Whatever happened to the classic neon sign? In most modern displays, companies have repeatedly been trending away from the use of the bright and beautiful neon signs that so often dominated the industry in earlier years.
While other lighted signage options (like LED for instance) certainly have their own set of benefits that may have contributed to their increased use in recent years, the neon signs status as a classic cannot be disputed.
Over the years, it seems that there has been a significant amount of misinformation being spread around about neon displays. In the spirit of fairness, Bartush Signs is here to dispel many of these myths and restore some of the luster that these iconic signs may have lost.
Myth 1: Neon Signs Contain Harmful Chemicals and Toxic Gasses
The biggest myth surrounding neon signage is that these types of signs often contain chemicals and gasses that are physically toxic to the human body. In reality, this is not actually the case.
Neon signs primarily contain two types of gas: neon gas (from which this sign gets its name) and argon gas, both of which can actually be found in the same air we breathe each and every day.
While it is true that some older argon tubes do contain trace amounts of mercury vapor, though mercury exposure is only truly harmful if it occurs repeatedly over a long period of time. In addition, traces of mercury can already be found in fluorescent lighting as well.
Myth 2: Neon Signs Are Not Environmentally Friendly
Did you know that every component of a neon sign is recyclable? It’s true! Everything from the glass to the gas inside can be reused for other purposes, lessening the environmental impact that they have on the world.
Neon signs are also not as guilty of light pollution or electrical expense as some have claimed. Most internal neon signs operate at less than 100 watts of illumination (slightly more than the average lightbulb).
Myth 3: Neon Signs Are Dangerous to Touch
Modern neon signs are no longer as much of an electrical shock risk as they may have once been. Today, neon lighting actually serves as a safe alternative to many other lighting sources.
Thanks to recent legal policies, neon signs are now required to have additional safety features such as ground fault interruptions and over-voltage protection. Furthermore, neon signs are typically run using self-calibrating electric convertors that only use as much electricity as possible for powering the sign, reducing the risk of accidental shock.
It’s also been said that neon signs are hot enough to burn you when touched, but this is simply not true if they have been manufactured correctly.
Myth 4: Neon Signs Are Not as Bright or Versatile as Other Lighted Signs
While many insist upon the use of LED signage for maximum brightness and hardiness, the fact is they are not invulnerable.
Like any other form of lighting, LEDs are just as likely to dull over time. This is due largely to their reliance on thousands of individual tiny bulbs on the front, and occasionally on the back and sides. When these bulbs fail, these signs are likely to dull in these spots, eventually requiring them to be replaced entirely.
In the case of neon tubes, these unique forms of lighting do in fact emit 360 degrees of light, meaning they can be viewed and enjoyed from all angles.
Additionally, neon signs are capable of displaying about 40 different colors, while most lighted signage typically offers about eight distinct shades.
Myth 5: Neon Signs Are Fragile and Do Not Last as Long as Other Lighted Signs
Opponents of neon signs are quick to point out their supposed lack of durability and lifespan, but this claim is mostly rooted in personal distaste rather than concrete evidence.
The fact is, all lighting can be subjected to damage if it is not properly cared for, and some are simply not built to withstand this. Neon signs are actually made more resistant via the use of an annealing process, which helps to minimize stress fractures by making the glass more pliable.
Additionally, many have claimed that neon signs only have a life expectancy of 20,000 to 30,000 hours. For properly made signs, this is not the case. In fact, there are many cases of well-crafted neon signs being used 24 hours a day for upwards of ten years without an issue.
At Bartush, signs are our passion. We strive to deliver your with iconic and memorable displays that will help your business stand out from the crowd exactly the way you want it to.
To learn more about the incredible display options we offer, don’t hesitate to contact us today for a consultation. We look forward to making your signage dreams come true!