Cambria Hotel outdoor digital signage installed by National Signs Houston, Texas

Neon vs. LED Signs: What’s the Difference?

When choosing the right type of illuminated sign for your company, it can be difficult to know where to begin. While it may sound like both neon and LED signs would do the trick, there are actually key differences between the two types of signs.

We’ll explain what you need to know when deciding between neon vs. LED signs for your place of business.

The Advantages of LED Signs vs. Neon Signs

Consider the advantages of selecting LED signs compared to neon signs related to efficiency, maintenance, environmental concerns, economics, and aesthetics.


When comparing LED against neon, the first big difference is the level of efficiency. LED signs use up to 10 times less power than traditional neon. Statistically speaking, one foot of traditional neon light consumes around 20 watts of electricity each hour. In contrast, an LED neon tube of the same size will generally consume as few as 1.2 watts over the same period of time.

Typical LED modules can last over 100,000 hours, which equates to over a decade. Talk about durability and longevity!


The durability of LED signs means they require significantly less maintenance than their neon counterparts. Neon tubes need to be refilled periodically by a professional – this will cost a pretty penny. LED lights are incredibly long-lasting, meaning you won’t have to change the bulbs very often.

Also, neon bulbs are made of glass that can break easily, causing damage and requiring replacement. Neon bulbs also become extremely hot, which means they must be turned off for a while to cool down before they can be serviced. LED maintenance is not required often, but when it is, it’s a breeze.


If going green is important to your business, keep in mind that LED signage is a much more eco-friendly option compared to neon signage. As we noted earlier, LED signs use much less energy, which reduces their overall carbon footprint.

And, did you know LEDs are also easier to recycle? LED signs contain NO gases, glass tubes, mercury, or any other potentially hazardous material, making them easy to reuse. Comparatively, neon signs contain toxic gases, making them dangerous to the environment should they break or leak.

Economic Factors

Because LED signs use much less power, you benefit from the cost savings on your company’s electric bill. That’s something every business owner or manager can appreciate!

While we typically emphasize LED signs for outdoor usage, your business can also benefit from using LED signs for indoor usage. LED lights emit significantly less heat than neon signs do. This makes them the obvious choice for indoor signage, as less air conditioning needed to cool the building equates to additional reductions in electricity costs.

Versatility is another key component when it comes to LEDs being cost-effective. With neon signs, you will have to change out the entire sign if you want to update your message or logo. With LED signs, you can change your sign display quickly and easily without having to pay for a full replacement. Your sign will look brand-new at a fraction of the cost!


Consider this final advantage of LED over neon signs. The visual and graphic capabilities of LED signs make for a more attractive display. You can update your message, text, or graphics whenever you need to. This will allow you to keep your messaging current and continue to attract customers. Having the freedom to update your sign regularly means there are no limits to what you can promote or advertise.

Plus, LED signs allow you to add colorful images, videos, and more. This is bound to attract more customers than a static neon sign.

Brightness is also a big deal when it comes to outdoor signage. Traditional neon signs can be difficult to see in detail from a distance, especially at night. Comparatively, LED signs are easy to see either up close or from a distance, during the day or at night. This will make a great visual impact on a potential customer.

The Choice is Clear: LED Over Neon Signs

It’s evident that LED signs are the way to go. They are the best choice economically, environmentally, and aesthetically. At National Signs, we can help you take advantage of the many benefits of LED signs. We are one of the top providers of digital signs and LED displays.

When we partner with your business to provide digital signage, we take the time to fully understand your goals, brand, and target audience to develop the best possible signage solution. We are committed to providing you with the most value for your investment as you seek to make a bold statement in the market through LED signs.

Reach out today to discuss your sign needs! Let us be your one-stop shop to design, fabricate, and install the LED sign that’s sure to make your business stand out.