Vassar schools are a pre-K through 12th grade public school district, with four buildings in total.
Meadows Crossing is student housing and retail complex located just steps away from Grand Valley State University Campus in Allendale, MI. The retail portion of Meadows Crossing includes Mully’s Bar & Grill, HIP Party Store, Gentleman’s Quarters Barber Salon, Cottage Inn Pizza, and Insomnia Cookies.
Student housing in Allendale is an extremely competitive market. The window of opportunity to attract a student and get them to commit to a housing situation is very slim. Also, the retail segment can be challenging for tenants located near a college campus. Outlets often need to make a years-worth of revenue in an 8 or 9-month span due to the school calendar. For that reason, maximizing exposure to potential customers is extremely important.
Originally, Meadows Crossing had an outdated static monument sign on a long, large brick base (see below). The original sign didn’t seem to match the brick base, and also offered limited signage for each tenant. The sign didn’t feature any changeable messaging options.
Old Signage at Meadows Crossing
Benefits of New LED Sign
The goal of the project was to upgrade the signage for Meadows Crossing that would outshine every other sign nearby, bringing maximum exposure for student housing and their retail outlets. Meadows Crossing enrolled the help of Universal Sign Systems to come up with the perfect solution. To bring maximum exposure and create that WOW factor Universal decided to install the first ever 6mm LED display in all of west Michigan. Universal supplemented the LED sign with new tenant signage in a sleek black cabinet that tied the entire sign together.
Because of the high pixel density of the LED sign, Meadows Crossing was able to show any image, graphic, or video with breathtaking picture clarity while complying with the size limitations of the local jurisdiction. All of the other signs in Allendale were mostly 16mm displays which were only good for simple text. Because of the 6mm pixel spacing Meadows Crossing could now show high-def images of their townhomes, delicious cookies from Insomnia cookies, delicious pizza from Cottage Inn, and more. The new sign brought immediate buzz to the area, resulting in more renters and higher sales revenue for their tenants.
"When Glenn came to me with a request for a replacement multi-tenant sign that would be a cut above the rest, I knew the recently released 6mm Electro-Matic display was the perfect fit. The quality of the display and tight pixel pitch allowed for detailed advertisements in the limited space that we were allowed. Thanks to Alan and the Electro-Matic team for knocking it out of the park!"
— Nate Zevenbergen, Universal Sign, Inc.
"We have thoroughly enjoyed having the new 6mm, high-density, LED sign at Meadows Crossing. It helps us to market our brand to the college student community every day. It enables us to market our retail tenants and their businesses as well. Our student apartment community is the best off-campus housing option for GVSU students and this elegant sign beams our superb brand 24/7."
— Glenn Turek, President at Silveri ManagementList products and services EM used
4ft x 8ft / 180x360 Pixel / 6mm Electro-Matic Fusion Display
The owners of the Islandia and Suffix property, Namdar Realty Group, invest in office building and commercial retail threw out the United States.
Fori Automation offers Global Design and Build of Automated Material Handling, Assembly, Testing and Welding Systems for the automotive & non-automotive industries. Their USA Global Headquarters are located in Sterling Heights, Michigan the company was looking to upgrade their lighting to LED’s.
Fori Automation’s previous Halide lights were not energy efficient. They had a long list of halide lights including:
135 1000w Metal Halide
8 468w T5 8 Lamp Fluorescent
16 250w Metal Halide wall packs
2 250w Metal Halide canopy fixtures
Their current lighting solution generated 1,012,585 annual kWh, 153,787 watts.
Objective for Situation
1) To reduce the electrical usage while improving light levels and working conditions.
2) To use the Made in Michigan 15% utility rebate bonus to give Fori a larger rebate than other companies could provide.
A pre-site visit was performed to take existing light levels to verify what the client was looking for. A photometric analysis was performed on the space to ensure that the correct fixture was specified to provide the correct light levels. EM Visual found that 300w fixtures with a combination of T1S and L5W lenses fit the application and achieved high light levels on the ground and even light on the walls.
For this solution, EM Visual was able to include the same mounting and electrical plug that their existing fixtures used, to ensure easy installation. The installed sample fixture was chosen because it delivered the best spread of light with the least amount of glare. The transparency with the customer on cost, performance, and potential rebates set Electro-Matic above the competition.
Electro-Matic Visual was able to stage the installation so that Fori’s daily operations were not affected. After installing 141 LED High Bay fixtures, Fori Automation’s energy consumption was reduced by 72%.
Final Rebate: $76,971.80
Return on Investment: 0.9 years
Products and Services Used on this Project
4-Bar AR Series (120w)
• 150w Housing
• 3’ Pendant Rod
• HBL4770C (15A 277 Vac) Plug
10-Bar AR Series (300w)
• 300w Housing
• 3’ Pendant Rod
• HBL4770C (15A 277 Vac) Plug
The Cardington-Lincoln Local Schools located in Cardington, Ohio are committed to leading all students to college, career, and civic readiness. To give the students the best chance of success with their athletics, Cardington was preparing to install a new gym floor. They were disappointed in their current lighting situation and wanted to make drastic improvements. Cardington High School felt that their gym lighting was not adequate.
To achieve a lighting level that met NCAA requirements, EM utilized photometrics to evaluate the lighting needs of the gym and make the recommendation that met Cardington High School's objective.The new floor and lighting created a whole different atmosphere in the gym. Cardington now showcases one of the most attractive gyms in the conference!
List products and services EM used:
Skylark High Bay
The Village of Hazel Crest is a diverse, 3.4 square mile community of 14,075 people located just 25 miles from Chicago that were building a new municipal center. Knowing they had very little visual communication with their residents, they thought the new municipal center would be a great opportunity to add some LED displays to act as entrance signs into the town. The customer was originally looking at a 16mm sign but after the demo/investigation process, they immediately said they need the 11mm LED display and added two locations to the job.
The city of Hazel Crest also wanted to use the displays to post emergency alerts, news, and events going on in the town. With our Fusion product and Lifetime Cellular contracts we were able to provide the city with three 11mm signs. With the Electro-Matic LED display they are now able to provide current and updated village announcements across all three different locations all from one place.
“We chose to go with Elector-Matic Displays based on their ability to act fast with replacement parts, and their industry leading 5 year Labor Warranty.” - Brian Mazurek, President/CEO,
List products and services Electro-Matic used:
Fusion 11mm 108x216
Whether someone is going for a casual dinner or a more upscale meal, proper lighting plays a major role in your guests’ dining experience. The lighting in a restaurant affects many elements, including food presentation, mood, and overall gratification.
Not all restaurants are created equal, and for that matter, neither is the lighting. In the contemporary world of lighting, perhaps one of the greatest debates is Incandescent bulbs versus LED bulbs, two main types of lighting utilized in restaurant establishments. Each type of lighting performs differently, creating different results in return. What are the differences and why choose one over the other?
Incandescent Lighting for your Restaurant
Not long ago, there weren’t any types of light bulbs. There wasn’t any choice other than the wattage, and the lighting technology had not changed in over a century. The reason incandescent remained popular due to the main factors: cost and color.
Price is the main factor that attracts people to buying incandescent lights. Even though the cost of LED light bulbs is dropping rapidly, incandescent bulbs have the lower up-front cost and that continues to drive their desirability.
The color of lighting wasn’t something people thought about a decade ago, but now with the wide array of string lighting options, consumers are seeing cool white lights, warm white lights, daylight lights and numerous other tones. Traditional incandescent bulbs though are the ones that have the familiar warm glow that most people associate with home lighting. It has an element of tradition or nostalgia to it, and is still the most common light bulb sold.
Benefits to Using LED Lighting
There’s a reason that you’re seeing more and more LED lighting options. LED has become the next major wave of light bulb that will be used for the foreseeable future. While more expensive than incandescent bulbs up front, they have numerous advantages and with prices dropping, they are quickly becoming the most popular and preferred choice.
Lower energy usage is another distinct advantage with LED bulbs. For example, with string lights, a 25-watt incandescent bulb can be replaced by a 1 to 2-watt LED bulb. That lower wattage means lower energy usage which has a direct correlation with energy costs, particularly with multiple bulbs and save money.
While LED bulbs may cost more to begin with, the combination of the low energy usage and the longevity of the bulb, means that they are actually less expensive than incandescents in the long run. With roughly 10 times the life span, and one-tenth the wattage consumed, LED bulbs will pay for themselves within a couple years.
Because they don’t use the same fragile components, LEDs are much better able to stand up to vibration, shock and temperature extremes. Also, many LED lights have a plastic shell rather than glass making them much more durable.
Safety and Environment
A couple other advantages are safety and environmental benefits. LED bulbs expel most of their energy as light (hence the lower wattage for the same brightness), whereas incandescent light give off energy as heat. That means LED bulbs remain cool to the touch. Additionally, LEDs are made from non-toxic materials and don’t contain any mercury or other hazardous chemicals. When it comes time to dispose of them, they won’t require any special handling.
LEDs are a product of semiconductors, and by adapting the semiconductors in the chip, the color of the LED can be adjusted. That means that LEDs can be made to emit a wide range of colors similar to the warm light of an incandescent light, as well as other hues of white light that many people find more appealing.
Ultimately, when it comes to comparing incandescent and LED lighting, the latter is the best choice for installation. Contact Electro-Matic Visual for a quote today!
Purchasing LED lights for both residential and commercial applications is very different than purchasing traditional lighting was eight years ago. Before you go shopping here is 5 things to look out for before you purchase.
LED Lumens Vs. Watts:
Not all numbers are created equal. Forget what you think you know regarding wattage. When shopping for correct bulb or fixture, you must first understand what the meaning of wattage and lumen is. Wattage or watts is a measurement on how much energy a light is using, not the brightness of the light. Lumen’s simple meaning is the measurement of brightness from a light source. In traditional lighting there was a direct correlation between watts and brightness. For example, a 75w light bulb produces more lumens than a 60w bulb. LED lighting is not so simple. A Light-emitting diode or LED has a larger range of efficiency, some lights produce more lumens per watt(L/W). For example, an 8w LED bulb can produce more lumens than a 12w LED bulb pending on manufacture and specification. Using this example, someone purchasing the 8w bulb will save the shopper more energy during the bulb’s lifespan than the 12w bulb while producing the same brightness. So, when shopping for a light product forget what you thought you knew and pay attention to efficiency of brightness, not wattage.
Light Color Temperature:
You like what you like. Color Temperature does not mean brighter even if it seems that way. LED lighting temperature is based on the kelvin measurement system. A warm temperature is usually 3000k or less, cool white is usually around 4000k, and bright white or daylight is around 5000k. Warm white will produce a more yellow look while bright white will have a more whitish blue look to it. Simply put the lower the kelvin the more yellow, the higher the kelvin the whiter/blue it will be. But what is the right choice? Which is brighter? The answer to both is D none of the above. Everyone interprets temperature differently, some think a 5000k looks brighter than a 4000k. The temperature does not change the brightness of light, just the appearance of brightness per the individual. While shopping for a light product think of the following. Where is the light being used? What is the light being used for? What is the objective of the light? Remember, there is no wrong answer to color temperature. To each their own.
You’re not always getting more bang for buck, know before you spend the cash. LED lighting has dropped in price about 50% in the last 5 years. But what is the difference? The market is flooded with different manufactures and pricing all claiming to the best. Things a consumer should be mindful of. Warranty, manufactures play a tricky game on LED products. For example, a LED product will claim to have a 5-year 50,000-hour operating life warranty. If you read the fine print this means they will warranty the product for 5 years or 50,000 hours witch ever comes first. So, a product with a 7-year 50,000-hour operating life warranty will cost more, but it essentially holds the same warranty. Paying more for a name brand doesn’t always mean a better product. Just the other day I visited my local pharmacy to buy a bottle of ibuprofen for my aging back. I was presented with two options, buy the name brand or the pharmacy brand. After reading each box carefully I realized there was no difference besides the price tag. The is most likely because they are made on the same manufacturing line from the same pharmaceutical company. Lighting is no different. So before spending your hard-earned dollar read the fine print, and buying a name doesn’t always mean better or different.
LED Dimming and Switches
Not all LED’s are dimmable. The old dimming switch might not work either. When buying a LED do not assume it will be a plug and play application. Unlike traditional lighting there are some LED lights that are not capable of dimming. Incandescent bulbs work by running electric current through a wire filament, a dimmer switch lowers the current to the wire filament to dim. LED’s are not dimmed or brighten with the increase or decrease of current. LED light emitt’s from a semiconductor chip, so its either all on or off. The LED is always using the same current. Instead LED’s create a dimming effect in two different ways, pulse-width-modulation (PWM LED) and analog dimming. The product specification or box will specify if the LED is dimmable or not. If your buying and wish to dim, make sure you verify before purchase. The same applies to dimming switches or controls on your property. Most likely the current measures installed are made to adjust current and will not dim LED lighting. When your shopping you want to make sure pick up a switch or control device the capable of dimming LED lights by means of PWM, analog, or both.
LED Fixture versus an LED Lamp/Bulb
A cost-effective lamp or bulb might not be the best solution for your property or residents. When deciding between a fixture or lamp replacement one must consider some key points. Not all lamps will work in old fixtures. LED lights worst enemy is heat. If the fixture is enclosed and the LED product doesn’t have the correct heat syce technology the product will most likely fail before its expected life span. After replacing the lamp, one might spend more than they would have with a new fixture. What are the local utilities companies offering for incentives? There a different incentive offered in different areas. In most areas the extra incentives will offset the cost of new product. For example, you could pay $5.00 for a lamp with a $2.00 dollar incentive or pay $15.00 dollars for a new fixture with a $12.00 incentive. The net cost remains the same, but you gain the cosmetic appeal of beautiful new fixture. The last thing to consider is installation. If you are doing itself or paying an electrician this has a large effect on the time and cost for a fished replacement. Each situation should be evaluated different. How much time would it take to replace the fixture vs lamp? How much with the installation affect the overall cost or time? When combined selecting the right product that last the longest, capitalizes on the most incentives offered, and spends the lowest time or money for installation will be the best choice for any application.
Action Water Sports is a Michigan-based boat dealer and retailer with locations in Hudsonville, Fenton, Traverse City, and Florida. Action Water Sports Hudsonville is also home to Michigan’s first and only full-size cable park. The cable park is used for lessons, demonstrations, and other special events.
After years of growth and a large renovation to their Hudsonville location, Action Water Sports knew they wanted to upgrade their signage to match their updated building. Their existing monument sign was in nice shape but had an outdated changeable copy sign that was inconvenient to change. It also didn’t capitalize on the skills of a strong in-house digital marketing team.
LED Sign Upgrade
The goal of the project was to upgrade their exterior monument sign to reflect the high level of service and products they carry in their store, while also staying within the size and content limits of the local jurisdiction. The space of the existing changeable copy sign was a unique size that they were not sure could be filled with an LED sign.
Action Water Sports enlisted the help of their long-time signage partner Midwest Sign Company of Byron Center to assist. Midwest Sign had recently seen the new 6mm LED sign at Meadow’s Crossing in Allendale and knew the same Electro-Matic product could potentially be a great fit. Midwest Sign had the owner of Action Water Sports check out the sign at Meadow’s Crossing and he agreed the 6mm pixel spacing would be ideal for this location. Between the close proximity to the road and the type of content they wanted to put on the sign the 6mm option made the most sense.
Benefits of New LED Signage
Because Electro-Matic signs have the most size options available out of any LED manufacturer, Midwest Sign and Electro-Matic were able to configure a 6mm LED sign that fit perfectly in the existing sign cavity. This meant Action Water Sports did not need to worry about exceeding their allowable square footage and the high pixel density of the Electro-Matic display allowed their digital marketing team the freedom to put breathtaking high-resolution pictures on their sign. Now, Action Water Sports could change their messages on the sign instantly and more frequently from the comfort of their office. They are now able to promote more services and products that they couldn’t fit on the changeable copy sign they had previously. Midwest Sign did a terrific job with the installation and commented on the ease of installation.
List products and services EM used:
120 x 300 matrix 6mm Electro-Matic Fusion LED Display
"Alan and his team at Electro-Matic were great to work with on this project! We had a problem and Alan had a solution. His prompt responses to our questions and willingness to literally walk along side of us and our client through the process was remarkable. The quality and clarity of the 6mm unit we purchased along with their customer service far exceeded our expectations. Well done Alan!"
– Mike Tiesma, Director of Business Development at Midwest Sign Company
"It’s been a pleasure to work with Mike at Midwest Sign Company and the Action Water Sports team for this sign project. I could not think of a better fit than the 6mm Fusion LED sign we used at this location. The AWS marketing team picked up on the software immediately to provide remarkable looking content from day 1. Midwest Sign Company provided exceptional service from start to finish and I would not hesitate to work with them again. Thanks again for your support!"
– Alan Nicholson, Regional Sales Consultant
Electro-Matic Visual is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with Tiffin Metal Products as we join the digital billboard revolution.
We recognize the need to implement digital solutions to ensure we address the needs of the market and remain competitive in the industry. When the Digital Billboard trend began sweeping the Outdoor Advertising Industry, the investment for early adapters was extremely expensive. As technology improved, costs decreased, and advertiser demand began to rise. The partnership with Tiffin Metal Products and Electro-Matic Visual has allowed the opportunity to blend digital boards into our traditional out-of-home advertising lineup and help bring our product offering into the 21st century.
Electro-Matic Visual’s Digital Billboards are the ultimate attention-grabbing display. These feature-rich, high definition billboards are completely customizable to fit any new application or replace an existing printed billboard. Features include:
- Easy Installation – Assembled on site in multiple sections, resulting in installs that are less susceptible to windy conditions
- Available in a variety of available pixel pitches to optimize image fidelity depending on viewing distance and traffic speeds
- Includes a remote PC backup system to provide constant uptime
- Includes a remote monitoring camera and the web-based software to manage it
- Has a remote power monitor that features an auxiliary Electro-Matic controller and PC that is managed by a robust Siemens Power Monitor
- Ability to remotely power cycle, monitor, switch video inputs, and receive email notifications upon any power failure
- Power supplies integrated directly into the control panel to make change outs simpler and faster
- 24/7 service and support team to assist you with a phone call or online chat
“We are excited to partner with Electro Matic Visual,” said Andrew Beebe, National Sales Manager for Tiffin Metal Products. Electro-Matic Visual is known for their strength in the electronics and high technology industries. This partnership will allow us to drive far more business impact for our clients.”
CEO of Electro-Matic, Rich Laramee, also added, “Given Tiffin Metal Product’s rich 90 plus year history in the billboard industry, we were very excited to partner with them in selling our digital billboard products.”
About Tiffin Metal Products Co.™
Tiffin Metal Products, established in 1903, has been serving the Outdoor Advertising industry since 1928. Located in Tiffin, Ohio, our 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility is staffed by trained professionals equipped with the latest in metal fabrication equipment. Our Outdoor Advertising Line includes Panel-Free™ and Lightweight 90™ Frames, Windguard™ Trim, Horizontal and Vertical Sections, Cone Door™, Junior Posters, Aprons, Wall Mount Bracket Systems as well as many support products. To learn more about Tiffin Metal Products please visit www.tiffinmetal.com.
About Electro-Matic Visual
Electro-Matic, founded in 1969, has been providing high technology, quality, electrical and electronics based products for over 50+ years. From early electronic sign boards to the amazing full color high-resolution displays of today, Electro-Matic Visual has been a leader in developing and refining LED Displays and lighting for over 30 years. Headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, EM Visual is proud to provide solutions for Commercial and Industrial LED Displays and complete turnkey LED Lighting solutions for any application. To learn more about Electro-Matic Visual please visit www.visual.electro-matic.com.