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Neon Vs LED: Which Is Better, Gets Hot Less And Electricity Efficient?

In the debate between neon vs LED lighting, we can compare the two in terms of quality, energy-efficiency, heat generation, and more. In this blog post, we look closely at the nuances of both lighting options, exploring why most modern buyers will choose the LED option over the traditional neon one.

Neon Vs LED: Which Is Better, Gets Hot Less And Electricity Efficient?

Key Takeaways

  • There has long been a date between neon vs LED signage solutions for business and personal use.
  • While classic neon offers an iconic retro look, LED neon mimics it very effectively with more color choices and superior brightness.
  • LED signs are more versatile, energy-efficient, and durable than their neon counterparts.
  • LED signs are considered the choice for forward-thinking modern consumers with a discerning eye.
  • We supply high-quality custom LED neon signs for commercial and personal use, with diverse color and customization options for your convenience.

With Neon Vs. LED, What Are The Main Differences?

The main differences between a neon and LED sign lie in their technologies and appearances. Traditional neon lights give off a warm, vibrant glow that has a nostalgic quality. LEDs have a cooler, more versatile look to their illumination.

Functionally, neon lights require high voltages and are less energy-efficient than LEDs, which are known for their longevity and lower power usage. It is crucial to understand these fundamental distinctions when trying to decide between glass vs LED neon. We supply custom aesthetic neon signs with cutting-edge LED technology as we believe it is the better modern option.

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Which Is Better Between Neon Vs LED Signs?

Choosing between LED vs neon signs depends on your needs and preferences. Here are some comparisons to consider:

  • LED signs offer excellent versatility, durability, and energy efficiency. This makes them suitable for diverse applications, including decorative lighting and outdoor advertising.
  • Neon signs have a classic, nostalgic charm, favored for their retro appeal.


Choosing between the two ultimately comes down to factors like budget, aesthetic preferences, and intended use. Many modern consumers will say that LED signs are the better choice on balance.

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What Is The Difference Between LED And Neon Lights?

The structural and operational differences between neon and LED lights impact their performances and lifespan in different ways. LED lights offer superior energy-efficiency, longevity, and color versatility than neon lights. However, traditional neon has a classic look that works really well for certain applications. Also, the intricate craftsmanship required for traditional neon signs means they are typically more expensive.

Let’s delve into some specific contrasts and comparisons between the two.

Structural Differences

LED lights are made from semiconductor materials housed in a plastic casing, while neon lights have fragile glass tubes filled with neon gas that produces light when exposed to electrical currents. The compact, solid-state LEDs are energy-efficient and durable, while the slender glass tubes of neon signs require skilled craftsmanship and are vulnerable to breakage.

The LEDs emit light through electroluminescence, and the silicone tubing disperses the light to resemble neon tubes. Gas discharge is the process behind the glow of traditional neon lights, which requires a higher electrical voltage to achieve.

Operational Differences

LED lights are known for their energy-efficiency, while neon lights consume significantly more power. However, their energy consumption is still relatively low. You also get a diverse array of color options with LEDs - there are literally millions of shades available through color mixing. Neon lights, meanwhile, are restricted to a smaller spectrum of color options, but they are more iconic in their appearance.


Generally speaking, LED lights have a longer lifespan than traditional neon ones, lasting tens of thousands of hours before failing. Things like gas leakage, tube degradation, and electrode wear are likely to bring the usage of your neon lights to an end.

Which Lasts Longer, Neon Or LED?

LED lights last longer than neon lights. Their average lifespan ranges from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of hours. Their longevity is bolstered by factors like:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Solid-state construction
  • Minimal maintenance needs

How long neon lights last depends on maintenance, among other things. Gas leakage and glass tube deterioration often lead to shortened lifespans. Thus, LEDs are often the modern choice for long-term applications like signage, decorative lighting, and architectural illumination.

Can LED Replace Neon?

LED lights are a great choice for replacing neon in many scenarios. With advancements in LED technology like the development of flexible LED strips and RGB color options, the modern solutions mimic the aesthetic of traditional neon signs very well.

By opting for an LED replacement, you will enjoy specific benefits like:

  • Greater energy-efficiency
  • Longer lifespan
  • Superior design versatility

Replacement is often the most prudent course of action if you need energy savings, reduced maintenance, or more modern aesthetics. In debating LED vs neon, the former is an attractive alternative to the latter.

Is LED Better Than Neon?

In LED vs glass neon, LED is generally considered better than the outdated alternative for several reasons:

  • LEDs are more energy efficient.
  • The lifespan of LEDs is significantly longer.
  • You will spend less time maintaining an LED neon sign.


You will also find greater versatility with LEDs in terms of color options and custom design possibilities. Work with us to explore what can be done with cutting-edge LED neon signs.

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Do Neon Signs Get Hot? Safety And Heat Concerns

Neon signs do get hot, primarily due to the electrical current that passes through the gas. Generally speaking, this heat generation is quite mild, but prolonged operation, poor ventilation, or electrical faults could lead to overheating.


A malfunctioning neon sign that is overheating could be a burn hazard and even lead to a risk of fire. Proper maintenance and management is key, and a diligent approach should avoid any risk of overheating.

Do LED Signs Get Hot?

LED signs produce less heat than neon signs as they operate more energy-efficiently. LED signs are cool to the touch when operating, so they are better for ensuring a safe environment. There may be regulatory standards that apply to both LED and neon signs, but they vary by jurisdiction. Any existing safety guidelines are designed to mitigate potential fire hazards, so will apply more to neon signs.

LED signs are commonly preferred as they have a lower heat output and less risk of overheating.

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Do Neon Signs Cost A Lot Of Electricity Than LED Signs?

Neon signs use lots of electricity compared to LED signs, but their power consumption is still relatively low. The energy-efficiency of LED signs means they use up to 80% less power to produce the same amount of light as neon signs.

This difference in energy consumption can lead to lower energy bills for LED sign owners. This heightens their cost-effectiveness in the long run.

How Do LED And Neon Signs Compare In Terms Of Running Costs?

LED signs usually have lower overall running costs versus neon signs as they have superior energy-efficiency, better durability, and longer lifespans. In many cases, LED signs also have a lower initial investment, since it takes skilled craftsmanship to produce a high-quality custom neon sign.


LED signs require less maintenance and consume less electricity, so their operational expenses are lower. They also offer more versatility in terms of design possibilities and color options, further boosting their attractiveness and cost-effectiveness for commercial or personal use.

Do Neon Or LED Signs Provide Better Visibility?

The visibility of LED signs is usually higher than neon signs, as they have brighter illumination and sharper contrast. You can adjust LED lights to achieve optimal brightness levels for varying lighting conditions, so they are likely to stand out more in both the daytime and the night.

Additionally, you can expect consistent brightness over the entire lifespan of LED signs. Neon signs are notorious for dimming over time, particularly with poor maintenance. As such, the visibility of LED signs stands supreme over traditional neon.

Which Offers More Color Options Between Neon Vs. LED Signs?

LED signs have a significantly wider color spectrum than neon signs. LED technology gives you precise control over output, so there are literally millions of combinations. The colors can even change dynamically with some products, allowing for versatile displays.

Neon signs are limited to a few basic colors, but LED signs offer virtually unlimited possibilities. You get a wide array of color choices when you order custom LED signs from us.

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Are LED Signs More Flexible In Design Than Neon Signs?

LEDs are generally more flexible when it comes to custom designs compared to neon signs. With LED technology and bendy tubing, you can create various shapes, sizes, and configurations, including thin and versatile displays.


Neon signs are limited by the rigidity of the glass tubing. It takes skill to manipulate the tubing, and there are fewer design possibilities available. With LED signs, you have greater freedom for creative expression, and our custom service can bring your vision to life.

Which Is Better For Custom Signage Between LED Neon Flex Vs. Glass Neon?

Choosing between neon vs LED neon for custom signage depends on your:

  • Budget
  • Desired aesthetic
  • Application


LED neon flex offers versatility, energy efficiency, and cost effectiveness. The main advantage of glass neon is its retro look. You will get more diverse customization if you choose the LED option.

Is It Easier To Install LED Signs Compared To Neon Signs?

Generally speaking, LED signs are easier to install than neon ones. LED signs usually arrive pre-assembled with mounting hardware and are lightweight, so it is simple to hang an LED light by yourself.

Neon signs, meanwhile, require more intricate installation as the glass tubing is delicate and larger signs must incorporate a fireman’s switch to comply with building regulations. It often takes professional installation to hang a neon sign, but LED signs are more straightforward for DIY jobs.

Between Neon Lights Vs. LED Signs, Which Requires More Maintenance?

Neon signs are more maintenance-intensive than LED lights. They need regular checks for things like:

  • Gas leaks
  • Broken tubes
  • Electrical issues

LED signs have fewer components and are less vulnerable to breakage.


Neon signs should be regularly cleaned with care to avoid damaging the glass, and you should inspect them frequently for signs of damage. For LED signs, try to keep them dust-free and periodically check their connections.

Do LED Signs Offer Better Curb Appeal Than Neon Signs?

LED signs may offer better curb appeal than neon signs as they are brighter and more versatile. There are more possibilities in terms of colors and designs, which may make them more eye-catching. LEDs also stand out in various lighting conditions, making them attractive features in both day and night.


Neon signs undeniably have a classic, nostalgic charm, but LED signs are more dynamic and adaptable. This makes them a popular choice for grabbing attention with modern displays.

Which Is Better For The Environment Between Neon Vs LED Signs?

One key difference between neon and LED signs is that the LED option is better for the environment. LEDs consume very little electricity, so your carbon emissions will be kept low. They also have superior longevity, meaning less waste. Neon signs consume more electricity and often contain materials like mercury and argon, which may be harmful to the environment upon disposal.

Overall, LED signs are the more eco-friendly option as the energy-efficient, low environmental impact choice.

Energy Consumption

LED signs use significantly less energy than neon ones, so you will have reduced electricity consumption and a lower carbon footprint. This means they will contribute less to the greenhouse gasses responsible for climate change. If you are concerned with sustainability and reduced environmental impact, LED signs are the more environmentally-friendly option.

Disposal And Recycling

When disposing of neon signs, there are issues with handling hazardous materials like mercury, so proper disposal is crucial to avoid environmental harm. LED signs don’t contain any toxic components, so recycling is easier. We recommend ensuring you choose professional recycling services either way, as opposed to landfill, to keep environmental impact to a minimum.

an elegant neon light for neon vs led

Is Neon Or LED More Practical For Modern Signage?

Generally speaking, in the debate between neon vs LED, you will find that LED signs are more practical for modern signage. This is due to their:

  • Energy-efficiency
  • Durability
  • Low maintenance needs

They consume significantly less energy than traditional neon signs, so operating costs are lower. They are also usually cheaper to purchase, and contemporary signage trends favor the versatility and easy personalization offered by the LED option.

Neon signs undoubtedly have nostalgic appeal, but LED signs deliver the practicality and adaptability you need for modern business and domestic environments. When you use our custom neon sign maker service, you get to define the overall look of your sign, including bespoke text, images, and colors, for the ultimate personalized display.

Frequently Asked Questions About Neon Vs LED

What Are The Differences Between Neon Vs. LED Signs?

Neon lights are illuminated by sending electrical currents through neon gas in glass tubing, while LED lights are flexible plastic tubes filled with energy-efficient LEDs that create a similar visual effect while consuming far less power.

Do Neon Signs Get Hot?

Traditional neon signs do generate a little warmth from their operation, but they shouldn't get hot. If they do, it could be a sign that there is a problem with the electrical components.

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