The Reality Of Traditional Neon

For context, let’s first look at some historical background. The heyday of traditional neon in America was around the turn of the 20th century. The first neon sign was introduced at the Paris Motor Show, 1910. However, it declined in popularity after a few decades. Because neon signs were expensive and fragile, many businesses stopped using them by the 1960s.

In the 1980s, neon signs were a temporary trend and re-emerged in popularity. It is now well-known that traditional neon can be expensive and pose safety and efficiency issues. While traditional neon signs are still in use, they are not nearly as numerous today as there were in mid-1900s. LED neon signs are a better option.

The Basics: LED vs Traditional Neon

Let’s see the differences between these two types neon signs. Safety is the most important. Traditional neon signs, made with neon or argon gas are fragile and easy to break. They emit a loud buzzing sound and are very hot to the touch. Broken pieces can be dangerous. LED neon is a much more durable option than traditional neon. It makes no noise and has very little warmth. For a similar lighting effect, traditional neon consumes almost ten times as much power as LED neon. This means that LED neon can be more environmentally friendly.

Because LED neon does not require special glass bending or other manufacturing techniques, it takes less energy and resources to make one than a traditional neon sign. An LED neon sign can also be adjusted in brightness. This is a feature that is difficult to achieve with traditional neon. Traditional neon is much more difficult to maintain than LED neon. This is also true for general usability, such as shipping problems. LED neon is more durable, safer, and more versatile than traditional neon.

What is a “Real” Neon Sign?

Traditionalists might argue that LED signs don’t look like “real” neon signs. They look just like real neon signs and that is what matters most. It is difficult to distinguish LED neon signs from traditional neon signs. One famous example is David Dobrik, who mistakenly used his traditional neon sign for anLED sign in his Architectural Digest tour. No one will notice that the LED neon sign is not traditional.