Outdoor Illuminated SignsNeon outdoor signs are a classic, appearing in countless movies and iconic images and coming to define the look of entire artistic genres. The warm, flickering light generated by neon has illuminated famous streets and local landmarks across every state and every nation of the world for generations.

However, neon lights have their downsides and the older technology is rapidly being supplanted by a new lighting competitor: LEDS. Let’s take a look at how the two options fair in a head to head competition.

LEDs Vs Neon for Sign Lighting

1. Construction

Neon lights are constructed with the glass tubing that has been familiar to advertising for decades. Unfortunately, glass neon needs to be refilled and serviced periodically and the tubes are fragile and break often, and as a result neon lighting is infamous for being expensive to maintain.

LEDs, on the other hand, are constructed from strings of Light Emitting Diodes spaced in such a way as to create a constant glow along the various features of the signage.  These strings are encased in a flexible plastic housing that is wear-resistant and weatherproof, greatly diminishing the chance of breakage. In fact, LEDs are generally considered the lowest maintenance, most reliable lighting option available today. A single strand of LEDs can last 10 years before needing to be replaced.

2. Brightness

While neon looks great during a dark and rainy light, neon has never been famous as a particularly bright light source.

LED displays, on the other hand, are intensely powerful and can give their signage a crystal-clear visibility boost even in broad daylight.

3. Energy Use

Energy conservation is a hot topic, and in this area neon has always been a problem. Neon runs hot and uses a huge amount of energy, most of which is lost as heat instead of light.

LEDs run cooler (though brighter) and use a tiny fraction of the energy of older technology. In fact, while a glass neon sign may use 15,000 volts to light up the night, a comparable LED sign would use only 24. The total savings are anywhere from 5 to 10 times less, which can save a tremendous amount of power over the years and have a dramatic impact on a company’s monthly and yearly energy expenses.

4. Cost

Not only is neon more expensive to maintain in the long term, but it’s is also somewhat more expensive to buy initially. Comparable LED signs, while not tremendously cheaper, have a lifetime operational cost that is a slim fraction of neon, making them the better option in both the short and especially the long-term.

All technology changes with time, and when a new option comes along that is cheaper, more efficient, and performs better, the choice becomes obvious. If your business would like to invest in an LED-equipped sign that stands out and makes a statement, contact the expert sign makers at Sequoia Signs & Graphics Inc. Call us at (925) 300-1066 to make an appointment today.