Aluminum Exit Signs – Which Type of Aluminum Sign is Best?

Many building owners prefer aluminum exit signs for their durability. But there’s more to an exit sign than how durable it is or how brightly it glows. You also need to consider how much it costs to operate over its lifespan, especially if your building requires multiple signs. Today, most U.S. commercial buildings contain the worst type of exit signage in terms of energy expense: incandescent signage, which brings a ten-year energy cost of $350 a sign. Add in lamp cost, battery cost, and installation cost, and the price per sign raises to $1,465.

What Other Types of Aluminum Exit Signs are Available?

Thankfully, incandescent signs aren’t the only one on the market. There’s also compact fluorescent, LED Tritium, and photoluminescent signs, which we profile below.

Compact Fluorescent

Compact fluorescent signs are the second most common exit signage in U.S. buildings, and they’re cheaper than incandescent models, with a ten-year operating cost of $894. However, other types of exit signage are cheaper still.


LED signs have gained in popularity since the mid 1990’s, and it’s easy to see why: they have a ten-year operating cost of on only $370. But as you might have suspected, other types of exit signage are cheaper still.


Tritium signs are nearly as cheap as exit signage gets. Costing nothing to operate, their only expense is their price, which averages around $100, and their special disposal fee of $75 per sign, which results from the fact that Tritium capsules contain radioactive material.


Like Tritium signage, photoluminescent signage costs nothing to operate, and its ability to be recycled after it fulfills its lifespan means that it doesn’t have a disposal fee. Also known as eco friendly exit signs, photoluminescent signs are non-toxic and use no electricity.

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