The History Of The Neon Sign

 The History Of The Neon Sign

Cars traveling trough city in the evening. Central, Hong Kong

Can you imagine Las Vegas without neon signs?

How different would Tokyo, Hong Kong or Bangkok look if there were no neon signs?

How dark would the inner cities of Berlin, Hamburg or Frankfurt be without their neon lights?

Illuminated advertising with incandescent lamps already existed in the 19th century. With the invention of the neon tube in 1919, however, the foundation was laid for colorful neon signs on a large scale. In the USA, neon advertising began its triumphal march as early as the mid-1930s. There it was the car manufacturer Packard who was the first to discover this advertising medium. With the economic miracle of the 1950s, luminous neon advertising finally found its way into Germany. Whether shops, cinemas or restaurants – they were all recognizable from afar by the colorful flashing lettering, pictures and logos, which soon shaped the cityscape everywhere.

In the meantime, neon advertising has evolved. Instead of the classic fluorescent tubes made of hand-blown glass, we mostly use modern LED tubes today. However, the original neon sign from the 1950s and 1960s has become a coveted cult object – for collectors and for people who want to decorate their business or private premises in vintage style. If you design your individual LED advertising lighting in our online configuration, you are welcome to be inspired by old neon advertising. We manufacture exactly the product you want and promise you first-class quality.

Classic neon advertising versus led advertising sign

How do fluorescent tubes actually work?

How is traditional neon sign made?

What exactly is LED neon?

Traditional fluorescent tubes contain an inert gas that is ignited by the high voltage when they are switched on. While the first lamps were actually still filled with neon, other noble gases such as argon or krypton are mainly used today due to their better properties. A phosphor on the inside of the glass tube ensures the desired color of the neon sign. The tube itself used to be manufactured by glassblowers in a laborious process of craftsmanship and immediately checked for defects. Classic fluorescent tubes are made of thin-walled glass and are therefore fragile. Since they contain toxic mercury, they are considered special waste when disposed of.

LED tubes, on the other hand, are nothing more than ordinary tube-shaped LED lamps. They contain a carrier board on which many individual LEDs are soldered in a row. The light-emitting diodes are semiconductor components with a special LED chip. If this is energized, it emits photons that the human eye perceives as visible light. The light color for this type of neon sign depends on the materials used. Compared to the classic neon yellow, LED tubes score with their long service life and significantly lower energy consumption, which has a positive effect on the environment. They produce a pleasant and lively light, have no switch-on delay and do not flicker. LEDs were initially only found in neon signs,

The advantages of led neon in detail:

  • LED neon are characterized by their high efficiency. Depending on the type, they deliver between 90 and 150 lumens per watt.
  • With a color rendering index (RA value) of over 80, sometimes even 90 to 95, LEDs come very close to natural sunlight. In contrast to classic fluorescent tubes, they allow the colors of illuminated objects to appear more natural – an important aspect, especially for neon advertising.
  • On request, LED tubes are also available in a dimmable version. With the help of an LED-compatible dimmer, the brightness of your neon sign can be regulated as required.
  • LEDs for neon signs do not need pre-heating phase and do not flicker. Without delay, they deliver full power as soon as they are switched on.
  • At 30,000-50,000 hours, the service life of LEDs is significantly longer than that of neon tubes and is not affected by frequent switching on and off.
  • While classic neon tubes scatter their light in all directions (loss of energy!), most LED tubes have a beam angle of 160° and can therefore be aligned more precisely.
  • A special LED driver supplies the light-emitting diodes in the tube with DC voltage. In contrast to the fluorescent tube, the LED neon sign therefore has no visible flickering.
  • LED neon is made from high quality silicone tubing. It is free of mercury and other harmful substances and easily withstands more robust handling.
  • Unlike conventional light bulbs, LEDs do not generate heat and are safe to touch. This type of neon sign is therefore also suitable for installation within reach of children.
  • In production, the LED neon sign costs significantly less than a classic neon tube. We are happy to pass this price saving on to our customers.

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