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LED Sign Retrofits, by the Numbers: Is It Worth the Cost?

Admit it: you did a double-take when you opened your hydro bill last month.

 

These days, who doesn’t? For many Ontario businesses, utilities are consistently near the top of operating expenses.

 

That’s why it’s become increasingly important to lower your energy consumption in all areas ‒ including your signage.

 

Should You Retrofit Your Sign With LED Lighting?

The good news is, the sign industry has stepped up to meet your energy reduction demands.

 

Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and strip lights can drastically reduce what you spend on your indoor and outdoor commercial signage. And thanks to LED sign retrofits, you don’t have to invest in a whole new sign box or cabinet to do it.

 

Still, when your goal is to cut costs, you’ve really got to consider whether investing in any kind of sign upgrade ‒ even a basic retrofit ‒ is really worth the money.

 

Sign LITE has completed commercial sign retrofits and installations across Ontario.

 

Truth be told, without knowing about your business, we can’t say for certain whether an LED retrofit is right for you.

 

We can only share what we’ve seen firsthand in our experience as sign installation and service technicians.

 

Sign LITE has been servicing business owners across Southwestern Ontario for the last 40 years – since before LED signage was really even an option. We basically had front-row seats to watch LED lighting technology evolve!

 

Today, we routinely help businesses achieve savings of hundreds, even thousands of dollars in annual energy costs through LED lighting and sign retrofits.

 

Here is why, by the numbers, LED sign retrofit is well worth the investment.

 
1. LED Signs Operate at 80% Efficiency

All forms of lighting (including fluorescent tubes, LEDs and neon) turn some of their energy into heat instead of light. However, LED lamps are engineered to minimize energy waste as much as possible.

 

A sign box or cabinet retrofitted with LED lights will convert at least 80% of its energy into light, generating the same amount of light at less than 50% of the operating cost of traditional fluorescent tube lights.

 

2. One LED Lamp Runs On Just 12-18 Watts

What’s more, LED lights run on less than half the electricity of most equivalent fluorescents. Your typical fluorescent tube takes between 32 and 40 watts, while an LED runs on an average of 12 to 18 watts!

 

At a cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of 20.8 cents (the on-peak rate for small businesses as of January 2020), the difference between fluorescent and LED lights is around 236.52 watts, meaning you could save $49 a year for every light you retrofit.

 

Granted, the savings won’t add up as fast as a more extensive LED light retrofit (across all your exterior or interior lights), but it’ll still pay for itself in time ‒ not to mention other cost savings.

 

Get in touch with us today for a Free Estimate on your LED sign retrofit project.

 

Sign LITE services outdoor and indoor commercial signage, like this brilliant sign at a food court in Ontario.

 

3. LED Lights Have a Lifespan of Over 25,000 Hours

Of all the light sources available for commercial signage, LED signs last longer and deliver the best long-term performance by a mile. Many LEDs have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours, with low-end LEDs offering up to 25,000 hours and the top-rated bulbs lasting 200,000 or more. This impressive lifespan means you’ll go far longer between fixture and lamp replacements than with fluorescents!

 

Newer fluorescent tubes have a much longer lifespan than their predecessors, but even the high-performance products tend to need replacement after 15,000 hours’ use. Fluorescent lights also lose efficiency with age, requiring more current is required to achieve the same lighting output.

 

Although LEDs do lose efficiency as current and heat output increase, the drop is relatively low compared to fluorescents, so you can hold off on replacing LEDs for longer.

 
4. LED is Virtually Zero-Maintenance

Don’t get it wrong ‒ switching to LED lights doesn’t mean you can sit back and let your sign run on autopilot. You’ll still want to clean, inspect and service your sign on a regular basis, especially before and after the winter months.

 

But as long as they’re sealed and safe inside the sign box, your LED sign lights won’t require all that much maintenance.

 

Not only do LED lamps have a longer life than fluorescent lamps, LEDs aren’t nearly as fragile as fluorescents, which can fail in sub-zero temperatures. And unlike fluorescent lamps, LEDs won’t flicker or turn pink towards the end of their lives.

 

Where fluorescent lamps and ballasts are replaced frequently, a commercial LED sign can go for years with little more than routine sign maintenance.

 

Does your sign need a facelift? We’ll send a sign technician to service your sign on-site. Reach out to us today to request a free estimate.

 

5. An LED Sign Retrofit Can Be Complete in Just a Few Hours

Don’t believe it? Check out this video of a technician installing an LED sign kit in under an hour. Better yet, you’ll see how it compares to a fluorescent sign installation!

 

Many existing fluorescent sign cabinets use T12 lamps, which lends itself to a fast, one-to-one LED retrofit. Signs comprised of individual channel letters can also be populated with LEDs. No two signs are exactly alike, but there’s always a solution ‒ and often, it can be said and done in an afternoon.

 

Another job well done. Canada's most trusted brands trust Sign LITE for sign service and installation!

 

Learn More About LED Sign Retrofits

Reducing operating costs requires some tough business decisions, but this is one decision that won’t keep you up at night! Switching to LED sign lights is easy, and it can save you hundreds or even thousands in sign repairs and maintenance costs.

 

Sign LITE has a modern fleet of vehicles and equipment ready to service your commercial sign in Southwestern Ontario. Our certified technicians are capable and qualified to retrofit your signage quickly and effectively.

 

Call us at 1-877-884-9950 or reach out to us online to learn more about our LED sign retrofit solutions!

 

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Danny Sullivan
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February 21, 2020
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