LED or Neon Signs – Which Works Best?

ASD color changing lightbox signs made by Blackfire signs in Atlanta

There are many reasons why you might consider a neon sign for your business. They stand out, remind us of the past, and look great in the dark. But nowadays, you can have a custom neon sign style without actually using neon. You can have a “neon sign” made with LED.

LED Signs or Neon Signs – What’s the Difference?

While the two lighting styles can look alike, they are vastly different in how they work.

Neon Signs are made from glass tubing containing inert gas. They light up when an electric current flows through the gas igniting the electrons. The gas determines the color of the light.

LED Signs or light-emitting-diode signs are made from flame-resistant PVC. The LEDs are made from a semiconductor material that lights up due to electronic excitation.

Custom neon signs can shatter easily because they are made from glass. If they shatter, the gas escapes into the air. They are more expensive to make, install, and replace, and you need a specialist glass neon engineer to install them.

LED signs for businesses are cheaper to manufacture, more affordable, and easier to fix than neon signs. The PVC is heat-resistant, durable, and flexible. When they do break there isn’t any danger from exposure. They can be hung just like a piece of artwork by anyone.

Neon signs run on 3KV to 18KV, making them more expensive to run and adding safety concerns.

LED neon signs run on 12V DC, using less power making them more economical and safer.

Neon signs are fragile, difficult to install, and easily damaged in shipping. They’re heavy and hard to hang.

Custom LED signs are lightweight, easy to handle and transport, and easy to install.

Neon signs have approximately 10,000 hours of life, require regular maintenance and cleaning by a professional, make a continuous buzz, and may cause interference with infrared remote controls. They use 60 lm/ft and can be dimmed but not brightened.

LED neon wall signs have about 100,000 hours of life, don’t require maintenance, emit sound, or interfere with electronics. They use 24- 26 lm/ft and can be dimmed or brightened, having a wider range of light.

How Do LED Neon Light Signs Look?

Most people that add neon signs to their business décor, do so because of their retro style. How do the neon signs compare with LED signs in look and style?

Some people like the nostalgic look and sound of a traditional neon sign. However, neon is harder to work with, resulting in fewer creative opportunities. They have fewer color choices due to safety issues with mercury, and can’t change color. Neon signs have small imperfections blocking the light, are hard to photograph for PR or advertising, and some jurisdictions limit or ban neon.

LED signs can’t look exactly like a traditional neon signs, but the style can be mimicked. But, what you lose in the style is made up in the manufacturing of an LED sign. The PVC material is much easier to work with, allowing for more intricate designs. More colors are available, and the signs can change colors. LED signs are clean and seamless, they photograph well, and there are no restrictions.

LED signs cost less to buy, and offer the highest safety and style selection for your business. They are more affordable with little need for maintenance and repair. LED neon light signs are the recommended choice.

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