Southern California Sign Blog

Los Angeles Signs | LED Illuminated Signs - The Many Benefits

Posted by Julie and Chris Ramirez on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 @ 07:01 AM

The Many Benefits of L.E.D. Illuminated Signs

LED stands for light emitting diode and the technology has been around since the 1960s. Its greatest benefit is that it uses only 12 volts. Neon uses up to 9,000 to 15,000 volts. LED has comparable brightness to neon and is rated to last up to 100,000 hours when properly installed.

Because LED is a low voltage system, fire hazards are greatly reduced over neon lighting.

LED lighting can save up to 80% power over comparable sized traditional neon-lighted signs. Return on investment can be made within three years via power costs savings.

LED lighting and components require only one 3/8" wall penetration per channel letter. Compare this to neon which requires two 1" wall penetrations per channel letter. This means less wall destruction and excess conduit and GTO wiring. A LED lighting installation is clean and simple.

Only recently has the technology advanced to the point where LED lighting is almost comparable in pricing to neon. Although it is still more costly to install LED, The Sign Studio DOES NOT pass this additional cost on to our customers. Our bids are competitive with other sign company neon lighting estimates.

Also, embracing change isn't easy. Neon has been a faithful lighting option for the sign industry for over a hundred years. There's no doubt that the change over to LED for sign lighting will eventually happen, however, The Sign Studio is on the leading edge of this exciting technology right now.

Installation Examples of LED vs. NEON:


LED Installation

Neon Installation

If you have any questions or would like further information, please give us a call at (818) 843-9200 or send us an e-mail at


Topics: Channel Letters, LED Illuminated Signs, Neon, LED Retrofit

Los Angeles Signs | LED Lighting vs. Neon in Channel Letter Signs

Posted by Julie and Chris Ramirez on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 @ 00:11 AM

Here are a few helpful items. Some of LED illumination's potential advantages over neon are:
• LED is less fragile. Neon tubes are much more susceptible to breakage both in transit and during installation.
• LED can mean a lower utility bill for you. LED is a more efficient light source, and the electrical transformer is smaller.
• LED is a more focused light source. An LED module produces a "cone" of light, where neon illumination is emitted from all sides of the neon tube (this can also be a disadvantage for LED, as noted below.)
• Installation of an LED channel letter signs can be easier, as it does not always require conduit on the secondary side.
• LED is a more environmentally friendly product. Neon tubes often contain mercury.
• LED is safer to install, service and maintain. LED is typically powered by 12 volts DC, where neon is powered by 4,000 - 15,000 volts AC. The high voltages required by neon present a significantly higher electrical hazard potential.
However, with all of these differences, neon still has its place. Here is where neon illumination can be better:
• Neon illumination has a certain warm glow that many think LED has yet to match. This is particularly true for reverse and front/back lit channel letter signs. Neon's 360 degree illumination is very easy on the eyes when used with front/back lit letters. LED's focused "light cone" is not as good with these letter types.
• Some custom colors can be better matched with neon. If your client is concerned about a specific color match (such as a logo color), neon may be a better choice.
• Open face channel letter signs still require neon - LED is not yet a viable option.
So, the short answer to "which illumination source is better?" is that it all depends on the project at hand. LED and neon are completely different illumination sources, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

If you have any questions or for further information, please contact The Sign Studio (818) 843-9200 or


Topics: LED Lighting, Channel Letter Signs, Signage, Neon, Signs