Brad writes “I’ve always wanted to be a proud owner of some unnecessarily large light-up outdoor sign. Specifically I wanted some old sign that used to adorn the entrance of some dive bar somewhere. The problem is these signs are “collectors items” of sorts and if they’re in any working order then they’re gonna cost you quite a bit of money. On the other hand, if they don’t work, you’re still going to end up spending your life savings trying to fix what time and weather has done to these signs over the years. You’ll also need the know-how to do the work and a team of people to help move the sign since they generally weigh more than small cars. My solution was simple. I just needed to build what I wanted.” Link.
4 thoughts on “HOW TO – Make a tavern sign”
Two improvements that would make this a little better project would be to use a frosted acrylic face instead of the corrugated plastic–sign shops will have this material. It’s more expensive but won’t warp as badly over time due to heat building up from the lighting. Second, switch to fluorescents baby! Less power, less heat, etc. You can’t use the dimmer but do you really want to swap those bulbs all the time?
Another suggestion. Introduce a random flicker in one of the bulbs. Would be a piece of cake with a DC bulb, 555 timer and an ssr or relay with an AC bulb to handle the high voltage/current. The flickering would probably drive you crazy though. Once every 10-15 minutes would be kinda neat.
High output white leds are pretty cheap these days too. Easily dimmable
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