How to Determine If a Custom Neon-LED Sign is Truly High-Quality

It doesn’t matter what type or size of business you run, an LED or custom neon sign can be a great investment. The right custom sign will make your business stand out and give you a professional look.

Not all neon signs and LEDs are alike. Many sign companies offer different quality and prices.

The two most important elements of a sign for business owners are:

  1. It should be bright enough to be easily visible both at night and during the day. Because daylight hours are the largest part of most businesses’ working hours, it is crucial to make use of them.
  2. It must be durable for at least one year. Most business owners find that having to replace or repair a sign that is not long-lasting is costly and time-consuming.

It is worth the investment. Our customers often tell us that their SpellBrite sign cost less than they thought it would. High-quality signs that are visible to customers for at least ten years will have a better impact on your business than cheaper signs that don’t work well, break too often, need replacing, or reflect poorly on your business. No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a sign for their business that doesn’t do the job.

How to tell if a sign is a quality:

You will find a lot of companies and retailers advertising their best neon signs for sale. It can be hard to distinguish between legitimate companies selling high-quality products and scams. Many signs can be purchased, but they have not been certified or checked for quality. This could lead to you spending too much money on low-quality signs. This is especially true when dealing directly with sellers on third-party websites like Amazon or Etsy. This is because signs are powered by electricity. This can pose a safety risk for your customers and you.

When purchasing a neon or custom LED neon sign, it is important to be aware of what you should look out for. This comprehensive guide will help you to find the best quality sign for you. These tips and tricks will help you find a durable sign that will bring new customers to your business.

Avoid this if You Want a Bright Sign

Edge-lit signs should not be avoided if you value brightness, as it is for many business owners. Edge-lit signs can be described as a piece or acrylic of glass or clear acrylic that is etched with text or images. An LED light source can be placed at the edges of acrylic or glass to lighten the etching. These signs are both beautiful and affordable. They can also be useful in interior low-light applications. The downside is that even high-quality, edge-lit signs won’t shine much light. Edge-lit signs should not be placed in a window to shout out information to potential customers. Edge-lit signs are not bright and will disappoint those who seek them.

Products Certifications, Quality & Security

Sign quality is determined by the technical design, the materials used, and the manufacturing process. Signs that are poorly designed or manufactured will fail to last. For example, a manufacturer could use lower-quality LEDs to save money, but “overdrive” them electronically to make them brighter initially. Overdriving LEDs reduces their lifespan. Although the sign looks great when it’s turned on, soon the LEDs will start dimming and your sign will no longer be visible enough to draw attention.

Quality signs that last a long time will be certified by the companies that make them. This certification is usually under the UL certificate in the United States and the CE in Europe. Obtaining UL and other certifications is not difficult or costly for a well-made product. Although a UL rating doesn’t guarantee the quality, it is a sign of poor product design.

These certifications are not only a guarantee of the sign’s quality but also attest to its safety. Safety ratings regulate neon and LED signs that are on the market. Sign companies that have met or exceeded these requirements will generally publish the information on their website. These ratings may not be visible to you, but you can always ask the seller – if they’re legitimate, they’ll be able to reply.

What is a UL Rating and what does it mean?

You will notice a tiny “UL”, enclosed in a circle, on your sign.

This means that UL (or the Underwriters Laboratory) has evaluated the product and determined it to be safe for use. The UL rating is valid in the United States. This symbol is another indicator that a product is legitimate and has been subject to a series of safety and function tests by reputable sources.

UL must be an independent company. UL cannot approve or deny production. Only governmental agencies, such as FDA, can legally prohibit production based solely on their research. However, these agencies may include UL testing in their assessments.

There are many individual certifications available under the “UL” umbrella. The most important thing to consider when evaluating safety regulations on your sign is whether it has been UL listed. UL-listed products will have a UL sticker (see above). To obtain a UL listing, the Underwriter’s Laboratory must verify that the product meets or exceeds national safety and sustainability standards. A UL listing is also confirmation that the sign has been freed from a ” reasonably foreseeable fire danger.”

UL Rating should be given for both the product as well as its power supply.

It doesn’t mean that the sign is unsafe if you don’t see a UL rating. Different certifications can be used by different companies to reach the same end goal. UL certifications are the most popular for lighting fixtures. Another, recognized in the US is the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Signs that are UL-listed don’t necessarily have to be 100% safe. Sometimes companies may change which part of their sign is UL-listed. Many signs will include multiple electrical components. Each one must undergo the UL certification process separately to have the entire system listed.

Is your entire Sign UL Rated?

Some companies may vaguely claim “UL rated” even though the power supply is not listed. It is important to verify whether the sign itself is UL listed and not just its adapter or power cord. For our products, the sign (left), and the power cord, (right), have been UL certified. They both bear the UL labels.

You can quickly search the UL database to find the name of the company. This database includes every manufactured product that is UL-certified. It allows you to check the claims of sign companies, and ensure your sign is safe. The UL database shows you which items were produced by the company. If only the power supply is mentioned, and not the sign itself it is assumed that only that power supply is included.

What is a CE Rating?

A “CE” label might be found on your neon or LED sign if you are careful. You should know the difference between these two terms before you make a purchase.

How can you distinguish between the two “CE” marks? Take a look at the distance between C and E as shown above.

The left side of the “CE” rating is for “Conformite European” or “European Conformity.” This rating is about the European equivalent of a UL. This mark is a good sign. The product is compliant with all health, safety, and environmental protection requirements set forth by the European Union (EU). This certification is required for some products sold within the European Economic Area. While the CE rating doesn’t necessarily signify a high-quality product or sign, it does indicate that the product you’re considering has been evaluated and proven safe to use by a trusted source.

however, has a second type “CE” mark. It looks very similar but it is not a standard in quality. The “CE” sign stands for China Export and is used arbitrarily by manufacturers in China to identify the item’s origin country. This is similar to labels that say “MADE IN USA” on certain clothing brands. Both “CE” logos can be easily confused, as they look very similar.

Many signs and products that bear the CE label “China Export”, can be high-quality and pass other regulatory certifications. However, the label does not require any quality checks or safety testing. This label cannot be used as a guarantee of quality.

You are unsure whether a company is CE certified. Ask them! A Certificate of Compliance can be provided by companies that have obtained the CE “Conformite Europaenne” certification.

Is this Neon-LED Sign Safe or “Safe?”

The majority of sign companies will state that their signs can be trusted, regardless of whether it’s true. This is an obvious selling point. Businesses want a safer sign more than a visible sign. So it makes sense for them to include it.

However, the UL or similar groups determine the safety of signs and provide certifications to prove it. Sign companies can tell you that their sign may be safe, but they cannot guarantee it.

You shouldn’t trust that a sign you see is safe unless you can verify its safety using safety ratings such as the ones shown above.

What is an IP Rating? Or, how can you tell if a sign is waterproof?

Signage placed outside can help drive traffic to your company and attract new customers. However, neon and LED signs must be waterproof so they can function in any weather. Ingress Protection (IP), ratings should be considered when looking for outdoor signage. IP ratings indicate the waterproof capability of electronic products such as lights.

IP numbers are used to indicate the product’s ability to prevent other items from entering it. These quality ratings, which are based upon testing by the International Electrotechnical Commission are comprised of two single-digit numbers. The first digit is for protection against solids such as pollen and dust and can be up to 6; while the second digit is for protection against liquids and can go up to 8.

The most common waterproof IP ratings are:

HTML65: These signs have been tested with a water jet similar to a hose. They also have waterproofing protection for three minutes.

HTML66: This rating indicates that signs can repel water from powerful jet streams for three minutes.

HTML67: Signs displaying this rating are waterproof and can be submerged up to 1 meter in water for 30 minutes.

IP68 – Signs with this rating are the most protected on the IP scale. These products have full protection against solid particles. They can also be submerged for up to 30 mins in water over 1 meter. Apple claims the iPhone 13’s IP-68 rating can withstand depths up to 6 m for 30 minutes.

Sometimes you might see multiple IP ratings. This simply means the sign protects particles in multiple ways. A product that is both IP 65 and IP 68 rated will protect it against submersion and water jets.

A waterproof sign might not be weatherproof if it isn’t made of the right materials. The construction of signs can have an impact on how they perform in hot, humid Florida and freezing Minnesota snowstorms. When you’re considering using a neon or LED sign outside, make sure to check with the company first that they are safe.

Is the price fair?

Everyone loves to save some money. Low prices can be a red flag when it comes to lighting and signage solutions. A sign with a very low price does not automatically suggest that you should avoid it.

The average price of an LED sign of high quality will be between $150-200. This can vary depending on the size and type. The cost of a custom neon sign will be slightly more expensive than a stock sign (closer to $300-400) and can go up to $4000 for a customized sign. Sign companies sometimes offer sales on select high-quality products or stock items for a slightly lower cost, especially when trying out to clear out inventory.

Is the price misleading?

Some sign companies can be misleading about pricing, especially if they sell to third-party websites like Etsy. A wide range of sellers will offer custom neon or LED-neon signs starting at $20 per piece if you search the term “custom neon sign”. You’ll be surprised to see that these signs are only 10cm tall. Low prices can conceal hidden fees or extra costs. This is why you must read the fine print. Low prices can be used by sellers as “down payments” or to cover hidden fees at checkout.

Although a 10cm sign is inexpensive, it will not be very effective for most business needs.

You should keep this in mind if you find a company selling “high-quality signs” for a fraction of the cost ($50) then you have to be cautious. Many of these solutions lack safety certifications and are not very bright or durable.

A Return Policy can be a powerful tool for communicating your message

Quality signs are a sign of a quality company. A company’s return policy can be a good indicator. You can return any sign that doesn’t fit your needs or is not of high quality if you are unhappy with it. This is especially important since customers rarely see the sign until after they have purchased it.

Some companies allow returns. Some companies allow returns on stock signs. However, custom signs are not accepted. Others refuse to accept returns and will only replace or repair signage damaged during shipping. Some companies do not specify their return policy. If the company in question has a legitimate business, you should be able to find their return policy (or lack thereof). Our website has our 30-day return policies.

What is the Warranty?

If possible, the warranty should be clearly stated on the company’s website. Many manufacturers do not make mention of their warranty. Other manufacturers might offer a one-year warranty, whose coverage will vary depending on the particular issue. Some warranties have longer terms that sound great, but make sure you read all the fine print. Before making a purchase, make sure you read the fine print and find out how long it lasts. SpellBrite has policies that provide an automatic one-year warranty along with a free extended three-year warranty – easily.

Be on the lookout for potential scams

These best practices can help you determine if an LED neon sign company will give you a durable, high-quality product, or a cheaper, but less-expensive alternative. This article will explain what to look out for when you buy custom signs from a seller whose reputation is not good.

Information about your company

How long has the company existed? Information about a company that has been in operation for decades should be available online. However, many new companies don’t list how long they have had their business. This makes it difficult to judge if signs are high-quality and how long they will last.

Is the company an Better Business Bureau-certified business? While not all legitimate companies will register with BBB, the BBB will keep records of any problems with the company. This could help you verify the legitimacy of your business.

Do they have a website? A company’s website can be a good indicator of whether it is genuine or fraudulent. Websites are not necessary for all legitimate businesses. However, it can be helpful to put your mind at rest.

If the company has a site:

  • Do they have a phone number? Do they list their phone number? If so, do you get a callback or pick up the phone?
  • Can you find the privacy policy anywhere on the site? This is often overlooked by websites that are run by fraudsters.
  • How does the company accept payment for services? Although credit cards are safer than cash and it is easier to get a refund in cases of fraud, some companies may require payment in the form of envelopes or checks that are mailed to specific addresses.
  • How do their website design and grammar look? Are there sections that are poorly designed or have programming errors? Some legitimate businesses, especially small ones, may have poor website designs and grammatical errors. But, legitimate e-commerce companies will invest in a website that accurately represents their brand and products.

Social Media

Do they have social media accounts? For all businesses, digital presence is increasingly important. This includes physical stores and restaurants as well as sign agencies. It can be difficult to discern if a business is trustworthy or not based on its social media. However, social media does provide great insight into a business’s values.

It is a red flag if the company doesn’t have social media. If the business is small (e.g., a shop selling crocheted toys on Etsy), this exception will be allowed. A website and social media should be expected if the business in question appears to be established or larger.

Responsive to negative feedback

If the company has social media, it is easy to scroll through its posts and learn about them. Does the company respond to any negative feedback positively? Are potential customers satisfied with the company’s response to their concerns via social media? If you feel that the company may not be legitimate, don’t click on the link in its bio. Instead, open a new browser tab and Google the company’s name to see what comes up.

Search Appearance on Third-Party Sellers

Although e-commerce platforms make every effort to ensure that reviews are fair and that companies aren’t paying for them, there are still many companies and reviews that slip through the cracks. We’ll be looking more closely at Amazon, an e-commerce company.

Note that most Amazon sellers now sell directly from Chinese sellers. Safety ratings and certifications can be difficult to confirm or verify. This is one way these sellers are protecting their American interests. They create official brands by combing a string to create a unique “brand” name for the company. A brand name such as JHTKLWOII can be a sign that the company is based somewhere in China. This is because the product is not subject to the same safety standards and government requirements as products manufactured in the United States. Use the steps above to find out where a company is located.

Amazon Search Placement

Amazon reviews are also a great indicator. Although Amazon has made it harder to purchase reviews, there are still companies that buy both positive and negative reviews. Some companies will buy negative reviews from other companies, which could compromise the legitimacy and credibility of many negative reviews. Do these reviews seem legitimate for these “high-quality” signs? Are there pictures included? Are they all very positive or negative?

Of all the reviews, 3 and 4 stars are the most helpful. They also tend to be the most accurate and true reviews, as they are often written by customers. A seller with 500+ reviews and an average rating of 4.98 is not likely to be legitimate. Customers with middle-range ratings are more likely to have more objective feedback. This gives you an easier way to see the company’s flaws. Is their product great but the customer service terrible? False advertising regarding shipping times These 3-4 star reviews will inform you.

Other third-party reviews

Third-party reviews can prove to be very helpful in determining if a company is legitimate. These reviews can be manipulated by both the company concerned and their competitors, but common sense will help you see the bigger picture.

You can start by searching for “[company] scam” or “is (company] legit”. If they are a scam, the top results will link directly to ScamRisk ratings.

Sitejabber Trustpilot and Sitejabber are good options. These reviews can be brief, but they are often more detailed than the short ones. Listening to the opinions of customers can help you determine if the product works for you. Returned customers with multiple reviews are always a sign of a company’s quality.


A bright sign can boost your business’ sales. Quality bright signs can help increase sales and provide peace of mind. We hope that you found these suggestions helpful. These strategies cannot prove that signs are bright, durable, or high-quality. All of these strategies can be combined to help you decide if the sign you are looking at is right for your needs.

Yes, we would ( ) be pleased to provide you with high-quality signs. We have decades-long experience in the lighting and signage industry and would be delighted to schedule a complimentary consultation. Please contact us at (312)575-9620 so we can help you decide on the best solution.

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