Connect with us

LEDs + Lighting

The Neon Sign Industry 2000 — An Inaugural Report

This landmark survey reveals that neon signage encompasses a $1.4 billion industry



Signs of the Times magazine has conducted what could be the first-ever neon survey of the electric sign industry. Based on 142 responses from companies ranging in sales volume from $60,000 to $109 million, here are some of the highlights.

  • The average electric-sign company sells more than $700,000 in neon products annually, which accounts for nearly 30% of its income.
  • For illuminated signs, neon is used 41% of the time, compared to 49% for fluorescent lighting. Exterior neon is used three times more often than interior neon.
  • By a wide margin, channel letters are the most common form of neon signage.
  • Wholesalers fabricate more than 40% of all neon sold.
  • In 1999, the average electric-sign company sold 18% more neon than it did in 1998.
  • From 1998 to 1999, neon’s percentage of electric-sign companies’ overall sales volumes grew by more than 16%.

Consider this data as a companion study to the Electric State of the Industry (SOI) report that will be published in July 2000. Note that we have calculated results in the same sales-volume categories used in the Electric SOI.

There is one major difference. The Electric SOI is conducted annually by Smyth Marketing Resources, a professional research company. This neon survey was conducted in-house, much like our studies on vinyl (February 2000), banners (November 1999) and other product/material-specific studies. Despite this distinction, this article will make frequent references to the Electric SOI and calculate comparative extrapolations as well.

To view a full report, purchase the March 2001 issue of Signs of the Times magazine, here.


Table 1: Sales Volume 1999
Sales Volume $ # % of Total Sales $ % of Total Sales/Response $ Neon Sales % Neon Sales $ Neon Sales/Response $
<100K 15 10.9 789 0.2 52,600 62.4 492,336 32,822
100K-249K 20 14.5 3,193 0.9 159,650 39.1 1,248,463 62,423
250K-499K 22 15.9 7,375 2.2 335,227 39.4 2,905,750 132,080
500K-999K 31 22.5 19,368 5.8 624,774 29.8 5,771,664 186,183
1M-2.49M 25 18.1 38,400 11.5 1,536M 31.7 12,172,800 486,912
2.5M-4.9M 8 5.8 27,500 8.2 3,437,500 38.0 10,450,000 1,306,250
>5M 17 12.3 240,031 71.4 14,119,470 26.9 64,568,339 3,798,137
n/a 4         36.3    
Total 138 100   100 2,439,536   97,609,352 707,314

Table 1 suggests smaller companies may rely on a higher percentage of neon sales. Yet the percentages are quite uniform; the range for the six sales-volume categories over $100,000 is only 27%-39%.




New Golf Course Graphic Installations With Mactac

Visual communication is essential to a successful business. 2020 required restaurants to pivot from promotional graphics to safety and spacing graphics. Now that restaurants are reopening, it's time to make necessary signage updates and Mactac is here to help. Before you even enter a building, there are thousands of opportunities to welcome and inform your patrons. Whether that is with window graphics, sidewalk graphics, or building wall signage. Stick with us as we walk through the endless opportunities and which Mactac products can help you achieve the goal.

Promoted Headlines




Most Popular