Self Luminous Exit Sign vs Wet Location LED

Waterproof Exit Signs

When it comes to exterior locations, exit signs must have a number of protective capabilities to withstand rain, snow and ice as well as damp and freezing conditions. Electronic LED exit signs are commonly placed in these outdoor spaces, however, they aren't the only option out there.


See Our Red Self Luminous Exit Signs

To install wet location-rated signs outside requires the expertise of a qualified electrician. There is a non-electrical alternative called self luminous exit signs, which require no electricity and can remain lit longer than most LED units.

We did a side by side comparison of these two wet location fixtures to compare the advantages and disadvantages with installing either unit in outdoor environments.

Self Luminous Exit Signs


    • Absolutely no maintenance needed
    • Require no electricity or battery
    • Will outlast any battery backup-powered exit sign in an extended power outage
    • Completely waterproof, flame and corrosion-resistant
    • No wires mean you won't have hire an electrician
    • Last between 10-20 years


    • Cheapest signs start at $197.99
    • Tritium must be disposed through EPA-approved vendors
    • Cannot accommodate emergency par-style lights

See Our Black Self Luminous Exit Signs

Wet Location Exit Signs


    • Cheapest signs start at $130
    • Do not contain tritium
    • Stronger housing
    • Can be fitted with emergency lights


    • Monthly and yearly maintenance required
    • Unit has a lifespan of 8 years
    • Battery backup only lasts 90 minutes during a blackout

Combining SL and LED Signs

It's pretty clear that, with the exception of unit price, self luminous exit signs beat wet location led signs in almost every category. And when you add the cost of hiring an electrician to wire conduits and a regular maintenance person, SL signs beat out LED's real price.

However, some companies like to reduce the amount of tritium they have to dispose of, so they will combine electric and non-electric fixtures throughout a building. This is especially good for refit projects where junction boxes and conduits are already in place.

Conversely, this method reduces the amount of monthly and yearly testing performed by your maintenance person on electronic signs. That way, you can just place self powered exit signs in spots where j-boxes haven't been installed or where AC power is not readily available.

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