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The Best Movies to Use Neon Lighting

September 30, 2019 2 min read

Neon has been a popular choice for many different creative industries, including artwork for people’s homes, offices and restaurants. The truth is that neon lighting can have a home in almost any industry, thanks to the beautiful colours and endless possibilities of designs.

Neon signs and lights have been used in the film and TV industry for decades. They can add a futuristic, fun vibe to any set, and have proved very effective. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next TV set design, or your film lighting effects just aren’t quite right, here are some movies that have used neon brilliantly.

Blade Runner 2049

This film is the perfect example of a futuristic world that makes great use of neon lighting. Blade Runner 2049 is a follow-up to the original 1982 film, and is full of neon signs and lighting throughout.

It has a visually stunning set and described as a neo-noir science fiction film, and was received well by critics. Its use of neon has been used to depict a dystopian world set in the future, with a huge spectacle of bright lights and holographic effects.



Nightcrawler was released in 2014, with Jake Gyllenhaal playing one his best performances to date. It was nominated for several awards, with a dark plot that involves Gyllenhaal’s character chasing graphic accidents for TV news stations.

With most of the action happening at night, it was the perfect opportunity to incorporate neon signs and lighting into the background. This film features more traditional use of neon, in the form of business signs, which stood out beautifully in the darkness.

Atomic Blonde

Starring Charlize Theron, this female-led action movie follows an MI6 agent set in the late 1980s. Atomic Blonde uses neon lighting throughout, providing the perfect setting for a shady, thrilling plot. The neon colour palette appears in a number of environments, including hotel rooms and nightclubs.

Creating a visually-striking film set, Atomic Blonde showcases a great array of neon colours to display a moody and underhanded theme.


Moonlight won countless awards including 3 Oscars and 1 Golden Globe after its release in 2016. Set in Miami, it was the perfect location to utilise neon lighting, in order to give the viewers an authentic depiction of the South Floridian city.

The film leaves a lasting impression, not just because of the plot, but because of the cinematography too. Unique pastel neon shades are used as a nod to the Miami scene, but also used on the film’s poster too, showcasing neon in different mediums.