LED Neon Lighting or Traditional Neon, What to Choose to Make Your Business Stand Out

Written by Posted On Saturday, 28 September 2019 22:07

This article begins with a warning: underestimate the effect of lighting and color on your business signage at your own risk.

led neon lighting

Although we are swiftly moving towards a high tech world, where businesses can quickly and cheaply deliver a special offer or promotion to thousands of customers at the click of a button, we should still never be complacent about the type of signage we hang outside our businesses.

If you own a bricks and mortar retail store, this could perhaps be one of the most important aspects of your marketing strategy. Research has shown that consumers have actually visited or avoided shops, based on the type of sign they display outside. So regardless of the POS systems, you have in place, or the incredible display feature you have in store, if you can’t convince the footfall to pass the threshold, the likelihood of success, is low.

The lighting and color scheme of your business can have a profound effect on whether you will succeed or not. Your business needs to be visible and inviting during business hours
The obvious choice when it comes to standing out is neon. However, there is a further decision that needs to be made.

Do you go for traditional glass tube neon lighting or an LED neon sign?

What’s the difference?

The main difference between traditional neon and LED neon is the science behind the light. For traditional neon, current passes through a rare gas (helium or argon) sealed in a glass tubing to produce light. For LED neon, semiconductors react with electricity to produce light.

Both are very effective at catching the eye, but each mode of lighting has a varying set of pros and cons.

Traditional neon lighting.
Traditional neon is the genesis of neon lighting. It was conceived about a century ago by French Engineer, Georges Claude and for a while, it proved to be very reliable.

• Great visual effect.
The lights from traditional neon are very pleasing to the eye. The light comes from naturally occurring gases, thus producing a natural and warm glow.

• It provides a classic feel.
Traditional neon lighting is the oldest form of neon lighting, and it gives a classic feel to any place or room. Many old businesses use traditional neon to maintain a particular brand. Retro bars, diners, and cafés still adopt this style to create a vibrant and nostalgic ambiance for their patrons.

• Fragility.
Traditional neon lights are notoriously fragile. The glass tubes are thin, and they are susceptible to cracking. A single crack can damage the entire lighting system. It makes traditional neon lighting expensive to maintain.

• High energy requirement.
Inert gases require a lot of electricity to produce enough light energy. This requirement will likely drive up electricity costs for your business.

• Limited colors.
Unfortunately, there are a limited number of rare gases available. Therefore, the number of colors available is also limited.

LED Neon Lighting.neon lights

LED neon came half a century after traditional neon, and it revolutionized the neon lighting and business signage industry.

• Low electricity requirement.
LED neon lights require significantly less electricity to run compared to traditional neon lights. It reduces electricity costs, and it makes LED neon lights a safer option.

• Highly durable.
According to Custom Neon LED neon lights can last for 50,000 hours, often longer, whilst still emitting a high-intensity light. A staggering five times longer than traditional neon.

• Easy to install and replace.
LED neon lights don’t require the services of a qualified technician for installation. You don’t need to be a DIY expert, the process is as difficult as hanging a picture on the wall. Of course, if you are looking to scale a building to hang your sign, you may require a professional with a Cherry Picker to hang it for you!

• Friendly to the environment.
Traditional neon lights have come under criticism because of mercury contamination. Breathing in heated mercury can have disastrous effects on the human body. The bulbs can also cause environmental poisoning if disposed of wrongly. LED neon bulbs do not produce such effects.

• Multiple colors available.
The technology used in neon bulbs produces a wide range of colors that you can choose from. It will help if you are looking for a unique color to make your business stand out.

• Silence is Golden!
Led neon signs do not buzz like their traditional counterparts. Although some business owners have actually said they like the dull hum that is generated from a neon, saying that it breaks the silence! I’ll take the silence thanks!


• Unreliable brands.
Unfortunately, the market has seen an inflow of LED neon brands that are unreliable. You have to be careful when choosing a specific brand to ensure that you enjoy the full benefits of LED neon lighting.

• The end of an era for a traditional neon
What was once the visual language of society, luring hungry customers into restaurants, thirsty punters into bars and weary motorists into service stations is now coming to the end of the road.

The choice is obvious. If you can look past the retro appeal of Neon, the pros of LED neon lighting far outweigh the pros of traditional neon lighting.

Las Vegas, Shanghai, Times Square, and Hong Kong, once all synonymous with the hypnotic glow of neon is now also succumbing to the more energy aware LED signs. Slowly but surely the traditional neon’s are being replaced.

The industry which found itself on its knees because of its commercial association with the sex industry and seedy underworld joints, may not be able to manage the same resurgence second time round.

Although as a much-loved art form, traditional neon still has its place in the art world, with many craftsman still displaying their works in museums and galleries around the world.
But as far as your business sign goes, if you are looking for clear concise lettering, a long-lasting, energy-efficient sign, of multiple hues that you can dim should you wish, or coordinate to flash to music and that will be easier on your bottom line, the only real choice is an LED neon sign.

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