Not all billboard light fixtures are created equal. When it comes to LED billboard lighting, the choices are often confusing. What type of LED billboard lighting should I consider? Which manufacturers use quality craftsmanship and guarantee performance?? How do I interpret all of these confusing statistics???

There are plenty of online suppliers that offer numerous low-cost options. However, more often than not, lesser quality and cheap billboard light fixtures need to be replaced sooner, require more power to operate and end up costing more in the long run. So, with so many choices, how do you know if you are making the right LED billboard lighting decision?

Irvin has spent decades researching and testing countless billboard light fixtures and LED billboard lighting options. When you purchase your LED billboard lighting through Irvin, we take all of the guess work out of it and present you with the most trusted, reliable and cost-effective solutions on the market, period.

Our MarQuee LED, for instance, is the best-selling billboard lighting in the United States with more than 160,000 units in the marketplace. Irvin’s patented technology offers unparalleled features to ensure your client’s messages outshine the competition. Its advanced design means MarQuee LED billboard lighting eliminates virtually all of the problems associated with competitive products including water intrusion, snow buildup, melted reflectors, overheating drivers, failing diodes and poor aesthetic design.

All of Irvin’s LED billboard lighting solutions are backed by the best warranties in the business and supported by Irvin’s dedicated sales and technical team. So, what are you waiting for? Let Irvin help you select a billboard lighting solution that is sound, won’t end up costing you more over the long term, and will deliver a healthy return on investment.

American Outdoor Advertising,  Phoenix, AZ

The Opportunity

American Outdoor had three premiere locations without power.  Certain more revenue could be generated with additional night-time viewing hours, the company’s management explored running power to the sites. That proposition, however, proved highly cost prohibitive. American wanted to keep cost contained but still find a way to illuminate the structures for several hours per night.

Our Solution

Irvin worked with American’s installers to create site-specific systems, utilizing our economical 38W fixtures. Two-fixture systems with 7-8 hour run-times were the perfect fit.


American Outdoor has been able to drive the advertising rate up at each site. Customers are happy because they’re getting more daily views and American is adding to its bottom line.

“Irvin’s solar packages (installed in June 2016) have been working great from day one and have exceeded my expectations. The lighting on each sign is evenly spread with no gaps and looks better than most of our traditionally lit signs. I recommend anyone wanting to use quality solar billboard lighting systems to call Irvin. If we have a need for more solar in the future, Irvin will be our vendor of choice.”
Troy Carlson
Account Manager
American Outdoor Advertising

Irvin is proud to include Houston-based XtraLight among its top lighting manufacturing partners. With its sleek design and multiple optic choices, XtraLight’s Viento series is a standout choice among Irvin customers for parking lot conversions to LEDs.

This is the first in a series of articles aimed at sharing some of the critical points IRVIN learned along the way that helped us join forces with a quality manufacturer to bring the best-selling billboard LED light to mass market.

The explosive growth of LED lighting is proving a boon to many sign shops. Your end-user clients, including the likes of retail centers, car dealerships, and schools, are increasingly looking to take advantage of savings from huge energy consumption reductions and less maintenance. You are likely doing some on-sight maintenance work with long-standing accounts, so broadening your reach into the world of LED through those relationships makes good business sense.

But navigating the world of LED can be tricky. And choosing the right vendor can be even more daunting. There are countless websites, created by unknown sources with limitless options, confusing jargon, and questionable warrantees. We know. We’ve been there.

As one of the largest suppliers to the Outdoor Advertising Industry, Irvin was in the thick of the market race to bring LED lighting’s answer to static billboards. We were joined by an explosive legion of lighting manufacturers and distributors all convinced they held the new product that would de-throne what had long been the industry’s metal halide gold standard.

There are more than 355,000 billboard faces in the U.S. Do the math on just how many of those illuminated units could stand to benefit from technology that reduces electric consumption by 75%, and you can understand how visceral the race became. The LED lighting project manager for one of Billboard’s giants relayed to me that no less than 60 fixtures hit his desk during the height of the lighting race, all staking claim at “the best.”

But good LED lighting is not a simple proposition. Even quality lighting manufacturers stumbled in the billboard LED lighting arena, learning the nuanced differences between the new technology and the old version they had been immersed in for decades. And as the billboard giants began testing units, they learned first-hand that finding the “right” unit would not be an easy task. The process was marked by one failed unit after another, frustrating an industry and setting planned conversions to LED back several years.

Today, years after Outdoor Advertising began its quest to find the best LED lighting for billboards, only THREE lights out of hundreds are left standing. At Irvin, we are proud to have partnered with the manufacture who created the best-selling light in billboard. Today, more than 160,000 units strong, MarQuee LED is the exclusive unit for some of the biggest names in Outdoor.

How did we partner with the “right” manufacturer? By diving deep and learning!

Corn lights are a popular and inexpensive choice for conversions from metal halide to LED. Changeouts are usually a simple two-step process of bypassing the current ballast and screwing in the corn into the current socket. But there are a few things to consider before determining whether a corn light is the best fit for your application.

First, are you getting the full benefits of the 360 degrees worth of light that you are paying for? Advertisements and websites tout the use of corn lights in a wide variety of applications. But you may be getting short changed on the lumen output listed on the label.

Parking lot fixtures, for example, where standard metal halide bulbs are positioned on a horizontal plane, reflectors work with traditional light sources to help to bounce light back. In most conversions, however, you are removing reflectors to accommodate a corn light. Therefore, only half of the light is being directed out of the fixture and onto the target.

The scenario is really not any better if the reflectors stay put. There is a good chance it will be damaged – as it was originally created for the conventional technology. (Side Note: In the billboard world, some manufacturers utilizing reflectors with LEDs saw those reflectors melting over time.)

Second, consider the heat. Corn lights generate a lot of heat. Placing them in heavy die cast housings is like sticking them in an Easy-Bake Oven. They are likely to cook. At the very least, you are looking at less than optimal performance and a shorter lifespan.

So, where do corn lights make the most sense? If you are looking for an inexpensive alternative, corn lights are worth considering in high bay applications and large sign boxes where the benefit of the full 360 degrees worth of LED can be realized but there is enough air circulating to keep down the chances of overheating.

The bottom line: Just because there is a current socket in the fixture and a metal halide was previously used does not automatically make a corn light the best fit.

Irvin has an experienced team dedicated to finding the best solutions to fit your needs and save you money over the long term.  Contact Irvin today for your complimentary lighting assessment.

We are really excited about this one! More than two years of development in partnership with Unistrut® has paid off for our customers.  Irvin’s new Unistrut® quick installation grating catwalks are designed specifically for the billboard market:

  • Fully welded modular design, eliminating most of the field assembly
  • Available in a range of sizes (2ft, 3ft, 4ft widths)
  • 2X24 ft; 275 lbs.
  • Mounting kit options for various support beams
  • Exceeds OSHA standards for safety
  • Made in the U.S.A.

The labor cost savings alone yield the Unistrut® quick installation grating catwalks an excellent return on investment. Contact your Irvin sales representative today to find out more.