Skip to main content

LED’s or Neon Lighting | Channel Letter Signage Light Source

Every road you drive down and business you see have one common element, signage. Signs are everywhere and illuminated signage has the unique ability of grabbing people’s attention 24/7. Using signs as a permanent marketing tool is imperative for any striving business – so deciding between LED or neon lighting elements can be a baffling task when a business chooses to take the plunge on upgrading signage.

To aid in your lighting verdict, Graphic House, Inc. has compiled the following information for LED and neon lighting.

LED Insights

LED lighting is categorized as the modern go-to-lighting option within the signage industry. This is largely due to LED’s being 10 times more energy efficient than neon, making it an environmentally friendly option and less expensive to run. The small size of LED’s also allows easy manipulation of the product into tight spaces, which in turn creates more intricate signage design options for customers.

One thing to note about LED’s is that they are a directional light source. They are brighter than neon and can be seen from a farther distance when viewing the signage straight-on. Due to the directional properties of LED lights, placement is key to have the lighting appear uniform across the sign face and to avoid hot spots (brighter areas than others).

Let’s talk colors. Colors available for LED lighting are vast and can be programmed to change if you so choose, however they aren’t as rich as the colors emitted from neon lighting. Additionally, the colors available for LED lighting can come off as warm (yellow or orange) or cool (blue or green) depending on the temperature of LED chosen.

Neon Insights

Neon lighting was once at the forefront of the signage industry, however due to cost of repairs and energy consumption they have began to fade in popularity. Even so, depending on the properties you are looking for, nostalgic neon lighting may be the correct option for you.

In fact, Graphic House, Inc. has a highway sign that is neon-lit. The reason we chose to use neon as the lighting source is because we are partial to the deep rich colors neon emits, and its’ 360 degree projection of light. Unlike LED lighting, neon emits light in all directions to grab people’s attention from various angles and acts as a beacon emitting a wide cast glow.

Neon also has a longer lifespan than LED’s, however the maintenance to upkeep neon can be an ongoing occurrence and must be handled by professionals due to the fragility of the product. Due to neon being made from bent glass and gases, it’s prone to crack or leak over time when exposed to the elements. On the other hand, LED’s are always encased in a cabinet and therefore have an extra layer of protection which minimizes maintenance needs.


In conclusion, lighting elements can really boost the impact of a new sign. Whether modern or nostalgic, the lighted signage will not go unnoticed. Make your new sign pop with whatever option fits your branding needs. So, which will it be, LED’s or neon?