Since first appearing at the Paris Motor Show in 1910, neon signs have added vibrancy and colour to the streets of towns and cities. Places such as Times Square, New York have become famous for their neon lighting. But LEDs are now beginning to replace the neon signs of old.

The advantage of using LEDs instead of traditional neon signs is fourfold. LEDs:

  • Are cheaper than neon equivalents
  • Last longer
  • Are as versatile, bright and colourful as neon signs
  • Are safer to recycle

Neon signs can be costly to make. Although it’s possible to produce the lighting tubes in bulk, the process requires specialist attention to detail. Part of the problem is the gas inside the tubes. This can be neon, krypton, helium, argon or xenon. Making signs with LEDs is more straightforward.

Good quality neon signs can last for several years. The latest LEDs, however, can remain working for up to 60,000 hours.

During this time, LED signs retain their brightness. Some neon signs begin to look faded and worn after constant use.

LEDs are every bit as versatile as neon signs. You can create shapes, effects and colours to match or exceed the most dazzling traditional signs.

LEDs and recyling

The gas in many neon signs is harmless, but some contain mercury vapour. This is potentially hazardous. You must dispose of these signs with care at a recycling centre.

LEDs are a different matter. When you eventually come to replace an LED sign, you can do so without worrying about toxic fumes. So if you’re in the market for a unique and eye-catching sign, think LED.

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