LED vs. Neon Signs: Which Is Right for Your Business?

April 20, 2024

As a business owner, one of the key decisions you need to make is choosing the right signage for your establishment. LED signs and neon signs are two popular options that can effectively attract attention and promote your business.

In this article, I will discuss the pros and cons of LED signs and neon signs, as well as the factors to consider when making a decision.

LED signs, short for Light Emitting Diode signs, have gained popularity in recent years due to their versatility and energy efficiency. These signs use an array of small LED lights to create bright and vibrant displays.

On the other hand, neon signs have a long history and are known for their distinctive glow. They consist of glass tubes filled with neon gas, which emits a unique and eye-catching light when electrified.

LED Vs. Neon Signage in Short Words

According to expert signage engineer from Signs House, a top rated signage making company in Chicago, IL, the most noticeable difference of LED and Neon signs are:

LED signs offer versatility, energy efficiency, and customization options, making them suitable for a wide range of businesses.

Neon signs, on the other hand, have a unique and nostalgic charm that can enhance the atmosphere of certain establishments.

Pros and Cons of LED Signs

LED signs offer several advantages for businesses. Some pros of LED signs are:

  • They are highly customizable. LED lights can be programmed to display a variety of colors, animations, and even videos.
  • This flexibility allows you to tailor your signage to your brand and attract the attention of potential customers.
  • LED signs are energy efficient and have a longer lifespan compared to neon signs. They consume less electricity and require fewer replacements, resulting in cost savings in the long run.

However, LED signs also have some drawbacks.

  • One concern is that they may not have the same iconic aesthetic as neon signs. LED lights can appear more modern and may not suit certain businesses that want a vintage or retro feel.
  • LED signs can be more expensive upfront, especially if you opt for high-resolution displays or large signage. It is essential to weigh these pros and cons before making a decision.

Pros and Cons of Neon Signs

Neon signs have been a staple of business signage for decades, and for good reason. Here are top benefits of Neon signs for business.

  • One of the main advantages of neon signs is their unique and eye-catching appearance. The vibrant glow emitted by the neon gas creates a warm and inviting ambiance, perfect for attracting customers.
  • Neon signs also have a nostalgic charm that can resonate with certain businesses, such as bars, diners, or retro-themed establishments.

However, there are also downsides to consider.

  • Neon signs tend to be less energy efficient compared to LED signs. They consume more electricity and may result in higher utility bills.
  • Neon signs require regular maintenance and may need to be repaired or refilled with gas over time.
  • This ongoing maintenance can be costly and time-consuming. Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate these pros and cons when deciding between LED and neon signs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between LED and Neon Signs

When choosing between LED and neon signs, there are several factors you should take into account.

Business Type

Consider the nature of your business and the image you want to portray. LED signs are versatile and can be customized to match your brand, making them suitable for a wide range of businesses. However, if you want to evoke a specific atmosphere or cater to a particular target audience, a neon sign might be more appropriate.


Another factor to consider is your budget. LED signs tend to have a higher upfront cost, but they offer energy savings and a longer lifespan. On the other hand, neon signs may require more maintenance and replacement parts, which can add up over time. Calculate the total cost of ownership for both options to make an informed decision.

Location & Visibility

Think about the location and visibility of your signage. LED signs are incredibly bright and can be seen from a distance, making them ideal for businesses located on busy streets or in large shopping centers. Neon signs, with their unique glow, can create a captivating focal point for pedestrians passing by. Assess your specific circumstances to determine which type of sign will maximize visibility and attract the most attention.

Best Uses of LED Signs

LED signs are suitable for a wide range of businesses. Retail stores can utilize LED signs to showcase promotions, discounts, or new products. Restaurants and cafes can use LED signs to display menu items or daily specials, enticing passersby to step inside. Entertainment venues, such as theaters or concert halls, can utilize LED signs to advertise upcoming shows and events. LED signs are also popular choices for gas stations, hotels, and car dealerships, where the ability to change messages and prices in real-time is crucial.

Best Uses of Neon Signs

Neon signs have a particular charm that can enhance the atmosphere of certain businesses. Bars and nightclubs often use neon signs to create a vibrant and energetic ambiance, attracting patrons from afar. Vintage shops or retro-themed establishments can benefit from the nostalgic appeal of neon signs, adding to the overall customer experience. Tattoo parlors, art galleries, and theaters can also utilize neon signs to stand out and create a unique identity.

Cost Comparison Between LED and Neon Signs

When it comes to the cost of business signage, LED signs generally have a higher upfront price compared to neon signs. However, LED signs offer long-term savings in terms of energy efficiency and durability. Neon signs may require more frequent maintenance and replacement parts, which can increase the overall cost over time. Consider your budget and long-term goals to determine which option is more financially viable for your business.

Maintenance and Longevity of LED and Neon Signs

Maintenance and longevity are crucial considerations when choosing signage for your business. LED signs require minimal maintenance, with the occasional cleaning and inspection to ensure proper functioning. They also have a longer lifespan, typically lasting for tens of thousands of hours. Neon signs, on the other hand, require more regular maintenance, including gas refills and repairs. The lifespan of neon signs can vary depending on usage and maintenance, but they generally last for several years before needing significant refurbishment.

Choosing the Right Sign for Your Business - Factors to Consider

Choosing the right sign for your business ultimately depends on various factors. Consider the image you want to portray, your budget, the location and visibility of your establishment, and the specific needs of your industry. Assess the pros and cons of LED and neon signs, and weigh them against your requirements. If possible, consult with a signage professional who can provide expert advice tailored to your business.


LED signs and neon signs both have their advantages and disadvantages, making it essential to carefully evaluate your business needs before making a decision. LED signs offer versatility, energy efficiency, and customization options, making them suitable for a wide range of businesses.

Neon signs, on the other hand, have a unique and nostalgic charm that can enhance the atmosphere of certain establishments. Consider factors such as budget, desired image, location, and maintenance requirements when choosing between LED and neon signs. By making an informed decision, you can select the signage that best represents your business and attracts the attention of your target audience.


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