Some writing ideas come from meticulous planning. Others, like this topic, come from ideas that come from meticulous planning. In this case, every situation we covered in “The Best Materials For Outdoor Signs,” had us going, “Well, you could use LED signs for that as well.” It had us racking our brains in the conference room: “When is LED a bad choice of material for outdoor signage?” It’s not an easy question to answer because LED is so diverse, durable and eco-friendly.
But, after knocking the idea around, we came up with a few scenarios where we wouldn't recommend the use of LED Signs. Probably.
We do a fair amount of re-purposing and recycling of existing signage for customers in order to help them save money on their bill. If the new signage is expected to go with no lighting, already had LED signage, or is using so little light that it would take a significant amount of time to make the money back by going with an LED system, then we typically would suggest to go with what is already there. This was the best one of our ideas.
If the signage plans call for a monument sign or a general non-illuminated sign, then LED lighting would certainly not be recommended.
But in the same breath, if there is spot-lighting or other types of illumination that is expected to be used on the sign, we would probably look into LED as an alternative.
There are places in the world. Cruel, crazy (jk) places where the hue given off by LED lights goes against strict brand and style guides of either the franchiser or parent company. There are property management companies in charge of retail area that also restricts the type of lighting they allow on signage. They typically either have their own lighting the make everyone use or the don’t allow anyone to use any direct lighting at all.
In these cases it would be difficult to suggest something that can’t be utilized. Even in these situations we would recommend keeping LED in the playbook in case restrictions change.
Some companies are either very seasonal or are in a location for a very short time. Tax accountants with overflow rooms in early April, seasonal employment centers, and companies who have started but are waiting for renovations or other restrictions to be lifted before they move to their permanent location are all situations that come to mind. In these situations, spending the money to put up a high-end sign to only have to take it down might not be fruitful to the company’s bottom line.
Even in these situations, LED lights could be in the plans. The design could call for simple foundational signs that can have LED signs, back-lighting, or channel illumination included once the company moves to a permanent location.
With their long term benefits, eco-friendly operational costs, and design elegance, we try to integrate with LED lighting into every sign we can - so long as the suggestion is optimal and beneficial for our client. In most every situation, LED lighting fits the criteria. Even in the above situations, we could still find conditions where we could include it, even if only in a company’s long term vision. The benefits of LED for outdoor signage, even in the most restrictive of situations, can have a significant impact in illuminating a company’s brand in the long run.