It’s probably fair to say that neon signage has had something of a checkered history. Since the sale of the first commercial neon sign in 1927, the popularity of the format has waxed and waned; the last decade, in particular, has seen a move away from neon, as the introduction and broad adoption of LED signage have presented businesses with a range of cheaper, simpler high-impact solutions. Not to be counted out, the humble neon sign is making a resurgence, with a number of safe, energy-efficient, high-tech options perfect for business that wants to promote their product and brand image.
At JMF Group, we’re passionate about helping companies get the most out of their neon signs. Our team has the experience and expertise to advise on every aspect of design, construction, installation, and maintenance, and with both neon and micro neon options available, our team has everything you need to create a stunning sign that’s perfect for your business.
To find out more about our services, or to discuss your specific requirements, get in touch with us today. Alternatively, keep reading for our guide to all-things neon!
Neon Signs vs. “Neon” Signs
Whilst traditionally used to describe a specific method of sign fabrication, nowadays the term ‘neon sign’ is commonly used to describe two distinct types of signage:
Glass Neon Signs
Traditional neon signs are created using glass tubes that are filled with a gas, most commonly, neon (orange), hydrogen (red), or mercury (blue). These tubes are then bent into the desired shape and sealed at either end. Once the tube is full of gas, it’s electrically charged to emit a bright light.
- Tone: The direct application of plasma to the glass tubes produces a range of colour tones that can’t be reproduced by any other means.
- Warmth: Provides a warm light that feels more natural than that produced by LED lights.
- Nostalgia: The look and buzz of a glass tube neon sign provide a sense of nostalgia and authenticity that is difficult to create with LED lights.
- Specialist: Fabricating glass tube neon signs requires a great deal of care and expertise. Finding reputable suppliers can prove challenging.
- Fragile: Traditional neon light signs are somewhat heavy, and can not be repositioned easily.
- Limited: While a traditional neon sign offers incredible tone, the number of individual colours available is limited.
LED Neon Signs (Micro Neon Signs)
To combat the apparent disadvantages of traditional neon signs, companies began developing Light Emitting Diode (LED) neon signs which produce a similar effect.
Commonly referred to as micro neon signs, or LED neon signs, these are made using a clear, bendable acrylic tube that’s filled with a special compound and then coated with phosphorescent paint.
- Price: LED neon signs are significantly cheaper to manufacture and install than their glass-based bigger brothers.
- Efficient: LED neon signs run on 12v DC, making them a cold, green, and more energy-efficient option.
- Lifespan: The average LED neon sign will operate comfortably for 100,000 hours; much more than the 10,000 hours of life offered by glass neon. If you’re looking for long-term use and a sign that will stand the test of time, LED takes the prize.
- Look: Whilst professional LED neon signs can look incredible, you get what you pay for. Low-cost LED neon lights can look cheap and tacky—not what you want for promoting your business!
- Intensity: LED neon offers more dimmable options than glass neon, but the light itself can often feel artificial and too dazzling.
The Benefits of Professional Neon Signs
Whilst traditional neon and LED neon lighting each have their own advantages and disadvantages, neon lighting as a whole has several benefits over more traditional signage options.
Take a look below for some of the most compelling reasons to consider investing in a neon business sign:
When it comes to attracting customers, there are few things as effective as a neon sign.
Thanks to their unique style and bright colours, neon signs are hard to miss, making them the perfect tool for promoting your business.
In today’s competitive market, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your business stands out from the crowd.
A well-designed neon sign is a perfect way to ensure that your brand is remembered, and with so many design options available, you can be sure to find a design form that perfectly represents your company.
Both traditional and LED neon signs offer fantastic options for customisation and design. Whether you want to display your logo or company name on your shop wall or provide a warm birthday party reception at your soft play, mounted neon signs are a fun, striking option.
Indoor and Outdoor
Whilst certain jurisdictions have restrictions on glass neon signs for outdoor use, with LED neon lights you can safely and responsibly take your brand message to the streets. Hot or cold, wet or dry, rain or shine—water-resistant LED neon can be exposed to all elements (perfect for the UK’s wet weather!)
Whilst most commonly associated with bars and restaurants, neon signs can be effectively used by all manner of businesses. From traditional pubs to wine bars, corner stores to shopping centres, hotels to nightclubs—there really is a neon solution for everyone.
Buying a Neon Light Sign: Things to Consider
Whilst the benefits of neon light signs speak for themselves, it’s surprisingly easy to go wrong. Making the wrong decision here can result in a sign which is low-quality and—at worst—dangerous.
Have a look below to see some key considerations before you purchase your neon signs.
We really can’t stress this one enough!
When it comes to traditional neon, only a certified professional should be allowed to handle the gas, tubes and high voltages required. Not only is this incredibly dangerous for amateurs, but it’s also against the law in most jurisdictions.
While LED isn’t generally as hazardous, a professional should be chosen to account for design requirements and specifics of your building.
As mentioned, the two types of neon sign each carry their own advantages and disadvantages. You should weigh up the pros and cons of each before you decide on which will work best for you.
Pay keen attention to the space you have for your signs. Is it indoors or outdoors? Is it going to hang in a prominent position? Is your wall or ceiling strong enough to support it?
What was it that first made you embark on your neon sign journey? Or, to put it another way, what do you hope to achieve with your neon signs?
Are you looking to attract customers or passing shoppers? Do you want to add some fun and excitement to an event? Are you trying to make a statement? Crucially, does this specific form of signage suit the aesthetics of your business and your brand?
JMF Group: Customer-Focused Neon Sign Solutions
This may seem like a lot to take in, but at JMF we can provide simple impartial advice.
Give our team a call today for more info, and take a look below at our customer-first approach to neon sign supply.
At JMF, we understand that no two projects are the same. That’s why we offer a free, UK-wide site survey with all of our sign installation projects. We will come to your business, assess the area, and work with you to understand your specific requirements. We will then provide a detailed proposal outlining the sign solution that best meets your needs.
Our in-house design team know how to create signs which are both eye-catching and effective. Whether you want a faithful reproduction of your company logo, or a fun and festive design for temporary promotion and exclusive discounts, we’ll work with you to make sure your sign is perfect.
JMF signs are manufactured in our state-of-the-art facilities, utilising the latest technology and materials. We only use the highest quality components to create signs which are built to last, and our fabrication team have unbeatable levels of experience and expertise.
Our engineers install signs across the UK, with easy installation techniques that are specially designed to cause minimal disruption to your staff and customers. Whether indoors or outdoors, our PASMA, IPAF, and CSCS-certified crews are on-hand to ensure your sign goes up safely and stays that way.
We also offer a comprehensive maintenance service for all of our signs, to make sure they stay in pristine condition for years to come. Our team can carry out repairs at your address, or collect your signs for fixing at our base.
What Are You Waiting For?
Your search for a neon lights sign is over—JMF are here!
Offering the perfect blend of experience, expertise, service, and price, we will work with you to create indoor or outdoor neon signs that impress your customers and suit the brand image you’ve so carefully established.
To discuss our range of neon sign solutions, give us a call today—we can’t wait to get to work!