June, 2018

The Mistral Palace is a concert venue in central Valence, France. In the summer, they stage outdoor events and wanted a luminous sign to hang over the bar.
The specs; 3m long, run on the mains (220v), easy to take to bits, weather proof and of course, not too expensive.
I wanted to try using UV LED strips because I haven't tried them before, but was concerned the end-result might look like something from a 1990s rave. So I did a lot of tests and sticking with just one colour seemed to be the answer.
I interlocked three pieces of outdoor hardboard using a simple wooden structure at the back which could also be used to suspend the sign. The front was painted black and I marked-out the Mistral Palace logo by dividing it into squares and doing the same with the sign. I traced the shapes with white pencil, then painted everything in white acrylic. I bought good quality fluorescent red acrylic, but it still looked like a revolting skin rash at anything less than four coats. At the top of the front, I built out three wooden supports which hold waterproof UV LED strips pointing back towards the sign but aren't visible at night. The whole thing has water-proof connections for the three LED strips, and the painted part is well varnished against the elements.
The end result looked so beautiful lit-up in the complete darkness I have to admit I didn't really want to hand it over.