Is Outdoor LED Billboard Worth It?

Is Outdoor LED Billboard Worth It

From painted billboards to 3D billboards, the billboard has a long history of evolution. Its huge size and vivid color always leave a deep impression on whoever passes by. It is doubtless that many brand owners would like to seize the ch ance and promote their products on such a big stage, but most of them are stopped by the seemingly sky-high costs. How much does an outdoor LED billboard cost? And how profitable is billboard advertising? Read on to find out whether the outdoor LED billboard is worth it or not!

History of billboards

Painted and printed

In the early days, Egyptians carved murals on the walls to publicize the importance of their hierarchy, which can be seen as the origin of billboards. In the 1440s, the movable-type printing press was invented, making posters, pamphlets, and advertisements in newspapers available for advertisers. Then, in the 1790s, the advent of the lithograph enabled people to print advertisements in color. The time when these posters turned bigger and looked like billboards was in 1835. Jared Bell advertised his circus show by setting up a big and colorful billboard. Then billboards become a medium for promoting products, services, etc.

Before the printing industry becomes mature enough, many billboards are painted by artists. They first design the lines and then use chalk to fill in the image. After the billboard is installed, they go up and modify the edge. With the development of printing technology, painted billboards are being replaced. People use advertising lighting to ensure that their advertisements can still be seen at night.


Digital, mobile, and 3D

In 2005, the first digital billboards appeared. Though digital billboards are certainly more expensive than static ones, they have many advantages over the old ones. First, it makes changing the content easier. Second, it can let several advertisers share one billboard and display their ads at different times of the day. Third, by analyzing the statistics, advertisers can make sure that their target audience views their advertisements at certain times.

The first mobile billboard was carried by a salesman named Bill, and that is the origin of the name “Billboard”. Salesmen wore sandwich billboards to hawk their businesses during the Great Depression, and those billboards did work well to save their stores. Nowadays, mobile billboards are carried by vehicles like taxis, buses, vessels, etc. that always move in a routine where there is high traffic. These mobile billboards can retain the advertisement repeatedly in people’s minds.


2017 witnessed the birth of the world’s first 3D robotic billboard, which was made by Coca-Cola. 3D billboards are the update of digital billboards and are sure to be a trend in the new era.

Costs of the outdoor LED billboard

It has become common sense that billboards are costly, but you have to consider different factors to come to this conclusion. For example, setting up a billboard in rural areas will be quite cheaper than setting one up in Times Square. And the rates vary according to how many impressions you want your ads to receive. Just for your reference, we will talk about how expensive and how cheap a Times Square advertisement can be.

How much does a 24 hour Times Square billboard cost?

Everybody knows Times Square. As one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, it is normally visited by 360,000 pedestrians per day. With this heavy foot traffic, showing your advertisements on the billboards can be expensive yet profitable. At Times Square, a billboard per day can cost $7000, or roughly 1.7 cents per impression. If you want to lower the price, there are services that will reduce the price to $500 per day by showing your ads for fewer seconds.


Why is the outdoor LED billboard so expensive?

One of the reasons for the high costs of billboards is the addition of several costs in the process of installing a billboard. The billboard is big, so it will be expensive to design and install it. Besides, a large portion of the charge comes from the venue rental fee, which varies according to different locations. Another reason is that the billboard brings long-term benefits to brand advertising rather than the effect of a single impression. It aims to deepen the impressions of viewers and influence them from a psychological point of view. When they want to buy something in your industry, your brand will be the first that comes to mind.

How effective are billboards?

So how much effect can your billboard have? Let the statistics explain:

In 1975, Outdoor Advertising, Inc. (OAI) made a billboard for the new Miss America to test if billboards were effective and found her name recognition increasing by 940 percent.

Research done by OAAA in 2022 shows that 89% of US adults notice OOH and billboard advertising.

The Arbitron National In-Car Study found that after seeing a billboard advertisement, 58% of viewers went to an event or restaurant, which reflects the effect of boosting the business of a brand.

Cheaper choice than the outdoor LED billboard

Now you know that outdoor LED billboards have a long history, cost a lot, but are very rewarding. If you still hesitate because of the costs, here is a cheaper yet effective way: outdoor billboards with LED lights. Why not own a static billboard that is only for your brand while others are paying a lot for a few seconds on a digital billboard? Static billboards have the same advantages as digital ones, and a few of them are as below:

  1. Wide audience: If you think it over, you will find billboards more worth it than the advertisements on TV or the internet. Because people can choose to skip or block the ads on these media, the cost per impression is actually higher than that of the billboard. Billboards are there for everyone who passes by.
  2. Boost impulse purchases: Nowadays, people use their phones everywhere. It is very likely for them to search for your brand after they view your billboards in a jam. Besides, you can print a QR code on the billboards to reach your potential customers faster and analyze the history of who scans the QR code at what place for better placement of your advertisements.

How do you illuminate a billboard?

If you decide to choose a static billboard, the next step is to choose a light source to illuminate your billboards. LED lights are the definite recommendation after considering the following perspectives:


LED lights are the brightest light source you can find on the market. It can win the crown because of its high efficiency. With the same power input, an incandescent lamp will be darker than an LED light since part of the electricity is transferred to heat. The efficiency of LED lights of high quality can be as high as 200 lm/W and can be higher as the technology keeps developing. It will make your advertisements super obvious at night.

Heat emission

The heat emission of billboards illuminating lights must be high since they are exposed to sunlight and the temperatures can be high, especially in summer. LED lights won’t have this heat emission problem since they emit little heat.


The LED technique has matured, and its property of being waterproof is elaborately designed. There are various types of potting adhesives, for example, modified epoxy resin, modified polyurethane resin, etc. In addition, outdoor LED lamps are equipped with a waterproof and breathable valve to balance the internal and external air pressure of the lamp and prevent water vapor from being absorbed to ensure the interior of the lamp is dry.

The LED lights you want at Mokolight

Mokolight has LED lights with numerous merits to make your billboard a success. We have produced LED lights for more than 16 years in our own factory, and the quality of the products is guaranteed by our highly demanding inspection process and qualifications from all over the world. Our salesmen and engineers are ready to help you pick the most suitable LED lights for your projects. Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Written by ——
Adelyn Ward
Adelyn Ward
Master of Science; professional electronic engineer with over 7 years of experience in electronic design and engineering projects; proven expertise of LED manufacturing processes, capable of communicating intricate ideas to a broad range of audiences. Reach Me Now>>
Adelyn Ward
Adelyn Ward
Master of Science; professional electronic engineer with over 7 years of experience in electronic design and engineering projects; proven expertise of LED manufacturing processes, capable of communicating intricate ideas to a broad range of audiences. Reach Me Now>>
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