FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Your FAQ’s answered by LUMICHRON Clock Company.
If you don’t find what you are looking for, or you’d like to go to straight to the source now, just give us a call! 888-788-4838. We always are up to clock talk!
How do I select a clock?
Choosing a Tower Clock . . .
LUMICHRON Clock Company offers standard clock types for very short deadlines, custom sizes and finishes to fit project requirements, and completely custom clock designs for special installations. Browse our recent projects to view the wide variety of LUMICHRON Clocks. Whether custom or standard, you will need to consider the size of the clock, often dictated by available space on your tower or wall, or by viewing distance, or aesthetics, and the application or type of installation. Once we know these details, we can provide you with a quote.
For Types of Clocks, see photos below, or click on drop-down menu.
TOWER CLOCK – Case, fully enclosed, with an illuminated back-lit dial, with glass crystal (up to 48″ dia) or exposed hands (48″ +)
- Surface-mounted, case clock mounted directly on the building fascia or wall
- Semi-flush mounted, case clock that is partially inset into an opening in the fascia or wall.
- Flush-mounted, case clock that is completely inset in an opening in the building fascia or wall; the dial or glass crystal is flush to the façade.
TOWER CLOCK – Skeletal, no case. The hour markers are mounted directly to the building facade. The hands mount to the clock movement shaft, which extends from the interior or from an inset. Hands and markers are easily illuminated, face-lit or halo-lit.with or without illuminated hands and markers
POST OR STREET CLOCKS – Modern or Victorian, 2- or 4-sided
BRACKET or SUSPENDED CLOCKS – 2- or 4-sided, to project from a wall or corner, or suspend from a ceiling, or attach to a sign
Moving forward with a P.O. we respond with an order confirmation, invoice for deposit and shop drawings/submittals/equipment specifications for your approval so that we may begin manufacturing.
What is the typical delivery time?
Manufacturing usually takes 4 to 6 weeks from receipt of deposit and approvals of submitted shop drawings.
Who installs the clock(s)?Typically the site contractor/electrician as wiring is often involved. Also a local electric sign company is good with this type of thing. Lumichron can also perform or manage site installation, including training if required. Line voltage wiring must be done by local electricians.
Who maintains the clock(s)?
As there is virtually no maintenance required, we typically don’t sell ‘maintenance agreements’ or have any scheduled follow-up work. In the event of any service required, a local electrician or electric sign company are good resources. Lumichron is also available for site service if required. It is important to consider future access when designing the clock.
How do you set the time on a tower clock?
The time is actually kept on a masterclock controller, located inside in a secure, but readily accessible location such as the electrical equipment room. The tower clock (movement) is technically a ‘slave clock’. All tower clocks are controlled by wire (usually low-voltage) from the master clock.
Only small, ground-level clocks can the time be manually adjusted at the clock with a knob.
What is a masterclock?
A masterclock is the ‘brains’ behind the tower clock. It keeps track of the time with an internal quartz crystal, often synchronized perfectly with a supplemental GPS antenna. When the primary power is interrupted an internal lithium battery maintains the memory and when power returns, the masterclock will reset the display clock(s) to current time.
Another feature of a masterclock is automatic change-over for Daylight Saving time changes for hands-free operation.
Some masterclocks also feature digital bell chimes, bell strike functions for operating bells or relays for controlling other devices such as illumination.
What is a slave clock movement?
A slave movement is the mechanism inside a clock which operates on command from the master clock. Typically only once a minute, for about 3 seconds. The slave movement has no internal memory and does not know the position of the actual clock hands – this has to be programmed into the master clock. An exception to this is a ‘Self-Setting’ slave movement.
What is a Self-Setting clock movement?
This is a special type of movement which operates on a time-code from the masterclock or NTP (Network Time Protocol). As long as the hands are set properly initially, it does know their position and will re-set after power interruptions and DST changes.
Can we do Atomic Time clocks?
Yes, the Atomic Time signal via a GPS Antenna.
The time signal from satellites – via a GPS Antenna is more accurate & reliable than reception of Atomic Time via a radio frequency. The WWVB low-frequency radio signal from Ft. Collins, Colorado has spotty reception. Which is why we prefer the extremely accurate GPS signal, received by an antenna, which must have a clear view of the sky, and is placed on or near your clock.
WWVB – Atomic Time – is a time signal radio station near Fort Collins, Colorado and is operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Most radio-controlled clocks in North America use WWVB’s transmissions to set the correct time. The signal is also conveyed from on-board satellite atomic clocks via the global positioning system. Known primarily as a navigation system, the global positioning system is also used to disseminate precise time, time intervals, and frequency.
Are the clocks weatherproof?
Water, Rain, Snow, Ice, Cold, Heat, Sun, Wind . . . . LUMICHRON Clock Company designs and builds clocks to withstand all these environmental challenges.
- Architectural Grade Powdercoat or Acrylic Enamel Paint Finishes provide maximum durability and UV protection.
- Case clocks are completely enclosed — front and back.
- All fasteners are stainless steel and all materials are non-ferric — to prevent rust.
- Glass crystals are always sealed fast with glazing silicone and bezels always feature vent holes with bug screens.
- Tempered Glass is used for all our crystals. Tempered for increased strength and durability. Glass remains crystal clear forever. No cloudiness or discoloration as can occur with acrylic.
- Vinyl dials are always made of cast vinyl (the industry’s premium process) with UV protection, to retain clarity, color saturation, and longevity of performance.
- Open-face clocks (usually those 48″ and larger) feature unbreakable polycarbonate – they highest industry standard – are decorated inside for longevity and color-fastness. Since polycarbonate is subject to expansion/contraction in heat and cold, we do not use hard-fast seals (these may cause the dials to buckle). Instead the face has egress for water and moisture — proper drainage and good ventilation to maintain the like-new integrity of your clock.
What is a Skeletal clock?
A skeletal clock generally features only the hands and numbers/tick marks. A background dial is also possible. The clock movement is typically located on the inside, behind the wall and has a long shaft for through penetration. It can also fit inside a wall, mounted to a central rosette plate and everything is installed ‘through the front’ if rear access is not available.
What is a 'Case' clock?
Lumichron Bracket Clock, Standard Roman dial, Roman S Hands, custom case finish
We refer to the body of the clock as a case. Not a ‘can’ – we’re not in the canning business. Typically we always build a fully enclosed case to house the illumination, movement, etc. so installation is much simpler and it keeps the components clean, etc.
It is typical for exterior clocks with faces to be illuminated. We use long-life (100,000 hour or 22 years @ 12 hours a day) rated LED’s which come in various color temperatures: 3100k (warm white), 4200k (medium) and 6500k (cool)
Skeletal clocks (hand and numbers/ticks) can be illuminated or, non-illuminated. A special movement which features hollow shafts, rings and brushes, transmits power to the clock hands for face-lit or halo-lit hands. Some customers purchase a non-illuminated clock as a less-expensive option, and then use spotlights to illuminate at night.
How are the clocks serviced?
Everything is designed to be serviceable, either through the front or through the back. If the clocks are in a tower, but with no provisions for a crane/bucket to gain ready front-access, then provisions must be made for inside full access.
Are the crystals plastic?
Unless specifically requested, we do not use plastic, acrylic or polycarbonate for dial protection because eventually it scratches and turns yellow or fogs. We prefer to use tempered glass, generally for all clocks 42” diameter and smaller. Clocks 48” and larger usually have open-face dials.
How long is the warranty?
We generally give a two year warranty on all parts and workmanship 2 years from date of shipment. Extended warranties are available for a nominal upcharge. Contact us for complete details.
Do we furnish Operation & Maintenance Manuals?
Upon request, we do furnish complete Operation and Maintenance manuals, both on CD and/or hard-copy as required. These list all the components, service and trouble-shooting procedures.
Do we manufacture all of our own componentry?
For any given clock we use appropriate best equipment from a variety of vendors best suited to the clock’s application. All of our major equipment vendors have a long history of manufacturing. We have an open-source policy and complete details of the equipment furnished is available or furnished with the clock(s). If you wish to know ahead of construction what we plan to use, let us know.