At Forerunner Signs & Graphics, a lot of people come to us for advice on what type of signage would benefit their business. And what would be the most impactful given their budget. There are a lot of choices out there and I want to make sure the businesses we serve get the most bang for their buck.
When it comes to illuminated signage for these businesses, there are three main choices: neon, fluorescent, or LED. Both neon and fluorescent signs have a long history and have proven themselves reliable, yet over the past few years LEDs have gained popularity for their colorful and creative displays.
What type of sign should you choose for your business? Although a city street lit with the warm glow of neon certainly has a nostalgic appeal, LED is the preferred option. Consider these benefits to see if it’s right for your business.
- Long Life
Quality LEDs can last as long as 50,000 to 100,000 hours, which is a full 3 to 6 years longer than fluorescent and neon. Not only do they outlast other bulbs, they also don’t have any gases that can leak out and cause dimness. In addition, they maintain a better level of brightness throughout their lifespans.
- Eye-catching Brightness
One of the main things distinguishing LED signs from other signs is their striking brightness. LED technology is unique because it produces a brilliant, yet clear light that is easy to read – both close up and from a distance. Also, it stands out boldly in the night and is even intense enough to see when the sun’s shining. This means that no matter what time of day, and regardless of whether your customers are walking or driving past, they can get a clear impression of your sign’s message or logo.
- Better Appearance
If you’ve ever owned a neon or fluorescent sign, you know it can sometimes feel like a constant battle keeping the sign fully lit and with consistent brightness. Inevitably, it seems like one or more lights always needs replacing or is dimmer than the rest of the sign. This can pose a problem, since a dim, or half-lit sign sends a poor message about your business, and leads customers to believe you don’t care.
LEDs eliminate much of this problem, because their long life and efficient technology keeps them illuminated far longer and more consistent than traditional lights.
- Environmentally Friendly
Typical LED signs use only around 10 watts of power, which is around 80% less energy than neon systems. This lower power requirement results in less strain on the environment, helps you adhere to stricter energy standards, and makes a significant reduction in your lighting costs. Also, unlike neon and fluorescent lights, LEDs are “cleanly” recycled.
LEDs also put off much less heat than other bulbs, so if your sign is indoors, you don’t have to worry about it warming up your rooms and driving up the air conditioning bill.
- Low Maintenance
Considering their long lifespans, even brightness, and efficiency, it’s easy to understand why LED signs have far fewer maintenance demands than other systems. LEDs don’t contain any gasses or glass tubes, (which often leak or break), they’re easy to clean, and they essentially never burn out. They work well in outdoor applications and don’t need significant protection from the elements (unlike fluorescent and incandescent bulbs).
Ultimately, LEDs are a headache-free investment.
As mentioned, LEDs don’t have any tubes, which means they can be made much thinner in size. A basic neon sign is usually 3- to 5-inches thick, whereas an LED sign can be as little as 1-inch thick. This smaller size often results in lower shipping and installation costs, and is also helpful if you’re working in a tight space or want to have less weight on your business’ windows or walls.
- Greater Signage Options
With LEDs you can use virtually any combination of lights and create all types of movement, digital flashes, color changes, and animations. This versatility is simply not possible with neon and fluorescent signs. LEDs are composed of multiple, separate lights (not long glass tubes) and can be programmed to flash, fade, or light up independently. This flexibility makes it possible to show off your business’ distinctive logo or to display any other type of attention-grabbing image.
If you are looking to brighten your business with an illuminated exterior (or interior) sign, contact the experts at Forerunner Signs & Graphics. We know you have options and we’d be honored to help your business shine!