Retrofit Neon to LED for Marquee Letters

Signs for San Diego is a Commercial Sign Company that works on Marquee Letters and channel Letters. New illuminated signs and custom signs 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. Here is how we do it

EXAMPLE An older set of Marquee Letters, a Neon Sign with Neon Tubes.  The way to LED Retrofit for this Channel Letter sign is similar for all neon signs. Start with stripping out the neon tubes leaving each letter empty. The glass neon tube supports are riveted in and we just leave them there.

Marquee Letters or Channel Letters needing a retrofit to LED

Inside a Channel Letter

Custom LED Signs, showing the LEDs

What To Do Install the empty Letter with LEDs. Take a string of LEDs and install them.  These are commercial sign industry LEDs and the distance between them is set by 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. We don’t do this; we put the LED modules closer to get a higher light intensity . We work on lighting edges and around curves. It increases the number of LED modules and electrical usage, However cost difference is small and the lighting better.

Power Supplies We use 12VDC 60-watt power supplies in 90% of all cases (We do use some 24Volt supplies and some 100 Watt and 120-Watt power supplies – different story for a different day) The reason to use the same power supplies as much as we can is to simplify the manufacturing (stocking, math, assembly). We don’t load the 60W power supply to 60W (60 modules), we under load the power supplies, to about 50 modules (50 Watts) or less are.  – this lengthens the life and prevents service calls.

Custom LED Sign Service Calls: LEDs and the power supplies have a long life. However,  maintenance does not stop with a LED Retro fit. Done right it slows down dramatically. There are problems that come up.  Having done a a lot 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 on 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.

retrofit to led with power supplies

Is a LED retrofit for you? Should you retrofit from Neon to LEDs in your channel letter sign? It is about the payback. If the letters need new faces and the sides are in bad shape – no, just replace the letters. However, if the sign is in good shape, or grand fathered in or replacing the sign is difficult – A retrofit to LED 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, 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

We do a lot of retrofits for customers that are looking at a “repair or replace” decision. Give us a call and let’s get going!

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