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Springdale Electric - Larger than Life Outdoor Advertising!!!

(News story courtesy of Construction Times, June 2009 issue)

Hydro One

FRED SNEL is OWNER/PRESIDENT of Springdale Electric, and if you've travelled anywhere in the GTA, you've likely been exposed to his work.

Fred creates outdoor advertising that will prompt a double take. Springdale Electiic's gravity defying 3-dimensional advertisements are a feat of engineering. They are clever, dramatic and as realistic as a Hollywood movie set.

Springdale's latest creation is for Mazda and the new 2009 Aurora model. "Since the theme of the campaign was designed around the Aurora Borealis, we mounted a cardboard cutout of the car in front of a series of RGB lights, to simulate the effect of the Northern Lights," Fred explains. "They're not quite 'strobe' lights but similar to the revolving lights one might see atop a police car, but spinning at a slower pace." The sign contains a single bulb which a curved mirror is spun around, creating a rotating beam of light, which flashes with intensity.

The technicians at Springdale Electric are skilled with DMX controllers, the industry standard for intelligent lighting systems. DMX512-Ais an EIA-485 based communications protocol that is also used to control stage lighting and effects and is being used to control Aurora bill board. It's about programming the right 'presets', which may include a fade or flash effect. "We have 16 modes available when we develop a lighting pattern for the client," Fred says.

Springdale works with most outdoor advertising companies. The Greater Toronto Area is seeing growth in the number and complexity of outdoor signs. 'Static' LED screens are capable of showing messages on a continuous and monitored basis. This is a veiy effective concept, ensuring maximum exposure to the 'captive audience' that make up today's gridlocked commuting motorists. "Modern technology allows us to hook up a DSL link which enables us to control our systems remotely, sparing the need for an onsite service call." The Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is a technology that provides digital transmission over a local telephone network. The advent of DSL is an added convenience for Fred. "Whatever the advertisement is, it can be sent over as a signal without a 'posting crew' at the location; the client prepares the artwork from their office and uploads to the sign in as little as a day."

Yonge and Dundas Square in downtown Toronto has been called the 'Las Vegas of Canada'. If you expect to live in a place like Toronto you have to be prepared to tolerate the glitter at times. Fred doesn't consider Canadian 'outdoor' advertising to be all that excessive - there are locations like Yonge Street at Dundas Square, where elaborate out door advertising is both accepted and celebrated.

The signs and Billboards (with or without video) lining the Gardiner Expressway can be distracting, especially while trying navigate the bustle of Toronto.

Springdale Electric installed score board lighting at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks. Perhaps the most exciting advantage offered by modern electronic scoreboards is the audio/ visual experience for the fans.

Tri-Vision displays are three faced mechanical signs which Springdale Electric does electrical servicing for. Tri-Vision display billboards feature environmental aluminum alloy as the primary material and a double-gear stepping wheel drive system. The image flipping time varies for each 'face' -usually about 6-12 seconds. Tri-Vision display billboards are often used in rooftop ads,building wall ads and at intersections.

Fred has embraced green technology with much enthusiasm. "I've been able to reduce the energy consumption required by some signage by using wind, solar and LED technology." The government is offering rebates and various incentives to trim the fat off electricity use. "City Counselors also seem more likely to approve outdoor advertising if it incorporates 'green' technology." Otherwise, High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting will continue to be the worst offender, adding a level of toxic chemicals to our environment.

The digital television movement is prompting some analog users to pitch their old sets without any regard for the chemicals that can leech out of them when they end up in landfills. Springdale is doing its part to curb this bad habit in their industry. They offer a recycling program to reduce the pollution generated by mercury that exists in certain lamps.

In an industry like Springdale Electric's, the spring season is an enjoyable and scenic experience. "Most of our client's campaigns are launched in the summer and again before Christmas. But we still get lots of work year round, responding to perform maintenance and repairs."

The impactful media of Springdale Electric can affect the senses, incorporating sight, sound and even touch. Learn about their techniques by visiting them online http://springdaleelectric.com/

Springdale Electric is the sign of a mesmerizing experience.

Copyright © 2009. Construction Times.

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