Retrofitting is often a wonderful way to get more life out of one of your signs. You might wonder whether sign light retrofitting is appropriate for a particular project, though. You can determine if you ought to retrofit a sign based on these factors.
Indications of Corrosion
This is far from a deal-breaker, but it's something you'll want to get under control. You can have a professional apply chemicals to stabilize a corroded sign as long as it isn't too far gone. The patina of a sign with this sort of wear and tear can be very appealing, but you don't want to damage it more with retrofitting.
More modern signs usually don't have these issues because they're made from plastics rather than metals. However, they may have some metal fittings, and it's best to replace these before proceeding with retrofitting of lights.
The colors of a sign give it much of its life. Where this can be tricky is if you're changing from a light source that has a particular level of warmth or coolness. Switching from an incandescent source to LEDs, for example, can significantly change the way the colors appear. This is because the LEDs will usually have a whiter tone, and that will change how the colors look.
Similar problems can occur when switching from neon. Also, the general warm glow of the sign is likely to be diminished.
How the lights are placed in the sign is important. If they sit along the edges, for example, the retrofitter will need to make some adjustments to ensure a good scatter of the light across the sign. Backlights can create intensity issues, but those are solvable in most instances.
Generally, if a sign operated safely with an older lighting system, it will be fine with a newer one. Newer lights tend to produce less heat, and that makes them safer to use. Likewise, most modern systems are physically lighter so you shouldn't have to worry about adding weight to the sign.
It's normal for signs to fade, especially painted or plastic ones that sit outdoors. The downside is that fading can become unrecoverable. Especially if you switch a faded sign with backlighting to a newer and whiter setup, the remaining visibility might be blown out by the new lights. A professional may have to restore the faded elements before you proceed with sign lighting retrofitting work. Contact a company like Cardinal Sign Corporation to learn more.