Shopping for a neon sign can be an exhilarating experience, with a plethora of designs and options to choose from. Yet, before you dive into this vibrant world, it’s essential to grasp the mechanics of neon signs and their technical aspects. In this guide, we’ll provide you with insights into how these signs are crafted and function, shed light on the advantages of LED neon, and explore common applications for these luminous creations.
DESIGNING LED NEON SIGNS
In the traditional production of neon signs, artisans meticulously heat, bend, and twist soft lead glass (crystal) by hand. After shaping, the glass is cooled and fused, then filled with various gases to achieve distinct colors. Pure-iron electrodes enclosed in a glass jacket are affixed to both ends of the tube and connected to a transformer via high-voltage cables. These glass tubes are subsequently mounted on a backing panel.
HOW DO NEON SIGNS OPERATE?
Within a conventional neon sign, electrodes are positioned at each end of the tube: one is negative, and the other is positive. The gas enclosed in the tube is a noble gas, which implies that it only undergoes chemical reactions under high-energy conditions. When an electric current is applied to the gas, a chemical reaction takes place. Alternating current, when applied to the electrodes, imparts adequate energy to the neon atoms within the tube, causing them to separate.
Some electrons turn into positively charged ions and travel toward the negative electrode, while the free electrons, negatively charged, move toward the positive electrode at the opposite end of the tube. As these neon atoms, ions, and electrons collide and interact within the tube, they steadily gain energy. When ionized atoms recapture their electrons and revert to a neutral state, they emit particles of light known as photons. These photons are responsible for the bright, colorful glow associated with neon signs.
In contrast, LED neon signs generate a similar reaction as electrons pass through a semiconductor, typically a material like aluminum-gallium-arsenide. LEDs need to be arranged closely together to create a continuous light source, akin to the luminous effect created by neon gas inside a glass tube.
BENEFITS OF UTILIZING ACRYLIC LED NEON SIGNS
- LED neon signs offer color-changing capabilities, a feature not found in traditional neon signs.
- LEDs are recognized for being a safer and more environmentally friendly choice.
- Acrylic LED neon signs present a lightweight and shatter-resistant alternative to their glass counterparts. Acrylic is not only lighter but also stronger than glass, and if it does break, it won’t shatter into small, dangerous pieces.
- Acrylic’s optical clarity provides a glass-like appearance.
- LED neon signs significantly reduce operating costs, offering an 80% reduction compared to traditional neon signs.
- With thermally managed LEDs, faux neon systems remain cool to the touch.
- LED signs generate minimal heat and are safe to handle, in contrast to neon signs that become exceedingly hot when illuminated.
- LED signs offer an extensive range of colors, making it easier to maintain brand consistency and accurately convey your image.
- LED neon provides brighter and more consistent illumination than traditional neon, enhancing visibility from a distance.
CUSTOM NEON SIGNS
Custom neon signs offer a diverse array of letter designs, color choices, and finishing touches. Opting for a custom design allows you to determine the sign’s size, though certain manufacturers may limit you to standard sizes. In the realm of LED neon, design possibilities are nearly limitless.
LIFESPAN OF NEON SIGNS
Neon signs generally endure for 8 to 15 years. However, proper care and maintenance can extend their lifespan. Avoid leaving your sign illuminated needlessly for extended periods, especially overnight without supervision, as this could expose it to potential damage from electrical surges.