“The colorful words and pictures came from the air itself—mysterious gases extracted from the atmosphere, trapped in glass tubes, and zapped with electric current to create luminous reactions. During the 20th century, lights fueled by neon and its fellow noble gases were icons of commerce and entertainment, illuminating the modern age” (1).
Neon lit signs, which also came to be known as “liquid fire” have a long and rich history in the sign industry. Look back at any photograph from the 20th century, and the signs pictured in it are most certainly Neon signs. Not only were they the first type of illuminated signage, but they are also the most powerful even to this day.
In fact, the first Neon Sign was displayed in 1923, by George Claude, and his company when he sold a neon gas sign “to a Packard car dealership in Los Angeles. Earle C. Anthony purchases the two signs reading ‘Packard’ for $24,000” (2). After this bright introduction, the popularity of these liquid fire signs spread very much like fire, and soon Neon Signs could be seen on every block throughout the country.
Today, Neon Signs can still be seen in many downtown areas and popular tourist destinations. Restaurants, casinos, clubs, and many other businesses still rely on Neon Signs to attract visitors.
Recently, we discussed two other common types of illuminated signage: Lit-Through Signage and Halo Illumination. Both of these options can be made with either Neon or LED lighting depending on the goal of the business owner. Today, we will dive into the what Neon Signs are all about and how you can use them to proudly display your business name with the most historic lights available. (Click here to learn why illuminating your sign is a must for any business or here to learn what signs are commonly illuminated).
Sign Lighting Option #: Neon Signs
The phrase “name in lights” is an idiom that is commonly used when one is expressing the desire to become extremely famous. It originates from the idea of seeing one’s name on a marquee because they are the star of a theater production or the headlining band in a show. Interestingly, when this phrase became popular there is no doubt that the lights meant to illuminate any hopeful’s name would have been neon. In fact, many marquees still rely on Neon lighting to illuminate their announcements since they are the most vibrant and brightly illuminated sign lighting available.
Neon Signs are very often a part of an Exposed Neon Sign on a number of sign types including Monument Signs, Channel Letter Signs, 3D Signs, and more. This means that the viewer can see the neon tubes in which the neon light is held and energized. They are also sometimes used in Standard Lit-Through Signage or in Halo Illuminated Signs instead of LED. Those of us in the sign industry have had the privilege of seeing Neon Signs made. For those who haven’t check out this video below to learn more about this fascinating and exciting process.
Because LED lights are longer lasting and easier to create, many people over the years have chosen to illuminate their signs with LED. So, this begs the question why would someone still choose Neon Signs since they seem to simply be a relic of the past? Well, Neon Signs are not just for those fascinated with sign industry history.
Like we mentioned earlier, many businesses still prefer Neon Signs because of how bold and exciting they are to view. Yes, they definitely appeal to one sense of nostalgia because of their colorful history, however regardless of their past, in their present they are still the brightest illuminated sign option.
Any business that is looking to wow customers with all the brightness and vibrancy light has to offer, still rely on Neon Signs to attract new and existing business into their establishment. Just look at any downtown area, like the Las Vegas strip, or tourist destination, like the Gaslight district in San Diego, California and you will see what we mean.
For your own sign illuminated by vibrant and powerful neon, shoot us an email or give us a call and we’d be happy to give your more information so you can make sure that your business name is seen in lights.
Experience and innovation have been the backbone of Landmark Signs for more than 35 years. Located in Orange and servicing all of California, our services include sign design, sign manufacturing, and sign installation. Choose our specialized sign expertise to turn your ordinary sign into a Landmark!
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