Case Studies
​Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

Goals: To re-light the stadium’s namesake sign, reduce costly maintenance visits and improve energy savings.
Products Installed: 450 feet of OSRAM LED Border Flex
Annual Savings: Approximately $18,000 in maintenance costs

The Situation

Accommodating up to 65,000 people, Ford Field has been home to the National Football League (NFL) Detroit Lions, trade shows, concerts and conventions since 2002. Over time, the Ford Field namesake sign positioned on the front of the stadium began to have serious problems. The six to seven foot, individually lettered, neon sign began to malfunction resulting in frequent power outages, which greatly reduced its visual appeal. Located approximately 120 feet from the ground, the sign was extremely difficult, dangerous and costly for facility staff to service, causing annual maintenance costs to reach approximately $18,000.  Therefore, Ford Field’s facilities management team opted to simply turn the sign off until a better solution could be found. 

With the stadium’s 10-year anniversary and the first game of the NFL 2012-2013 season approaching, management was eager for its premiere sign to properly greet attendees and realized a lighting upgrade was necessary. In partnership with LaVanway Sign Company Inc., Ford Field’s facilities management team reached out to lighting distributor N. Glantz & Son and the experts at OSRAM SYLVANIA for their lighting expertise.

The Solution

Looking for an energy-efficient and low maintenance lighting solution, Ford Field had 450 feet of blue OSRAM LED Border Flex, a contoured LED lighting system offering extra long-life and low maintenance costs from OSRAM SYLVANIA, installed to illuminate the signature sign. Specifically designed to replace neon technologies, OSRAM Border Flex’s flexible design is easily bent by hand to any shape, making it a perfect choice for signage, architectural and contoured lighting applications.

The Product

The environmentally preferable OSRAM LED Border Flex consumes about one tenth the amount of energy than alternative neon technologies, resulting in significant savings. The powerful, ultra-bright LEDs last up to 30,000 hours and are diffused to 180 degrees, providing a vibrant, uniform light output for signage applications. The Border Flex’s robust PVC jacket works to protect LEDs from the elements,  while the stringent color control standards help ensure the bright color will be reflected for years to come.

Rated for outdoor use and more durable than neon, OSRAM Border Flex is available in six colors: red, orange, yellow, white, blue and green. The Border Flex’s easy-to-cut design allows for fast and accurate installations and is available in 30 and 150 foot rolls to fit a variety of application needs. Additionally, standard accessories, such as mounting brackets and input power pins, help accommodate the most intricate layouts and architectural challenges. 

OSRAM LED Border Flex uses standard 120V AC power which virtually eliminates the need for additional power supplies and helps reduce overall application costs and installation times.

The Green Effect

Because of the quick, two-day installation time, Ford Field was able to quickly replace their aging neon technology with the energy-efficient OSRAM LED Border Flex and enjoy immediate energy savings.  The previously installed neon technology required 3,780 kWh and frequent maintenance repairs costing around $18,000 a year. The new Ford Field sign is now lit by only 720 kWh and needs minimal maintenance.  As a result, facilities management can redirect those cost savings to other operational needs.

The Bottom Line

OSRAM SYLVANIA was able to provide Ford Field an energy-efficient and long-life signage solution that ultimately helped to turn the stadium’s marquee sign back on. Thanks to the newly installed OSRAM LED Border Flex technology, an enhanced bright, blue light has returned to the Ford Field sign, helping enhance the stadium’s overall look now, and well into the future.