Board Lighting Times

I saw the following restriction in a cities rules for boards and wanted to know what people thought about it.
“No external illumination of sign between 11PM and 6 AM.”

  1. Is this a common time restriction?
  2. What % of revenue do you lose on average with a restriction like this on an Interstate road?
  3. Trying to decide if a project is worth doing if the Board has to be dark after 11 PM
  4. Is it worth trying to fight city hall over it?
  5. When they say external lights, I wonder if this does not address LED boards as their light is internal and since LED is allowed maybe they can run 24 hrs a day?

Thank You


Not that many advertisers require 24 hour lighting, although many want it to midnight. How can they enforce this? Have police drive the signs every night? Even if you can set it for midnight and get away with it, it might seriously damage a sale down the road to a different company. So there’s no way that it’s a good thing.

You can fight city hall, but that might cause you problems if you try and cheat. There would be no percentage reduction in rent by having a sign that goes till midnight. I guess you could tell advertisers that lights are out at 11 pm, and they might accept that if the sign is great, but it definitely will require you to lower the asking rent in all probability.

Only the city can tell you the policy on LED. At $200,000+ per face, I would definitely not even consider LED until the city has shown their approval in writing. There would be way too much at risk.

I don’t think it’s too big of a deal. When I worked for one of the majors, the standard deal was that the lights were on until midnight. If you wanted them to be on all night, and the municipality allowed it, you paid extra. I would think the only advertisers that would care about having all night illumination would be cheap hotels, diners, and truck stops. And maybe x-rated type businesses.

I would not try to cheat it at all. Many municipalities hate billboards enough as it is. Don’t give them another reason.


Good points. I agree.