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Posts tagged: Electrical Signs

Illuminated Reverse Channel Letters

“Toscana Divino” Restaurant.  We installed this exterior wall sign at the Central Square of Mary Brickell Village in Miami on April , 2012.  

These are Illuminated Reverse Channel Letters, solid aluminum faces and sides.  They have open backs for a “halo” effect, since  the letters are mounted away from the wall.  

These Illuminated letters can receive either LED or Neon Lighting.  For “Toscana Divino”  we used red LED. 

American Tropical Signs & Services can produce custom logos and letters in regular channel, open face, or reverse channel letter signs.  For the restaurant,  the letters are  pre-wired and  installed on a 2″ deep panel, concealing all the wiring and power supply, since there was no access behind the wall for all the wiring.



Our Signs are UL Listed

Our signs are UL Listed.  What does it mean?

Underwriters Laboratories Inc (UL)

UL’s safety certification services include testing, evaluation and factory surveillance of products to national, regional and international safety standards. These certifications enhance the safety of products, as well as the public’s confidence in their compliance. Consumers, retailers, insurers, distributors and regulators recognize the familiar UL Mark as a trusted symbol of safety.

WE ARE “UL” CERTIFIED, all our electrical signs will have UL Labels.

History of Underwriters Laboratories

In 1894, William Henry Merrill, an electrical engineer, founded UL. Prior to founding the company, Merrill had served as an electrical inspector for the Boston Board of Fire Underwriters, an electrician for the Chicago Underwriters Association and as an electrical inspector for the Chicago World’s Fair. At the World’s Fair, Merrill was hired to examine the electrical safety of the Columbian Exposition’s Palace of Electricity, the first large-scale use of electricity for illuminating. The proliferation of untamed DC circuits and the new, higher voltage AC currents caused a great deal of concern and a rash of fires. Critics questioned if the new technology would ever be safely harnessed. Merrill assured that it could be with the proper care, handling and understanding of its potential hazards.With this goal in mind, Merrill conceived of the idea of an independent testing facility that could render expert opinions concerning fire hazards and certify electrical devices. At first rejected, the need for such a laboratory became clear and UL came into being. From that point forward, UL has been a pioneer and leading authority in testing and creating safety standards.





Should I lease or purchase my business sign?

Leasing  a Sign

To grow in this competitive economy, business owners are looking for new ways. Choosing to lease is a smart way to acquire your business signage.   Equipment Leasing Association research shows that eight out of 10 U.S. companies lease some or all of their equipment.  Outdoor electric signs and LED message centers can be added to the list of assets that can be leased.  We are a vendor that offers leasing as part of our  sales program.

Leasing Benefits

Improves cash flow A typical lease term is less than the useful life of the equipment, and almost always the term is longer than the normal loan period from a borrowing source.

Provides flexible payment schedule Lease payments can be arranged to match cash flow patterns, seasonal business or earnings generated by the equipment.

Offers tax advantages and savings Lease payments are generally treated as fully deductible expenses. This may mean a more rapid write-off. Since the lease term is usually shorter than the depreciable life, payments can be expensed in shorter duration.

No money downLeasing is typically structured with no money down. You can quickly acquire use of equipment without major out-of-pocket costs, it is equivalent to 100% financing.

Preserves bank credit lines Your lease will not affect your existing borrowing limits with your bank, which means you still have 100% of your credit available for other needs.

Allows equipment to be leased as collateral When you lease, the equipment serves as the collateral. If you take out a loan, you will be asked for additional collateral as security on the loan.

Protects against obsolescence Leasing frequently enables you to acquire new equipment without keeping costly equipment working years beyond its profitable life. Modern equipment is always available.

Forecasts costs more accurately Leasing helps take the guesswork out of budgeting. You have known payments over a specified period and no depreciation figures or varying interest costs to question.

Takes a residual position With a lease, a residual position may be taken to allow for tax benefits. With a loan, no residual position is taken on the equipment.

Increases profits immediately Cash and equipment are working assets. With no cash invested in equipment, you have both assets working for you.  You only have to cover the monthly payment for the new equipment to be profitable from the first month.

 Leasing vs. Loan

A loan may offer competitive interest rates, but depending on the bank and the size of transaction, borrowing from a bank could affect your line of credit. Preserve those lines of credit by choosing to lease.


• Shorter applications and quicker approvals

• Utilizes equipment as collateral

• Does not affect bank relationship or line of credit

• Residual position may be taken to allow for tax benefits

• Allows for “soft costs” to be financed

• Requires no money down

• Hedges against obsolescence


• Involves longer approval time and more paperwork

• Requires additional collateral as security

• May go against line of credit

• No residual position is taken on the equipment

• Unable to finance “soft costs”

• Traditionally structured with money down

Neon Signs – History of Neon

American Tropical Signs & Services, LLC  fabricated and installed this NEON sign  in Miami Beach, Florida.

The history of neon sign technology dates back to 1875 before the age of electricity, when the French Astronomer Jean Picard observed a faint glow in a mercury barometer tube. When the tube was shaken a glow called barometric light occurred.  By 1900 after years of experiments, several different types of electric discharge lamps or vapor lamps were invented in Europe and The United States.

The French engineer, chemist, and inventor Georges Claude (b. Sept. 24, 1870, d. May 23, 1960) was the first person to apply an electrical discharge to a sealed tube of neon gas (circa 1902) to create a lamp. Georges Claude displayed the first Neon Light tube on Jan. 11 th, 1910 in Paris.  Georges Claude patented on Jan.19th, 1915 – US  Patent 1.126.476

By 1923 Neon Signs became symbols of glamor and progress

The technical information for this page was written by Daniel Preston who is an inventor, an engineer, a member of the technical committee of the International Neon Association and the owner of Preston Glass Industries.

How are Neon Signs Made:

Neon signs are glass tubes bent into shapes and filled with inert gas.  When the electric current hits the electrodes flowing through the gas,  its atoms glow.

The type of gas in the tubes, determine the color of the light.  In a clear tube, argon gas is blue, while neon gas produces red light.  Other colors  are obtained by using glass tubes that are coated in fluorescent colors.  Blue argon gas in a yellow tube, emits a green light.

To shape the tubes, glass blowing techniques are used.  Following a fire resistant pattern, tube is marked where it needs to be bent . Then heat is applied to each spot on a burner that has a propane flame at 1200 degrees F.  In about 30 seconds, the glass becomes soft enough to be pliable.  The tube is bend gently, and later, air is blown to restore the original diameter.

If you like to learn more about this fascinating technique,  you may visit the link below.


While the market for neon lighting, in outdoor advertising signage has declined since the mid 20th Century, in recent decades neon lighting has been used consciously in art, both in individual objects and integrated into the architectural design of buildings. Neon tubes fabricated by a sign manufacturer, and designed to follow a building architectural angles or shapes can become exterior illuminated signage by creating a colorful and eye catching night time look without the use of typical channel letter signs or box signs.


Sign Installation


Sign installation can be very challenging,  American Tropical Signs installation crews are well trained and highly skilled.  All aspects of the sign design and installation need to meet very stringent  Building Codes in South Florida making it a very integrate process from design to installation.

If you are a national branding company, a local developer, or just a small business owner, we can help you with your sign installation needs. We can can handle the the permitting and installation, even if your signage was maufactured buy another source. Feel free to call us about your sign installation requirements, and we are a State of Florida Licensed contractor.

7675 West 2nd Court, Hialeah FL. 33014 - Phone: 305.512.1223 - Fax: 305.512.1213
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