LED Signage Lighting-Neon Alternative
Signage Lighting: LED vs. Neon
LED linear sign lighting has brightness, color and glow qualities similar to those of traditional neon sign lighting, but with longer life, better durability, no mercury and lower energy consumption.
Item ID: 111
Technical Advisory Group: 2009 Lighting TAG (#1)
Linear sign lighting has typically been provided by neon luminaires, a type of cold cathode lighting. In a linear LED system, the individual LED semiconductors are installed in a linear translucent plastic form. Depending on the manufacturer, the solid translucent material glows fairly evenly when lit, imitating a neon tube. LED linear lighting is much more durable than neon, and offers safer handling.
LED linear lighting systems are widely available from a number of manufacturers. The U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE) is encouraging research, development and market penetration of the technology and is providing resources with objective, frequently updated information about the technology.
Energy savings from using LEDs in lieu of traditional neon lighting vary, depending on sign color and fixture efficiency. LEDs are most cost-effective in colored-light applications, where they will often replace full-spectrum lights which have been filtered for a single output color. LEDs, in contrast, can produce light solely in the color of interest. For all colors, the average power density for LEDs is approximately 26% lower than it is for electronic neon lighting and approximately 44% lower than for magnetic neon. If the sole purpose of a linear border tubing installation is to reduce demand, LED has a clear advantage over neon, although some luminance may be sacrificed as compared with neon. Additionally, U.S. DOE predicts continued improvement in efficacy and decline in price for LED lighting.
Baseline Description: Neon lights
Baseline Energy Use: 16 kWh per year per linear foot
This estimate came from two sources: http://www.ehow.com/info_8748409_much-electricity-neon-light-use.html and http://www.egl-lighting.com/documents/neonefficiency.pdf. Estimated 3.75W/ft. * 12 hrs/day * 365/year.
Manufacturer's Energy Savings Claims:
Currently no data available.
Best Estimate of Energy Savings:
"Typical" Savings: 30%
Energy Savings Reliability: 3 - Limited Assessment
26 to 40% savings.
Energy Use of Emerging Technology:
11.2 kWh per linear foot per year
Energy Use of an Emerging Technology is based upon the following algorithm.
Baseline Energy Use - (Baseline Energy Use * Best Estimate of Energy Savings (either Typical savings OR the high range of savings.))
Potential number of units replaced by this technology:
150 linear feet per sign, 250,000 signs in the Northwest = 30 million linear feet.
Based on Navigant for U.S. DOE "Energy Savings Estimates for LED Lighting in Niche Applications" (2008) http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/nichefinalreport_october2008.pdf
Note: The installed base of electric signs in the U.S. is 15.9 million units. Neon accounts for a 42.1% market share (see Table 2-19). The estimated number of neon signs in the Northwest is estimated at: (0.04 prorating by population) x .421 x 15.9 million = 267,756 signs. The LED penetration has likely increased since 2008, (although the total number of signs has also increased), so assume 250,000 total signs.
Regional Technical Potential:
0.14 TWh per year
Regional Technical Potential of an Emerging Technology is calculated as follows:
Baseline Energy Use * Estimate of Energy Savings (either Typical savings OR the high range of savings) * Technical Potential (potential number of units replaced by the Emerging Technology)
Currently no data available.
Simple payback, new construction (years): N/A
Simple payback, retrofit (years): N/A
Cost Effectiveness is calculated using baseline energy use, best estimate of typical energy savings, and first cost. It does not account for factors such as impacts on O&M costs (which could be significant if product life is greatly extended) or savings of non-electric fuels such as natural gas. Actual overall cost effectiveness could be significantly different based on these other factors.