NEONMONKI - Leuchtschrift Vergleich - LED vs. klassisches Neon aus Glas

You see them everywhere! Whether in the red light district or in the café around the corner, neon signs have not only been found in the entertainment industry for a century, but are now also popular in the mainstream sector. Thanks to social media and Pinterest, colorful neon signs have become more popular than ever in recent years.

But did you know that what glows so colorfully is often not neon? Nowadays, LEDs are actually being used more and more often for illuminated signs. But what is the difference? And which option is better? Don't worry, because we'll answer all your questions in this LED vs. glass neon comparison.


What does the classic neon sign consist of?

The neon sign, which was used for the first time in 1912, is made of glass and inert gas. While neon gas was actually used in the beginning, nowadays argon or krypton is more commonly used due to their more advantageous properties. You can find out how neon signs have changed over the years and how they have managed to illuminate urban life all over the world in our article History of neon signs find out.

To make a neon sign, glass tubes are blown into the appropriate shape. Gas is then filled into the fluorescent tube and sealed. When electricity hits the gas, its UV light is converted into visible light using a phosphor coated on the glass tube. This is a complex, labor-intensive process that justifies the high cost of a neon sign. 


What is an LED illuminated sign?

Thanks to innovative LED technology, you can now produce illuminated signs that look just like classic ones neon signs, but are far more efficient. To do this, numerous small LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are made into tubes and then installed on acrylic glass in the desired shape and color. This is done by hand and requires a lot of skill. 

An LED illuminated sign is not made of glass, does not contain gas or other fragile or toxic materials. Instead, acrylic glass, plastic and LED lights are used.


LED vs. neon made of glass – which is better?

Now you know the difference between LED and Neon in production and materials. But which of the two options is better for your business, office or living room at home? Now let's take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of both illuminated signs.


LED vs. Glass Neon - Which Option is More Energy Efficient?

An LED illuminated sign has 12 volts and, thanks to the use of the latest technologies, uses up to 90% less electricity than glass neon lamps. This makes it much more energy efficient and energy saving than its historical predecessor.

On the one hand, this saves electricity costs and allows every household to make a cool statement with an illuminated sign. On the other hand, it is also better for the environment.

Due to the low power consumption, the power supply and the actual illuminated sign only heat up minimally. Glass neon signs, on the other hand, can get very hot, which often poses a safety risk. NEONMONKI - LED vs. glass neon lamp

LED vs. neon made of glass - which neon sign has the longer lifespan?

When it comes to lifespan, the LED illuminated sign also scores better than conventional neon. One NEON MONKI LED illuminated signs last up to 50.000 hours under ideal conditions. This means you can enjoy the pleasant light and colorful design for around eight years if you turn it on for around 10 hours every day.

Neon signs, on the other hand, only last a maximum of 18.000 hours. The gas must be changed after just 10.000 hours. The drop in performance of neon is much greater than that of LEDs.


LED vs. neon made of glass – which neon sign looks better?

LED signs shine brightly at any time of day, while neon glass signs only come into their own at night. The LED light only shines forward, while classic neon signs have the disadvantage that they also shine backwards and the light is therefore reflected from the wall.  

There are also differences in use. Neon lamps flicker when switched on and also during operation, while LED illuminated signs start immediately and light up without any problems. 

Another advantage is that LED signs can be equipped with a dimming function, which means there are no limits to the design of your room lighting. Whether it's a functional lamp or indirect light, whether it's bright or something more rustic, you can choose it yourself at any time using a remote control.


LED vs. Glass Neon – Other Differences in the Two Neon Sign Options

So far it has been pretty clearly stated that, in our opinion, LED illuminated signs have far more advantages over classic neon lamps. But we have a few more points that speak for LED:

  • Neon signs made of glass are very fragile and heavier due to the thin-walled tubes. This not only makes installation more difficult, but also increases delivery costs. The breakage resistance of LED illuminated signs is definitely a big advantage in terms of safety and longevity.
  • Traditional neon signs are a lot deeper than LED neon signs. While our neon LED lamps are only approx. 4 cm deep including the spacer and acrylic glass plate, the classic neon signs often come with a depth of up to 12 cm. LED illuminated signs also save space and are guaranteed to look good in any room.
  • You can usually easily install and maintain LED signs yourself. You can attach it to any wall and plug it into any socket. Neon signs, on the other hand, often require installation and maintenance by a specialist. Depending on the size, however, it may also happen that a licensed electrical company has to install your neon LED lamp.
  • Neon lamps contain mercury. This is toxic and must therefore be disposed of as hazardous waste. This also makes it dangerous to use in the presence of children and pets, which is why a glass neon sign should always be kept far away from children. You don't have this problem with the LED lamp. However, this must also be disposed of separately with electronic waste. 
  • Neon tubes hum and flicker, while LED lamps are quiet.
  • And last but not least, the price-performance ratio of LED lamps is better compared to neon signs made of glass due to their production and materials. The LED illuminated sign also has better efficiency during operation because it has up to 90% lower power consumption and virtually no maintenance costs compared to conventional glass neon lamps.

However, we have to admit one advantage of neon glass signs: the nostalgia factor. The reason why neon signs are back in style is because they remind us of the good old days or the trip to Asia or Las Vegas.

But LED illuminated signs can be created in all shapes and colors and therefore come very close to the retro look. With our free neon lights Configurator You can choose from numerous fonts, sizes and colors and immortalize your own saying in a neon look.

NEONMONKI - Neon LED technology - neon tube 

Conclusion: Which illuminated sign is better - LED or neon? 

In our opinion, the clear winner in the battle between LED and neon is the LED illuminated sign. With it you save money, electricity, nerves and protect the environment. It lights up day and night and poses no safety risk. It is lighter, shatterproof and quieter. 

What are you waiting for? Take a look at ours now Uppercase Look for the perfect neon LED sign and beautify your home or business in no time. And if it's not what you're looking for, use our free one Configuratorto create your own design, or send us a request with your logo, for example. You will then receive a free simulation including an offer.

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