The History of Neon Lights 

The history of neon signs dated back in the 1800's when scientists discovered the noble gas chemical element "Neon". Following this discovery, neon tubes were originally developed and used as scientific instruments and novelties. Soon after, companies started using the neon tubes for commercial purposes which in turn became the neon lighting industry. The very first neon sign was publicy used at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. By the mid 1960's, there was a decline in businesses using the traditional neon signs as it was expensive and fragile. The traditional neon signs still exists in today's market but it is definitely not as popular and widely used given the birth and rise of LED Neon Signs. 

LED Neon Signs are created from small individual light-emitting diodes (LED) that are closely strung together to produce a consistent source of light. The technology used behind LED Neon Signs is very different to the Traditional Neon Signs and provides an alternative option. The everday use of LED Neon Signs is becoming increasingly popular in today's world. 


Traditional Neon vs LED. What are the Differences?

So what exactly are the differences between these two types of Neon Sign options.

Traditional Neon is made with glass tubing. It contains neon or argon gases inside the tubing which makes it quite fragile and susceptible to shattering. Therefore, safety is an issue as the glass is easily breakable and the gases inside may leak which can cause serious harm or injury. LED Neon are made from high quality, flexible and non-flammable materials which are shatter resistant and heat proof, posing a much lower risk in terms of health, safety and wellbeing. 

Traditional Glass Neon is more expensive to produce and install, there is also a higher maintenance cost for any repair works. Whereas LED Neon is much more cost effictive as it is cheaper to buy, install and repair. It also uses 12V power which makes it consume less electricity than Traditional Glass Neon which uses upto 10 times more power. The Lifespan for LED Neon is approximately 50,000 hours of use whereas Traditional Neon is approximately 10,000 hours of use. This make LED Neon a much more eco-friendly option.

LED Neon Signs can be installed by anyone, they are lightweight and portable, which means you can hang them on a wall or from the ceiling by yourself. Unfortunately, Traditional Glass Neon is much heavier and requires a specialist to install which also means additional installation costs.

Traditional Neon also produce a continuous buzzing sound and can heat up, where LED Neon is cool and silent. LED Neon also offer more colours and option for colour changing signs (RGB option). Whereas, Traditional Neon does not allow for any colour changing options and there are fewer colours to choose from.

The Verdict

Some people may suggest LED Neon Signs are not "real" neon. However, the reality is they certainly do look and feel like a real Neon light. There are several notable differences between the two types of Neon Signs as described above. However, it's pretty obvious that overall, LED neon is a much safer, cheaper, more durable and efficient option.

Choosing the right neon sign can be difficult. That's why our team at Neon Seasons are here to help. Our expert sign designers have been in the neon sign industry for many years. We have the knowledge, experience and technology for designing your perfect neon sign for that perfect event.