LED or Neon: Which Do You Choose?

Our friend John Dungan at T. Ham Sign Company, whom you may remember from our story a few weeks ago about 19 Precision Board Signs For The Price Of 9 Wood Signs, sent in pictures of a Precision Board Plus backlit LED sign they recently made. Because they use up to 75% less energy than neon signs, LED signs are becoming more popular today.

Consulting with John, the owner of Sesser Autobody in Sesser, IL wanted an interior sign for his shop that would stand out, have an automotive theme, and look impressive. This led to a design incorporating Precision Board Plus, diamond pattern metal, and LED lighting.

To start, John cut a sheet of 1″ PBLT-15 on his CNC router for the background, and bonded it to the diamond pattern metal using PB Bond-240. A channel routed into the back panel provided a resting sport for the red LED’s for a halo effect. He then routed the Sesser Autobody letters into a sheet of 1/2″ Precision Board Plus and bonded that to the other side of the diamond pattern metal (see how to bond Precision Board to a dissimilar substrate here). The sign was primed using FSC-88WB, and painted with 1 Shot Paints.


According to John, this was a quick, fun sign to make and was very well received by the owner of Sesser Autobody. Additionally, it proved to be a great opportunity to show how LED’s can be incorporated into a sign instead of neon while still providing an eye-catching, visually pleasing look. Be sure to check out more excellent work by T. Ham Sign Company at: http://www.thamsign.com.






19 Precision Board Signs For The Price of 9 Wood Signs

Its not everyday we get to see pictures from a single project consisting of so many signs. Our friend John Dungan at T. Ham Sign Company emailed pictures of a 19-sign job they recently finished.

Originally, John was contacted to replace the apartment complex’s aging sandblasted wood signs. After taking a look at the project and examining his options, he suggested that they could replace the signs using Precision Board Plus at a much more cost-effective price than wood. In the end it turned out using Precision Board Plus saved them over $7,000, with the added benefit of the signs lasting much longer.

Not long after that call, they received the go-ahead to start building the signs using Precision Board Plus PBLT-18. Even though T. Ham Sign Company has the capabilities to either sandblast or CNC rout, they decided to CNC the signs because it would require less overall time and labor.


To make sure the signs have enough strength to handle harsh weather, each of the signs has 2″ x 2″  x 1/8″ aluminum angles attached to it with stainless steel bolts. These provide an extremely strong attachment point for the sign posts. There are also 3 horizontal aluminum bands running across the back of each sign for additional strength.


T. Ham Sign was able to successfully replace all 19 signs for the apartment complex, incorporating the new complex logo and management company’s info onto the lower portion of the sign, using a better-priced, higher-quality substrate. Be sure to visit the T. Ham Sign Company website for more information and pictures from them!

If you would like the breakdown on HDU vs. Wood, please visit our previous blog: HDU Vs. Wood Signs.