From Laura Peters, Sign of the Times, January 2017

The first thing I reach for in the morning is a steaming hot cup of coffee. I’m not choosy about the brand, but it has to be fresh and it has to be hot. And maybe a nice muffin and orange juice to go with it. This is the sort of thing one might pick up if driving, say, from Sycamore to St. Charles, Il on Route 64, stopping at the new Road Pantry convenience store that recently opened in Lily Lake.

Parvin-Clauss Sign Company (Carol Stream, Ill.) a full service designer, fabricator and installer of signage, was brought on board to design the Road Pantry’s expansive 240 x 6 x 3 ft deep awning. The owner said he wanted the façade to “pop” with bright lighting that would give customers a sense of security, according to Bob Clauss, president of Parvin-Clauss. Low maintenance was also critical. “He said he would rather pay a little more on the front end to avoid frequent light replacements and poor quality on the back end,” Clauss said.

The team initially considered fluorescent tubes. However, because fluorescents require frequent replacement, typically every three years (sometimes more frequently when electronic ballasts fail at freezing temperatures), they chose an LED solution. Working with distributor Darrell Davis of Midwest Sign Supply Co. (Chicago), the customer selected the Batten LED Luminaire from Current by GE (Boston). The fixture is IP66 rated for use in damp, dirty locations.

The installation required two rows of luminaires, a total of 66 high-output GE Batten light bars of different lengths. A very cool color temperature of 7100K was chosen, which provides higher energy efficiency than light at warmer white temperatures using LEDs. “Our installers commented on the plug-and-play nature of the GE Battens, which led to minimal labor,” Clauss said. The Batten LED luminaires reduce the Road Pantry’s electricity bill by about 25% versus fluorescent backlighting for its awning.

The result? An eye-catching beacon for road-weary commuters looking for a fill-up for the tank and the coffee cup.