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Glass Neon Lights vs. LED Neon Lights

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Do you like neon lights? For decades, their mesmerizing glow and unique feel have made them popular for businesses and homes. But as technology has improved, there are now two kinds of neon lights: traditional glass neon lights and modern LED neon lights.

Glass neon lights have been around for over a hundred years and have a classic look. LED neon lights, on the other hand, use less energy and last longer. Choosing between the two can be challenging because they are both different.

Here, we’ll explore the ins and outs of neon lighting and compare traditional glass neon and modern LED neon. After reading this article, you’ll know which lighting option is ideal. Let’s dive in right now!

What Are Glass Neon Lights?

Glass neon lights are a classic form of lighting that has been around for more than a hundred years. These lights are made of glass tubes filled with neon gas. When an electric current goes through the gas, it gives off a bright, colorful light. Neon lights made of glass have been used for many things, like store signs, art installations, and home decor.

To make glass neon lights, heat, and bend glass tubes into the shape you want, then fill them with a little bit of neon gas. At each end of the line, there is an electrode. When a high voltage is put on the tube, the gas inside ionizes, making a bright plasma that gives off light.

One thing that makes glass neon lights stand out is the way they look. Neon gas turns red-orange when an electric current runs through it. But different gases or different mixtures of gases can make the same gas look different colors. For example, argon gas gives off a blue light, while helium gas gives off a light that looks like a mix of pink and red.

Glass neon lights need to be taken care of regularly and can be broken, but their unique and eye-catching look makes them a popular choice for businesses and people who want to add personality and style to their space.

Advantages of Glass Neon Lights

Glass neon lights have been used as a source of light for more than a hundred years. They have been used in bars, restaurants, and shops, among other places, to make stand-out signs. In this part, we’ll discuss some of the good things about glass neon lights.

Brightness:

Glass neon lights emit a bright and vivid glow that can attract attention from far away. The brightness of the light is determined by the type of gas used, tube diameter, and voltage and current applied to the tube. Neon gas, commonly used in neon lights, gives off a bright reddish-orange glow. However, other gases, such as argon (blue), helium (pink), krypton (green), and xenon (purple), can produce different colors of light. The larger the diameter of the tube, the brighter the light will appear.

Longevity:

Glass neon lights are designed to last for an extended period. They can withstand high temperatures generated during ionization, making them durable. A glass neon light can last up to 10,000 hours, while an incandescent bulb lasts only 1000 hours.

Customizability:

Glass neon lights are highly customizable and fit almost any design or branding needs. Here are some aspects of glass neon lights that can be customized:

      • Shape: Neon lights can be bent and shaped into almost any design, including letters, logos, shapes, and complex designs.

        • Color: Neon lights are available in various colors, from standard shades of blue, red, and green to more unusual colors like pink, purple, and yellow. Different colors can be combined to create a unique effect or gradient.

          • Size: Neon lights can be made in various sizes, from small desktop signs to large outdoor installations. The size of the neon lights can easily fit the installation’s space and purpose.

            • Font: Multiple fonts can be recreated in neon lights, making them ideal for custom signage. Custom fonts can also be created to fit specific branding needs.

              • Animation: Neon lights can animate or blink in various patterns for a more dynamic effect. These effects can be programmed into the neon lights to create a custom animation.

                • Backing: Neon lights can be mounted on various backings, such as acrylic or metal, to create a unique look. The backing can also be customized with graphics or designs, complementing the neon lights.

                  • Installation: Neon lights can be installed in various ways, including hanging from the ceiling, mounting on a wall, or placing on a stand. The installation method can be customized to fit the project’s specific needs.

                Energy-Efficient

                Standard incandescent bulbs use more energy than glass neon lights, but glass neon lights use less energy because they use less power. Because of this, they are an excellent option for companies and people who want to save money on their electricity bills and use less energy.

                Disadvantages of Glass Neon Lights

                Glass neon lights have been a popular choice for businesses for a long time because of their bright colors and attention-getting brightness. However, they also have a few problems.

                High Energy Consumption

                One of the most significant disadvantages of glass neon lights is their high energy consumption. These lights require a high voltage, typically around 15,000 volts, to ionize the neon gas and produce the glowing effect. This high voltage requirement makes them consume a considerable amount of energy, which can result in increased energy bills. Moreover, glass neon lights could be much less efficient in energy use as they convert only a small percentage into light, while the rest is lost as heat. This inefficiency makes them even more energy-consuming than other lighting options, such as LED or fluorescent lights.

                Fragility

                Glass neon lights are also quite fragile due to their thin and delicate glass tubes. They can easily crack or break if dropped or struck with a hard object. Furthermore, the glass can weaken over time due to exposure to heat, moisture, or UV light, which can cause the glass to become brittle and prone to cracking. This makes them challenging to maintain and handle, especially in harsh environments.

                High Maintenance

                Glass neon lights require regular upkeep and repairs to maintain their brightness and functionality. The cost of replacing parts and labor can be quite high, mainly if the lights are used frequently or in harsh environments. This high maintenance requirement can also result in safety issues, as glass neon lights can be dangerous to handle or work with, especially if safety precautions are not taken. Besides, disposing of broken or outdated neon lights can also be challenging.

                Limited Customizability

                Unlike LED lights, which offer extensive customizability options, glass neon lights have limited customizability. The shapes and designs created with glass neon lights are limited in physical properties, making them challenging to use in complex setups or conditions. Additionally, the color options for glass neon lights are limited to the gases that can be used, making it difficult to achieve specific color combinations or gradients.

                Limited Lifespan

                Although glass neon lights are durable, they have a limited lifespan compared to other lighting options. On average, a neon tube can last about 10,000 hours, after which it loses brightness and color intensity. This lifespan is significantly shorter than LED or fluorescent lights, which can last up to 50,000 or 100,000 hours. Furthermore, neon lights require a lot of maintenance to keep them operating at optimal levels, which can reduce their lifespan even further.

                What Are LED Neon Lights?

                LED neon lights are more modern than old glass neon lights. They use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to make the same effect as glass neon lights, but LEDs are better in many ways.

                LED neon lights are made of flexible strips with many small LED bulbs that light up when an electric current flows through them. These strips look neon-like because they are wrapped in a colored or clear silicone jacket. LED neon lights use less energy than glass neon lights because they don’t need a high voltage to work. The silicone case is also easier to handle than glass because it is less fragile.

                Advantages of LED Neon Lights

                LED neon lights offer several advantages over traditional neon lights. Here are some of the key advantages:

                Energy Efficiency

                One of the best things about LED neon lights is that they use less energy. Traditional neon lights use up to 80% more power than LED neon lights. Traditional neon lights use gas and high voltage, but LED neon lights use LED (Light-Emitting Diode) technology to make light. LEDs use much less energy, which makes LED neon lights much more energy-efficient.

                Durability

                LED neon lights last much longer and are more durable than regular neon lights. They are usually made with a flexible silicone tube that can withstand UV rays, high temperatures, and other environmental things. LED neon lights use solid-state lighting technology, so they don’t have any dangerous gases or fragile glass tubes. This makes them much less likely to break or get damaged when hit or shaken.

                LED neon lights also last a lot longer than old-fashioned neon lights. LED neon lights can last 100,000 or more, while traditional ones usually only last about 10,000 hours. This means that LED neon lights don’t need to be replaced as often, which can save businesses money over time.

                 

                Versatility

                LED lighting lights are also helpful because they can be used differently. LED neon lights are more flexible than glass neon lights and can be bent and shaped differently. They can also be cut to any length, which makes them useful everywhere. This means that you can make patterns with them that you couldn’t make with regular neon lights.  MYLIKELED has created many different kinds of LED neon wire to be used in more ways. There are horizontal bend series, vertical bend series, 3D series (horizontal and vertical), 360° round series, and more.

                Low Heat Emission

                Because LED neon lights produce so little heat, they are ideally suited for use in contexts where there is a potential for heat to be a factor. This includes displays for food and beverage, retail settings, and other applications where conventional neon lights could generate a significant amount of heat.

                Multiple Color Options

                Another advantage of LED neon lights is their variety of colors. LED neon lights are available in various colors, allowing businesses and individuals to select the best option for their branding or aesthetic needs. Unlike traditional neon lights, which often have limited color options, LED neon lights can produce a full spectrum of colors. This means businesses can use LED neon lights to create eye-catching displays that distinguish them from the competition. Furthermore, some LED neon lights can change colors, making them ideal for events or seasonal shows requiring dynamic lighting. The possibilities for creative expression with LED neon lights are virtually limitless.

                Disadvantages of LED Neon Lights

                Although LED neon lights offer several advantages over traditional neon lights, there are a few potential drawbacks.

                Limited Brightness

                One of the main disadvantages of LED neon lights is their limited brightness compared to traditional neon lights. Poorly manufactured LEDs may be unable to reproduce specific colors with the same brightness level as conventional neon lights. This can result in some shades appearing muted or dull. But, this issue can be easily avoided by purchasing high-quality and branded LED neon flex. With MYLIKELED, our LED neon flex uses ultra-high brightness SMD LEDs with a density of 120 per meter, guaranteeing high brightness and a uniform luminous effect.

                Directional Lighting Effect

                Another disadvantage of LED neon lights is that they emit light more directionally than traditional neon lights. Unlike glass neon tubes that emit light from all dimensions, LED neon lights have a flat rectangular three-dimensional structure that emits light only at the frontal surface/plane. This can create a narrower viewing angle and require viewers to be positioned at a specific angle to see the full effect. However, with high-brightness LEDs, visibility is not an issue from any direction.

                Higher Initial Cost

                One of the most significant drawbacks of LED neon lights is their higher initial cost than traditional neon lights. LED neon lights are relatively new to the market and require more advanced technology to produce. This makes them more expensive than traditional neon lights. However, as LED technology becomes more widespread, the cost of LED neon lights is gradually decreasing. Moreover, LED neon lights’ energy efficiency results in significant cost savings over time, making them a worthwhile investment.

                Dependent on Power Supply

                LED neon lights are dependent on a power supply to function. If the power supply fails, the LED neon lights will not work. On the other hand, traditional neon lights do not require a power supply and can continue to operate even if individual neon tubes break. However, with proper installation and high-quality power supplies, the risk of power failure is minimal.

                Glass Neon Lights vs. LED Neon Lights: A Comparison

                For over a century, neon lights have been a part of our culture and way of life. These lights are commonly used in commercial spaces, homes, and public places to create a vibrant and engaging atmosphere. Neon lights add a unique charm to the decor and come in two varieties: glass neon lights and LED neon lights. While both serve the same purpose, there are some significant differences between the two.

                Brightness and Intensity:

                Brightness and intensity are two distinct factors when evaluating lighting quality in neon lights. The brightness of glass neon lights depends on the tube’s diameter, the gas color used, and the current applied. A typical glass neon light can emit up to 50 lumens per watt, which is lower than LED neon lights. LED neon lights are a newer and brighter technology, with a typical LED neon light emitting up to 100 lumens per watt.

                Energy Efficiency:

                Glass neon lights consist of tubes filled with neon gas, which is ionized by an electrical current to produce a glowing effect. They require a high-voltage transformer to operate and consume significant energy. In contrast, neon lights use LED technology to create a similar glowing effect but significantly less energy consumption. LED neon lights operate on low voltage and are energy-efficient. This makes them a more sustainable option compared to glass neon lights.

                Durability:

                Regarding durability, LED neon lights have a clear advantage over glass neon lights. Glass tubes can be fragile and break if mishandled or exposed to harsh weather conditions. Glass tubes are also filled with a mixture of gas, and they require high voltage to light up, which can result in frequent breakages and flickering. On the other hand, LED neon lights are made of durable materials like PVC, silicone, or acrylic that can withstand harsh weather conditions and accidental impacts. LED neon lights are powered by low voltage and have a long lifespan of up to 100,000 hours, making them more reliable and long-lasting.

                Customizability:

                Glass neon lights offer customization regarding color and shape. But you need help to shape them as they are glass-made. Instead, they have to be given a structure in the manufacturing factory, and the shape, once formed, is permanent and can’t be changed. On the other hand, LED neon lights are flexible and can be bent to any desired shape and cut to the desired length. LED neon lights offer exceptional customizability, making them a better choice for DIY enthusiasts.

                Versatility:

                Glass neon lights offer a unique aesthetic and are well-suited to specific applications. They are less versatile than LED neon lights. Glass neon lights require more maintenance and are more fragile than LED neon lights, making them less suitable for outdoor use or areas where they may be subject to damage. LED neon lights are weather-resistant and can be used indoors and outdoors. This makes them a better choice for outdoor signage and displays. Additionally, LED neon lights are energy-efficient and have a longer lifespan than glass neon lights, making them a more sustainable option.

                Price:

                Glass neon lights are typically more expensive than LED neon lights because they are made by skilled artisans who bend and shape glass tubes. The price of glass neon lights can vary depending on the design’s size, color, and complexity. On average, a glass neon light can cost anywhere from $150 to $500 per linear foot. On the other hand, LED neon lights are mass-produced in factories using automated machines and are much cheaper. The price of LED neon lights can vary depending on the design’s size, color, and complexity. On average, an LED neon light can cost anywhere from $10 to $30 per linear foot.

                Maintenance and Lifespan:

                The upkeep of glass neon signs is a constant chore. Things like transformers and tubes can be cleaned or replaced as needed. Glass neon lights are also easily broken, making maintenance and replacement very expensive. LED neon lights, on the other hand, have a notably low maintenance profile. The solid-state components used in their construction also make them more long-lasting.

                Moreover, with proper care and use, glass neon lights can last up to ten thousand hours. On the other hand, LED neon lights have a fantastic lifetime of 50,000-100,000 hours, roughly seven years. But MYLIKELED guarantees their LED neon flex for three to five years. They will last decades. All you need is to take care.

                Safety

                Glass neon lights pose risks due to their high heat output, fragility, and presence of hazardous neon gas. The heat produced by glass neon lights might cause fires if installed improperly. People may suffer serious injuries or be at risk when glass neon lights break. In contrast, LED neon lights don’t contain any harmful chemicals, don’t get too hot to handle, and can be bent without breaking. They are safer and less prone to damage than the alternatives. LED neon lights consume less energy, last longer, and require less maintenance than conventional ones.

                Safety AspectGlass Neon LightsLED Neon Lights
                Heat EmissionHighMinimal
                Electrical ConsumptionHighLow
                BreakageFragile and prone to breakageSturdy and less prone to breakage
                ToxicityContains toxic neon gasDoes not contain any toxic materials
                LifespanShort  lifespan with high maintenanceLonger lifespan with low maintenance

                Environmental Comparison

                Glass neon lights could be more efficient and consume a lot of electricity. They require high voltage and a lot of power to function correctly. On the other hand, LED neon lights are highly energy-efficient and consume much less energy, which is a more environmentally friendly option.

                Glass neon signs are made from tubes filled with neon gas and other chemicals that can harm the environment. In addition, the manufacturing process of glass neon signs requires a lot of energy and generates a lot of waste. However, LED neon signs are made from environmentally friendly materials and produce less waste during the manufacturing process, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint.

                Glass Neon Signs vs. LED Neon Signs: Which Is Better and Why?

                There are two ways to use a classic neon sign to light up your space: glass neon lights or LED neon lights. Both have good and bad points, so which one is best for your space?

                Glass neon lights have a classic look that can make any room feel nostalgic. But they use more energy, burn out faster than LED neon lights, and last less time. Also, they are fragile and can break easily if not handled correctly. There are few ways to customize glass neon lights; they run at high voltages, which can be dangerous.

                On the other hand, LED neon lights use less energy, last longer, and are more durable than glass neon lights. They also give you more ways to customize them because you can cut and program them to show different colors and patterns. The low voltages that LED neon lights use make them safer to use.

                Most of the time, LED neon lights are a better choice because they are more valuable. They use less energy, last longer, are safer, and cost less. But if you want an old-fashioned look, glass neon lights can give you a better classic neon look. In sum, the choice comes down to what you want and need.

                Final Thoughts on This Comparison

                In the end, the choice between glass neon lights and LED neon lights comes down to personal taste and what the application needs. Glass neon lights have a classic look and feel nostalgic, but they use more energy, last less long, and can be dangerous because of their high voltages. On the other hand, LED neon lights use less electricity, last longer, can be changed, and work at lower voltages, making them safer.

                Also, because LED neon lights last longer and need less maintenance, they are cheaper in the long run. They also have more colors and styles to choose from. So, unless you want the classic neon look on purpose, LED neon lights are usually the better choice.

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