe forty thousand customers per day. These people have a lot of choices where to eat, using an eye catching sign increases your top of mind awareness. Adding an electronic LED message sign magnifies the affect. Stand out from the crowd, people need to eat at your restaurant, not your competitor’s.

An electronic LED message board gives you the capability to advertise your product and services on your own TV screen. You can say what you want, when you want to. For instance you can day-part. Imagine being able to advertise the food matching the time of day such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can advertise: specials, banquet capabilities, hours of operation, website address, awards and so on. By owning an electronic sign you control your own advertising destiny!

Here are some quotes from some of our customers. “One last note…we have seen a dramatic increase in our business since the sign was installed’,from John Stonik of The Corner Stable in Cockeysville MD. Frank Marciano owner of Genovas Restaurant said, ” Our business increased about 25% the year the pylon sign was installed, and we are confident the sign helped tremendously in that increase.” So there you have it, directly from real people.

The federal government even loves signs! Here is an excerpt from the SBA website “It is estimated that 35-50 percent of the consumer population today shops outside their local area. Legible, conspicuous on-premise signage will assist in attracting a large percentage of these non-local and newcomer consumers. Further, an effective on-premise sign provides 24-hour exposure of its message to a large pool of potential customers at a fraction of the cost (when depreciated over several years) of other media. The lower the cost to obtain customer memory or top-of-mind awareness, the higher the return on advertising dollars.” Please take the time to visit theSmall Business Administarion’s website for more facts about the value of signs

Freestanding business sign with full color LED message board

Freestanding business sign with full color LED message board

Business sign with LED elctronic message board

Business sign with LED electronic message board

Freestandin business sign with monochrome LED electronic message
Freestanding business sign with monochrome LED electronic message


“It isn’t easy, being green”?


Have you noticed many businesses touting themselves as being green? I wonder how many really are.

 ”Being green” is the new cool thing, it can be a great way to attract web traffic to your site and add “curb appeal”.

I have noticed businesses in our industry, electric sign manufacturing, are using the green initiative to promote their business, when in reality they are merely using components common to our industry and projecting their actions as being cutting edge. Maybe you have experienced the same in your industry?

 The true, “being green” story, is really pretty basic in the electric sign industry. Leading off are programmable electronic LED message centers. It is as simple as this: 99% of the message centers installed in this country use the most energy efficient method of lighting, which is LEDs. LEDs use much less electric than the obsolete bulb units, other than some manufacturers using low grade LEDs, and having to drive them harder to produce the desired lighting and therefore using more electric, there really isn’t much else to differentiate the lighting methods. Other components common to signs are energy efficient: solid state transformers, electronic ballasts, LED building accent lighting and LED illumination of channel letters. Unfortunately only single faced “box signs” can be practically illuminated withLEDs presently. The more common free standing or pylon double faced sign types require such a large amount of LEDs that they actually consume more power than those signs illuminated with fluorescent lamps powered by electronic ballasts.

That’s enough about signs. Maybe some of the measures we have taken as a company could be used at your business?

My people have taken great satisfaction from planning through implementation of many earth friendly measures at Strickler Signs. We have a 12,000 square foot production area that was previously illuminated by fluorescent lamps powered by magnetic ballasts. We are saving about $175.00 of electric per month after converting the ballasts to energy efficient electronic ballasts. For years we have recycled our scrap aluminum, steel and copper. All of our waste cardboard and plastic sign faces are stored in bins with the contents being gathered periodically by the Adams County Rescue Mission, who then forward the material to the recyclers. Everybody also discards their plastic bottles and containers into a tub with the contents also going to the mission. Although it is time consuming, we collect all used mercury fluorescent lamps from our service department. When we have collected enough of these lamps we have them removed by a professional mercury recycling company. Now that’s how you do it! The everyday, humble, behind the scenes efforts make the most impact on saving our earth.

What are you doing? What could you be doing? I believe we all need to develop the proper mindset toward the environment. Environmental legislation helps, but real change must come from all of us being good stewards of the earth, and executing those little actions everyday that make a real impact from recycling to planting trees and much more.

Check out the following video to hear another expert opinion


Throw your bottles here for them to live again

Throw your bottles here for them to live again

Cardboard waiting to be used again

Cardboard waiting to be used again



Plastic to be re-used instead of setting in a landfill for a thousand years!

Plastic to be re-used instead of setting in a landfill for a thousand years!

“LEDs”, not just for the sign industry any more.

LED programmable message signs were introduced to the United States about fifteen years ago. They had been popular in Europe, you can even say entrenched, for a number of years before they arrived on our shores. LEDs were developed and used in Europe primarily for energy saving reasons. The cost of fuel in Europe historically has been much higher than in the States. The high price of electric power in Europe demanded a much more energy efficient sign lighting method than the traditional incandescent bulbs. With LEDs requiring a fraction of the electric to operate, compared to incandescent bulbs, it was a logical alternative to use the LEDs for the “message board”. 

You probably are familiar with LEDs in one shape or form, from LED flashlights to LED clusters replacing traditional bulbs or tubes. LEDs are actually “grown” and the acronym stands for “light emitting diode”. It takes very little current to illuminate an LED and that is a beautiful thing indeed! If you value saving money and the earth, stay alert, you will have many opportunities to purchase many new and exciting LED products as they are being unveiled daily.

The introduction of LED’s into the sign industry has been dramatic. Strickler Signs offers the following LED products: electronic message centers, fuel product price signs and Led illuminated channel letters.

Message center signs have experienced the greatest transformation with the introduction of multi colored units. Strickler Signs utilizes message boards from: Watchfire, Daktronics and Yesco. These signs have become very powerful weapons in the hands of small business owners. With the availability of displaying products and services on their sign through photos or video, owners are able to advertise to thousands of passing motorists and pedestrians daily. We have many testimonials relating our customer’s success.

Another “hot” LED seller is fuel product price signs. These eye catching LED signs display fuel prices at gas stations and convenience stores. They allow the owner to quickly change prices through their POS system. LED illuminated gas digits improve fuel sales.

LEDs are a great development. They are enabling us to communicate in ways that were previously impossible. They are allowing to save energy and help the environment. We have only begun to see their potential.


Full color electronic message center

Full color electronic message center

 harris tv