Retrofit Neon Signs to LED to Save Money & Go Green
Brand image is the overall impression in a consumer’s mind formed from all sources, including electric signs. The purpose of any branding sign is to draw attention to the brand in a positive way, but many times due to inconsistent sign lighting, a positive branding statement is compromised. Many channel letter signs, for instance, were put in service when neon lighting was the only option, or the least expensive choice until recently. Unfortunately, because of high maintenance requirements and cold weather reliability, neon has a lower performance level than LED, leaving a brand vulnerable to projecting negatively in its market.
Improvements in technology have brought down the price of LED’s and now the majority of today’s custom electric channel letter signs are made using LED’s. LED’s require much less maintenance and use almost 1/20th the electricity of neon. LED is also a low voltage system as opposed to high voltage neon which means that LED installations are less invasive, preserving building aesthetics and integrity while maintaining a positive branding statement.
Consider the following 6 reasons to switch your electric channel letters to LED:
- Reduced energy costs by up to 94%
- Long Life – 50,000 hours (Conservative estimate equal to 11 years of nighttime use)
- Less service/reduced maintenance costs (provides more consistent brand for customers, year-round)
- Less insurance risk (reduced fire and shock hazards)
- Improved performance in cold weather (provides more consistent brand for customers, year-round)
- Fewer required primary electrical circuits
Because neon is more bulky than LED, neon signs tend to be a little wider and taller than its LED counterparts. That is usually not a big issue for most window and wall applications. The biggest difference is depth. An LED sign can be as little as 1” thick whereas a neon sign must be at least 3.5” deep since the glass tubing must extend away from its backing.
Existing neon channel letters can be upgraded to LED for longer life and reduced energy consumption. The result is a sign that is not only “green” and eco-friendly, but also budget-friendly, more evenly lit, and maintenance free.
For perspective, 80 linear feet of neon draws as much power as twenty 42” flat screen TV’s. The same 80′ of LED has the equivalent power draw as one TV. That’s a huge difference! From an environmental standpoint, neon signs are much less environmentally friendly. They use loads of power and also contain mercury. The “green” qualities of LED can also be a helpful factor in the permitting process.
Holiday Signs offers free estimates for custom neon-LED conversion projects which provide consistent branding statements and at the same time reduce operating costs. How’s that for a deal? In addition to securing a positive brand, the chart below shows the tremendous annual power savings gained by conversion to LED using the 80′ example:
Written by Jason Maggard and Mark Hackley, Holiday Signs
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