Our topic of discussion today is about the uses of neon for signage. A quick recap of neon is a low pressure gas inside a glass tube with and electrode at each end of that tube. When high voltage is connected to the electrodes, it charges the gas to a point that it gives off light that can be seen.
There used to be a time when LED’s first hit the market that the material costs of neon vs LED, where neon would be the better choice. When LEDs first hit the market, they weren’t nearly as bright compared to neon as they are today.
Realistically there are only a few uses for neon in todays sign world, mostly for aesthetic. Lets say you are opening a 50’s style diner and want all the nostalgia to go with it, you simply cannot replicate the look and feel of neon with LED’s. Neon borders in bar/store front windows, Vegas style look of your location or an open face channel letter application are about the only other reasons I can think of to use neon for signage. The cost of trying to duplicate the look of neon with LED’s far outways the cost of doing it in actual neon in today’s dollars. As with anything, when the technology of recreating Neon with LED advances it will become cheaper therfore, LED would be the clear choice in the sign industry.