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  • EU and BS standards for fabrication of neon signs

    Posted by d dunthorne on December 12, 2002 at 9:06 am

    Members may be interested to know that the latest edition of the EU standard for neon signs has just been published (EN 50107, Part 1, 2002).

    It is important that signmakers understand the requirements in order to comply with their legal obligations under the Low Voltage Directive. There are important differences between this standard and the previous (1998) edition. I shall be discussing the differences in the January/Feburuary edition of Sign Directions, but in the meantime, if anyone wishes to talk about the standard (and others that effect the sign industry) I shall be happy to correspond with them.

    Don Dunthorne

    d dunthorne replied 21 years, 4 months ago 7 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • Mike Brown

    December 12, 2002 at 9:37 am

    Hi Don! … and welcome to the UKSignBoards (hot) (hot) (hot)

    Great to see you here, bringing with you, as you do, a wealth of knowledge too…

    This site is, without doubt, the most professional of all the UK signmakers site – and with your arrival it just got even better. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I look forward to reading you posts, views and comments – and don’t forget to get stuck in regarding any topic right across the board.

    As a newcomer here, you won’t be able to post images until Rob (admin) gives you the nod – it stops ‘fly-posters’ that way’ – but if you’d like to accompany your messages with images diagrams and the like then just ask Rob for the necessary permission.

    Great to see you here…

    more soon


  • d dunthorne

    December 12, 2002 at 10:54 am


    Thanks for your welcome.

    My background is in most aspects of signmaking but, in particular, tube manufacture and circuit information. Happy to discuss technicalities with anyone.


  • Martin Pearson

    December 12, 2002 at 11:20 am

    Hi Don and welcome to the UKSG, as Mike has already said its nice for someone of you experience to be associated with the site. I have spoken to you on a couple of occassions when the BSGA recommended it and found the info you provided very useful. I look forward to reading your posts as I know I can learn a lot from posts you make.

  • Fat Bob

    December 12, 2002 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Don, and welcome

    Have read some of your past articles in mags very informative and easy to understand

    Keep it up as some sign mags send me to sleep in the bath as they are nearly all
    adverts and need more content like yours.

    Im off on one again Mike / Rob Ever thought of a Mag of your Own.

    Regards…… FB

  • Robert Lambie

    December 12, 2002 at 10:53 pm

    Funny enough bob we both have! ๐Ÿ˜†
    To be honest though I think this site does just as good a job and it is better and quicker to update. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Welcome don. Good to see you visiting the site.
    Like mike said. Donโ€™t be afraid to get stuck in. we are a easy going lot and thrive on any extra new sign knowledge or poor heads will take… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    A quick question while iโ€™m here. Do you know of or offer neon-bending training. We looked into this a while back when we went to purchase a neon plant. But never pursued it due to the fact we couldnโ€™t get anyone in Scotland that was available & qualified for the job. When looking into training courses we were told that I think the name was “mason lite” used to do a course and stopped?

    Any info appreciated ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Paul Davenport

    December 12, 2002 at 11:02 pm


    sorry to but in here but as far as i know masonlite still do the courses, you can go down there, full accomodation while your taught, expensive though!!!!!!

  • d dunthorne

    December 13, 2002 at 3:39 pm

    At the last count, Masonlite still do this course although I don’t know how extensive it is these days. Certainly, when Peter Mason ran the company the courses were very comprehensive but he has long since retired. He and Olive are in their nineties now and still enjoy life – commuting between their houses in Chatham and in the Dordogne.

    Check with Mike Hall at Masonlite – 01634 812751,

    I think that there are some colleges associated with the BSGA who run sign making courses, leading to NVQs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get hold of Peter Tipton this afternoon, but I will check and let you know.


    Don Dunthorne

  • d dunthorne

    December 17, 2002 at 2:29 pm

    More information on neon manufacture courses.

    Peter Tipton of the BSGA says that the following college has been approved by them.

    Sheffield College
    Signwork Department
    Castle Centre – Talbot
    Norfolk Park Road
    S2 3QE

    Tel: 0114 272 3290, Fax: 0114 272 3302


    BSGA approved centre accredited to deliver signmaking NVQs at levels 2 and 3.

    Peter tells me that they have all the equipment necessary to provide practical instruction in tube manufacture. He is not sure on the current state of the courses. Best check with them directly.


    don Dunthorne

  • Robert Lambie

    December 17, 2002 at 4:40 pm

    much appreciated don, thank you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • d dunthorne

    January 6, 2003 at 4:09 pm

    This subject seems to have changed a bit since my first note on the new Standard (EN 50107-1, 2002). However, you might like to know that I am preparing notes on the changes to the requirements for the Jan/Feb issue of Sign Directions.


    Don Dunthorne

  • SignMadeMike

    January 19, 2003 at 7:12 pm

    Hi Don
    I’ve been reviewing profiles and came across yours and believe you can help me. I have to quote lumiens? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ for a sign, can you let me know how do I work this out?

    thanks in advance

    Mike George

  • d dunthorne

    January 21, 2003 at 4:52 pm

    Dear Mike,

    Many thanks for your query. Lumens are units of light produced by a light source such a fluorescent lamp.

    For the purposes of planning regulations, local authorities are usually interested in the brightness (luminance) of the front face. this is usually quoted in terms of Candelas per square metre. The way you calculate this is as follows:

    1) Add up the total light output (in lumens) produced by the lamps in the sign. The values for individual lamps may be obtained from any lamp catalogue. For example, a tyoical 4ft 36 W lamp will deliver around 2,800 lumens. Let us suppose that the total light output for the lamps in the sign is ‘A’ lumens.

    2) Next calculate the total illuminated area of the front face of the sign. Let us suppose that this is ‘B’ squ metres.

    3) Thus the the lumen density generated within the sign by the lamps are A/B lumens per square metre.

    4) This is the lumen density within the sign. We next need to know how much gets out. Some will go straight out through the diffusing front face, some will be reflected from internal surfaces (done forget to paint them white) and some will have multiple reflections. this all boils down to a utilisation factor for the sign and this is determined empirically.

    5) Local authorities are usuall interested in the brightness of the white parts of a front face since other colours are usuall less bright. In this short note, I cannot give a range of utilisation factors but typically 3 mm Opal 040 is about 50% and and 3mm Opal 050 is about 35%.

    6) Let us assume that the above sign has a 3 mm Opal 050 front face. in this case the luminance (brightness) of that face will be 0.35 x A/B lumens per square metre.

    7) Sign luminances are usually expressed in terms of Candelas per square metre. To convert the value in (6) into Candelas per square metre, the value is divided by ‘pi’ (3.14).

    Hope this helps. Let me know if there are any specific queries.


    Don Dunthorne

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