@Echo Neon | April 27th, 2023 | 10 minutes read | Advertising, Business, custom neon sign

Neon lights are so much more than pretty optics. They’re life, energy and nostalgia all wrapped up into one beautiful package.


The lights were first introduced in America and became popular in the 1920s. Neon was originally a high-end luxury good, with the first signs selling for thousands of dollars in the United States. Neon has travelled from the lab to the dizzying heights of Las Vegas and London, illuminating some of the world’s most renowned structures.

How do Neon light signs work?

Today, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have replaced neon as the go-to technology for manufacturers of modern signage. The original Neon lights were made from “Neon” (also known as “vaporized neon”) which is a rare, naturally occurring gas. However, now Neon is used as a designation for all gases that give off visible light when passing an electrical current through them.

Is LED or neon light better?

So how does neon light compare to LED neon? In this article, well compare the two and see what sets them apart.


LED lights are more energy-efficient and cost 20% less to operate than traditional neon. LEDs also have a significantly lower voltage which makes them an excellent choice for nightlight applications where you want the light level but doesn’t need bright colours or alpha blending options!


Neon lamps are made from glass tubing filled with rare gases which require regular changing. A LED neon sign can last 15-20 years (or up to 100,000 hours) before the tubes need to be changed, while traditional neon signs may need replacement after 4-5 years. The durability of LED neon signs is what makes them the best choice when looking for a bright neon light.


One of the drawbacks of traditional neon is that once a sign has been produced and the fluorescent tubes have been filled with neon gas, it can only glow with a static single-colour illumination. Unfortunately, there is no way to alter the sign’s colour or dim or flash the light. However, everything can be controlled with digital drivers when it comes to LEDs. These devices are able to instruct the LEDs to display any effect. This means that not only will your space be flooded with an array of bright and lively hues, but there are endless possibilities when it comes to how all these elements come together in sync!

Performance issues

Unfortunately, neon lights are susceptible to burnout. The whole sign or a portion of the sign will go dark. This can be for a number of reasons from transformers to the gas tubes failing or the wires burning out due to high voltage. With LED neon lights there is no risk of burnout and they can be dimmed to any level. Other performance issues like flickering or buzzing won’t happen either since these types use digital drivers

Lighting effects

Traditional neon lamps/lights cant change colour. This is because they are made up of different gases that don’t mix when in use, they simply pass electricity through them to produce light. Neon does not glow blue or green when it is electrically charged; instead, it generates a reddish-orange light. If you wanted a different colour you would have to use a different gas that reacts with electricity but again this would be to produce different colour light not change colours.LEDs on the other hand aren’t made up of just one gas, they have a diode in them that when electricity is passed through it gives off some sort of light by using the semiconductor sheet inside the LED. This makes changing colour possible because the diodes can be made to give off different colours of light by changing the semiconductor sheet inside them. Not only can LED neon LIghts change colour but you can adjust each light separately. This means that you can produce amazing colour changes and patterns.


A neon sign is generally more expensive than a LED neon because it requires expensive glass tubing to be made and filled with rare gases. The gases need to be changed every few years and this further adds to the cost.LED neon on the other hand is cheaper because it is created from tiny individual lights hidden inside plastic or silicone. They also use far less voltage making them even cheaper to run. Because Neon is so much more expensive than LED in maintenance and power consumption many large cities today have replaced their original Neon signs with energy-efficient LED ones. This makes LED neon the most popular choice for business owners and retailers.

Flexibility and size options

Neon is great for large signs, but not so much for smaller ones due to weight and the fact that there’s only one colour option (glowing orange). Another drawback for neon is that it does not take well to temperature changes, which means you can’t mount the signs outdoors.LED on the other hand has come a long way in terms of size and colour options. It boasts of a huge variety of custom sizes and designs which are practically endless. Making them the number one choice for custom made signs.LEDs can also be made to look like traditional neon lights. By mounting two pieces of acrylic with a space in between them and then filling that space with LED strips, you can achieve the same effect as Neon.

Resale value

Neon lighting is less likely to retain its “new” value since most consumers are not at all familiar with the product. You may get a resale if a person is into vintage signs but generally, an original Neon sign is much harder to resell. By comparison, LED Neon lights have a higher resale value. People are constantly looking to add a unique feature to their home or business and will often purchase second-hand LED signs from online websites such as eBay.

Let’s recap all the reasons why LED neon lights are better than Neon lights.

  • Uses significantly less electricity than neon.
  • It does not emit heat.
  • The running costs of huge displays are considerably lower.
  • Better for the environment—there are no potentially harmful gases.
  • Neon lights are brighter and more constant than tungsten or halogen, and they may be viewed from farther away.
  • It may be dimmed, flashed, or colourized.
  • Unlike glass, it is far more durable.
  • Between 5 and 10 years estimated lifespan.
  • Can be safely posted.
  • It’s simple to connect and assemble.
  • Capable of duplicating brand designs precisely.
  • Easier to Re-sale

All in all LED neon signs are more cost-effective. They last longer, look better and use less power than traditional neon signs making them the superior option in almost every way. The technology behind these historical neon lighting fixtures has changed but the effect remains true to its roots – to illuminate and mesmerize viewers with glowing colour. Illuminate your world with our LED neon sign today! We’ve been developing, producing, and delivering these one-of-a-kind lights to clients all around the world for more than ten years. Take a look at our project gallery to see some of the incredible possibilities for yourself. Then get started on your own creative ideas in a variety of colours, forms, fonts, and more.

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