How LED Price Changers Changed the Gas Game
Allen Parish - Vice President Estimating & Engineering
Every day, petroleum companies across the world have to deal with oil price fluctuations that affect their sale points. Oil producers adjusting barrel prices and competitor’s pricing decisions have to be taken into account and quickly responded to in order to keep within the tight margins that gas sellers operate within. Gas station signs have thousands of eyes on them a day, as potential customers drive by and make the decision whether or not to stop for a refuel.
Before LED gas price changers, most all petroleum companies were using static signs with changeable numbers. This requires physically changing the pricing by hand, which means you’re sending and employee out on ladder to switch out number panels every time the pricing alters. Petroleum companies were in need of a safer, faster process.
When LED electronic signs first appeared on the market, the font styles were very limited and the cost was in most cases unaffordable. But as the LED technology has progressed, the limitations and costs has become almost a non-issue. At first, the LED gas price changers had to be controlled with a hand held unit at each individual station – still much easier than climbing up the sign and doing it manually!
Today, we’re able to set up communication options to tie the signs into their P.O.S. and gas pump systems that allow sellers to change all prices electronically from a remote site. This streamlines the whole process for the petroleum companies, allowing them to make quick reactionary moves and instantaneous price implementations.
Every day, the utilitarian function of this signage improves. New LED products with protective coating allow us to surface mount the lights (as opposed to putting them inside a cabinet), standing up against outside exposure and eliminating the need for a cabinet cooling system. These prices changers also continue to improve aesthetically, as new color options allow customers to further customize signs and align their look with branding needs.
As most technological products that advance our systems and streamline our work, this technology continues to become more affordable and accessible. Today, the old static gas price sign is nearly obsolete. The product and systems involved keeps improving and I see it only getting better. Looking to the future, I see gas price signage acting as message display like a TV monitor where it’s not only posting the gas prices but is used for advertising as well. The space and eyeballs associated with it are too valuable to ignore.