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TMB’s IMS illuminates Iconic Minneapolis Grain Belt Beer Sign Landmark
USA – After 21 years in the dark, the classic Grain Belt Beer sign is once again brightening the Minneapolis skyline. Built in 1941, the 50x40-foot landmark was the largest free-standing sign in the region, but since 1996 the old incandescent lamps have been dark. A recent renovation by S.M.L. Electrical, supported by JTH Lighting, features over 1,000 Intelligent Marquee Systems (IMS) RGBW LED lamps.
“Pat and Sean Lawrance of S.M.L. Electrical approached us to find a colour-changing, power line control solution,” explains Mike Steskal of JTH Lighting. “They wanted to use existing wiring and S14-style lamps to maintain the sign’s historic look. The system also had to handle the harsh Minnesota cold, which was amply proven last New Year’s Eve when fired up with the thermometer at -8 °F!”
“Located 100 feet above a river, you don’t want to be replacing lamps,” says Sean Lawrance of S.M.L. “They had to be weatherproof, shatterproof, and reliable, plus we wanted a system that was bright and easy to address. The IMS system succeeded on all counts. Having many lamp options proved to be a sizeable problem for us since the historical society and city council each had preferences. We agreed on RGBW for programming versatility and we couldn’t be happier.”
Lawrance adds: “Using a couple IMS hand-held programmers, we opted for a simple program, addressing each letter of ‘Grain Belt’ and a single address for ‘Beer.’ Twelve IMS Mk2 Universe Drive IP65 models drive the marquee lamps. We’ve customised the colours for special occasions; for example, purple for the Vikings play-offs, and green for St. Patrick’s Day. The IMS colours are rich and bright and can be seen for miles.”
25th May 2018
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