Everything You Need to Know About Neon Signs and LED Neon Signs

Stunning LED neon sign of a Buddha
LED Neon signs can create wonderfully serene spaces and invoke a strong sense of calm.

Neon signs have long been a symbol of vibrant nightlife, eye-catching storefronts, and personalized home decor. But with the advent of LED technology, the landscape of illuminated signage has changed.

Let's dive into the world of neon and LED neon signs and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

How Much Should You Pay for a Neon Sign?

The cost of a neon sign can vary widely depending on size, complexity of the design, and whether it is custom-made. For LED neon signs, prices generally start around $200 for small, simple designs and can go upwards of $1,000 or more for larger, more intricate pieces.

These signs are typically more affordable than traditional glass neon signs, which start at a higher price point and can also exceed $1,000 for more complex designs. Custom neon signs will also cost more than pre-made designs.

LED neon signs are not only cost-effective initially but also offer savings over time due to their energy efficiency and lower maintenance requirements. Traditional glass neon signs, while offering a classic look, tend to have higher initial costs and can be more expensive to maintain and operate.

Which is Better: LED or Neon Signs?

LED neon signs are generally considered better than traditional neon signs for several reasons:

  • Energy Efficiency: Energy Efficiency: LEDs use significantly less power than traditional neon gas tubes.
  • Durability: LED signs are more robust and less likely to break.
  • Versatility: LED signs can be made in various colors and designs, and they are easier to customize.
However, some purists prefer the classic look and warm glow of traditional neon signs.

Why Are LED Neon Signs So Expensive?

LED neon signs might seem expensive because they involve intricate manufacturing processes and high-quality materials. However, the initial investment for an LED neon sign is actually lower than that of a traditional glass neon sign.

Additionally, LED signs are more durable and energy-efficient, leading to lower running costs over time. This means you save money in the long run, both on initial purchase and on ongoing energy use.

Hairdresser's LED neon sign - #Goodhairday - providing a fun and inviting atmosphere
Hairdresser's LED neon sign - #Goodhairday - providing a fun and inviting atmosphere.

What Are the Disadvantages of Neon Signs?

While neon signs have a nostalgic charm, they come with a few drawbacks:

  • Fragility: Traditional neon signs are made of glass tubes that can easily break.
  • High Energy Consumption: Neon signs consume more electricity compared to LED signs.
  • Maintenance: Neon signs require regular maintenance and can be costly to repair.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Neon Sign?

Before purchasing a neon sign, consider the following:

  • Purpose and Placement: Determine where you'll place the sign and its intended purpose.
  • Size and Design: Ensure the sign's size and design fit your space and needs.
  • Power Source: Make sure you have an appropriate power source and understand the installation requirements.
  • Budget: Know your budget and weigh it against the type of sign you prefer (traditional vs. LED).

How Long Do Neon Signs Typically Last?

A well-maintained neon sign can last anywhere from 8 to 15 years. LED neon signs tend to have a longer lifespan, often lasting over 50,000 hours, which equates to more than 10 years of continuous use.

Do Neon Signs Use a Lot of Electricity?

LED neon signs are highly energy-efficient. Most of the electrical energy is directly used for light generation, which means low heat generation. LED neon flex operates at 12 or 24 volts and has a service life exceeding 50,000 hours. Typically, only one transformer is needed for LED neon signs.

To calculate the power consumption of an LED neon sign, you need the power in watts (W), the total length of the LED tubes in meters (m), and the operating time in hours (h). LED neon signs have an average power consumption of about 9 watts per meter (W/m). For example, a sign with a total tube length of 5 meters consumes:

  • Per Hour: 9W/m x 5m x 1h = 45W/h = 0.045kWh
  • Per Day: If operated for 8 hours per day: 0.045kWh x 8h = 0.36kWh
  • Per Month: 0.36kWh x 30 days = 10.8kWh
  • Per Year: 10.8kWh x 12 months = 129.6kWh

The energy consumption of traditional glass neon signs is more complex to calculate due to various factors like color, tube diameter, transformer power, and the number of systems. For example, a neon sign requiring two transformers with a maximum output of 8kV/30mA might settle at about 60% of the maximum power during operation.

  • Example Calculation: For a neon sign operating for 8 hours a day on 5 weekdays, the annual consumption can be around 553kWh.

In summary, while traditional neon signs use more electricity and have variable consumption, LED neon signs are more predictable, energy-efficient, and cost-effective in the long run.

What Is the Difference Between a Neon Sign and an LED Neon Sign?

The primary differences between traditional neon signs and LED neon signs include:

  • Material: Traditional neon uses glass tubes filled with gas, while LED signs use flexible LED strips.
  • Energy Efficiency: LED signs consume less power.
  • Durability: LEDs are more durable and less prone to damage.
  • Customization: LED signs offer more versatility in color and design options.

Which Is Better: Neon or LED Strip Light?

When deciding between a neon sign and LED strip lights, consider:

  • Brightness and Ambiance: Traditional neon lights provide a unique, classic glow, while LED strip lights offer bright, versatile lighting options.
  • Installation and Flexibility: LED strip lights are easier to install and can be used in more flexible applications.
  • Cost and Efficiency: LED strip lights are more cost-effective and energy-efficient.
An LED neon sign of a friendly little ghost - small and cute for a fun touch
An LED neon sign of a friendly little ghost - small and cute for a fun touch.

If this article has sparked your interest in neon signs, you might be wondering where to get your own custom neon sign. Whether you're looking for a personalized neon sign for your home, business, or event, we provide plenty of options available to suit your needs.