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Neon lights are one of the most popular trends in the lighting fixture market. The bright, colorful, cheery neon lights can be used in signage, commercial advertising, art pieces, and more. Traditionally, glass tube neon lights were used for all lighting purposed but since then a new technology has entered the market. In this blog, we will take a look at how glass neon tube lights can fail and why it is a better option to transition to LED neon rope lights. Read on to find out more.
Neon glass lights are by nature fragile, you have to protect the glass tube and make sure the neon gas inside doesn’t leak.
Traditional neon lights may give off that classic flickering glow, but they aren’t the easiest lights to install or maintain.
Though they may do so for many reasons, there are two main causes that make glass neon light fixtures malfunction:
If you notice your neon glass signs flickering, blinking, or completely going off the first thing you should check is the power supply. Glass neon lights require a very high voltage to work. The power supply needs to be seamless, as any fluctuations will cause the neon lights to blink and go out. If you’ve installed a series of glass neon lights that are connected to each other, each one of them will have to get the same amount of voltage to work. Even a single defected tube section can cause all the lights to go off.
Another reason why neon light fixtures malfunction is if their structural integrity is compromised. This includes both internal and external malfunctions. For example, a crack in the glass tube can cause the neon light to stop working. The gas itself could leak, be depleted, or polluted causing the neon light fixture to malfunction. There could also be a problem with the electrodes installed at either end of the tube.
You may have noticed neon signs where part of the sign is unlit or flickering. To avoid such a fate, make sure to follow these remedial protocols:
Whenever you notice a problem with blinking neon lights, first check the power circuits to make sure your light fixture is getting enough voltage to work. You can use tools like a multimeter to check the voltage in all the electrical locations. Next, check to make sure there are no shorted or broken wires. Sometimes a shorted wire can cause some glass neon tubes in your space to stop working, this affects the way the other lights work as well. Replace all broken wires to complete the circuit for seamless lighting.
Structural malfunctions in neon glass tubes are more problematic to deal with than power malfunctions. This is because of two reasons, one is the fragile nature of the tube’s construction. Even a small crack in the glass tube can render the neon light useless unless repaired. In most cases, you will have to isolate the broken or cracked part of the fixture, create a vacuum seal, and then heat the glass until it melts and bridges the crack.
The second reason is that most glass neon light fixtures contain mercury. In fact, only the true glass neon lights (the ones that produce red light) are free of mercury. All other kinds of neon lights contain argon, helium, mercury, phosphor, and other gasses.
Heated mercury can create really harmful fumes and is a dangerous ingredient in any kind of light. So if you’re using a mercury tube, it is advisable to simply replace the neon glass tube with a new one or get help repairing it from a professional.
As you can see, it is really hard to maintain traditional neon glass lights. Also, glass neon light fixtures are still partly a cottage industry. Each glass lighting fixture has to be made with the utmost care which drives up the price of these lights. Replacing them is both costly and a hassle.
They only use a fraction of the voltage required to run glass neon lights and run for longer without malfunctions.
Meaning to say, with the same amount of light output, LED strip lights use less electricity. This enables you to save up money that you can allot for the other bills.
LED neon light strips are super flexible, bendable, customizable, and easy to install. All you need is some LED light strip mounting clips and you are good to go.
They are more affordable than glass neon lights and you have more variety of products, sizes, colors, and shapes to choose from.
Neon LED rope lights are a one-and-done lighting solution. They need little to no maintenance and if they do malfunction, you can easily remove part of the LED strip and replace it with a new one in no time.
LED neon rope lights have a very small carbon footprint as they don’t emit heat the way traditional light sources do. They also don’t contain mercury or any other harmful gasses so you can easily handle them without worry.
LED neon lights are super easy to install and you don’t need professional help to do so even for larger projects. They are safe to handle so you can manipulate them any way you like.
For example, Elstar Flexible LED Neon Flex rope lights have a minimum bending diameter of 3 cm, they are only 6 mm thick, and can be easily cut after every 6 LEDs or 50 mm. They also have dual-color silicone extrusion which means you can get really creative with your lighting project.
Still need to know more about how to install LED neon lights? Here is a video that shows you how easy it is to create art with LED neon lights.