MarQuee LED FAQs

What is an LED?
LED is the common abbreviation for a light-emitting diode. Each individual LED consists of a semiconductor diode that emits light when a voltage is applied to it. The electronics industry has used LED technology for several decades as indicator lights for various electronic devices. In more recent years, LED technology has progressed to the point where it is viable for general lighting applications. Please check the following website for more information.

Why is LED a better alternative for billboard lighting than traditional HID?
There are some features inherent in all LED choices that make them better. First, they offer immediate energy savings. A well-designed 100-watt LED fixture can offer superior lighting coverage on a billboard, saving 75% in electricity over a standard 400-watt Metal Halide unit. Moreover, LEDS offer superior color rendering so whites are whiter, blues are bluer, and so on, bringing advertisement color intensity to a whole new level. And because LEDs have a longer life, there is less maintenance cost.

Are all LED chips created equal?
Just as there are better quality metal halide bulbs, the same holds true for LED chips. The top manufacturers of LED chips include Philips, Cree and Nichia. Our fixtures start with Philips’ chips that we consider among the best on the market today. Knowing if your unit “starts” with a quality chip is important.

Reflectors are standard on traditional HID billboard lighting. They are also being used on some LED billboard lighting. Why doesn’t MarQuee LED use reflectors?
LEDs generate A LOT more heat than traditional lighting. And with more than 30 years of experience in LEDs, the MarQuee LED manufacturer has learned that excessive heat and reflectors have a hard time working together. Depending on the type of material reflectors are made of, they can melt under the heat of LEDs. Also, the finishing materials can bake and chip off. For those reasons, MarQuee LED does not utilize reflectors.

Without reflectors, how does MarQuee LED direct light to the billboard face?
The workhorse of the MarQuee LED is a highly engineered, acorn sized lens cover that fits over each LED. Known as a TIR (Total Internal Reflectance) optic, this patented/patent-pending feature was precision crafted with the sole purpose of ensuring that EACH individual LED’s light covers an extremely large portion of the billboard face (in some instance, the ENTIRE face). It is the only lens of its kind in the industry.

What is a heat sink and why is it important?
The heat sink helps to circulate and dissipate the large amount of heat created by LEDs. Most solidly performing units opt for “passive” heat sinks, meaning there no moving parts so no chance of the cooling mechanism failing. However, most heat sinks lay flat at the bottom of the unit, under the LED mechanism. In such positioning, gravity takes hold and the air moves up first, directly into the backside of the LED mechanism. It will eventually disperse, but not without needlessly heating the LED first. MarQuee LED is different, because the LED and heat sink are perpendicular to the bottom of the unit, air moves more freely and the LED mechanism remains cooler.

What is L70 and why is this important?
L70 is a rating adopted by the Department of Energy to determine how many hours an LED will maintain at least up to 70% of its full capacity within a given unit tested. For an L70 rating to be valid, independent labs must conduct the necessary testing. A “good” rating is considered 100,000 hours at 55 degrees Celsius (or 131 degrees Fahrenheit).

MarQuee LED is rated at 239,000 hours at 85 degrees Celsius. That seems like overkill, since units rated at 100,000 hours will already last more than 20 years (assuming 12 hours per day)?
It is true that at 239,000 hours, the LEDS within the MarQuee unit will last more than 50 years, and no one anticipates a lighting unit will stay in place that long, particularly as technology continues to improve. Moreover, the manufacturers did not set out to have a unit that offers more than double the standard life. That fact is simply a byproduct of a unit that has been extremely well engineered. Our L70 testing merely proves that such efficiency is achievable. And if it’s achievable, why not demand such efficiency in the fixtures you chose?

How does MarQuee LED address snow build-up?
Any fixture that lies on a largely horizontal plane must deal with snow build up. In some instances, customers are just required to wait until the unit’s heat melts the snow. Other units offer snow melting options, at an additional cost. MarQuee LED is different. Because its specialized optic directs light at a specified angle, the entire unit sits parallel to the billboard. In fact, some customers think they have incorrectly installed the unit, as it appears as if it is positioned to light the “skirt.” They are surprised when a unit facing the skirt fully lights the billboard. The additional surprise is that snow is never a factor, because it can never fall or accumulate on the light’s clear glass face and block the LEDs.

When LED technology improves in a few years, will I have to purchase a new unit?                                           
To our knowledge, MarQuee LED is the only LED billboard lighting option built with the future in mind. Our patented “brick” design means that when LED technology improves (and it will), you will be able to update your fixture with one quick change-out, simply using a flathead screwdriver to pop-out your current “brick” and replace it with a new, even more efficient version.

Was your LED created with the Billboard Industry in mind?
Many LEDs that have been offered to Outdoor were originally designed for other industries. Many manufacturers that have achieved success with LEDs in street light, parking lot and parking garages, for example, have attempted to enter Outdoor with the same or similar fixtures. MarQuee LED is different. It was built from the ground up specifically for billboards, with the help of some of the most respected names in Outdoor. Issues specific to our industry, including things like snow build-up, were addressed during the design phase. The result is a one-of-a-kind billboard light for the industry.

Is your LED supplier invested in Outdoor?
Countless suppliers are salivating at the opportunity to make an LED mark in the billboard industry, and rightfully so. But many of those potential suppliers are also “start-up” companies, with no history in Outdoor. When you have issues in the future, will those companies be around to service you? Will they be around to validate and stand behind any warrantee they may offer? Irvin has been entrenched in Outdoor as a proud supplier member of the OAAA for nearly 20 years. We back all of our product offerings with our 100% satisfaction guarantee and any manufacturer warrantees offered. We’ve been here and will continue to be here, as a partner, when you need us.