Finnish company Character has taken the 3 Rs (reuse, recycle and reduce) to a new level by its ingenious remaking of redundant neon signage. Now neon signage, which was so popular in the 50s and 60s, is making a comeback, with an effective low-cost LED makeover.
Many old neon signs end their days gathering dust in storage or even worse, adding to the landfill burden. As companies change hands, change their branding or even cease trading, more neon signage becomes redundant. Letter by letter, Character is changing that for the better by using LED technology.
Character founder Alexi Hautamäki and his team buy retired neon signs and dismantle them. Each letter is cleaned and refurbished to include new LED transformers, LED lights and wiring. If you’re looking for a really unusual LED feature for your home, garden or business, these recycled neon letters are a must have.
The new LED signage letters are available for sale online. If you want something specific, the Character website has a ‘wish list’ page. Many people choose their initials or company names. Symbols such as ‘&’ are a popular choice too.
Character’s ingenious recycling is good news for the huge numbers of neon lights still in use today or gathering dust in storage. To give you some idea of the size of this market and the numbers of neon lights potentially available, when the city of Vancouver was reputed to be the neon light capital of the world, it boasted one neon light for every 18 head of the population!
The recycled neon letters come in a range of sizes depending on availability, some even as big as 5 metres tall. Although the average home or garden couldn’t accommodate an illuminated letter of this size, the possibilities are endless for this use of LED technology.