Neon Signs: Most Frequently Asked Questions
- How does Neon work?
I’m sure you’ve seen a neon sign hanging in the front door of any shop, market or restaurant in Australia. Have you ever wondered what makes the neon glow so bright? You may have learned in basic science or chemistry classes that Neon is a non-reactive gas. That means that it doesn’t react when it is combined with any other chemicals. The reaction that causes the brightness associated with neon occurs when the gas is placed in a negative pressure or vacuum glass tube with an electrical source. As the voltage discharges through the Neon gas in the glass tube, kinetic energy is formed. As the charge moves up and down the glass tube it completes an electrical circuit, causing a current. This produces a photon and that is what creates the famous glow.
- What other types of gasses are used?
There are actually four other gasses commonly used to create these signs. These are Argon, Helium, Xeon, and Krypton.
- What determines the color of sign?
- Neon gas has a red glow.
- Argon produces a blue glow.
- Helium is the second most common gas in the universe and glows yellow.
- Xeon glows blue.
- Krypton emits a bright white light.
Different colors can also be created by using different types of light sources in the glass tubing and by using different colors of glass.
- When was neon first used?
The unique properties of Neon were first discovered in 1675. The first time a sign was made utilizing the technology was in 1910, in Paris.
- How long will Neon last?
A well-made Neon sign could last around 30k hours. Though that depends on various other environmental factors and whether it is moved frequently.
- How can I clean my sign?
Follow the maker’s recommendation or just dust your Neon sign. Be sure to unplug the power source first.
- Neon versus LED. What’s the Difference?
LED or Light Emitting Diode is a device that converts energy into light. LEDs are housed in a polymer or plastic tube. While a similar look can be achieved, Neon signs are thought to have a more vibrant and inviting glow.
Can Neon signs be illuminated during the day?
The glow of neon is bright enough that it can be seen during the day, though it appears more vibrant against the backdrop of darkness.
Can I turn my sign on and off?
Of Course. Neon signs are made to be switched off and on. You can also turn off flashing or animation features to conserve energy or preserve the life of the sign —if you desire.
What determines the cost of a neon sign?
The cost of Neon signs is determined by the size, number of colors, and complexity of the design.
Neon signs are a perfect mix of art and science. They represent a time when businesses and consumers valued brightness, beauty and uniqueness. While many things in the signage industry may change, the ability a Neon sign has to create emotion, generate curiosity and inspire awe will always be held in regard.