A hundred years ago, neon lighting was the cutting edge of sign illumination. That began to change in the 1960s when fluorescent bulbs presented as a safer and more efficient option. Now, businesses in Canada and abroad are increasingly abandoning fluorescent bulbs in favour of LED sign retrofits.
Here’s how businesses can benefit from an LED sign retrofit.
A Brief History of Sign Illumination
The history of neon lighting begins long before its heyday in the 1920’s and 30’s. The technology originates from the lab of two German physicists in the 1850s, who discovered how neon gas emitted a bright red glow on contact with an electric charge. Mixing other gases produced a wide range of colours.
The intensity of the light made in unsuitable for ambient or task lighting, but perfect for creating eye-catching signage on storefronts and roadside displays. A French inventor named Georges Claude sold his first neon sign in 1912, and the rest is history; neon quickly became the standard in sign illumination.
Towards the latter half of the century, the appeal of neon lighting began to fade, and a new lighting technology took the spotlight. Fluorescent bulbs were safer and more energy-efficient than neon lighting. Many businesses replaced neon signage with plastic sign cabinets illuminated by fluorescent bulbs.
Until recently, fluorescent bulbs were the number one choice in outdoor commercial lighting. That changed with the proliferation of light-emitting diodes or LED lighting. LED sign retrofits are more affordable than ever, and the ongoing benefits of LED lighting make them the smartest choice for the bottom line.
Benefits of LED Lighting in Commercial Signage
LED lighting is one of the most energy-efficient lighting options available for commercial signage today. It lasts 25 times longer and uses 75% less energy than fluorescent bulbs, which dramatically reduces ongoing maintenance and operating costs. A high-quality LED bulb can last 25,000 hours or more, which translates to three straight years of 24/7 use!
Switching from Fluorescent to LEDs with an LED Sign Retrofit
In many cases, it is possible to replace HO fluorescent lamps in sign cabinets with energy-efficient LEDs. An LED sign retrofit gives you the benefits of LED lighting without the expense of replacing your existing signage altogether.
There are many systems available for retrofitting single and double-sided sign cabinets on-site. However, making the switch from fluorescent to LED lighting is not as simple as buying a retrofit kit. If your sign is due for a re-lamp, Sign LITE can help you find the solution that works for you.