Illuminating One Billboard Advertisement at a Time

To illuminate something is to bring it into clarity or visibility, Meadow literally illuminates hundreds of our client’s messages every day. Like most billboard companies, Meadow illuminates our billboards to continue capturing people’s attention after the sun goes down on the commute home or on late night road trips.

The vast majority of Meadow’s static billboards are illuminated, and we add illumination to more boards every year. Lights are often mounted on the bottom of the walkway but sometimes must be mounted over the top of the billboard. The number of lights varies depending on the size of the billboard. For example, a 14’ x 48’ billboard would likely have four lights on each panel, while a 9’ x 21’ would only have one or two lights per panel.

Dusk to Dawn

Meadow covers the cost of illumination from dusk to midnight. This time period will fluctuate throughout the year as the time of dusk changes from season to season. However, advertisers can pay more for what Meadow calls Dusk to Dawn Illumination, the advertiser would cover the power bill for the illumination from midnight to sunrise every day. This can be handy for Truck stops or other businesses that are open 24 hours.

Some select metro locations Meadow will begin illuminating at 5am. These locations, especially on billboards in Eugene or Portland, OR have high traffic counts even during darker times so it’s beneficial to have the lights on more often.


Meadow has installed a handy piece of technology called SmartLink on all of its billboards. This tech will make sense when the sun begins to set and turn on automatically. Smartlink will also alert Meadow when there has been a tamper, maybe someone unplugged the power, or a wire is loose. Meadow is now alerted immediately when it happens and can contact the power company or an electrician to fix the problem.

This wasn’t always the case. About 10 years ago Meadow employees had to do what was called a “night ride” where our crew would drive to all the billboard locations at night to see if there was anything wrong with the lights. But with Smartlink the days of night rides are long gone.

Solar Illumination

A handful of Meadow’s billboards are illuminated with solar power. These are usually very remote billboards with no close power source to connect to. Therefore, solar power can be used to illuminate them. However, in the Pacific Northwest the sunlight is so inconsistent, that the illumination can be inconsistent. It’s the best solution for remote billboards with no other options.

Special Illumination

Sometimes a client makes a special illumination request. These depend entirely on the client’s vision and the local sign codes. These are two examples of special illumination requests, the energy for which the clients were happy to pay for.

The first is Big Jim’s drive in in the Dalles, OR. They wanted to catch the eye of more customers and emphasize their ice cream cone extension. The green and pink lights are a little unorthodox, but they certainly stand out, which is the goal!The second client is Arrowhead Travel Plaza who requested a very unique display with lots of extensions, the largest of which is illuminated!Arrowhead Travel Plaza illuminated display on billboard at nightIf an advertiser wants special illumination of some kind, they only have to call us, and our creative team would be more than willing to have a conversation about it!

Most of Meadow’s billboard inventory is illuminated and illumination, especially during the winter months, can be crucial to the success of an advertisement. Therefore, Meadow checks and updates our illumination often to keep as many eyes as possible on our client’s messages.

If you are interested in advertising on one of our billboards call us at 800-221-4114 or email us at!