The Great Neon Sign Controversy: Traditional vs LED Signage

The Reality Behind Traditional Neon

First, some context. America’s traditional neon boom was during the second half of the 20th. Introduced at Paris Motor Show in 2010, neon signage quickly became popular but fell away after a few generations. Due to their fragile nature and high price, neon signs were abandoned by most businesses in the 1960s.

It was temporary, but neon signs became popular again in the 1980s. It’s now widely understood that traditional neon is very expensive and can pose problems regarding safety and efficiency. The traditional neon signs for sale are still available, but they aren’t nearly as many as the ones that were used in the middle of the 1900s. The LED neon sign is the better alternative.

The Basis: Traditional Neon and LED

Let’s compare the two types of neon signs and see how they differ. Safety is the main concern. Signs made of neon or argon gases are fragile and can easily be smashed. They make a squealing sound and are hot to the touch. The pieces can also be dangerous if they are broken. LED neon sign has no sound, produces only mild warmth, and is shock-proof. It’s also very difficult to break. Additionally, traditional neon has a tenth of the power consumption of LED neon signs for very similar lighting effects. The LED neon sign is much more eco-friendly.

Because LED neon doesn’t require special glass-bending or other manufacturing techniques to be made, they use less energy and resources than traditional neon signs. Additionally, LED neon signs have the ability to adjust their brightness. This is much easier than with traditional neon. As traditional neon requires more maintenance and is less usable due to shipping complications, LED neon signs are actually easier to maintain. LED neon is safer cost-effective, more versatile, longer-lasting, and more reliable than traditional neon.

So what’s a real neon sign?

Even strictly traditional people might believe LED signs aren’t real neon signs. But they do look “real”, and that’s all that matters. It is very difficult to distinguish between LED neon signs and traditional signs. David Dobrik famously misunderstood his traditional neon sign as an LED sign in the Architectural Digest tour. It’s hard to tell the difference.

Radically Real

Now you know the value of LED signs over traditional neon signs, get ready to make your own. Radikal Neon offers neon signs that make life radikal. Check out our inspiration. Top picks for signs that have been designed. You can also use our custom neon builder if you want to design your own unique sign. All neon signs are made to order. Let’s help you bring your idea to life!

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