Signs For San Diego: Right Destination For Pylon Signs

What are Pole Signs or Pylon Signs?

Pylon Signs are also called Pole Signs, road signs, highway signs, freestanding signs, or Raised Monuments. Each of these terms means something slightly different. These are pole signs, they have a pole of multiple poles. They are raised off the ground. So, a single pole with a sign cabinet is a Pylon. A 4 pole, 100-foot sign with 8 or 10 sign faces is also a pylon sign. So, in its most basic form, it is a sign on a pole.  

Examples of Pole Signs or Pylon Signs

While the variations are endless. However, most of common pylons are single steel poles. They are from 12 feet to 24 feet tall. Pole signs are nearly always electric, with the older pylons are fluorescent, but everything new is LED. These LEDs are 12V or 24V. The smallest are normally 4X8, the larger pole signs are 12 X 12 feet.

Business Signage Pylon sign for Mossey
Pylon Cabinet On mounted

Sign Cabinets, faces and EMCs

Pylon Sign need not be rectangular, but the majority are. The smaller sign cabinets with acrylic faces.

When the faces get bigger that 4X8 Acrylic is not available and polycarbonate off large rolls are the norm. Polycarbonate gets heavy and hard to work with as they become larges than 12” in any side, the next step is a flex face.

A flex face is a form of translucent cloth or canvas. This is stretched like the face of a drum. They terminate into a special extrusion that pulls the face tight. The last face is no face at all, we mount digital signs on these poles, that is an Electronic Message Center (EMC).

While comparatively rare, the future may be in these programable message boards, they change messages to fit the need. This is a Digital Message Board that we installed.

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A large pylon sign MOVED to a new location

Frys Electronics Pylon Sign

Signs for San Diego makes pylon signs or pole signs, but this one was made by a National Sign Company, and we installed it. Here is how we install this Manhattan Beach Pylon Sign. The excavation is deep. The depth is driven by engineering calculations from a Professional Engineer (a P.E.). The forms above the ground are a tube designed for concrete, the soil is the form below grade. Rebar was required and J bolts set on a wood pattern. The concrete is poured, and the footing is set.  The pole, in this case, is square and bolts into the J bolts, once the pole is set, the cabinet is lifted with a crane and bolted on.

Pylon Sign Lighting is LEDs

Inside this custom pylon sign in a matrix of LEDs. While fluorescent lighting has been used for 40 years, but all new pole signs now are LED lit. Why?  LEDs last about 10 times longer than florescent, they are brighter. The electrical consumption is about 1/7 what the florescent would be. The biggest savings is the lack of future maintenance.

Why a Pylon Sign is a Good Choice for your Business?

There are a few factors to determine if the pylon sign is the right choice. The first question to ask is will this type of sign be permittable. If the city sign ordinance allows for it, the next questions come into play.


Is the company along a busy road, or visible from a highway or busy street?  Visibility is the key. There are places where a pylon sign is the only sign that is tall enough to pull customers in.


The next question is about alternatives, specifically would a monument sign work? If so, which would be more visible? In some cases, a monument sign blocks the view for cars turning into and out of the entrance.

Pole Sign Mounting Mossy

Installing a Pole Sign

Installing a sign cabinet on a pole is a job for a crane. Signs for San Diego has an 80-foot crane and carried an NCCCO OSHA operator certification. Every Sign Installation takes planning and nowhere is this truer than with crane installations. The sign cabinet must be lifted in place. Lifting the sign cabinet is the first part. The next step is to mount the cabinet. This happens in one of 2 ways, some bolt in. This requires a very accurate. placement, normally within an 1/8 of an inch. It takes time, and a very careful control over the crane.  The second way is to leave it above the pole and lower it down with the pole inside the cabinet and bolt or weld the cabinet to the pole.

Servicing Pole Signs

One of the reasons 100% of new pylon signs are LED is the maintenance cycle. Bucket trucks are the norm for sign installation and service.

Many pole signs require an aerial lift higher than a bucket truck. This requires a crane. Cranes are larger, heavier, and harder to move than a bucket truck.

The crane setup is a lot more involved without riggers. Cranes are slower and take a lot more skill than a bucket truck. 

All these factors come into play. Signs for San Diego does a lot of crane service for pylon signs.

Company Signage: A crane is required for this Pole Sign

LED Retrofits for Pole Signs

Signs for San Diego is a Commercial Sign Company that works on Pylon Signs and Monuments. All new Pylons are LED lit. Older Pylon Signs are Fluorescent. The problem with Fluorescent is these lamps need replacement about every 2000 hours of use. A busy pole sign can require lamp replacement every year. LEDs will last 7-10 times longer, that means the service required drops dramatically.

Most older pylons will switch to LEDs the next time a service call is needed. We do a lot of Retrofit Fluorescent to LED for Pylon Signs. Pole Signs are normally owned by the retail center and not the tenants.

A Retrofit Fluorescent to LED Pylon Sign will save a lot of money. The electric usage may be the first thing that pops into your mind, but service calls and maintenance is a bigger expense.

Advantages in Design Construction and Installation:

Portray Your Business Professionally

Design: Most designers have never even seen a Pylon Sign or Pole Sign build up close, but Signs for San Diego designers are there on site. Our designers even sit closely to the manufacturing floor, ensuring that they can oversee the welding, painting, plastic fab techniques and construction of their designs. Want a design that maximizes your value? When you buy with Signs for San Diego and you are buying directly from the manufacturer.

Construction: Most sign shops simply buy pylon signs and pole signs and resell them; at Signs for San Diego, we make them ourselves. We cut, weld, paint, fabricate plastic, print and assemble on site. We are UL Certified (electrical) and LA Fab Certified (Structural) with a business park and industrial monuments contractor’s license (signs). If you want the best, Signs for San Diego is the source.

Installation: Most Sign Companies subcontract out the install, Signs for San Diego does not.  We use our own cranes, do the concrete foundations, the site preparation and the actual install. 

Let us help you design, manufacture and install your custom Pylon sign or Pole Sign. We work with marketing managers , business owners, property managers, and special project coordinators to help you manage and install signage. We have serviced many businesses in: Southern California, focused on Oceanside, Carlsbad, Poway, San Marcos, Vista, Encinitas, Dana Point, Escondido, Metro San Diego, and southern Orange County.

Building Inspiring Signs

Make a bold, branded impact with a custom Pole or Pylon sign.