Glass Neon Sign vs. Led Neon Sign - Which Is Better Neon or Led?

So much is available online about glass neon signs and Led neon signs. But, there are distinct features that distinguish the two. Led neon signs are ideal from all angles. Be its affordability, efficiency, or safety!

Here is an in-depth guide comparing the two lighting options. It should help you make a solid decision before buying your ideal sign.

What Are Glass Neon Signs?

Glass neon signs, like in the name, consist of glass tubes. Manufacturers fill these tubes with neon gas. Later, they bend them into letters, shapes, numbers, or art you want.

They are cold-cathode fluorescent lamps passing an electrical current with high voltage through the tubes. In the early times, neon was the only gas used. But, nowadays, so many choices are available in different phosphor coatings and tints.

Glass neon signs can be as basic as tiny advert signs. Or as complex and sophisticated as one of the multi-store facades.

How Are Glass Neon Signs Designed?

Neon gas was the most typical gas when glass neon signs hit the market. These days, manufacturers use it to make orange and red combinations. Some producers use argon alone. Others mix it with neon.

There is so much work involved in designing lights than you think. For instance, using very little mercury in the gas improves the light intensity.

Adding mercury to the argon gas creates very intense blue lights. The light will impinge various light-emitting phosphorescent materials. The material is inside the glass tubes to create multiple colors.

Thus, manufacturers use different colors of optical tints. Sometimes, the glass remains clear if you want deep blue light.

For a unique color effect, helium, krypton, or xenon are the ideal gases to use. If using them on their own, gas isn't a good conductor of electricity.

How Do Glass Neon Signs Work?

Neon gas, for instance, must be in special gas discharge tubes before the current passes through it. Gas discharge tubes have a seal of specific electrodes.

Applying a voltage to these electrodes means that the pressure of the gas increases. It reaches a point that allows the electric currents to flow through.

The current will set the gas glowing. Neon will emit red. Besides, the rest components will produce various colors like blue and yellow.

Before making glass neon signs, there is much to learn. You need to be under the apprenticeship of a pro craftsman. It can help you understand complex techniques.

Why difficult? Well, the process of production needs you to use heat for bending the glass tubes.

Besides, one needs to be accurate to get perfect patterns. You must learn how to attach electrodes to tubes and pump in gases.

Above all, there is also more work involved in removing all impurities from the tubes. Thus, you can now agree that it needs so much time, skill, and practice.

Advantages of Glass Neon Signs

  • You cannot duplicate the old-school feel and look.

  • Wide operation ranges

  • You can customize glass neons into various sizes and shapes

  • You can run the signs on AC or DC connection.

Concerns of Glass Neon Signs

Now you know the glass neon signs, their design process, and work mechanism. But are these signs beneficial? Let's check out!

1. Durability

There are no two sides to the durability of glass. If it drops and cracks or breaks, that is it. And you know, the risks are very high. It is unlike LED neon signs that are more flexible.

Glass is fragile and, of course, breakable. Thus, where you place your neon signs matters a lot.

2. Affordability

Glass is costly, and this will remain a fact. Also, there are so many processes involved during manufacturing. It means that each step needs resources that the manufacturer has to invest in for production.

So, it is all about money from one material and another. It means that the upfront costs are higher.

Also, glass neon signs need high maintenance. You need more money to maintain and repair them in case of any malfunctioning.

3. Lifespan

Here, we'll look at how long these signs can serve you before thinking of replacements or upgrades. Glass neon signs have about 10,000 hours' worth of use.

If you are keen on getting a sign with a longer lifespan, consider LED options. These serve you longer. The estimate is at about five times more than glass neon signs.

4. Safety

How is your household or area of use? Does it have more traffic? Are there children or people who need close monitoring?

These are among the queries to ask before buying glass signs if safety is a priority to you. Even if you are in the most organized space or are very cautious in everything, note that glass is breakable.

It could come into your safety and that of your household. If the glass breaks, it could be dangerous, and you risk getting cut.

Also, glass neon signs are prone to overheating. It is a safety risk as burns aren't something you want to deal with anytime.

5. Ease of Installation

Because of their manufacturing process, they are delicate. What's more, glass neon signs are heavier and fragile. Their power requirements are also not like the usual ones. Hence, the installation will need a professional to fix a glass sign.

Also, you don't want to work on it if you have no electrical knowledge and experience. You could risk an electric shock when interfering with the electrical connection of your space.

6. Portability and Weight

Glass is heavy. Don't count these signs if you are looking to move with them to any point with ease.

Glass neon signs are great for outdoor installation, especially in areas with static positions.

What Are the LED Neon Signs?

LED neon signs use a unique technology that is almost like traditional neon. But, this is more flexible in customization. It is environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.

Its capabilities aren't comparable to the traditional glass neon signs. These can change color to create strobe effects.

How Are LED Neon Signs Designed?

LED neon signs have a silicone strip, edges, LEDs, and a backing panel. These are the four primary components manufacturers use.

Tubes are of softer lead glass. They are heated, twisted, or bend using hands. Once cooled, they are fused. Manufacturers later attach them with different LEDs to get different colors.

The light-emitting diodes act as the main component to glow on the strip. For minor signs, manufacturers use the back panel of steel. Larger ones will use acrylic, aluminum, steel, or wood.

How Do LED Neon Signs Work?

The LED reaction happens when electrons pass through semiconductors. Here, the semiconductors are aluminum gallium arsenide.

In signs, the LEDs need to be on the strip and in a proper position. If you have too many LEDs in one space, this draws more power. It could create hotspots. Here we mean that the light becomes harsher and forms a dotted-like pattern.

If you space the LEDs far apart or have few of them, it creates black spots. Thus, LEDs need to be well-positioned for a steadier light source.

Benefits of LED Neon Signs

As you can see, LED neon signs are far better than glass neons. Moreover, LED signs can have many more benefits that we will discuss here.

1. Durability

LED neon signs are high-quality. It is evident from the choice of materials by manufacturers. The production process also influences it.

The signs can handle harsh use as they aren't fragile. Children can have fun with them and still get them working. But, it is advisable to place them in safe places if you want them to last longer.

2. Affordability

The manufacturing process of these signs isn't as complex as that of glass neon signs. Also, the steps are minimal hence higher affordability. Because they are available in any design, this comes cheaper.

If anything happens to your light tubes, they are easier to replace. In glass signs, this is almost impossible. The cost of running these signs is also cheaper.

3. Lifespan

If you are looking for a worthwhile investment, LED neon signs are the best. They last longer than other lights.

Most users approximate the duration at about 50,000 hours. Sometimes, it could go past this if you take care of your signs well. Dividing these hours by the ones you use daily could amount to several years of use.

You might need a replacement after 35 or so years. Thus, you can agree that this is an unbeatable advantage, especially if you compare it to traditional glass options.

Once you buy your signage, check the package. It should show the lifespan of your sign.

4. Safety

LED neon signs use lower voltage. It means that these signs will not heat up to the extent of being a risk to people and things around.

Thanks to the materials involved in their making, there is no risk of breakage. These signs are safer options, especially in places with kids and crowds.

They are also friendly to the environment as they don't emit any gas, fumes, or smoke. Thus, there are no risks of fires or burns.

These signs are very effective and generate less waste heat to the environment. It is unlike glass neon signage that can get very hot.

Likewise, LED neon signage will only get lukewarm. Thus, anyone can agree that there are no burn or fire risks if you install them. 

5. High Impact Resistance

LED neon signs aren't susceptible to shock, especially compared to traditional neon glass signs. What's more, these are more durable when used in extreme weather. They are resistant to any vibration.

The majority of them are water-resistant, making LED signs more helpful outdoors.

6. No Flickering

If you are looking for signage with steady lighting, LED is the way to go. These have no delay when you switch them on. Also, there is no flickering.

Immediately you switch them on; they offer full brightness unless you dim them. The shine is eye-catching.

It is one of the reasons that distinguishes them from the rest of the signs.

You can see the signage from far, and they are easy to read, especially at night. That's because their bold brightness makes them stand out.

7. Ease of Installation

LED neon signs have simple designs. Thus, they can go up without expert knowledge.

But, this depends on their design and where you are installing it. Instances where electrical configuration and expertise are crucial are few. You can hang them with ease like you would a picture frame or art piece.

Ceiling installations and those that need mounting might force you to get an expert.

8. Portability and Weight

LED neon signs are more flexible and very lightweight. You can go with them and use them anywhere. So, portability is a significant advantage here.

You can carry an indoor sign and use it outdoors if need be. It is possible if you don't have LED neon signs designed for outdoor use. But, you need the lighting experience to install these signs outdoors.

9. Low Energy Consumption

A current LED lamp has a luminous efficacy of about 80 to 100 lumens per watt. Likewise, high-power LED neon signs can give more than 300 lumens per watt. At the same time, halogen lamps are at 12 lumens per watt.

Can you see the comparison? What would you go for if you are looking for energy efficiency? LED technology gives high efficiency.

The energy consumption is about 6 or 8 times lower than glass signage. Thus, it should reduce your electricity bill by a considerable amount.

Concerns of LED Neon Signs

  • LED neon signs may not be very bright.

  • It might not sustain in lousy weather like fog.

LED Neon Signs - The Best Option for Art in the Home Setting!

The use of neon signage is increasing in popularity among households. In the past, they were common in businesses and industries for advertisement.

But it has changed with time, and you can now have them in your space. For instance, you can have neon signs in bedrooms, nurseries, and dining areas. Other places you can install them are lounge, entertainment rooms, and almost anywhere else.

Nowadays, there are no safety concerns linked with LED neon signs. There is an ability to dim these lights if you want lesser illumination. The lights are available in many warm colors.

It means you can create ambient glow anywhere you want. The LED neon signs will not overheat or break. As a result, you can use it as a solution for your home décor needs.

Glass Signs or LED Signs - Which One to Choose if You Are Holding Events?

Event signage is something most people often spot these days. These are perfect attention grabbers.

Besides, they improve the ambiance of your outdoor or indoor event location. It could be for a party, tradeshow, or business event.

Some use them in weddings, birthdays, showers, and almost any event or gathering you can think of at this time. They make your space appear and feel more memorable.

LED neon signs are easier to carry and transport. Hence, they are cheaper alternatives to traditional glass signs.

If you do your event signage more creatively, it could prompt the attendees to enquire and take action. Using LED neon signs is a fantastic way of involving your audience.

It inspires them to engage at the event and with your brand. Most will take photos of your sign and with it. Those who share it on their social media platforms will be advertising you and your brand.

Because of their simplicity, these signs are portable and low-cost. They come in handy when customers need signs made for one-time parties, events, or tradeshows.

Glass Signs or LED Signs - Which Is the Most Preferred for Business?

Businesses have gone crazy over these signs. The majority are owing and using them to advertise and attract customers. Of course, this is the sole reason for using them.

But, they also improve the business space's ambiance and feel. Also, neon signs can improve illumination. Where you install it in your business will depend on you. Some people have them on storefronts. 

Others use them as logos in their offices. The type of LED neon sign you need will depend on things you hope to achieve.

You may need an eye-catching sign with more curb appeal. It is possible to achieve with LED and glass neon signs. But there is so much that goes into your decision.

You have to consider factors like affordability, durability, and safety. Others are the ease of installation, lifespan, cost of running and maintaining them.

LED neon signs are sleeker and brighter than their glass counterparts. That makes it a better and more popular option for buyers.

There are more factors to consider before deciding on the perfect one for your business. The size, for instance. Thinner LED neon signs are great for mortar and brick storefronts and small cafes.

Anyone who wants to cut costs on matters of signage in their business should consider LED. They are cheaper to get, install, and maintain. They are energy efficient, and you save more on power.

Some business owners focus on versatility. Yet, LED neon signs are still winning here. It is possible because of their flexibility. LED sign bends are more developed and offer more freedom to get creative. Thus, you can create any sign, logo, word, or design out of it.

Those who are more concerned about safety should still pick LED signs. They don't heat up or break with ease.

How Can You Use LED Neon Signs for Creating Signage?

  • You can create lettering and logos for companies and businesses. Others are nurseries or anything you'd like to express. It could be from words, abbreviations, quotes, and company logos.

  • Wall mounting in the form of quotes, names, phrases, shapes, or pictures.

  • Paneled designs to use as aesthetics or advertising.

Where Can You Use Your LED Neon Signs?

There is no limit to where one can use LED neon signs. Remember, these signs can fit anywhere. You can install them at the place of your choice. So, explore some more options below.

1. Bars, Cafes, and Entertainment Places

Neon signage is now a standard feature outside cafes, bars, and discos. You can find them in nightclubs and other entertainment areas. They have been there for decades now.

Home users got the idea from there. Using them is a more popular way of attracting customers to the areas.

Those with tactful designs can agree that things changed after the installation of LED neon signs. There must be more inquiries and more sales.

Most businesses use LED neon signs for customer attraction. Garages, tattoo studios, and hair salons are also using these signs now.

2. Indoors

Using LED neon signs indoors is an excellent way of entertaining and inspiring guests. Sometimes, they tell them places to go. There is so much about the differences between indoor and outdoor neon signage.

3. Offices

If your office doesn't have neon LED signs installed yet, there is so much that you are missing. These signs are stylish additions to your offices.

Most are inspiring and engaging to visitors and staff. These signs could be in the form of company logos, art, and quotes. Or anything that reflects the intention of the business.

You can have the sign on a wall, on top of a desk, or on the floor. It depends on other factors, though.

Signs for events like weddings, anniversaries, and proposals provide expression of love. Couples express love to each other without using conventional and clichéd phrases.

It is easy to use your names, lyrics of favorite songs, and motto. That gives your event a creative and cool touch that is unique to you and your guests.

There is a wide range of colors. It means that the couple can choose anything from an eye-catching fuchsia to red tones that match the particular day's theme.

How to Choose Your LED Neon Signs?

You know how vital LED neon signs are these days. But you can make things manageable by considering the following factors.

1. Location

You can fit neon signs anywhere. There are some for outdoor and others for indoor use. Once you choose the location, the exact spot will matter. You can have them fitted in the ceiling or mounted on the wall.

Some LED signs are better mounted, while a few could go on tables, countertops, or the floor. Regardless of where you choose to install your sign, ensure children can't reach or pull it.

2. Mood

It is crucial to select the best setting for these signs. Otherwise, they might not give the best ambiance or mood.

3. Colors

Which type and color of glow do you want to produce? It will influence your choice of color. For example, pinks and reds give warmer glows. Likewise, whites and blues have a more relaxed effect.

4. Design

Each person has their favorite mantra, saying, quote, or slogan. These mean a lot. Anything you have an attachment to can be a design. Whatever you opt for as your design, it should feel comfortable.

It should be anything that makes you feel happy anytime you look at it.

5. Installation

It is vital to decide where you want to fit your backing panel before making the design. You can work with anything here. Some of the common materials available are Perspex, metal, wood, and faux living walls.

Others choose pictures of things they like. It can come with hanging hooks. You can insert it into a nearby socket for illumination.

Some people want their neon signage mounted on the wall. But the sight of the remote transformer is off and not appealing. For such a situation, you need professional help.

An electrician can help with running the cables into your wall. Have neon engineers closer to fit the transformer and your sign onto the wall.

How to Clean LED Neon Signs?

Now that you are all set to get LED neon signs, make sure you know the proper ways to clean these signs.

Step One: Switch Off the Sign

Switch off, then unplug the sign from the power source. Leave it for five to fifteen minutes to cool.

Step Two: Dust and Remove Stains

Use a feather duster and remove all the loose dust. Nylon brushes with softer bristles are great too.

You can try a mix of ammonia and water in equal parts. With a damp cloth from this mixture, rub out any grime or stains on LED signs. 

If you don't have ammonia, you can use vinegar or baking soda. These two work well too.

Allow your LED neon signage to dry before switching it on. Remember, many factors will determine how frequently you clean your signage. Location, weather, the position of the sign, and others are factors to consider.

Don't allow small children to clean these signs. They are experimental, and anything could happen.

Final Words!

The sole purpose of this long guide is to help you differentiate glass neon signs from LED neon signs. Also, we want to offer you support in deciding which sign best suits your needs.

Anyone that loves the old-school look and feel can opt for glass neon signage as the ancient feel and look are irreplaceable. But if you are looking to save more while achieving full functionality, go the LED way.

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