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Neon lights have always been popular when it comes to signage and decoration. The bright colors, clear light, and greater luminance make them a great choice for many kinds of lighting projects. In fact, many artists have used neon light to create many awe-inspiring art pieces.
Neon lights may be one of the greatest trends of lighting but traditional glass neon lights aren’t that easy to use, especially when it comes to domestic and industrial lighting.
That is where LED neon lights come into play. This latest technology has truly been a game-changer in the neon lights market. It is also one of the reasons why neon lighting projects have made a big comeback. Read on to find out what is the difference between traditional neon lights and LED neon and which one is better for your project.
Neon may be the 5th most abundant element on our planet, however, it wasn’t until 1910 that this element was used to create commercial lighting.
Chemist and Engineer George Claude updated the neon tube so that it can be used to create bright advertising signs.
A few more decades in and neon lights could be seen everywhere in advertisements, signage, billboards, pop art, and more.
Traditional neon lights feature a small amount of neon gas encased in a glass tube. The neon gas is kept under low pressure. The colorful and bright light produced by the gas is emitted by the glass surface.
Neon lights usually give off sparks of bright light instead of a seamless stream. Some argue that that is what makes them so novel and remarkable. Neon signage is reminiscent of gritty, romantic, moody lighting that takes you back to the era of street bars, nightclubs, and a whole lot of fun.
Neon is used to create neon lights because it is one of the noble gasses and it is easy to stabilize. The glass tube used to encase the gas has electrodes on either end. When electricity is applied to the terminals at each end, the electrons in each atom separate and ionize. The ions are attracted to the terminals of the glass, completing the electric circuit. Light is produced when the atoms return to a lower energy state and release photons.
Neon gas, in its truest form, produces orange-red light. To get different colors of lighting you can either mix other gasses with neon. For example, helium produces pink light, krypton is green, and argon glows blue. You can mix different gasses together to get intermediate colors. Or you can coat the glass with a phosphor or other chemicals that will display light in a certain color.
LED neon lights replicate the lighting effect of glass neon lights but do so more efficiently. These lights feature a strip with different Light-emitting diodes or LEDs mounted on it. The type, color, size, and strength of these LEDs determines the color, brightness, and hue of the neon light produced. LED neon signs are growing in popularity every day as they are easy to use and extremely versatile.
You can find many different kinds of neon LEDs in the market. The most common are neon LED rope lights. You can also find many LED light strips already shaped into popular forms like the letters in the alphabet, numbers, and novelty shapes like food and animals.
They are also available in a number of different colors and color combinations. LED neon lights combine the old and the new, they feature bright neon colors paired with the newest technology of lighting so you have more control over the neon lights.
Good quality LED neon lights have high luminous efficiency that produce uniform and soft light. It’s also better to have flexible LED strips for a more convenient and easier installation process.
LED neon lights feature a cluster of LEDs mounted on a strip. The LEDs are made with different kinds of materials and encased in a clear jacket so their light can shine bright. They don’t need much power to operate and can be easily dimmed if required. Here is a video that shows how LED lights work.
You can get LED neon light strips in many different colors. From bright and shiny neon colors to a little more muted color-combinations. A single LED strip may house LEDs that emit different colors which means you can get as creative with your lighting as you like.
Ever since neon LED lights hit the market, there has been a debate on which one is better, glass neon lights or LED neon lights. There are plenty of good arguments on both sides, but we’ll let you make your own decision by giving you all the facts. Here are some of the main differences between neon lights and LED neon lights.
Traditional neon lights produce a super bright sparkling lighting effect. They almost seem like they’re flickering.
The colors have a high CRI or color rendering index but the luminosity is not very high. This is especially true for neon glass lights with phosphor covering. The phosphor changes the color of the light but dims its brightness at the same time.
LED neon lights produce a seamless stretch of light with no dots or shadows in between. This makes the neon lights look less striking even though these lights offer higher luminosity than glass neon lights.
You can control the brightness of LED neon light strips through LED light strip remote controllers. They also help you change the color, color temperature, or hue of the lights.
Neon glass lights can only produce light at a certain energy rate. This is because the electrons in the neon gas require a high jolt of electricity to separate.
Therefore, glass neon light fixtures require a large amount of power to work. The power also has to be seamless as any drops or fluctuations will cause the neon lights to flicker or die.
LED neon light strips are not dependent on a particular power supply to work. They require very little energy to turn on.
This is also the reason why they are able to withstand small fluctuations of power for a limited time. Their lack of high power consumption is one of the factors that makes them less expensive than glass neon lights.
Traditional neon lights are made of glass tubes that are fragile and unbendable. They need to be installed in a safe place where the glass is protected from environmental and human factors at all times.Since the glass tubes contain gasses, you need to be careful while installing and using them to make sure the glass does not crack or break.
Even a small crack may render the light useless. In case of breakage, the glass neon lights need to be disposed of off properly so as to not harm any person or the environment.
LED light strips are super flexible, bendable, and easy to install. You can install them indoors, outdoors, overhead, underhead, in tight spaces, around corners, and any other place imaginable. They don’t have any harmful gasses so you don’t have to walk on eggshells to handle them.
Neon glass lights are the most popular choice when it comes to signage and advertisement. Their bright crackling light is not only eye-catching it is also iconic.
One of the biggest complaints people have with LED neon lights is that it doesn’t have that flickering effect that is a definitive feature of traditional neon lights.
LED neon lights can be used in so many different ways. You can easily use them to light domestic, commercial, and industrial spaces.
They can safely be used for automotive, LCD, mobile phone lighting, and more. They can be used for under cabinet, staircase, display case, lighting as well as outdoor and event lighting.
Neon glass lights require regular maintenance. The neon gas needs to be replaced periodically for the lights to work effectively.
You also need to make sure the glass surface is clean and the phosphor covering is intact. The power terminals on either end also have to be maintained so that they work flawlessly.
Neon LED light strips are a one-and-done lighting solution. They don’t need much care or maintenance.
The LEDs are protected by silicone or aluminum covering that protects them from any harmful factors. You don’t need to replace LEDs other than when they completely malfunction which is not that common.
Choosing the right neon light depends on your project or space, budget, and personal preference. Go for glass neon lights if you have a smaller specialized project like signage, a considerable budget, and are looking for that retro neon light look. For everything else, choose LED neon light strips. They are more affordable, safe, easy to use, and versatile. Find the perfect one today by looking through our catalog.
Elstar is a professional LED strip manufacturer that offers high quality LED tapes such as 5050 LED strips and rgb LED strips and Led neon strip along with accessories such as led aluminum profile, led strip lights connector and more.