Laser line markers and virtual signs harness modern technology to create lasting, low-maintenance safety and organizational cues in your warehouse or facility. Laser line generators and sign projectors can add visual cues to hard-to-access areas or in locations with uneven floors or challenging surfaces. If you’re unsure how these projections can help improve safety and efficiency, follow along as we explain what these tools are, the benefits you can expect, and how to choose the right solutions.
What Is a Laser Floor Marking System?
Laser floor marking systems consist of any combination of image and laser line projectors that display virtual aisle markers, crosswalks, staging areas, safety signs, and other visual aids. Projections can also include business logos and marketing messages for customer-facing environments.
Here are some ways you can use a virtual line or image projector:
- Project a floor sign to inform or remind employees about potential hazards like forklift traffic, restricted areas, or required PPE.
- Increase safety by creating a crosswalk in an area with a mix of heavy pedestrian traffic and motorized equipment.
- Create navigational cues for walking paths, using a color-coded system where appropriate.
- Display a logo or message to customers in a retail environment, gymnasium, or restaurant. Can be temporary, as in for a limited campaign.
Virtual line and sign options provide bright, easy-to-see messages exactly where you need them—and, when you no longer need the message, you can simply turn the projector off or change the displayed image.
Benefits of Projected Line Markings in Warehouses
Investing in laser lines and virtual signs in warehouses pays off, especially since these markings help you improve safety and maintain compliance with OSHA, without increasing maintenance time. Though our Superior Mark® floor tape is durable, any physical material will show signs of damage or wear eventually—especially when subjected to constant heavy equipment or extreme temperatures. But, virtual signs and LED lines can be displayed on walls and floors in the most demanding conditions.
When you make the switch to laser line marking systems or gobo projectors, you’ll notice these benefits:
- Damage-proof lines and signs
- Properly marked hazards in hard-to-reach areas, from corners to ceilings
- Clear visuals on rough, uneven surfaces
- Equipment can be moved and reused if layouts change
- Projector equipment has a long lifespan
- Fast, in-house installation, with minimal labor costs
- Highly visible messages in low-light conditions
How to Choose the Right Display Technology
When installing permanent or temporary floor markings as part of your visual communication strategy, industrial laser lines and gobo projectors may be suitable options for your warehouse or industrial location. Gobo projectors and lasers are easy for your maintenance department to install, without calling in a professional. Virtual signs can illuminate a message from a distance of 4 feet to 18 feet away, each projector can be turned off or on at any time, and the lasers and LED bulbs have long lifespans.
Selecting the right virtual signage depends on the environment. Higher-wattage gobo fixtures are needed in locations with a lot of ambient light or if you’re projecting onto dark walls or floors. If the mounting location is a considerable distance from the target, a more powerful projector will help retain the graphic’s brightness. Use our virtual sign selector tool to choose the virtual sign equipment that will work best in your facility’s lighting and environment while getting the projection size you desire.
Equipment to create virtual lines or walkways can include laser lines, LED projections, or gobos. The most important considerations are the clarity of the lines, the colors available, and the image projection distance. To help you choose, here’s how laser line projectors, LED lines, and gobos stack up:
- Laser Line Projectors produce thin, crisp lines up to 50 feet in length in red or green.
- LED Projectors create lines in yellow, green, blue, or red in 3-inch widths; projections can reach 50 feet in length but may be slightly fuzzy in appearance.
- Gobo Projectors display any line width as well as graphics or shapes, reaching up to about 15 feet in size; the appearance is sharp and focused; any color or pattern may be chosen.
How Gobo Projectors Improve Safety
A sign projector, like our gobo projector, is the best solution for displaying virtual images, including marketing logos, warning signs, and procedural information. These low-wattage projectors are efficient and have no moving parts so routine cleaning and occasional bulb replacement is all the maintenance they need. The machines cast light through a small disc, known as a gobo (Goes Before Optics), which displays the message onto the floor or wall where it is directed.
Virtual signs can feature standard safety messages, alerting pedestrians to use caution, notifying employees of forklift traffic, or marking areas where eye protection is required. And, custom gobos can be created to communicate any facility-specific information you need. Whether you desire a disc with your branded logo or a gobo warning to display in an automated machine’s path or in a challenging warehouse intersection, we specialize in customizing virtual signs to your specifications.
Using Virtual Signs in Warehouses
Gobo projectors have powerful projection lengths so you can mount these to trusses or any out-of-the-way area, without obscuring the visual. The crisp images convey safety, informational, or marketing messages clearly. The high-quality glass discs are heat-resistant and have long lifespans.
Virtual image projections can supplement standard adhesive floor signage to:
- Reinforce standards to improve personal protective equipment compliance
- Create walkways with full-color fill, striping, or traffic-control signs
- Display attention-getting signage during hiring events
- Project logos to greet facility tour guests
- Announce upcoming inspections
Where to Use Laser Line Generators
Virtual lines simplify the installation and maintenance of marks in aisles, walkways, and intersections. These solid visual cues can be made with laser line projectors or LED projectors. Each digital solution produces clear, highly visible markings that outlast paint and industrial-grade tape. Whether you are organizing products, separating people and machines, or supporting temporary workflows, warehouse laser lines are cost-effective, versatile solutions for busy workplaces.
Virtual line/sign solutions provide bright, easy-to-see visual cues exactly where you need them, including on uneven or damaged warehouse floors or in locations subject to temperatures from 0 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. When the aisle markers or staging areas are no longer relevant, simply turn the projector off until it is needed again.
The display flexibility of projected lines makes them effective solutions for:
- Color-coded walking paths
- Forklift training exercises
- Staging lanes for large shipments
- Marking safety/access zones
- Receiving dock lanes
Is a Laser Projector Better Than an LED?
Lifespan, warranty, and flexibility are where LED projectors and laser lines differ, and LEDs outperform laser projectors in all three areas. Lasers are much more expensive than LED projectors yet have 1/3 of the lifespan and the units aren’t field serviceable. When the LED on your projector goes out, the bulb and driver can be exchanged without buying a whole new unit. Laser projectors must be fully replaced at the end of their life cycles, and even though it is expensive, changing out the projector is not time-consuming, especially compared to repainting warehouse lines. Lasers also only have one lens position (90°), so they tend to only work well from relatively low mounting heights while LED line projectors can be configured with three different angles offering more flexibility in busy industrial workplaces.
The following chart shows the main differences between LED and laser line projectors including the lifespans, the output colors and image appearances, and the required power supplies.
|Virtual Line Projector (LED)||Virtual Line Laser|
|Lifespan||30,000 – 40,000 hrs.||9,000 hrs.|
|Field Serviceable?||Yes: Replaceable LED and driver||No: Unit must be replaced after 9,000 hrs.|
|Colors||Yellow, Green, Blue, Red||Green, Red|
|Power Usage||80W – 150W||1 – 3W|
|Appearance||Bright, slightly fuzzy||Bright, crisp|
|Line Width||3 – 6 in.||⅛ – ¼ in.|
|Available Lenses||55°, 75°, 90°||90°|
|Warranty||2 years||1 year|
|Operating Temperature Range||-13℉ – 122℉||0℉ –120℉|
|Line Power||AC Power Supply 100-240V/277VAC, 50/60Hz||AC Power Supply 110/240V|
|Maximum Mounting Height (Based on typical lighting conditions)||30ft. – 40ft.||20ft. – 25ft.|
When you’re ready to upgrade your facility’s safety and navigational markings, consider virtual signs and lines. Browse our state-of-the-art signage solutions to find the right fit for your shop floor, or contact us to speak to an expert about your needs. For more tips on improving visual cues in industrial workplaces, visit our Resource Center today.