An Enlightened Choice: Illuminated LED Signs

led back-lit channel letter sign

As a business owner, you have to think long term in order to achieve your targets and stay on budget. When it comes to choosing your sign, the same rules apply. That’s why signs using LED (light-emitting diode) lighting are becoming increasingly popular. Because business owners realize that LED-lit signs look sharp and boast energy efficient technology.

LED-lit signs are characterized by a clear, even and bright light. They can be used outdoors, as they offer great visibility for changing weather conditions, and indoors, as they give off less heat than other light sources. Overall, they are easy to install, maintain and clean.

LEDs have been around since the 1960’s. However, it wasn’t until the invention of the blue LED in the 1990s, that the white LEDs that we use today became a possibility. For a quick explanation on why this discovery was so significant, check out this video on “How Blue LED Lights Changed the World!” by Discovery News.

What are the benefits of LED signs?

Energy efficiency. Incandescent bulbs produce light by heating a filament. Compact fluorescent bulbs create light through heating a gas. During these processes, a lot of energy is wasted through the heat that the bulb gives off. In comparison, light in an LED is generated more directly by electrons moving through a semiconductor material. This means that LEDs can produce light with significantly less energy.

Longevity. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED bulbs can last 25x longer than traditional light bulbs. Why are they so long lasting? With traditional bulbs, a filament can burn out or gas might evaporate over time. With neon lights, a tube might break and need to be replaced. In comparison, LED bulbs are sturdy and encased in plastic.

Environmentally friendly. Because they use less power and they don’t need to be replaced as often, LEDs can reduce your business’s energy use. But the gains don’t stop there. LEDs don’t contain mercury so, when a light is replaced, disposing of the materials has less of an impact on the environment. From a sign-making standpoint, the small size of an LED translates to design flexibility for the customer. For instance, designs can be thinner and require fewer materials.

Aren’t LEDs more expensive upfront compared to traditional light bulbs? As LED technology, and its production process, continues improving, the initial cost keeps decreasing. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy noted a price decrease of around 40% in the 60-watt equivalent LED bulb between 2011 and 2012. In addition, this difference in cost is recuperated and surpassed over time through energy and maintenance cost savings.

Do you have a question about LED-lit signs? Are you curious if an LED retro-fit of your sign is right for your business? Give us here at Topmade a call, we offer expert signage consulting to help you decide what kind of sign is right for you.

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