How are Neon Signs Made?

How are Neon Signs Made?

If you are curious about neon signs, you might have asked, “how are neon signs made?” Today, neon lights are frequently seen. They are seen everywhere—in commercials, pharmacies, retail establishments, and the flashy lights of the Las Vegas Strip.

From a distance, they truly do pop out and act as a highlighting element for the specific location where they are situated. On the other hand, neon lighting is manufactured differently than most other types of lighting. It's evident why many people prefer using these lights for their homes and businesses. In this article, we will answer the questions that lurk in your mind regarding how custom neon signs are made.

What is a Neon sign?

Although neon is the chemical element Ne, it is commonly used in the signs sector to refer to neon lights. One of two noble gases—the other being Argon—produces the entire color spectrum of neon lights. Neon and Argon glow red and blue/lilac when in an electrical field.

Because they are inert gases, both are harmless, stable, colorless, and odorless. Therefore, they have been utilized for an exceptionally long time in household applications like lighting. Strip lights, which include tubes that aren't visible but are intended to light up other objects, like the interior of a built-up letter, were originally only employed as illumination sources.

Nowadays, you can find neon light flow packages online. You don't need to know the entire process of manufacturing these lights, as you can purchase them online. The amazing designs of these neon light flows liven up and enliven the spaces where they are placed.

How are Neon Signs Made?

The letters and shapes that neon signs are made of are made by bending glass tubes and then filling them with inactive gas. The gas's atoms light as electrons passes through it because of the electric charge passing through the tube electrodes. How the light is colored depends on the kind of gas in the tubes.

How Neon Signs Made?

Red light is produced by neon gas in a glass pipe, and steel blue light is produced by argon gas. By utilizing glass tubes covered in fluorescent powders, you can combine the two basic hues to generate over 80 distinct colors for vibrant artwork.

You must form the tubes using a glass-gusting method to make a neon sign. Label the tubes anywhere they need to be bent by following a design drawn on a fire-resistant sheet. Next, use a tape burner—a device that heats each spot—to generate a propane fire at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. The glass gets sufficiently pliable in approximately thirty seconds. The tube is gently bent, and the original diameter is restored by blowing air through the opened end.

Fuse the electrodes using a plastic latex blowing pipe and a propane hand flame. One electrode has its glass sealed, while the other is left open.

After that, make a tubulation—a bubble—with a crossfire burner to serve as a conduit into the exposed electrode. The tubulation is then fused to the exposed electrode. The argon gas's color is now brightened by adding a droplet of mercury to the tubulation. Mercury plays a key role because argon gas won't shine well without it. Nevertheless, Neon gas doesn't require mercury.

Fuse the tubulation's open end into a lengthy glass pipe that connects to a thrusting mechanism using an end torch. When the system is powered on, we join the electrodes. Before injecting the gas, the pump removes all the air from the neon sign.

Atoms in the gas light are caused by electrical current. After removing and sealing off the exposed electrode with the crossfire burner, first ensuring that the mercury drop has landed within the electrode, you can trap the gas within the tube.

The neon sign's back will now be painted black to make the writing and design unique. You will utilize a brush for proper coat distribution and excess removal. Next, for almost half an hour, turn on the sign at full voltage. This will not only cause the paint to dry but also turn the mercury vapor inside the neon sign from liquid into vapor. While the process might look tasking, at least you know what are neon signs made out of looking through the production process.

Factors Affecting Neon Sign Color

Factors Affecting Neon Sign Color

Following how are neon signs made is just a piece of the puzzle. You need to know the factors that affect the sign color if you want your light to last. There are three factors that might affect your neon sign color.

  • Gas used: If you use neon gas, you should expect to see red color. However, for other colors, you should use argon gas.
  • The gas coloring process: Glass that is colored yellow is the sole material that can be used to make certain colors, like yellow. When turned off, the neon sign retains its color, which is an advantage; however, the glass becomes marginally more costly.
  • Powdered glass: When switched off, most "neon" glass is white. This is because the interior of the glass tube has been coated with fluorescent powder. The powder applied within the neon tube determines its color when a current is run via the glass, and the neon gas begins to emit light. Most colors, including turquoise, pink, white, and green neon, are produced this way.

Overall, the gas used, the gas coloring process, and the powdered glass will affect the materials used to make neon lights.

Difference between Neon sign and LED Neon

LED signage is a fantastic method for attracting more clients and increasing revenue! Clear visibility and conspicuous signage are extremely helpful in conveying your message. The LED market is expanding and offers a wide range of possibilities. Before purchasing, understanding the distinctions between LED and neon signs is a good idea. Let's look at the key difference if you consider opting for one.

Energy efficiency

Regular LED signs produce less secondary energy than neon signs, making them the most energy-efficient lighting alternative. While LED lights only require 24 volts to run, a large neon sign can consume up to 15,000 volts. This is especially crucial to consider when searching for expansive outdoor displays for festivals or concerts.

Energy efficiency

The cost of operating LED and neon signs is comparable for small company uses, such as smaller signs or displays. When deciding how energy-efficient it is to be, consider the expense of running the signage vs. anticipated curb appeal. Compared to LED signage, neon signs could be gentler on the eyes.


Size, setting, and purpose are just a few variables that affect the price every time. The standard of LED and neon signage you select will depend on this. Large LED outdoor signs are far less expensive than LED neon signs if that's something you're considering. It might be worthwhile to pay the extra money for the lifespan because LED neon signs require fewer repairs and last longer than conventional LED signage. When thinking about huge displays, cost becomes more important. The price difference is negligible for smaller neon and LED signage.


LED signage requires minimal to no upkeep. However, LED neon signs require extra upkeep, particularly in colder climates with icy conditions. Since a properly educated, specialist is needed to handle maintenance difficulties, this can become increasingly expensive.


LED neon signs are ideal if you're looking for a cozier appeal. They are also a superior choice for advertising that needs to be visible from a distance. Before making a choice, it's advisable to consider the size and viewing distance you require.


Compared to standard LED signs, LED neon signs require more voltage. Although neon signs now consume less power thanks to technological advancements, they still consume the most. LED indicators are suggested when maximizing power efficiency is your goal.


Neon signs are composed of glass tubing and present a substantial risk of breaking because of their high voltage. They should be disposed of carefully if broken. LED signs are a far safer option because they are shockproof and don't contain dangerous materials like mercury or phosphor.

Neon Light or Sign Dangers

We are drawn to neon lights because of their appeal, but may exposure to them pose health risks? Neon signs may be visually appealing, but knowing any potential risks is important.

Neon Light or Sign Dangers

What are neon lights made out off? The gas is not harmful in and of itself, but it can release toxic gases if the tubes holding it break or are damaged. The signs also need high-voltage electric currents to work, which raises the possibility of electrocution.

Care must be taken when handling and disposing of potentially dangerous neon signs to lower the possibility of accidents. Also, ascertain whether making neon signs is dangerous for people's health.

What more?

Neon sign design has advanced recently, with small electrical transformers eliminating the noticeable hum of previous neon signs. Programmable electronic controls have replaced the previous electromechanical cam-and-switch controls for controlling neon lights that blink or appear to move. You don’t need to know how are neon signs made since you might need to have all the equipment to produce a sign.

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