Solar powered, Electro Luminescent (EL) signage is now a reality thanks to UK product design company Anokimobi Ltd. The ground-breaking signs unveiled today are the first of their kind to be powered solely by the sun rays.
Environmentally friendly and low maintenance, solar powered signs they could potentially save businesses millions in electricity costs and would additionally help them to reach previously untapped audiences where electricity supply is limited or non-existent.
Based on Electro Luminescence (EL) technology, one of the most energy efficient and versatile light sources to exist, a typical outdoor sign can provide between 6 and 14 hours of continuous illumination from daytime charging depending on the model. Unlike signs that use solar power to light very simple shapes made from light-emitting diodes (LEDs), EL signs can broadcast complex design sequences and detailed messages. EL signs can also be fixed almost anywhere due to their lightweight properties and streamlined construction.
Ideally suited for use in sunny climates, it is expected that companies with interests in Southern Europe, South America, Africa, India and the Middle East will be the first to adopt the innovative and eco-friendly signs.
Tom Tranter, Director of Anokimobi Ltd explains, "We have been working with EL technology for 5 years and the response to this product is phenomenal. Many of the global brands we work with highlight the huge importance of eco-friendly practices, high visibility for their products and cost efficiency. Solar powered signage marries all these elements perfectly; our clients can achieve real impact for their brands without the negative impact on the environment or their budgets."
Potential applications for a solar powered unit are not all purely commercial and have wide ranging possibilities for the emergency services and hospitals.
Adding a solar powered element is the latest of a number of innovations by Anokimobi; in 2008 the company developed a considerably more streamlined unit which allowed virtually any hard or soft surface such as plastic, metal, wood and fabric to accommodate an advertising message without the need to first modify its surface.
Now, with the addition of the solar powered element, an EL sign can broadcast energy-efficiently and almost anywhere for a typical lifespan of over 4,000 hours with very little maintenance. The unit also has been developed so the broadcast design panel is interchangeable; a new panel can be simply slotted into place allowing different messages to animate without having to install a whole new unit. Should the sun not shine for a few days the signs have been developed to work from mains supply if needed.