When you think of neon signs, you’re probably thinking of a vibrant sign, perhaps with text or a graphic that really stands out. What you may not be thinking much about (and rightfully so) is whether it’s actually made with neon or if it uses another technology like LEDs.
There are many important differences between traditional neon signs - most of which use neon and other gases to create the vibrant illumination they’re known for - and an LED neon sign.
01. Cost Savings and Energy Efficiency
When it comes to cost savings and energy efficiency, there’s simply no competition. LED neon signs are significantly better than traditional neon signs. On average, an LED neon sign will last around three times longer than a traditional neon sign whilst using around 80% less energy. That’s a little under half the cost of running the sign in terms of energy consumption. Considering many homeowners and business owners keep their signs on for half the day (at least), the potential savings are significant indeed.
02. Durability and Longevity
Another clear advantage of LED over traditional neon signs is that they’re built to last for far longer. Depending on the sign and the quality of manufacture, a typical LED neon sign can last anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 hours, while a similar traditional neon sign generally lasts around a third of that.
Moreover, LED neon signs are pretty much plug and play and require virtually no maintenance at all, whereas traditional small neon lights often require costly maintenance due to loss of gas, discolouration of glass tubing, etc.
03. Safety and Environmental Benefits
Traditional neon signs are perhaps most iconic in cities such as Las Vegas, but the famous signs are mostly used outdoors, high overhead and out of reach - and for good reason. Traditional neon tubing tends to get very hot to the touch, which can lead to injury. Furthermore, glass tubing can crack and leak out gases, some of which are toxic and contain mercury, for example.
With LED signs, this is never a problem as there are no gases within. Moreover, the tubing is made of high-quality PVC and will not shatter. Lastly, the operating temperature is far lower; so much so that it’s perfectly safe to clean the tubing with a cloth without turning the sign off (although we recommend you still do).
04. Design Flexibility and Customization
Making a traditional neon sign from glass tubing was (and still is today) a highly specialised art, taking plenty of time and labour to assemble. That’s one reason why it was historically only really feasible for businesses such as casinos in Las Vegas and not so practical for everyday homeowners.
LED has completely changed the landscape. LED neon signs can be customised (even built bespoke according to your desired image or text) and manufactured relatively quickly thanks to the ease of working with mouldable PVC.
05. Installation and Maintenance Requirements
As we’ve touched on, LED neon signs are essentially plug and play. All you need to to do is remove it from the packaging, plug it in, turn it on, and enjoy! The only possible complexity that may be involved is affixing the sign to a wall or ceiling, but Neon Party sells hooks and anchors with our signs to make this easy as well.
On the other hand, traditional neon signs sometimes have quite complex installation procedures. Not only are they more delicate due to the glass tubing and toxic gases within, but the high-voltage wiring can also pose a hazard.
Enjoy LED neon signs in all their beauty from Neon Party.