How to Save Money on Your Electric Bill with Neon Signs

How how much electricity does lighting for neon require? This question is increasingly important in times of rising energy costs.

Illuminated logos and letters are often central components of brand identity as well as ideas for interior design. It’s impossible to turn off the lights to save electricity. Illuminated advertising serves an essential function that cannot be evaluated based on cost-benefit calculations.

It is nonetheless sensible to be aware of the power consumption for LED products and neon tubes. We will employ concrete examples to help us find the root of the issue and then compare our findings with typical household appliances.

LED neons use power to produce it.

Advertising with LED neon is very energy efficient. A majority of the electricity is utilized to generate light, therefore in addition to the power consumption, heat production is quite small, in comparison to traditional light bulbs.

LED neon Flex is available at a voltage of 12-24 Volts and a life span exceeding 50,000 hours. LED-based products typically require only one transformer (power supply unit).

It is simple to determine the power consumed by an LED neon sign. The following parameters are required to be considered: power in watts length of LED tubes in meters (m) as well as operating time in hours and time (h).

It is sensible to determine the energy consumption per hour, to be able to extrapolate to larger periods afterward. LED neon has an average power consumption of about 9 Watts per meter (W/m). A logo or lettering that has an overall tube length of 5 meters, thus consumes 45 watts per hour. 9W/m 5m x 1h = 45 W/h or 0.045 (kWh). (kilowatt hours).

If you now want to extrapolate the power consumption of the month or the year it’s important to know how long the neon LED sign is turned on throughout the daytime. Let’s say that the glowing logo is on for 8 hours a day.

Example 1: LED Neon “Ick bin een Berliner Original”

Adidas Flagship Store Berlin

Let’s show you how to make this mathematical calculation by using an example that is concrete such as this LED neon that was pre-mounted onto a dibond plate that we made for a Berlin Adidas flagship shop in 2020.

The illuminated sign has a total size of 200x50cm, and the total length of the neon LED tubes is 6 meters.

Let’s suppose that the neon sign is in use for ten hours, six days a week.

In other words, the average energy consumption of this LED neon is approximately 168 kW per year. The more precise you are in your ability to estimate the cost and demand, the easier it will be.

The power consumption of Glass Neon

The energy usage of traditional neon tubes (i.e. neon tubes made of bent glass tubes, is not as easy to estimate as LED neon. The total length of tubes is not the only element. It is also important to take into consideration the thickness of the tube (between 8 and 18mm), the capacity of the transformer model, the number of transformers required, and the number and type of systems (individual elements of the neon). Therefore, the question of how much power neon tubes use isn’t easy to answer.

Example 2: Glass Neon Credit Card

N26 Office Berlin

However, let’s take a look at another instance which is this neon in the color Classic Blue, which has adorned the Berlin office of N26 since 2021.

Two of our standard transformers with a maximum output of 8kV/30mA are needed for the operation of the neon, which measures approx. 100x 65cm, and is composed of seven glass structures.

We will not list the complete solution route at this stage. It is essential to think about, this to make an accurate estimate of the length and the number of connecting cables between the two systems. Also, take into consideration that there is a “voltage curve” which is glass neon. Neon transformers are self-regulating and therefore the voltage settles over time, at around 60% of the maximum power when operating. In this scenario, the energy content is 0.29 kWh. If we assume that the light is switched on for eight hours every weekday that would result in an annual average consumption of around 603 kWh.

This result cannot be generalized. The exact amount of power consumed is dependent very much on the size and design of the specific neon sign.

A comparison of power consumption for neon

Which devices consume the most electricity?

In the next section, we’ll take look at some of the household appliances that can help you comprehend energy demands.

It should be noted that the figures shown are approximate averages. Actual power usage will depend on the energy and size effects of the model and, of course, the frequency of use – washing laundry three times per week will consume more energy than a single wash cycle.

  • Laptop: For a typically equipped notebook, it is possible to estimate that you will use between 15 and 22 kWh.
  • Dishwasher: A dishwasher that measures about 60cm wide (multi-person household) will consume 70-80 kWh per year.
  • Refrigerator: A refrigerator of medium size within the top energy efficiency class could consume more than 120 kWh per year.
  • Washing machine: Most commercially available models require about 200 kWh of power per year.
  • Television: A flatscreen television with a 55-inch diagonal screen consumes approximately 225 kWh per year.

With 129.6kWh, the LED neon sign above is located in the middle of this range. Consider that many of the household appliances mentioned here are only used occasionally, while neon signs are typically utilized for longer periods of time, which is why you could certainly consider it an energy-efficient product.

Bonus question: Do dim (LED) neons use less power?

The simple answer is. Basically, you can start by assuming that an illuminated sign dimmed is less energy-intensive which means that the following is true: less brightness = less electricity. It is important to know that control and dimming systems may be integrated into the illuminated signs that require electricity in order to function. This must be considered prior to when you commission the sign. However, apart from this, the power use of dimmed (LED) neons is less.

We provide dimming using the remote control and a controller on our LED neon lighting products. This option is available in the Neon Configurator.

For glass neon, dimming by hand is possible through a rotary switch on the power supply. The dimmable transformer can also be selected within the Neon Configurator.

With this insight into the power consumption for neon and LED neon, we hope we can shed some light on the darkness!

More information about our products is available on our Neonproduct page and in our product catalog. If you have any queries about any product, please contact us.

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