Retrofit Fluorescent to LED Pylon Signs

Signs for San Diego is a Commercial Sign Company that works on Pylon Signs and Monuments. New illuminated signs and custom signs are all LED lit. Older Pylon Signs are Fluorescent. 20 years ago, all Pylons and Monuments were Fluorescent so there are a lot of older signs out there that are not LED. We do a lot of Retrofit Fluorescent to LED for Pylon Signs and Monuments. These are owned by the retail center and not the tenants. They last a lot longer than Marquee Letters or Sign Cabinets for tenants. Over a 20–40-year period these big signs are there. They need service of all sorts and they are a challenge.


Retrofit Fluorescent to LED

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. The life expectancy fluorescent lamps is about 10,000 hours, this sounds like a lot, but run 10 hours a day will require replacement in under 3 years. Ballast and other damage also occur – That is a lot of service calls. At a couple of thousand dollars each, with a crane or other aerial lift.  The way problems go, replacing one part often is followed by another, this can get expensive. LEDs are not perfect, but they can dramatically reduce the service and prolong the life of your sign. Here is how we do it

EXAMPLE This is a Pylon down on Convoy Street.  It is typical and there are hundreds of other Monument and Pylon signs with the same issues. The first thing we do is look inside. In this one the sunlight coming through the faces turns the interior red. Clearly one sees the fluorescent lamps and also the labels are different, it is a mixed set, meaning some will fail of a different pattern than the others. This doubles (at least) the need for service calls. This is a prime candidate for a retrofit. We first strip out all the fluorescent lamps and install a panel for LEDs.  This is not the only method, or even the fastest. You need a Commercial Sign Company that has done a lot of these to pick the best way. What To Do The next step is to populate your empty panel with LEDs. Take a bag of LEDs and install them.  These are commercial sign industry LEDs. The placement distance between them is limited by the wire length. Mounting the LEDs at the length of the wire, spaces the LED modules to the minimum light output and the lowest electrical usages. That is not normally what we do; we mount the LED modules closer to get a higher light intensity. The electric usage is slightly higher but the increased light makes the sign “pop” at night.

Power Supplies We use 12VDC 60-watt power supplies for letters and small sign cabinets. Here we order use an LED Ladder with 24Volt Power Supplies.  This one is using a 12V LED and 10 power supplies. There are reasons to use 24V or 12V LEDs and Power Supplies. Call us with your project and we can help you figure it out. We underload the power supplies, to about 80% rated capacity  – this lengthens the life and prevents service calls.

A Pylon Signs not a LED Illuminated Pylon
An Illuminated Pylon, in the middle of a Retrofit Fluorescent to LED, LEDs on internal Panel

Custom LED Sign Service Calls: LEDs have a long life, and the power supplies are long lasting too. That is not to say maintenance “stops” with a LED Retro fit, it slows down dramatically, but there are still “issues” Having done a ton of signs with LEDs. In our practical experience,  power supplies are a weak link. Power supplies either fail in the first few hours or at the 3–6-year mark. We replace a lot of power supplies.  there is an “infant mortality” with LED modules and power supplies. We burn them in at the factory whenever possible. We want the early failures to fail before the customer installation.

Is a LED retrofit for you? Should you retrofit from Neon to LEDs in your Pylon or Monument? This is really a question about payback and how long you will use the sign. If the Pylon is not rusted and you are not planning a replacement, then a retrofit is the answer. In all candor, if the sign will be there in two years or more – do it. It is in your best interest. The energy and Maintenance costs savings are accumulative, so the payback is the cost to retrofit / the savings. A 2-5-year payback is common.

Want to get an estimate? Signs for San Diego is a commercial sign company that works on business signs and electric signs. New illuminated signs and sign cabinets are all LED lit. We convert fluorescent to LED and retrofit Neon to LED making your electric signs more reliable, efficient, and cutting your maintenance costs dramatically. We do a lot of retrofits for customers that are looking at a “repair or replace” decision.

We do a lot of retrofits, here are a few:

  1. Retrofit Fluorescent to LED Pylon Signs
  2. Retrofit Neon to LED Sign Cabinet
  3. Retrofit Neon to LED Marquee Letters or Channel Letters
  4. Retrofit Neon to LED Sign Cabinet
  5. Retrofit Fluorescent to LED

Give us a call and let’s get going! get us a call at 760-730-5118

author avatar
Developer & Designer
I, Frank Murch was born in Honolulu. Dad was an Army Captain. After his separation he drove my 2-year-old self and Mom to Colorado. After starting Kindergarten and terrorizing my parents, brother and sister for 20 years, I graduated both Kindergarten and the University of Colorado. I worked at Coors Porcelain for a time and then a series of high-tech companies in California, Pennsylvania, New York, and Tokyo. Along the way I gathered letters to drag behind my name MSEng, MBA.  30 years later I started Signs for San Diego. Signs for San Diego is a manufacturing company. Much more about building signs than other Sign Companies; it comes from my background. Technical Capability is a focus. We are a wholesale source for the industry. We want to make the best sign possible. It is in my DNA. Applying 30 years of manufacturing experience and 10 years of entrepreneurial experience make us the best sign company around. I also am of the HP management culture, Inclusion, respect and treating people as adults makes Signs for San Diego a happy place to work. We are looking for customers that match our culture, happy, better quality, and better than what is generally available