LED vs. Neon

November 10, 2017

71 years ago when Guy Taylor, the founder of CNP Signs & Graphics, was a master tube bender, neon was state-of-the-art. In fact, our name was California Neon Products, which described our business well back then. These days, even he would be excited about the future of LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).

Neon will always have its place in the sign, art and advertising worlds. Nothing, including LEDs, can replicate the warmth and beauty achieved by neon. What is changing, however, is where neon needs to be utilized, and that is changing rapidly. Neon is still the preferred lighting medium for most open-face channel letters and other applications where the look of neon is necessary and desired. It may also be the better solution for very large letters, where the number of LEDs required may not yet provide the most cost effective solution, but even that will change soon.

Today CNP Signs & Graphics uses LEDs for almost all of our standard and halo-illuminated channel letters, and here’s why: LEDs allow faster fabrication of signs, they are easier to install with fewer and smaller penetrations in the building, they use low voltage wiring instead of the high voltage required by neon, thereby reducing fire hazard, and they eliminate breakage during shipping. LEDs also require less maintenance since factors such as wind, weather and vibration are harder on neon than on LEDs. Neon also costs more to repair than LEDs since workers need two trips for a standard service call (one to remove the defective neon unit and a second trip to replace the repaired unit).

CNP Signs & Graphics has been using LEDs for red channel letters for several years now since they’ve been both cost effective and reliable. Recently, with advances in brightness, color range, and longevity, as well as reduced costs, white LEDs have become feasible to use in white channel letters (and even cabinet signs), helping us to provide a more energy efficient and durable product. In today’s environmentally-sensitive world, energy conservation is a personal as well as a fiscal consideration and CNP is committed to a greener planet.

CNP Signs & Graphics has always been a leader in the use of new technology. First it was neon, then came fluorescent lamps, and now LEDs. Who knows what may be next, but you can be sure that taking advantage of the best products to fabricate the best signs possible for our clients is always our top priority.

All in all, our recommendation for the use of LEDs is, well, glowing.

Have more questions? Contact our Sales and Support Team.

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