If you’re a business owner, you’re always on the lookout for ways to trim your expenses. With that in mind, you might have wondered how you can shave a few dollars off your energy bill. Many businesses that utilize illuminated storefront signs keep them on all the time so that they remain prominently positioned in their neighbourhood, even during off-hours. But will turning off your illuminated sign actually save you money? Here’s what we’ve been able to uncover on the topic.
Debunking a Lighting Myth
Some people might argue that it actually takes more energy to turn off an illuminated sign and then turn it back on. The theory behind this line of thinking was that the act of turning on a lighted sign sucked so much energy that you were best to leave it on. People who subscribe to this theory may have a point if your sign uses old fluorescent bulbs, which do indeed take a long time – sometimes up to several minutes – to turn on completely.
However, most illuminated signs use modern lighting components, which have come a long way from those old fluorescent bulbs. The lamps used in today’s lighted signs are typically of the fast-fire variety. They will use a little extra juice when they’re switched on, but they won’t drain an inordinate amount of electricity.
The Lifespan of Bulbs
One thing to consider when you’re looking at the cost-effectiveness of turning your sign on and off is the type of bulb your sign is using. All light bulbs have an average lifespan, and that lifespan can be impacted by how many times they’re turned off and on.
Incandescent bulbs offer the least efficient type of lighting. In fact, of the energy they consume, they end up emitting far more heat than light. As a result, signs with incandescent bulbs should be turned off whenever they’re not needed.
Fluorescent lights and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) will last longer if you don’t turn them off and on as frequently. You will save energy by not having them on all the time, so you’ll need to find out if the savings on your electricity bill outweigh the cost of replacing the bulb if it wears out earlier than expected.
Light-emitting diode (LED) lights are excellent if you plan on regularly switching your sign on and off, as they won’t be affected by the constant switching. Neon lights are even better, as they can last upwards of ten years, and use significantly less energy than other bulbs.
The Bottom Line
To answer the question posed in the title of this post, yes, you will save money by turning off your illuminated sign, as you’ll be using less energy and there won’t be a huge spike in consumption when you turn the sign back on. Depending on the type of illuminated sign you have though, the savings might not be substantial. That’s especially true if you’re using neon lights for your storefront signage, which as noted above are particularly energy-efficient.
If you are planning on leaving your illuminated sign on at all times, it will be a small added cost to your energy bill, but you can help offset that cost by turning off other lights and electrical appliances within your business when they’re not in use.
Here at About Signs, we can help you in designing an illuminated sign that uses the most cost effective, long lasting lights, so your business can light up the night! Check out some Illuminated Signs made by us, or Contact Us with any inquiries.