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Do I need fire switch for this neon?

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Post Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:11 am

Do I need fire switch for this neon?

I'm supplying a one off 600mm high acrylic built up letter for a client. It's gonna project into street on a steel support and would suit an interior neon letter for illumination. i intend to run this neon off one of those simple transformers that plug straight into the mains - surely i don't need a firemans switch for this do I?

Cheers

Martin
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Post Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:43 pm

Use LED's much simpler, less cost, more reliability. Simples! :D

I think neon converts electrikery to something like 30,000volts, so yes I think a firemans switch may be needed but I am not qualified to realy answer that. Stick with LED's at 12 volts, job done! :wink:
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Post Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:19 pm

the purpose of the fireman's switch is to have an external means of switching off an internally powered item for high voltage outputs. So yes...required.

Most neon runs at 5Kv to 10Kv and 5mA to 50mA.

As said - it's simpler, easier & cheaper to run LEDs these days so long as it's not some odd-ball colour as LEDs aren't great for some colours (bright pink for example). But neon does give a far brighter output...as an alternative you can buy low voltage neon flex (not ropelight!)...costs about the same as neon, but low voltage so not big transformers or high voltage gear.
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Post Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:48 am

trouble is LED's don't give a good overall light and leave dark spots - letter is double sided and only about 400mm wide so bright spots of where LED's are on module are quite obvious. The entire letter is opal perspex so no hiding place!
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Post Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:51 pm

...only if you fit them incorrectly.

Paint interior white - lay LEDs round the perimeter in several rows pointing INWARDS...very even light spread as relying on bounced light - not direct
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Post Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:06 pm

Applelec do LED light sheet that i imagine would solve this problem.

There is also a projecting lightbox LED module available from Sloan LED.
cheap and easy to use. i did a projecting lightbox using one single module last week. worked a treat!

Obviously your issue here is that its double sided.
judging by your post, im sure your fully aware of allot of ways to illuminate your letters. but dont rule out the above.

sorry i cant help on the fire switch question.
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Post Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:58 am

letter is completley made of opal acrylic so anything solid like an LED module is gonna cast a shadow - priced up lightsheet a while back and found it horrendously expensive! but Sloan module sounds interesting - thanks for all your input, will keep you informed
Regards

Martin

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