I have been in the sign industry for 27 years and come from a long line of neon tube benders on my fathers side of the family. When I started in the business neon was used for all channel letters up until about 12 years ago when LED lights where introduced in the sign industry. I, like most people in the industry, was a little skeptical about what the manufacturers of the LEDs were promising sign manufacturers and how LEDs were going to revolutionize the industry. At first, like most new products, they had their problems over the first few years. There were only a few companies that were manufacturing them and they had their limitations. Nowadays their are several companies that are involved in the manufacturing of the LED lights and the power supplies that are used with them. Companies such as GE, Sloan, Samsung are the most notable but there are several companies from China that are in the game that produce them as well.
As I mentioned before the first generation of LEDs had their issues and there are a lot of signs out there with those first generation LED lights. My service technicians have serviced several channel letters over the years for customers that have them and they have noticed that the LEDs have lost some of their brilliance. Most manufacturers of the LEDs will claim that they will last up to 100,000 continuous burn hours and most will but like any other type of lamp they will lose their intensity. Over time, like any other product, companies improve on their products and LEDs have been no different. I can honestly say that even though I was skeptical in the beginning when they first came out I now use them in our letters on a regular basis. They are more brighter and more cost effective than when they first came out and newer options on how to use them when installing has made it a breeze. We have been changing out some of the LED ;ights for customers in their signs over the last year and they have been extremely happy with the outcome. Signs that are bright and when the faces are cleaned look just like the signs when they first bought them so if your channel letters are looking dimly lit at night and you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for all new letters, let us take a look at what LEDs you may have in your signs and give you a quote. You may be surprised at the cost and have a sign that looks like it did when you first bought it.