Subscribe to Email Updates

Adaptive Display's Digital Signage Blog

Are outdoor LED Signs Energy Efficient?

Posted by Chad Bogan on Tue, May 12, 2015

"Will a large outdoor LED sign run up my energy bill?"

20mm led sign

This is the most challenging question that curious customers tend to ask. Most technical and electrical people usually shift and want to change the subject when customers faced with the same question.  But in reality, there's an easy way to answer this. 

How to calculate power consumption of an outdoor LED sign? 

Here is accurate yet general overview you can use to help provide your customer with an approximate energy cost.


The average amount of 10 cents per kilowatt ($.10/kW). For exact costs call your local power company for information or search online for the corresponding price.1. Know the price per kilowatt of power 

2.Determine the power consumption of the LED sign in watts 

This information is usually provided by the manufacturer. You typically can find this information on the quote you receive from the LED sign manufacturer. 

  • Watts = Amps x Voltage
  • For instance, the EMC rate is 12 amps and installed in a 110 volt service. 
  • Watts = 12 x 110 = 1200 watts of power consumption per hour 
  • 1200 watts is equal to 1.2 kW of power.
  •  

Now, if the customer will use the LED signage for 24 hours a day non-stop and at peak power, the cost will be: 

  • Cost = Power consumption per hour (kW) x cost per kW x hours
  • Cost = 1.2 x 0.10 x 24 = $ 2.88* per day

 If the sign is a double EMC operating at maximum output without any interruptions, then the cost would be: 

  • Cost = $ 2.88 x 2 = $ 5.76* per day              

*Note: It is important to check with your local power company for peak and off-peak rates

On average, LED signage displays operate on approximately 1/3 of their maximum power rating. 

Since, seldom does it happen for customers to operate an EMC non-stop, at maximum output all the time, you can use a realistic percentage (30%) of max power when estimating average power consumption. 

  • Cost =  1/3 of maximum cost
  • Cost = 0.30 x $ 5.76 = $ 1.728 per day 

Help your client see that the cost of $1.728 per day makes an EMC a great investment!

Impress your customer with this low cost figure, especially when the question about power cost is raised. Through this, the client will see that investing in an LED display is the most efficient way to spend their advertising dollars with. No other form of advertising can provide them with that cost and at the same time exposures to thousands of customers walking, driving or passing by.

Tags: Useful LED Sign Information;