What Are Panel Indicators?

What Are Panel Indicators?

Distributor Alan Butcher Components helps to explain.


Panel indicators are optoelectronic devices which emit light to show the operating condition of a machine or appliance.  Manufacturers and distributors use various terminologies for this type of product which can be confusing when trying to source an item, particularly on-line:


  • Signal lamps
  • Signal lights
  • Indicator lights
  • Indicators
  • Panel indicators
  • Pilot lights


Essentially, the above terms all describe a light used on electrical equipment to indicate that the device is working.

The light sources for indicators are now primarily LEDs (light-emitting diodes) or Neon lamps.  Both are robust and durable so what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each?


  • LEDs are bright, have a longer operational life and very low power consumption. However, they are initially more expensive than a neon alternative.
  • Neon lamps are particularly suited to higher voltage applications of 110 volt AC, 220 volt AC, and DC applications in excess of 90 volts. This makes neons a much easier option for indicating mains operation. However, they have a limited brightness and less colour variables than LEDs. In addition, they don’t last as long as LEDs.


LED and Neon indicator applications are varied and include:

  • Fridges and freezers
  • Cookers, ovens and ranges
  • Machine tools
  • Medical equipment
  • Garden tools
  • HVACs
  • Cleaning products such as vacuum cleaners/pressure washers/steam cleaners
  • Coffee machines
  • Vending machines
  • Irons
  • Control panels


Panel signal lamps come in various sizes, shapes and colours.  Switch-size indicators are often used alongside rocker switches and push buttons on a control panel.  This ensures uniformity in the visual appearance of an application.

Alan Butcher Components stock a wide range of neon and LED indicator lights, some of which are shown below:


SX33 – Everel 10mm

Flashing 12V LEDs

Mains LED Signal Lamp - SX33C167XE00013Intermittent Signal Lamp - AB-BUZ-1302IP67 Indicator Light - AB-AV-1212

Switch Size Panel Indicators

20mm Round13x19mm


Round Red Neon Indicator - ABRR029Amber Panel Indicator Light - B51121H000000
22x30mm22x30mm twin

16mm – round, square & rectangluar

Panel Neon Indicator Light - B71121G000000Panel Indicator Light 250V - B61121GL00000Deca SwitchLab Pilot Lights - D16PLT1-000


Alan Butcher Components supply high quality, competitive products supported by excellent customer service and technical expertise.  Call us to discuss your application or click on our website for more product information –

01258 456360


Most importantly, we have a wide range on offer and are certain we can help identify a suitable panel mount indicator for your application.

Alan Butcher Components