Florescent vs LED Signage: What you need to know.

Florescent vs LED Signage

Signs it’s time for a change

History of Florescent Lights

Florescent lighting was invented in 1926 when French Engineer Jacques Risler began adding a florescent coating inside the glass tubing of mercury lamps. They became commercially viable after General Electric launched them to the public in 1934. (Source)

For 50 years, fluorescent bulbs reigned supreme as the only method of efficiently lighting signage until the advent of LED lighting. Businesses slowly made the switch from fluorescent to LEDs but it wasn’t until the mid 2000s that LEDs were able to surge in popularity due to advancements in technology which allowed LED lights to be produced and sold at much lower prices.

Florescent Tube Light from General Electric
Florescent Tube Light from General Electric

The LED Era

By 2008 they began becoming more and more common in work and school environments and by 2010 they became the mainstream choice for new signage.

Since 2020, it’s become clear to manufacturers that fluorescent bulbs are on their way out, meaning these days it’s more difficult and expensive to maintain and repair fluorescent signage due to the diminishing availability of components.

Hanley LED
Light Emitting Diode from Hanley

The Light Switch

Many businesses still have florescent lit signage due to having their signs produced while florescent lighting was still in common use.  While its unadvisable to produce new signs with florescent bulbs, existing signs can have their life span extended through repairs. However, as time goes on these repairs will be more difficult to perform as there are less suppliers manufacturing their parts, making repairs sky rocket in price.

LED retrofitting is when an existing sign which previously had florescent bulbs is updated to LEDS.

If you are one of the many businesses out there still in possession of fluorescent signage, investing in upgrading your existing signage to LED lighting will save you more money each year.

LED vs Florescent


Florescent:  Requires maintenance 1-3 times/ year .

LED: Requires maintenance on average twice every 5-10 years.


Florescent:  Fragile, Glass bulbs can shatter.

LED: Durable, The diodes can withstand much more damage.


Florescent: 7,000 to 15,000 hours

LED: 50,000+ Hours 


Florescent:  256W

LED: 100W, Much lower energy consumption for much brighter light. 


Florescent:  Yes. Bulbs contain chemicals which can be dangerous if broken.

LED: Non Toxic, safer to dispose of and better for the environment.


Florescent:  Prone to flickering

LED: Stable & consistent light


Florescent:  Mild

LED: Very bright

To summarize, LEDs are the superior choice because they need less maintenance, and have a much longer life span which saves money on your repair bill,   consume half the energy which saves money on your hydro bill, they’re better for the planet, and they look better.

You can save your business more money every year by upgrading florescent lighting 

Looking to learn more?

Contact our sales team!

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