Making neon signs is a craft. They can be mimicked but nothing comes close to the real thing.
Neon look signs, made from silicone LED flex, are fast gaining in popularity. But is an LED light that looks like a neon sign a better choice than a traditional real glass neon sign? How do the faux neon signs differ from the vintage style glass tube signs? Do they compare favorably and which option is preferable for uses such as indoor wall art, outdoor business signage or portable event signs?
A lot depends on how large the sign will be, where it will be installed, and what you’re using it for. For businesses, the considerations are most likely to be: Curb appeal and aesthetics, grabbing attention, space requirements, overall cost, energy savings, versatility and safety.
Weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, tradeshows, sporting events, art installations, music festivals – all benefit from illuminated signage. Traditional glass neon signs can be used but usually aren’t due to the fragility and cost, not to mention the installation requirements. Low voltage LED indoor signage, on the other hand, is lightweight and easy to transport safely. This, combined with the lower price point of LED flex signs, and the fact that you can just hang them up and plug them in, make them a fantastic option for indoor event signage.
Not many people have glass neon signs in their homes and those that do usually hang them in the home bar area. It would be very unusual to find a glass tube neon sign in a children’s room, for example. This is because glass neon can get quite warm, is high voltage and breakable. Conversely, faux neon signs made from LED neon are shatter-resistant (silicone) and cool to the touch. They are also free of both glass and mercury, making them a safer option for home use. Even if you’re not worried about small children, LED signs are probably a better option for indoor wall art simply because they’re lightweight and so easy to install or hang, no fireman switch and electrician is required.