A Guide to the manufacture and installation of Neon Signs
In the sign business, neon signs are glowing electric signs illuminated by long, protruding gas-discharge lamps containing rarefied, green, blue, or yellow gases. They’re the most utilized by far in neon advertising, which was introduced in a radical manner in December 1910 by Georges Claude in the Paris Motor Show. He had begun selling colored glass plates and wanted to produce signs using lamp-blown gas that would be visible only under low light conditions, thus making them cheap to produce and use.
Advertising using fluorescent gases is fairly new, having been around nearly as long as neon signs themselves. The early ones used glass tubes filled with phosphor oil as light sources. Newer models employ glass tubes filled with neon gases with one or more phosphors within the tubes. The phosphors allow the light to be seen even in total darkness.
Neon signage first became popular in the late 20th century, and they’ve been used ever since for everything from trade show displays to billboards and street signs. For the longest time, neon signs were big, bulky things, which limits their use to indoor purposes. However, over the past couple of decades, LED-illuminated neon signs have been steadily becoming smaller and lighter, while maintaining their luminosity. This has allowed them to fit better into a wide variety of indoor and outdoor applications. Now, neon signs are available in flexible substrate materials such as acrylic and polyester.
The signatured neon sign is one of the latest products in this exciting field. It consists of three separate light emitting diodes (LED’s), a metal casing that houses the bulb, and a backing that conceal the battery. It’s powered by a small rechargeable battery and has an attractive honey color that catches the eye. Like many neon signs, it includes a mounting device. A simple hook and loop connection allow the user to hang it on a door knob, garage wall, or any other flat surface. The device itself can be removed for cleaning or replacement, but the LED lights remain permanently attached.
Like the Paris Hilton sign, other popular neon signs include those produced by ECD Systems. These include models made in cooperation with the likes of AT&T, Alcoa, and others. The displays produced by ECD Systems feature clear acrylic tubes filled with a fluorescent dye. When an electrical current runs through the tubes, the color changes, from green to red, and back again.
A leading manufacturer of commercial display neon signs is Boynton Beach sign company. Rudi Stern offers many different styles, including ones that feature a honey color palette and others that exhibit a more traditional “raised panel” appearance. Like many other manufacturers, Rudi Stern offers hardware products in addition to the displays themselves. While the hardware may not be as convenient as ECD Systems, it is often easier to install, due to its simple and self-contained installation system.
While other manufacturers make use of a simple and standard gas discharge tube, Rudi Stern uses a more advanced and electrically operated gas discharge tube known as the Rydberg invention. The invention consists of four separate tubes, each connected to the electric supply of the neon lamp that it houses. When the lights are turned on, they pass electric currents through the tubes, and this current creates a chemical reaction that converts water to steam inside the housed lamp.
When these neon gas-discharges are triggered by an individual, the chemicals combine and create a highly-glowing light that is visible only under ideal lighting conditions. It is important that these neon tubes are housed in a high quality building constructed of either metal or wood. Otherwise, the stored energy could become too powerful for the lighting system to use efficiently.