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Are there LED sign restrictions in the City of Houston?


Houston LED Sign
LED Sign in Houston

LED signs, sometimes called LED message centers, LED displays, electronic message centers or digital displays, are the most cost-effective advertising tool for businesses according to several studies – better than radio, print or online ads. But the City of Houston Sign Code has a few restrictions you can’t ignore:


Here are 4 things to consider to ensure your LED sign stays within the sign code:


1. Size

The Houston Sign Code restricts the size of LED signs. The size of the overall sign will sometimes determine the maximum size for the LED sign component. For a digital LED message center sign attached to an exterior building wall, the size of the message center is restricted to 50% of the total wall face. For ground signs (monument signs or pylon signs), the maximum size for an LED sign is 100 square feet or 50% of the allowable face area, whichever is smaller.


Given these restrictions, choosing the best digital display is extremely important. Make sure you choose the right size and LED resolution can expand the types of message content you can display.


2. Message Hold Time

The Houston Sign Code requires that each message on an LED sign be displayed for at least 5 minutes. That means the image, wording and/or graphics you display on your LED digital sign cannot change too quickly. Violators can be cited, fined or even have their permit revoked.


While this restriction eliminates the use of video and fast moving text, it still provides the ability to message the most important content any time of day or night. Developing the right play list of messages can improve your signs impact tremendously.


3. Message Transition

The Houston Sign Code also regulates how quickly a message can transition to the next. Message must transition within 1 second to the next. Flashing, scrolling messages/images and full motion video are also restricted.


Similar to the Hold Time restriction, designing the right images and sign message can greatly improve your signs effectiveness, even with immediate transition time.


4. Permitting

LED signs require a permit from the City of Houston. Other sign permits or approvals may also be required from Harris County or community associations. The Houston location can also influence the size and height of the LED sign allowed. In some cases, an LED sign may not be allowed at all.


Recently the City of Houston amended the Houston Sign Code that changes the allowable height and size for signage on the newly created Airport Corridor District. This change impacts all new ground signs including LED signs. See the Sign Advisors Blog - Houston Changes Sign Code to see the details of these recent changes.


Sign Advisors is your LED expert


Sign Advisors has in-depth expertise in LED signage design, specification and procurement. We work with only the largest and highest quality LED sign providers. We can help you evaluate both outdoor LED, electronic message center signs as well as indoor digital display and kiosks.


If your business is not located within the City of Houston, we can help you assess your options for any other city or county in Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio or any other area within Texas or beyond.


Have an existing LED sign that needs repair or service? Sign Advisors can help you provide you with options and pricing for LED repair or replacement.


Contact us for a free, no-obligation LED sign consultation.