LED Neon Sign Maintenance – 12 Easy Steps

LED neon signs are a vibrant addition to any space, from bars to businesses and even homes. However, to ensure that your LED neon sign continues to shine brightly and catch the eye of every passerby, you need to keep it in top condition with these 12 important LED neon sign maintenance tips. This guide will take you through the essential steps to keep your sign working and maintain an LED neon sign, and ensure it remains as dazzling as the day you bought it.

  • LED neon signs do not get hot, and do not attract bugs so they require a lot less cleaning than most forms of signage
  • LED neon signs should be dusted every few months with a slightly damp cloth, don’t use any chemicals
  • LED neon signs should be switched off regularly, ideally every day when not needed, as this lengthens their effective use
  • Outdoor LED neon signs need some more attention, and it’s important to look for signs of wear in the silicone seal used on the sign, fixing as it’s apparent
  • Take the time to look after your LED neon sign and it will look after you for years to come

Understanding Your LED Neon Sign

The first step in maintaining any LED neon sign is to understand a little about the technology – this makes us aware of what we can and can’t do to maintain an LED neon sign effectively.  LED neon signs are a modern alternative to traditional gas neon signs, which are made from fragile glass filled with neon gas.  LED neon signs, on the other hand, consist of tiny LED lights encased in flexible polymer tubing. This design allows for greater durability and versatility in terms of the shapes and designs that can be achieved.  This alters the way we might clean and look after our LED sign.

Choosing the Perfect Spot for Your LED Neon Sign

When purchasing an LED neon sign, you probably have a specific spot in mind where you want to hang it. While LED neon signs are more durable and can be made waterproof, unlike traditional neon signs, it’s crucial to consider the location carefully. Even though the sign itself can withstand water, the adapter and electric cable will need to be plugged into a socket, which should be kept dry. If you’re considering an outdoor location, be sure to protect your sign with an acrylic box to shield it from the elements and potential damage.  Choosing the wrong or bad location can greatly impact the longevity of your new sign.

The Importance of Regular Dusting & Cleaning

LED neon signs are safe to handle and care for, as they don’t emit any heat. However, like any item in your home or business, they can accumulate dust over time. Regular dusting maintenance is essential to keep your LED neon sign looking its best. Use a feather duster or a soft cloth to remove loose dust, ensuring to unplug the sign before cleaning. For best results, dust your sign regularly to prevent dust build-up.

Microfiber Hand Duster
One of the easiest ways to clean your LED neon sign or traditional neon sign is with a microfiber or feather duster.  If you own a neon sign and don’t own a duster, then you’ll need to purchase one ASAP!

Dealing with Stains and Grime

Over time, your LED neon sign might acquire some stains. Cleaning these off is simple, but it’s crucial to unplug your sign first for safety. You can use a mixture of water and household ammonia to gently wipe away any dirt or stains on your sign. Vinegar and baking soda, or even plain water, can also work well.

Preserving your LED Neon Sign with Regular Switch Offs

To prolong the life of your LED neon sign, it’s advisable to switch it off periodically. If your sign is in constant use, try to turn it off for 24 hours every fortnight. This brief period of rest can help extend your sign’s lifespan significantly.

Unplug and power the neon sign
Unplug and power the neon sign down BEFORE cleaning and also powering off will help maintain the brilliance and longevity of the LED neon sign.

Professional LED Neon Sign Maintenance & Repairs: When and Why

While LED neon signs generally have easy upkeep, there may come a time when professional repairs are necessary. If parts of your sign fail to illuminate, or if the transformer’s status light is flashing, it’s best to call a professional. Attempting to fix these issues yourself could lead to further damage or even pose a safety risk.

Knowing When to Replace Your LED Neon Sign

Despite your best efforts to maintain and care for your LED neon sign, there may come a time when it needs to be replaced – sometimes an error message “sign not working” might be displayed or there is just no response when turning it on. Just like traditional neon signs, LED ones have a limited lifespan. However, the cost of operating and replacing your LED signs is significantly lower, making them a more cost-efficient option in the long run.

Clean Your Neon Sign: A Special Case with Glass Neon

While LED neon signs are increasingly popular, traditional glass neon signs still have their charm. Cleaning a glass neon sign requires more care due to the fragility of the glass. Using a soft brush and a gentle hand will help remove dust and grime without risking damage to the sign.

The Basics of Neon Sign Maintenance for Outdoor Signs

Whether your LED neon sign is located indoors or outdoors can significantly impact how you maintain it. Indoor signs may require less frequent cleaning than outdoor ones exposed to the elements, but both types benefit from regular dusting and gentle cleaning with a damp cloth.

Caring for Your Neon Sign

In many cases, your LED neon sign will need minimal care or attention, but in particular bar neon signs are often exposed to smoke and grease and may require more frequent cleaning. Using an ammonia-based cleaner can effectively remove grime and stains. Always remember to unplug your sign before cleaning and to dry it thoroughly afterward – we recommend using a dry paper towel or leaving it off to dry naturally.  Never turn the sign on when it’s still damp.

The Most Common Question About How To Maintain an LED Neon Sign

In conclusion, maintaining an LED neon sign is a straightforward task that can help ensure your sign stays bright and beautiful for many years to come. Regular dusting, gentle cleaning, appropriate placement, and professional repairs, when needed, are all keys to keeping your sign in top shape. With these tips, your LED neon sign is sure to continue adding a fun and vibrant touch to your space.

At Neon By Design we’ve got your back, if you have bought an LED sign from us and you have any questions about the maintenance of your neon sign, then please contact our team for assistance.


Why do LED neon signs need to be maintained?

  • LED neon signs need to be well-maintained to ensure a safe and long life of the sign.  Keeping an LED neon sign clean, dust-free, and with a regular turn-off schedule will help keep the sign in good working order.

How to dust an LED neon sign?

  • Use a feather duster, or soft cloth to dust the LED neon sign every few weeks.  The LED doesn’t get too hot, so it won’t attract dust or bugs, but it will accumulate air-born dust particles which can hamper the visual look of the sign – dusters are well worth a few dollars to keep the sign clean.

How to maintain an outdoor LED neon sign?

  • Cleaning an outdoor LED neon sign requires regular dusting, and you can also use a slightly damp cloth to wipe away dust and any other particles.  It is advised to not wash down and don’t use a high-power pressure sprayer when cleaning the LED neon sign.  The last thing you want is pressure washing an LED neon sign!

When should an LED neon sign be replaced?

  • LED neon signs should be replaced when the colors start to fade, or some of the LED lights in the LED neon flex start to fail.  LED neon signs are also made up of an acrylic backboard, and this may start to weather and wear.  Outdoor LED neon signs have silicone sealing on them, and with time this will begin to wear, so it’s important to keep an eye on this and repair it before issues arise.

How long will a well-maintained LED neon sign last?

  • An indoor LED neon sign will last about 60,000 to 80,000+ light hours – depending mostly on the care taken of the sign.  An outdoor LED neon sign will last about 40,000 to 55,000 light hours – mostly depending on the weather/climate it is located in and the care and maintenance of the sign.

How do you clean LED neon signs?

  • The main things to consider when cleaning an LED neon sign are dusting and keeping it dry (if it’s an indoor sign).  You can use a dust cloth or a feather duster.  Also, you can use a slightly damp cloth to wipe the sign – but make sure it’s not soaking wet, as the sign is electric and if it’s an indoor sign it’s not designed to get wet.

Do LED neon signs burn out?

  • Yes, the LEDs in LED neon signs will eventually burn out.  Typically an LED neon sign will last about 8 to 15 years, but sometimes LEDs deteriorate and burn out.

When Do I Clean a Neon Sign?

  • Creating a regular cleaning schedule can help extend the life of your neon sign. Depending on the location of your sign and the amount of dust and debris in the environment, you may need to clean your sign weekly, fortnightly, or monthly.


Christopher is our main author, with over 10 years working with businesses and consulting online.  Christopher has a deep understanding of LED lights, LED neon flex, and neon signs and how they can be best used to help business, home, and event decor.

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