Sign Repair - El Cajon Pep Boys needs a tune-up

Signs for San Diego does sign repairs. When the bigger pylon signs and pole signs stop working – We get the call. In many cases other sign companies call us when they need fluorescent sign repairs (this is the case here)

What Type of Sign Repair is it anyway? In most cases when the call for sign maintenance comes in it is for Neon Sign Repair. In the past Neon Signs were very common. In the 1930-1960 Neon was “king” for business signs.  In the 1950s to the early 2000s fluorescent signs dominated. In 1990 the amount of mercury in fluorescent lamps was dramatically reduced and commercial sign repair was all about stocking about 30 different types of fluorescent lamps on the truck. By 2008 or so we were building custom LED signs. These were expensive and the economy choice was fluorescent, the best sign cabinet was LED. LED pricing has come down and today LED Sign Retrofits are popular. Signs for San Diego builds pylon signs, Monument Signs and other custom Signs, none of these are fluorescent, they are all LED now.  Custom LED Signs are in, Fluorescent Signs are out, Neon signs are antique or niche signs.

Sign Repair fluorescent sign repair

How Fluorescent Lamps fail. The obvious way is there is no light, duhh. But there is a deeper, nerdier, antique techno freak story here. While Custom LED Signs generally go dark suddenly (the power supply drops out), Fluorescent pole signs tend to fail one lamp at a time. In commercial signs we use fluorescent bulbs or tubes, but we call them Lamps. These fail in a couple of ways, but the most common is the internal electrodes fail. The electrodes are consumed over time, so if all the lamps are the same age, and the first one fails, the others will have a very similar electrode wear issue – They are all going out around the same time. So, if one burns out – change them all. It will save you a future service call.  (See is pays to tolerant the nerd…. well just a little) Also, for the literary crowd – do you know the difference between Fluorescent and Florescent?  FlUorescent is correct (here) and is about flow, and Florescent is about flowers or plants.

a fluorescent to LED convertion in a pylon sign

What is a Ballast and why should I care?  The other element of commercial sign repair with fluorescent lamps is the “Ballast”.  There is a lot going on inside a Ballast. Here are a couple of the more useful details.  In the old days fluorescent signs had a buzz or a hum. This was from the ballast. These are called magnetic ballast and are totally obsolete.  Today we use electronic ballast. These do not buzz.  If you hear a hum or buzz, you are looking at a ballast replacement, electronic and magnetic ballast wiring is different. The switch over requires a total rewiring of the sign. If you switch into an LED Sign configuration, it also requires rewiring the sign. When the ballast fails, it is time to look at an LED retro fit for your sign.

Pylon Sign for Star Lodge

So, when your smart looking commercial sign starts looking a little dim, call Signs for San Diego and we will send a Sign Repair Technical to crawn into your sign. Once inside he will perform a Sign evil spirits exorcism, check out your electrodes and see if your ballast is ballastatizing.  We do this all the time and can help you, give us a call and let’s get started