If you’re looking to get your business noticed, chances are you’re looking for a signage solution that provides bright, eye-catching colors. While the original go-to for such an appearance was neon, LED signs have been gaining notoriety. How do you know which option is right for you? As you decide which option is right for you, it’s important to understand the difference between the two and evaluate your signage wants and needs.
As more and more LED sign manufacturers come about there seems to be more confusion about the difference between neon and LED signs, as some go as far to use the names interchangeably or claim to have neon-LED signs. So what is the difference?
Neon is one of the most abundant gases in the universe, but it’s harder to come by on Earth. Neon light was first discovered in 1898 by British scientists Morris W. Travers and William Ramsay. By 1907, French businessman, Georges Claude, found a cheaper way to recreate the neon light and began mass producing it. By 1913, neon signs were popping everywhere, giving store fronts, hotels, and other businesses the bright attraction they wanted.
While neon thrived throughout the 1900s, LED was just coming to light in the 1960s. Light-emitting diodes (LED) was first introduced in 1962 by American engineer Nick Holonyak. Due to its cost-effectiveness and bright, dazzling displays, LED signs grew in popularity, and many businesses began opting for LED signage displays.
There’s a lot more that differentiates a neon sign from an LED sign besides the fact that neon signs get their lighting from gas and LED signs from light-emitting diodes. If you want a specific color scheme for your bright business display, it may impact which kind of sign you go with. Neon naturally produces a red color; however by adding different gases, such as Argon, creates a wide variety of colors to choose from.
LED signs may not offer the same variety in color that you can choose from with a neon sign; however they do illuminate a clear, bright image. LED signs are also composed of many individual lights, so these signs can be animated, unlike neon signs.
If you’re looking for a cheaper energy cost solution, then you will probably lead in preference of LED signs. Neon signs require 15,000 volts, but LED signs can operate on a mere 24 volts. For large sign displays, LED will cut down your energy cost; however if you’re looking for a smaller storefront sign, the difference in energy cost isn’t much.
When considering the cost, it’s important to look at more than the initial investment. You’ll also want to keep in mind operational costs as well as any potential maintenance costs. As for the cost of the initial sign, the price will depend on the size and style that you want, but typically there is not a drastic difference in the initial investment.
If you’re looking at the long-term use of the sign, neon signs will probably impact your wallet more than an LED sign. Neon signs will require much more maintenance over the years opposed to an LED sign. Because neon signs are composed of gas filled tubes, the gas will eventually run out and require either to be refilled to be operational again, or you’ll have to buy a new sign all together. Neon signs are also affected by cold weather, so if you live in the northeast and experience harsh winters, your neon sign will experience much more wear than an LED sign. LED signs on the other hand require very little maintenance and last up to 100,000 hours.
If you’re looking for nostalgia or simply enjoy the diverse color selection, a neon sign will never disappoint. For those looking to make a long-time investment in a large sign, an LED sign may be better suited. No matter which sign you choose, Bartush Signs can help bring it to life! Still unsure which is best for your business? Contact us today, and we’ll help you decide.