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Lighted Sign Do’s And Don’ts: Stay Safe And Shine Bright In St. Louis, MO

Lighted Sign Do’s And Don’ts: Stay Safe And Shine Bright In St. Louis, MO

Lighted signs are one of the most powerful local marketing tools available, but like any tool, there is a right and wrong way to use them.

To help you get the most out of your investment, and avoid common (and costly) pitfalls, today’s post runs down some simple do’s and don’ts for lighted sign success.

Read on to learn more, or call (314)-726-5500 to speak directly with a lighted sign expert in St. Louis, MO.

Lighted Sign Do’s And Don’ts: 6 Steps To Success

DO Consider Lighted Signs If Your Business Needs A Visibility Boost

If you’re looking for ways to get more eyes on your message, lighted signs can help, whether you operate by day or by night.

This is borne out by multiple studies. For example:

  • In one experiment by the Lighting Research & Technology Journal, researchers Lasauskaite & Reisinger (2017) found that lighted signs consistently outperformed non-illuminated signs in measurements of total daily impressions, sign legibility, and attentional focus. These effects were particularly pronounced when advertising to passing drivers.
  • In one study by the Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, researchers observed a positive correlation between sign recognition distance and sign luminance, with brightly lit signs being visible and legible from much further away than their non-illuminated counterparts (Bullough, 2017).
  • In another study for Lighting Research & Technology, researchers Rea & Ouellette (1991) determined that “the speed and accuracy of visual processing… is systematically related to the luminance of the background or characters,” and lighted signs give you the best possible display conditions for speedy reads.

DO NOT Hesitate To Upgrade To LED Technology In 2023

LED lighted signs are:

  • Less expensive to run, costing 5-times less than traditional neon signs and 10-times longer than incandescents
  • Easier to maintain, lasting 25-times longer than incandescent bulbs, so you spend less time and money on replacements
  • Safer, producing much less heat and containing no harmful neon gas

Even if you bought your lighted sign before the industry made the switch to LEDs, a quick retrofit could save you hundreds of dollars over the service life of your sign.

DO Leave Your Lighted Sign Installation Up To The Pros

Lighted sign installations are typically not DIY-friendly projects, requiring:

  • Electrification
  • Proper permits and strict sign-code compliance
  • Special tools/mounting hardware

Don’t worry—when you order lighted signs from our full-service shop, you’ll receive full support with permitting, installation, and site selection, so you’re guaranteed a flawless, code-compliant, and completely safe setup, every time.

DO NOT Leave Lighted Sign “Pollution” Unchecked

Lighted sign pollution is a term used to refer to any stray light that shines where it isn’t wanted, including:

  • Glare
  • Light trespass
  • Sky glow

Light pollution not only inflates your electricity bills (while giving you nothing in return); it can also annoy your neighbors and lead to costly sign code fines.

Fortunately, not all lighted signs are polluters, and most light pollution can be eliminated with proper luminance settings, dimmers, and other “shielding” fixtures.

For more help fighting light pollution and controlling operating costs, get in touch with our team.

DO Crank Up The Luminance In Areas With Lots Of Ambient Lighting

If your business is blessed with lots of ambient lighting during business hours, you may need to adjust your lighted sign settings to maintain your advantage over the non-illuminated competition.

To optimize “glance-like reading” in “very brightly lit urban locations,” Dobres et al. (2017) recommend a minimum luminance of 700 cd/m2, or candela per square meter.

If you need help adjusting your lighted sign settings, get in touch with our team.

DO NOT Neglect Simple Lighted Sign Maintenance

Dust not only looks unsightly on lighted signs; it can also prevent proper ventilation, attract moisture, lead to poor contact in relays, switches, and connectors.

Taking a few minutes each month to dust or wipe down your lighted signs every month can greatly reduce the risks of electrical problems, overheating and component wear.

Learn More Best Practices For Lighted Sign Success: Consult With Horizon Sign Company

To speak directly with a lighted sign specialist and get a free quote on any order, you can:


Dobres, J., Chahine, N., & Reimer, B. (2017). Effects of ambient illumination, contrast polarity, and letter size on text legibility under glance-like reading. Applied Ergonomics, 60, 68-73.

Lasauskaite, R., & Reisinger, M. (2017). Optimal luminance of internally illuminated wayfinding signs. Lighting Research & Technology, 49(4), 521-533.

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