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The warm glow of neon and florescent lights has always had a nostalgic appeal. In fact, the mere thought of those buzzing and flickering signs often evokes romantic thoughts of simpler days gone by.

But just as drive-in restaurants and theaters were replaced by drive-throughs and multiplexes, neon and fluorescent signs are also getting an upgrade, as more and more business are replacing their existing signage with state-of-the-art LED lighting.

A LED retrofit offers reduced energy expenses, lower maintenance, solid ROI — and it’s better for the environment. As such, there’s no better time than now to contact Brady Signs to discuss converting your outdoor business signage and lighting with the latest in LED illumination.

The advancement of LED lighting has ushered in a new era of business signage illumination, and Brady Signs can ensure your company stays on the cusp of this technological breakthrough. Now in our fifth decade serving the North Central Ohio region, our commitment to staying at the forefront of our industry’s ever-changing innovation remains as steadfast today as it was in 1969.

Adopting a turnkey LED retrofit strategy represents an investment that can pay a return many times over. By having Brady Signs transition your business signage and lighting from traditional to LED, you can reap the benefits associated with a LED retrofit.

Here’s how.

The Drawbacks of Neon Lighting Systems

Safety — or the lack thereof — is the major drawback to neon. Neon lighting systems that are older and/or not properly maintained can be a potential fire hazard. And they use a lot of energy. Our customers generally realize a 90% decrease in energy usage when we do a LED retrofit from neon.

Neon tubes are also rather delicate and prone to failure and cracking, needing regular cleaning, maintenance, and repair. Often, you’ll fix one outage and then months later, another piece of neon in the same sign will go bad. The costs of this maintenance adds up to the cost of a LED retrofit pretty quickly.

Neon lighting systems lose their luster and brightness as they age, and during the cold, winter months, they tend to take longer to light up. Not only that, neon tubes contain mercury and/or argon, which are dangerous to the environment when handled improperly.

The Drawbacks of Fluorescent Lighting Systems

Fluorescent lighting systems have many of the same disadvantages that neon systems have —- they have short life spans, contain gases that are harmful to the environment, and cost more to maintain. More specifically, fluorescent lamps have the shortest useful lifespan out of any component traditionally housed within a lighted sign, which leads to a higher frequency of service calls. While these lamps are cheap, fluorescent ballasts — which drive the correct amount of power into each lamp — are a much more expensive component compared to their LED system equivalent, the power supply. The cost difference can be anywhere between two or three times depending on size and quality.

Fluorescent lighting systems also emit UV light that can negatively affect paintings, watercolors, and many textiles. These signs operate best at room temperature and their efficiency decreases at both lower and higher temperatures. In fact, at below-freezing temperatures, fluorescent signs may not even light at all. Another big disadvantage is that the signs cannot be dimmed if needed. They also pose disposal and recycling issues because the phosphor and mercury within them are harmful to the environment.

The Benefits of LED Signs

Improved Energy Efficiency. LED lighting yields significant energy cost savings every month versus traditional types of illumination, consuming 50-90 percent less energy.

Less Maintenance. LED lighting typically only requires maintenance once every 5-10 years, compared to annual or in some cases quarterly service trips commonly associated with more traditional lighting systems.

Greater ROI. Payback periods for LED installation range on average from one to three years, meaning it doesn’t take long for your business to start enjoying financial returns.

Reduced Environmental Impact. Unlike fluorescent lighting and neon, LED illumination does not contain hazardous chemicals phosphor or mercury.

Safer. LED lights run on extremely low voltage compared to traditional neon systems that run on as many as 15,000 volts, thus reducing the risk of becoming a fire hazard.

Instant Light. Whereas some types of traditional lighting may take a while to warm up to full illumination, especially in colder weather, LEDs turn on instantly.

Longer Lifespan. A well-fabricated LED light can last a decade or more — significantly longer than the lifespan associated with traditional lighting.

Relatively Easy Conversion. By replacing your existing bulbs with LED lamps, your signage solutions expert can achieve LED retrofitting with minimal disruption to your business operations.

Enhanced Visibility. Lighting like LED that’s less prone to failing means your business signage remains illuminated and visible to more prospective customers.

Bolstered Brand Reputation. When your business is environmentally responsible, your customers will take notice and your brand will develop a reputation as being eco-friendly.


At Brady Signs, we’re a third-generation family business that’s served as a premier provider of business signage solutions throughout the North Central Ohio region and beyond for nearly 50 years.

Want to learn how we can convert your brand into a statement using our eye-catching signage for business? We’re here to talk.

Author: Ryan Brady
CFO at Brady Signs. Finance guy turned sign guy. Best move ever.

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