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Why Are Neon Signs So Expensive: The Real Value Of Craft And Design

Immerse yourself in the world of neon sign creation and enhance your understanding of their pricing. In this post, we offer some unique insights into the intricate craftsmanship and thoughtful design that go into the development of these iconic, luminous signs. Appreciate the true value and understand why neon signs are so expensive compared to normal lighting.

Why Are Neon Signs So Expensive: The Real Value Of Craft And Design

Key Takeaways

  • Neon signs are expensive because it takes specialist tools, artisan craftspeople, and costly materials to produce them.
  • The transport, repairing, and ongoing running costs of neon signs can also be expensive.
  • LED neon lights are a modern alternative to outdated neon sign technology, with lower production costs, better energy efficiency, and superior durability.
  • Both options offer a unique and vibrant aesthetic that can help express your brand or individual personality with flair.
  • We supply high-quality custom LED lights at competitive prices to help you bring your vision to life in an affordable way.

Why Are Neon Signs So Expensive? Cost Breakdown

The reason neon lights are expensive comes down to various factors, each contributing to the price tag. Artisanal skill is a key component - a custom neon sign maker must implement skilled craftsmanship to bend and shape the tubes, particularly for glass neon signs. This is a meticulous process that takes time and expertise - skilled artisans can invest hours of time into a single sign, which adds value to the end product.

The intricate nature of both traditional and LED neon signs demands attention to detail from the initial design phase right through to completion of the final product. When you factor in the materials and technology required to actually make the sign work, you can understand why neon signs are expensive. That said, LED signs tend to be less expensive than their glass counterparts, and we pull out every stop to keep our prices competitive.

a red neon sign for why are neon signs so expensive

What Are The Materials Used To Make Neon Signs Expensive?

The crafting of neon signs involves specialized materials and equipment; another reason why neon signs are so expensive. Glass tubes are at the core of the designs, shaped using flame torches and bent into intricate designs by skilled craftspeople. Neon gas is then pumped into the tubes, along with other noble gasses, to emit luminous colors when electrified.

The precise tube bending requires specialized tools like:

  • Ribbon burners
  • Crossfire burners
  • Hand torches

In a comparison between LED neon vs glass neon lights, the former is more efficient. They use prefabricated silicone tubes housing energy-efficient LED lights. Though technologically advanced, this tubing is more affordable and lightweight than glass, so handling and transport is more straightforward. There is still craftsmanship and artistry in LED sign making, but the technology offers a more cost-effective, versatile alternative using state-of-the-art materials.

Costly Transport And Installation Of Neon Signs 

The transportation and installation of traditional neon signs makes them expensive as the glass tubes are fragile and the neon gas is sensitive. Delicate handling must be employed to prevent glass breakage, and the gas-filled tubes must be packaged carefully to protect against damage in transit.

Beyond this, size is a significant factor in the expense of traditional neon signs. Larger signs require ever more elaborate shipping arrangements, pushing costs higher. And geographical location in relation to the manufacturing facility is key, as long-distance transportation inevitably leads to higher shipping costs.

LED neon signs are considerably more straightforward. Lightweight and durable, they are easy to transport and you can hang a neon light made with LED technology without the need for professional installers. With a similar aesthetic and cheaper running costs, they are a cost-effective and accessible alternative.

Artistic Value Of Neon Signs In Their Price

Neon signs go far beyond their role as mere signage. They are powerful tools for artistic expression. The craftsmanship involved in shaping glass tubes and infusing them with vibrant colors is an artisanal skill, and the best artisans can create bespoke designs that evoke real emotion and ambiance.

When customized neon signs are created, tailored to individual preferences or brand identities, high levels of craftsmanship are employed to create a unique aesthetic. The personal touch and labor-intensive processes are another reason why neon signs are so expensive, and custom ones more so than their generic counterparts.

These bespoke creations are visual beacons that amplify the artistic vision of the individual or business. Custom neon signs may be more expensive, but they are an investment in creating a distinctive, memorable work of art. They are special enough to capture attention and convey messages or identities in powerful ways.

Are Neon Signs More Expensive Than Neon Lights?

Generally speaking, traditional neon signs are more expensive than neon lights, if we take the latter as referring to LED neon lights. The production of the classic glass signs involves skilled craftsmanship, wherein artisans bend and shape glass tubes into intricate designs before filling them with neon gas.

The reason why these neon signs are so expensive comes down to:

  • The labor-intensive production processes
  • The careful handling required for the fragile glass and sensitive gas
  • The costs involved in the materials and machinery for manufacturing

LED neon lights, meanwhile, are a more cost-effective option. The flexible silicone tubing containing LED lights is cutting-edge, but simpler and more affordable to produce. The technology is energy-efficient, lightweight, and durable, so transportation and installation is far simpler. Both options have a similar aesthetic appeal, but neon lights are generally a more versatile and budget-friendly alternative to the allure of traditional neon.

a lightning bolt led neon light for why are neon signs so expensive

How Are Neon Lights Made?

LED neon lights are crafted from flexible, durable silicone tubing containing LED lights. The production process involves the mass production of long tubing that is then cut to the desired length for each project.

These neon lights last for up to 15+ years, emitting a glow when an electrical current passes through. Embedded in the tubing, it is relatively straightforward to bend and shape the silicone into any design you want. The silicone casing protects the LEDs and helps diffuse the light evenly for a vibrant, consistent glow.

Unlike traditional neon signs, these cutting-edge alternatives don’t contain any delicate glass tubing or sensitive gasses. The more complex construction of the glass models is the main reason why neon signs are so expensive, and the flexibility of neon lights makes them lightweight, durable, and easy to manipulate into intricate designs.

Are Neon Lights Expensive?

Order custom neon signs online from us to get personalized, cost-effective LED neon lights. The initial cost will vary based on factors like size and the complexity of your custom design, but you will always enjoy long-term savings due to factors like:

  • Longevity
  • Durability
  • Energy-efficiency

LED technology consumes very little electricity, so operational costs are low. The materials used in modern neon lights, like LED bulbs and flexible silicone tubes, are less expensive and far more durable than that glass tubing of traditional neon signs. With superior initial affordability and lower long-term running costs, LED lights are an economical choice for individuals and businesses seeking this vibrant signage on a budget.

For many, neon lights are still expensive, but they are considerably more cost-effective than traditional neon signs. And they also have a significantly lower environmental cost with simpler manufacturing, less energy consumption, and easy recycling at the end of their lifespan.

Comparing Costs Neon Signs Vs Neon Lights

When you compare traditional neon signs with modern LED neon lights, cost differences emerge across various aspects. Let’s show how the two options measure up across the key areas of production and usage:

  • Materials used: The glass tubes and noble gasses in neon signs are more expensive than the silicone tubes and LED bulbs of neon lights.
  • Tools required: For neon signs, you need specialist crafting tools like flame torches and specialized burners. Neon lights can simply be bent into shape by hand for a simplified process.
  • Craftsmanship: Skilled artisans are required to shape glass tubing. Neon signs are made from flexible silicone tubes, so it requires less skill to bring your custom designs to life.
  • Shipping and handling: Care is needed in the packaging, shipping, and installation of neon signs to protect the glass tubing and sensitive gasses. Neon lights are lightweight and durable, so there is less expense involved on all fronts.
  • Energy efficiency: LED technology is very energy-efficient, so the operational costs are considerably lower for neon lights than for neon signs.

What’s more, neon lights have greater durability and longevity than neon signs. Though they can lose some vibrancy over time, with basic upkeep, they can last for up to 15+ years.

Price Breakdown Per Foot

Let’s take a brief look at the price per foot of traditional glass neon signs vs LED neon lights.

  • With its labor-intensive craftsmanship and costly materials, the price per linear foot of glass neon signs ranges from $200 up to $1,200.
  • LED neon lights, meanwhile, typically cost between $100 and $300 per linear foot.

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Why Invest In Neon Signs?

Neon signs are expensive, so they are an investment. But that investment is in a visually-striking, customizable means of enhancing aesthetic appeal and elevating brand visibility. Neon signs offer vibrant colors and an iconic glow that will make your business stand out. They are long-lasting and effectively convey your brand identity to offer long-term returns on your investment.

We supply high-quality custom LED signs that offer all of that at a lower price point and with greater energy efficiency. With the same aesthetic appeal at a reduced cost, this option is also more accessible to individuals. We can bring your custom designs to life in vibrant colors with outstanding durability, longevity, and energy-efficiency.

So if you are seeking a solution to stand out from the crowd or express your identity in a unique, creative way, we can help.

Are They Expensive To Repair?

It can be expensive to repair damaged neon signs, particularly if the glass tubing is affected. It takes skilled technicians to replace the intricate glasswork, and the more energy-intensive operation of these products means you are also more likely to experience issues with electrical components. Sourcing the specialized materials and parts can escalate the overall repair costs, and the labor is likely to be a significant expense.

This is one of the major drawbacks of neon signs. LED neon lights, meanwhile, consume less electricity and are less likely to fall prey to electrical issues. And, of course, the flexible silicone is far more resistant to breakage than glass tubing, so it is very unlikely that the signage itself will need repairing or replacing. If any repairs are required, the parts and labor required are more straightforward than with neon signs, so you can expect lower repair costs overall.

a woman with neon lights for why are neon signs so expensive

Do Neon Signs Need Special Maintenance?

Routine care is needed for the maintenance of neon signs and neon lights. If you have a glass neon sign, upkeep involves the following:

  • Checking the glass tubing for cracks periodically.
  • Cleaning everything carefully to remove dust.
  • Inspecting electrical components regularly.

If you need any repairs, you may have to hire a specialist technician. Repairing neon signs can get expensive, so it is worthwhile to keep on top of maintenance to prevent major issues from developing.

LED neon lights, meanwhile, typically have fewer maintenance needs. Regular cleaning to remove dust will help preserve their vibrancy, and occasional checks for malfunctioning LEDs is wise. Replacing a malfunctioning LED is relatively inexpensive, and the simpler maintenance requirements of LED neon lights is appealing. Ultimately, both types of neon signage require maintenance, and diligence with their upkeep will help you 

How Much Does The Electricity Bill Cost For A Neon Sign?

Neon signs are quite expensive to run, though the actual cost depends on factors like size and usage. On average, neon signs consume about 10-12 watts per foot. For an operating period of 12 hours a day, the monthly cost of running a 10-foot sign would be approximately $5 to $6, depending on energy costs. However, many manufacturers recommend leaving the signs running 24/7, which would double the energy consumption and place greater strain on the electrical components.

LED neon lights can be turned on and off at will. The energy consumption is about 3-5 watts per foot, so LED neon lights don’t use a lot of electricity. Based on the same 12-hour daily use, you would spend around $1.08 to $1.80 per month to run one, depending on energy costs. This is a considerably lower running cost that will really add up over the 8-15 years of use you can get from them.

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Frequently Asked Questions About 'Why Are Neon Signs So Expensive'

Why Are Neon Signs So Expensive?

Neon signs are expensive because it takes specialist tools and materials and artisan craftspeople to create them. There are also higher costs associated with shipping and handling.

Are Neon Signs More Expensive Than Neon Lights?

Generally speaking, glass neon signs are more expensive than LED neon lights. This also translates to running costs, since LED technology is far more energy-efficient.

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