Thursday, May 29, 2014

Digital Signage Sales 101: Keep it simple

-Deacon Wardlow
No technobabble nor geekspeak in today's blog. no discussion of technical components nor a breakdown of how to troubleshoot breakdowns (of the hardware/digital signage variety).  Just a short and pointed article on keeping it simple.

Simple is excellent. Think Macintosh computers (which were friendly by comparison to other computers of the day), Macintosh kept the "keep it simple" mentality. When they strayed, they payed in lost sales. When they stayed with "simplicity" they succeeded immensely.

Simple is difficult. If you take a peek behind the electrical components on an iPhone or even a "simple" MP3 player, you'll see it's loaded (jenga-style) with tons of circuitry and systems in an incredibly tight space. The planning and execution of simple takes a lot of smart people coming together to make simple work well.

Few people like complex systems and products. Our lives are complex enough, why make them harder (ok, there are the geeks like me out there who love to breakdown complex systems, but at the end of the day - I prefer simple and straightforward). Digital Signage needs to be simplified, not just in execution but in the way we discuss it with clients and especially in the way the end-user accesses, updates, and utilizes the system.

Think about this - if you were a manager of a few franchise restaurants you've got a lot on your plate (payroll, purchasing, payouts, personnel and a bunch of other things). If you were the manager of said franchise restaurant, what's on the LED Sign outside and the menu board inside is the last of your worries (spend a few hours at lunch or dinner with a restaurant manager and you'll see what I mean). If the Digital Signage solution isn't simple, it won't work. DS needs to be something anyone can update, create quick content, schedule, and setup "triggers" for the system to run content automatically depending on weather or other conditions.

A lot of people ask me what the best companies out there are. I'm somewhat biased as the director of a software company for Digital Signage and working with partners in the business, so I give them a simple solution. Ask the company you're looking to work with a few questions - the answers (or sometimes lack of answers) will tell you a lot about that company:

1. Who is their competition and what does the competition do well and what do they (the company) do better than the others?
2. Who are the people in the company and how do they stay ahead of things in the market? (A lot of companies just maintain status quo - if you're sitting still in a technical field like DS, you're not leading... you're falling behind...)
3. What is their USP (unique selling point)? A lot of companies surprisingly do not have a USP. If you can't immediately think of your own companies USP (special services, product, attention to detail and the client, etc.) you seriously need to figure how you stand out in the market. You definitely want to make sure your partners and vendors have USPs as their USP will add to your own when you promote their products and/or services.

Above all, work to keep things as simple as possible. Simple doesn't mean "dumbed down" but rather a direct approach to things with all the BS removed. This is what we have, this is how it works, and this is how it will help your organization. Keep it simple. In today's complex and fast-moving world where we check email while on a phone call and update our social status (multi-tasking is almost mandatory these days) it's easy to forget the simplest things are the most powerful.

Please comment here or send questions or requests for information to Vantage LED has white paper resources and more educational material on the website (, please check it out when you have a moment. Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically noted.attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically noted.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Digital Signage Tech & Spec: Standards for Outdoor LED Digital Signage

-Scott Hofheins

Unfortunately, there are no officially adopted standards for Outdoor Digital Signage specifications, at least in the traditional sense. However, there are certain industry terms and product specifications that are common between higher quality manufacturers. These have essentially come about due to the natural evolution of good designers and engineers, with the market response also playing a key role. While there are still certain “specs” that reflect more of a marketing strategy than actual product quality, good manufacturers tend to keep these to a minimum and can back up the talk, with the walk.

The Source
We discuss this quite often, but it bears repeating. Signs designed, produced and supported in the USA will provide much less risk for your money, and a significantly better experience over the lifetime of the sign. There are many companies claiming to be manufacturers, who source a very large portion, if not their complete sign package from overseas suppliers. These companies function more as a distributor, rather than a real manufacturer and tend to rely on the overseas supplier for design, engineering and development.

Make sure the manufacturer for your LED sign has a real and active factory in the USA with software and hardware development staff in-house. The support staff, warranty program and parts inventories should also be local and streamlined. Without this, you run the risk of a sub-par product, with limited support and a warranty in words only.

The Matrix and Pitch
Outdoor Digital signage uses a “matrix” of individual LED’s grouped into pixels to create an image, or text on the display. An important factor in how good your LED sign will work is the number of pixels the face contains. This is affected by 2 major specifications: The “Pixel Matrix” and the “Pixel Pitch”.

“Pixel Matrix or just “Matrix” represents the number of pixels high and the number of pixels wide the LED display contains. This can vary according to the “Pitch” of the display, how tightly packed the pixels are to eachother, measured in millimeters (mm).

For example, a 16mm sign and a 20mm sign can both be produced at approx. 4 ft x 8 ft. But the 16mm will have a better image quality because more pixels will fit in the same area. This is a common cause for confusion with potential LED sign buyers by itself, but sometimes made worse by marketing jargon and intentional misinformation.

While there are some larger pitches still available (32mm and higher), used for large text based signs, most organizations will fall at 16mm - 25mm. The prices increase significantly after 16mm, but if you're looking at getting a sign for viewing close, pedestrian traffic, the tighter pitches are the way to go.

  • 25mm
  • 20mm
  • 16mm
  • 12.5mm (usually marketed as a 12mm)
  • 10mm
  • 8mm
  • 6mm

When comparing pitches and the matrix for products, remember to compare apples to apples and use the actual physical pixel pitch and matrix of the display. There are some great enhancements like virtual pixels that provide a better image on 16 - 25mm displays, but they should be treated as a separate specification/benefit.

The Colors

  • Full Color / RGB: These signs use one or more Red, Green, and Blue LEDs per pixel. These are the necessary combination to accurately produce full color content for text, images and video/animations. The number of colors these displays claim to produce can vary, and are sometimes abused. Anything between 16.7 million - 281 trillion colors is standard. Numbers above this tend to be over inflated, or measured in a different way to produce a better looking specification, but will have little effect on the actual display.  
  • Single Color “Shaded” or “Grayscale”: These type of signs are single color, but the LED’s can dim independently to provide different shades of a single color, typically Red or Amber. The current standard is 4096 shades. Avoid signs that only show 256 shades.
  • Tri Color: Not to be confused with actual full color signs, these displays have one green and one red LED per pixel, when combined together will produce an amber color. They are typically used to produce colored text only, but are sometimes marketed as a cheap alternative to a full color LED sign. However, the color quality on images and video is extremely poor, if supported at all.
  • Monochrome/One Color Only: These are the traditional text only signs that were popular in the past. They produce only one single color, usually Red or Amber (yellow). They don’t draw as much attention from viewers these days, and their use and availability has significantly declined in the outdoor market.

The Control System
There are two main standards for LED sign controllers. IPC (industrial PC) and Embedded Controllers. Each approach have pros and cons for both the end user, and the manufacturer, but I have always recommended IPC controllers.

  • IPC controllers: These are a commercial grade computer, running a standard operating system. They tend to be more powerful than Embedded systems and support higher quality content and smoother animations and transitions. They generally have more storage capacity, and provide more options for customization and long term updates and scalability, but tend to add a bit more cost to the systems.

  • Embedded controllers: These are printed circuit boards that operate using a proprietary firmware, rather than an full operating system. They offer less processing power and lower frame rates, but are popular with some manufacturers for their closed system approach. They are less expensive than IPC’s but harder to implement custom solutions and harder to keep updated over the lifetime of the sign.

The Software
It’s easy to forget the software when looking through spec sheets and product information, but this is something LED sign owners interact with on a daily basis. It’s worth the effort to verify you will be getting the complete package. Some standards to look for.

  • Developed in the USA: Unfortunately a large percentage of overseas signs are provided with extremely unfriendly software provided by the foreign supplier. The interface is difficult to use, and includes poorly translated documentation. Software developed in-house, in the USA focuses on the needs of the user, and takes current software standards into account. Don’t be afraid to dig into this, and make sure your getting a real software product, not a “skinned” version of the foreign suppliers software.
  • Local and Cloud Based Options: You should have the option to either FULLY control your LED sign locally, or provided software from the cloud. Local control is useful for mobile signs, sites without internet access, or in special applications like scoreboards. Cloud based solutions should provide complete control of your sign over the internet, not just certain aspects of the sign.
  • Scheduling Features: The scheduling interface should be easy to use, but still allow advanced options like media groups, scheduling for different days of the week and time of the day, and the ability to play message based on external conditions like temperature. Avoid software that only provides a single playlist of files. You should be able to add multiple files, to play on multiple dates and times, without limitations on how far you can schedule out.
  • Content Creation and Editing: The software should allow you to create an edit your own messages, add a wide variety of file types for playback on the LED sign, as well as a general content library for your own use. Additionally, software that will provide access to a content creation service is highly beneficial.

The Case and Internal Components

  • Manufacturers should have complete control over their case construction, to maintain the quality and weatherability of the sign. Nothing will kill an LED sign faster than water intrusion, or overheating due to design or production flaws. The manufacturer should be able to provide cases with or without a border, and offer custom fabrication options for unique applications.
  • The case should allow easy access to the components. The current standard is a front access design, where LED modules are easily removed from the front of the sign. The internal components should be easy to replace, and have standardized locations and mounting hardware. They should be designed, stocked, and fully supported in the USA by the manufacturer directly.

Specifications are important when comparing LED signs, so make sure you are getting accurate numbers, and comparing apples to apples by digging deeper and asking the right questions. Do your own research and make sure your getting the whole package, for a reasonable price. Look for a sign provider who has your best interests in mind, and uses a manufacturer who does the same.


I hope this post has been informative and helpful. As usual, I welcome ALL constructive comments. Please feel free to comment and add anything I’ve missed, or additional tips you may have regarding this topic. Please visit for many other resources, white papers, and of course: Great looking LED Signs!

**All posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically stated.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Digital Signage Need to Know: Creating Lifetime Fans

- Mike Prongue

Money, money, money, net operating profit, return on investment- how to get it, how to make more of it. That’s what business is all about- right? And, the LED sign industry is a prime opportunity to do just that- make money. There is a need for a cost effective way to advertise on premises, there are great product and software solutions available and you, the LED sign dealer, can marry supply with demand and make a boatload of money.

There are two schools of thought on how a business should become successful-

  • A quantitative approach to tightly managing costs and expenses, tracking every nickel, working those MS- Excel spreadsheets and the budgets, or,
  • Taking care of the customer and bonding them to your business as a lifetime fan.

The truth is you need to blend these two approaches- watch the numbers closely and take care of customers. Flexibility is the key when making decisions translating the numbers into policies and business decisions that impact the customer. Lose the word “never” and take care of the customer. For example- “we never refund purchases beyond the stated one year timeframe.” 

Each potential exception to a policy needs to be evaluated based on the financial consequences, long term. So you don’t refund a service call charge of $500 because it’s 30 days past the stated warranty period? Why should you fork over $500, you told them the rule and your one year warranty is more than fair? Why, because the customer has choices and refusing to lose a nickel today, can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next 30 years.

Creating lifetime fans will help your business by having a devoted group of followers, great word of mouth advertising, and a lot of friends rather than just strangers who are marginally appreciative of your hard work and business efforts.

If you think you have what it takes to deliver truly extraordinary customer service, these four steps will help you get there:

1. See the world with “customer eyes”

Many customers, if not most customers, are skeptical and really do not expect anything extraordinary from your company. They just don’t want to be ripped off- they do expect some service but they really are not hoping much beyond what's on the sales contract.

When Circuit City opened their Louisiana stores, in the 1990s, many customers in the New Orleans market simply could not comprehend being able to return an electronics purchase if they didn’t like it. It took many months for the customer base to really believe that such a “liberal” policy (for its time) could even be possible! The customers in that market had been subject to such anti-customer policies for so long they saw retailers as their enemy. Creating a “Wow” moment for people with such low expectations was fun and easy.

Remember that most customers are hopeful, but they also have had so many marginal purchasing experiences over the years that they may be skeptical. Whether the issue is a great 5-yr on-site service warranty for their LED sign, they hear you but they may not really think it’s real.

Credibility must be established and maintained. And customers are looking for the “catch” or for you to reverse what you stood for when the going gets rough and an exception must be made. Consistency is important.

2. Defer today's profits until tomorrow

A true customer-centric business will see increased revenue and profits long-term. That doesn’t mean you have to squeeze every dime today until 12 pennies are created. There is tomorrow and sometimes extending world-class customer service will cost more in the short run than you may like. But, if you continue to execute the plan, keeping the customer in mind, you’ll see a larger financial return down the road.

If the bean counters, the accountants, in your organization crack open their MS-Excel spreadsheets and start doing a cost versus benefits analysis of your customer service programs they will short-circuit your efforts. It is hard to account for long-term customer loyalty with today’s numbers.

Creating lifetime fans of your business is not always about today, but rather tomorrow. Like any good gardener, you have to plant the seed, tend to it, and WAIT to watch it grow.

3. Be original and surprising

How much easier is it to follow than to lead? What keeps people from leading boldly? Fear is one reason. Sometimes its fear of being original and allowing their true selves to create uniqueness and surprises in the customer service offering. 

Returning to the retail example of Circuit City Stores, one bold move that dramatically increased revenue and improved customer service happened when a program was implemented that offered “Same day car stereo installation or it’s free.” The program was hated in the stores at first because it put pressure on the local installation team to increase their productivity or work for free. A bold plan in retrospect, but once implemented it improved customer service. Right away the 2-3 day backlogs for electronics installation went away and almost every store was on “same day” installation with almost no free installs, anywhere. Customers no longer had to wait up to a week in some places, for their car stereo installation to be installed and the customers thought it was fantastic!

There’s nothing wrong with “stepping out there” with a leading offer or testing a surprising new idea. 

Many companies fail to do this because they stay in a “safety and comfort” zone. It’s nice and warm in the zone and you probably won’t take much criticism. But if you can differentiate your business from the other Sign Companies in your area then you become a leader. If you are not a leader in your region, then what are you? There are leaders, and there are…?

Do something unique and surprising and see what kind of response you get.

4. Create a culture of customer service

Whenever articles are written about customer service Nordstrom’s is always used as an example where a culture of customer service was created. You could return anything to them and they’d take it back while their customer interactions on the floor also embraced the spirit of always “saying yes.”

There are many ways to create a culture of customer service. A culture is not a month-long program giving away glass alligator ashtrays to everyone walking in the door! It is a long-term commitment and a way of life.

A culture starts with the leaders and is something that is turned into a way of simply doing business, a habit. Decisions are made that support the customer. Respect is given to the customer.

Much negativity is infused into organizations by internal negative dialogue about the customer in meetings and one-offs. Trying to stop this frustrated “joking” and putting the external customer (the ones who buy stuff) at the same level of respect as the internal customer (staff) is a must.
You need to spend time living in your customer’s world- feel their emotions, their worries, their concerns, their joy, their frustration. Talk to them, survey them… get information in whatever way you choose. Then do something to improve the experience!

Once the customer condition is identified, everyone has to get into the boat and proverbially “row in the same direction” to improve customer service. From the way phone calls are answered, to empowering the associate to fix customer issues, there are hundreds of ways to stand out in the customer service arena of your business.

It is the responsibility of sign shops to surprise, astound, delight and “wow” every customer they encounter, every day they are in business. When this happens, all of the bean counting could stop, all of the MS Excel spreadsheets could be burned and you’d still be successful.

I am realistic and I know that those spreadsheets are not going away, but you have to decide if you want customer service to be the dog that wags the tail of profits. Or, do you want a profit margin goal to be that dog that makes that profit tail work?

Smart money goes to customer service. Try it… you’ll find it to be much easier and more fun!

These comments are my personal perspective and do not reflect the opinion of Vantage LED, Inc. or SignVine, Inc. or any other person or organization. If you have constructive feedback please email me at  - Mike Prongue

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Digital Signage 101:Make sure you have the right tools for DS!

-Deacon Wardlow
The right tool is incredibly important and (unfortunately) there's rarely one tool to fix everything. Search for "digital signage tools" and a load of software and other options come up, but not much in the way of practical equipment to "get 'er done" when installing and/or servicing a Digital Signage system.

I get a lot of people asking me what the "go to" tool set is for Digital Signage and (to save a lot of repetition and help others) here's my general set of must-haves when I go to work on Digital Signage (whether it's an LED Sign, LCD interior, or other). This list is by no means exhaustive (and if you have something which would be helpful, drop me a line and I'll update the blog):

Tool Bag 
Should be about duffel bag size, wheels are a bonus - I've been locations where I've had to haul my tools to multiple locations at a single site and walked a few miles (total) and wheels are definitely a bonus on a day like that...

Power Tools
Mostly drill (impact or other) with (at least) 4 fully charged batteries and a charger - it's somewhat personal preference whether you go with Hilti, Milwaukee, Ryobi, or something else - the more expensive tools are worth the extra cash... A reciprocating saws-all can come in handy more often than you'd think... Metal and wood blades should be carried...

Flexible Drive Shaft Extension
This is for your power drill, having a flexible drive shaft extension gets the power in weird angle spots where nothing else will fit. Get this or resolve yourself to repetitive stress injury on your wrist...

(drill, allen, hex, get a multi-set for any situation) - you're going to lose them, buy a couple sets...

1/4" driver socket set (I'm American, so I avoid Metrics like the plague...)
I'm not sure how people get things in tight spaces, but this one tool has helped me immensely

General Tools (68 piece or better screwdriver set with ratcheting option)
You can buy kits for relatively low cost. The "three tool rule" generally applies to DS (Phillips, Flat Head Screw driver, Allen Wrench). Throw in a hammer, wrench, pliers (needle nose and oher), and you'll likely be in decent shape. Make sure your tools have a ratcheting option to save a lot of wrist work.

Power Meter/logger
I prefer the Fluke VR1710 - it's (literally) plug and play and excellent for most LED Sign power metering (more times than not, this meter has saved me and clients severe headaches and forced the public utility to fix power issues at a site which would have eventually "mysteriously" damaged an otherwise great LED Sign installation). Interior systems don't typically pull as much power as an outdoor LED Sign, it's always good to know how "clean" your power source is...

Voltage Meter
Great for checking power in/out.

Laptop Computer
Windows-based (it's generally compatible with most systems). Install any software from manufacturers you use or have an account for the sign available. VNC is a bonus (to remote into controllers). Make sure to include Cat 5 or 6 ethernet cable (terminated - 6' length and 100' length), power adapter, 4 port Intellinet (or other) ethernet switch, power strip, and backup battery. Having a laptop on hand will help you (and the tech support you're calling from a site) work past networking issues and get immediate access to a system which may need a little tweaking to integrate on a network which suddenly changed overnight when the IT person for the client decided to upgrade everything the day before you installed the LED Sign and/or the interior Digital Signage systems... You don't have to be a "hacker" just having a laptop is very helpful to the tech support person on the other side of the phone...

Ethernet Kit
1,000' spool of ethernet cable, termination ends, and a crimper w/stripper tool (ethernet cable is relatively simple to terminate).

Velcro and VHB
Velcro (dual-lock and/or tri-lock) and VHB (very high bond) tape helps put stuff in their place and keep them there.

Misc. cables and wirenuts
Different gauges of power wires, wirenuts (different sizes) and the stripper tool for quick fix on cables in a display.

Thermal Temp Sensor
Very helpful with LED and interior LCD systems to gauge the heat of a room, LED Display, and check wires to see where a particular wire might be hot.

Electrical tape, duct tape, and WD-40 (what do these three things NOT fix?)

Mobile Phone and/or MiFi (cellular modem/wireless internet hotspot)
Smartphone is best, especially if you can use it as a hotspot. If the phone can't be a hotspot - a cellular modem/MiFi is great. Bring a USB wifi adapter so you can put the sign controller on wireless through your hotspot for a quick connect if there's a need to bypass the local network for testing communications to a display...

Soldering Iron (butane) w/solder wick and solder
This isn't a "must have" but there've been many times where it's easier for me to solder a connection in the field to fix something I'd otherwise have to wait a week or more for to replace... even if only as a stop-gap (temporary fix), this can be a very valuable tool.

Ideally a handheld is useful, but a headlamp (or even better, safety goggle mounted LED lights) are really helpful as many locations require install & service work be done outside of regular hours and chances are good there won't be a nice bright source of light to work from unless you supply it yourself.

I use a Gerber, Leatherman is also awesome and incredibly useful for quick work. Whatever multi-tool you choose, don't go cheap. The cheap stuff will break on you when you most need it and that does not make for a good day...

Phone Numbers!
The go-to techs from a manufacturer (get their direct lines if you can), client contact info, basically the phone numbers (and emails) of anyone you might need to speak with when going out to a site.

Keys to the Kingdom
If installing a system which requires a special lock, please make sure the client tags the keys and gives them to someone who can be available outside of regular hours...

Please comment here or send questions or requests for information to Vantage LED has white paper resources and more educational material on the website (, please check it out when you have a moment. Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically noted.attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically noted.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Digital Signage Need to Know: Product Consistency and Long Term Success with LED Sign Manufacturers.

-Scott Hofheins

The ISA International Sign Expo 2014 finished up this weekend, and by all accounts was a great success. I enjoyed talking face to face to partners, manufacturers and providers in the industry and meeting some great people. The experience brought up a couple of topics I would like to discuss today. Product Consistency and the Long Term Relationship with your manufacturer/supplier.  

Although the Orlando show is slightly scaled down when compared to Las Vegas, it can still be a bit overwhelming for those new to the industry. One of the reasons for this is the ‘wow’ factor. Manufacturers want to put their best foot forward, and the good ones can back it up with a solid consistent product and experience long term. However, we should be careful of those who have a great looking product on the show floor, but supply a less than ideal product in reality.

Sometimes it’s easy to spot; choppy graphics and slow animations look sub-par even on a large 20 ft. LED sign. But it can be difficult to tell in many cases, unless you've been in the industry for a while. Super tight pixel pitches and flashy marketing material can sometimes make a supplier look better than they really are. It’s worth the effort to dig deeper, and really make sure you are able to get the same product quality long term.

While a super tight 6-8mm pixel pitch may get your attention at the show, the vast majority of LED signs are going to be in the 16, 20, or 25mm range.  How does the manufacturer measure up with these more affordable pitches? Are they going to use the same materials and quality in the product you order?

To be perfectly clear, there absolutely nothing wrong with a high resolution LED sign, they look spectacular and a good manufacturer will offer these pitches along with their standard line. Putting the highest resolution out there just happens to be a significant trend at these shows, and can sometimes skew a person's objectivity. They key is providing you a consistent product regardless of the resolution, and supporting that product throughout it’s lifetime. Remember, your signs need to last longer than a 3 day indoor trade show; it’s going to be outdoor, in the elements 24/7.

Unfortunately this is an issue for some manufacturers, often many located overseas. You may initially get a similar product to the one you saw at the show, maybe even the first 2-3 months or longer. However, at some point you may start to see changes to the product that you were unaware of, changes to the components and the quality of the material that affect the stability of your product in the field. When these changes occur, who do call?

You may get general answers or apologies, but do you really have any pull with the production team or product managers in a factory across the pacific ocean? Not very much, and unfortunately you may have to pay the price for their mistakes with your own reputation and money. Fixing these issues can be costly, and not often timely as you wait for parts to ship from limited supply of spare parts overseas.

Consistency is extremely important in our industry. You want a partner who has the ability to provide this too you on a regular basis. And when changes are made, to inform and document those changes for you. One of the important factors that impacts the ability to provide this is location. As I mentioned in an earlier post,  domestic design and engineering are fundamental to producing quality LED signs. Additionally, domestic support is key to providing you the tools you need to maintain happy customers and functional signs.

Being able to contact a US based representative, who reports to leadership in the US, who oversees production and design team face to face, in the US, is a benefit not to be taken lightly. Feedback and communication from the sign providers onsite provides priceless information for manufacturers to better their product and services. It’s difficult to get that level of communication from a factory thousands of miles away.

As I mentioned before, you, the sign provider bear the ultimate burden for your LED signs in the field and their long term operation. Your signs must stand up to the elements 24/7, and must be fixed in a timely manner when issues arise. The sign warranty plays a central role in this, and should be clear, underwritten, and backed up by real action, not just ink on paper. The industry standard is 5 years parts and “factory labor”. This usually includes parts replacement, and the labor for the factory to repair parts at the factory. It should not be confused with a real onsite, or service labor warranty that includes actual onsite service to the sign. A few manufacturers offer the extra onsite labor warranty, and I highly recommend it.

Everyone wins when you choose a quality manufacturer. You get a partner invested in your success. Your customers get a consistent product that will last, and when issues arise you both have a US based factory and support team ready to assist. Remember to keep your objectivity, don’t get distracted by the ‘wow’ factor, and take the time to do your research and dig a bit deeper. Make sure you're doing business with a company who cares as much about your long term success as you do.


I hope this post has been informative and helpful. As usual, I welcome ALL constructive comments. Please feel free to comment and add anything I’ve missed, or additional tips you may have regarding this topic. Please visit for many other resources, white papers, and of course: Great looking LED Signs!

**All posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically stated.