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Why Neon Signs are More Expensive than LED Signs

September 25, 2020 4 min read

Buying a neon sign for your home or business is an exciting prospect, as it can add so much to the space with its vibrant glow and funky design. However, the world of online shopping can sometimes be deceiving. If you’re looking for a neon sign online, it’s important to look out for companies that claim to sell neon signs, when they’re actually made using LED.

Why does this matter? Well, neon and LED are two completely different products. Neon signs are hand made from glass tubes filled with neon gas, LED signs are made from very tiny individual lights housed within plastic or silicone. Companies that advertise their LED signs as neon are incredibly misleading, and you might not even realise what you’re buying until it’s too late. If it’s a neon sign you’re after, you need to make sure it’s made from real, genuine neon – like our signs!

Some imported LED signs are extremely cheap, but when customers think they are being quoted for a neon sign, it can make the likes of us look really expensive. We take a look at why there is a difference in price, and why you should always make sure you’re buying a real neon sign.

It takes a lot of skill to make a neon sign

The time, effort and skill that goes into making a real neon sign is staggering. A great neon sign can take hours or even days to create; our team have a great eye for detail and our neon signs are built with love and care to make sure they last.

Using glass tubing and neon gas, making a neon sign takes a lot of expertise to master. It can take years to build up the necessary training and skills to make neon signs to a high standard. The same cannot be said for many LED signs, for which only a small amount of training is required. What’s more, LED signs use cheaper components than a neon sign.

Our neon signs are made in the UK

A lot of LED signs are made in China, which means production costs are lower. However, this often results in mistakes in manufacture including spelling mistakes. Some of these LED signs are also not CE marked.

Lead times for signs coming from China can be quite long, so if you think it’s taking unusually long to receive your product, this should be a warning sign. UK manufacturers can be much more flexible and responsive.

Our neon signs are made right here in the UK, in our own workshop, with a dedicated and skilled team. As neon signs are made from glass, the delivery costs can be higher than for an LED sign, as a specialist delivery service is used to ensure that they are handled with care during transportation.

Neon signs are more visually appealing

Neon signs and LED signs look completely different, as they are different products. There is no such thing as a ‘LED neon sign’. If it says LED anywhere in the description, the product is not made with neon; it’s as simple as that – remember, neon is a gas!

Neon signs are much more visually appealing and can look more elegant. Neon tubes give 360 degree light, whereas most LED signs only have light on the front, and partially on the sides.

What’s more, LED signs can form dull spots when individual bulbs in the design fail. This usually results in the whole sign needing to be replaced. If neon signs ever need repairing, you can usually just replace a section if there’s any issues.   

Buy cheap, buy twice 

More often than not, if you buy cheap you will end up buying twice. A low price can be a tempting factor, but it can mean a compromise in quality and longevity. Neon signs last for years, so it can be worth that bit of extra money!

A lot of LED sign companies also claim that LED lasts longer than neon. The LED signs you see online have not been around long enough to make this kind of comparison, so be wary of statements like this. Neon signs have been around for more than 100 years, with many instances of individual signs lasting for more than 20 years.

Visit us and see the quality of neon for yourself!

A lot of UK companies that promote LED signs as neon are often just the middlemen, working from a phone and PC with no necessary production and staff costs. It also means a lot of them don’t see the product itself, simply just taking your order and details for payment.

At Neon Creations, we have physical premises and a UK workshop that you’re more than welcome to come and visit (by prior appointment), as we are adhering to Covid safety procedures. You can discuss your requirements and view our available colours and neon styles in person. You will even catch a glimpse of our team making a neon sign! Watching a craftsman bending a glass tube into shape in a hot flame, is truly amazing. Some visitors even like to have a go themselves, so they can experience what is involved.

So, if you see LED signs being advertised as neon, think carefully before you buy, if it is a genuine neon sign that you are looking for. If you have any other questions about the difference between the two, don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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