Chemistry. Not the first word that comes to mind when you think of lighting, but it was, in fact, two chemists that discovered neon gas in 1898 which led to a French engineer sending this gas through electrified glass tubes in 1902 birthing neon light! Just over 100 years later, the use of neon for lighting is fading rapidly. After being a technological advancement in its day, which led to the relegation of incandescent bulbs as the favourite of sign makers all across America, now advances in LED technology are seeing neon lighting becoming a relic, a vestige of a different era.
This last decade has seen rapid changes in the lighting industry. In America in 2007 signs illuminated by neon was 33%, and 23% by LEDs (survey by Signs of the Times magazine). But by 2010, just three years later, LEDs were lighting 40% of the signs, whereas neon had dropped to only 18%. Nowadays we even have such things as “Neon Museums” which shows how iconic neon signs have been over the years, but it also reveals that neon is truly becoming a thing of the past.
Some proponents of neon lighting draw attention to how neon gives off a unique warm glow and that this cannot be imitated by newer technologies. However, with continuing advances in LED technology, you can now get LEDs to give off pretty much any colour in any kind of way. There is much greater versatility with LEDs than with neon and this will be even more so in the days ahead.
Jones Neon Displays Ltd has been around for over seven decades and has continually adapted to the advances in the sign industry to best meet our customers’ ever-changing needs. Give us a call today if you have any questions, whether they are about neon, fluorescent, or LED lit signs; we are here to help you make informed signage decisions.
905 802 5741