The Pros and Cons of LED Neon and Gas Neon Signage

The Pros and Cons of LED Neon and Gas Neon Signage

In the ever-evolving world of signages, two technologies have emerged as popular choices for businesses and individuals alike - LED (Light Emitting Diode) and Neon signs. Despite both serving as light sources for signs, their similarities end there. Let's delve into the unique characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks of each.

Understanding LED Display Signs

LED, an acronym for Light Emitting Diode, is essentially a semiconductor that emits light when an electric current passes through it. From cars to calculators, LEDs have become omnipresent in our daily lives. Learn how LED signs are made.

Key Advantages of LED Display Signs


LEDs boast an impressive lifespan, clocking in at over 100,000 hours of use. This is significantly longer than most traditional light sources.


These lights offer an excellent light output while requiring a low voltage input. Consequently, they are known for their energy efficiency.


LEDs are noted for their robustness and durability, making them a reliable choice for signage.


With a plethora of color options available, LEDs offer unlimited customization opportunities.


LEDs do not use mercury or any toxic chemicals to produce light, making them an environmentally friendly choice.

The Flip Side: Cons of LED Display Signs

Despite numerous advantages, LEDs have their share of drawbacks. High upfront costs can deter some businesses. Some LEDs emit a focused beam of light, which can limit their applications. Additionally, there may be quality discrepancies among brands, and higher wattage LEDs may run hot, requiring a heat sink, but recent advancements heat and light issues are non-existent.

Delving into Gas Neon Signs

Gas neon signs utilize low-pressure gas inside a glass tube. When high voltage is applied to the electrodes at each end of the tube, the gas charges to a point that it emits visible light. Neon signs have been around for almost a century, offering a distinctive "old school" aesthetic appeal.

The Charm of Gas Neon: Pros

Operational Flexibility

Neon signs can operate across wide voltage ranges and can run on both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).


Neon tubes can be molded into custom shapes, offering businesses unique branding opportunities.

Unmatched Aesthetics

The warm light emitted by neon signs creates a nostalgic and welcoming atmosphere that LEDs find hard to replicate.

The Downsides: Cons of Neon Signs

Neon signs, however, are not without their limitations. They require a considerable amount of power for the light they emit. There are also restrictions based on gas and glass color configurations. The fragility of the glass tubes raises durability concerns. Moreover, maintaining neon signs can be costly, and a small crack can render the entire piece unusable.

Making the Right Choice: LED or Neon?

Choosing between LED and neon signs depends largely on your specific requirements. Both have their time and place in the signage world. It's crucial to consider the pros and cons, as well as your budget, aesthetic preferences, and maintenance capabilities before making a decision.

Whether you're looking to create a vibrant home atmosphere or seeking a cost-effective, efficient signage solution, LED and neon signs offer varied benefits. Reach out to experts who can guide you through the decision-making process and help you choose the right signage for your needs.

"In the sign world, there is a time and place for LED and Neon lighting. Our expert staff can help you choose which is right for you." – Chris Diprose, Voodoo Neon

The comparison table below summarizes the pros and cons of LED and Neon signs:

LED Signage

 Pros  Cons
 Long Lifespan  High Upfront Cost
 Operational Flexibility  
Unique Aesthetics  
Low Cost Maintenance  
Can Be Moulded To Any Shape  


Gas Neon Signage

 Pros  Cons
 Unique Look  Variance in Quality
 Traditional / Nostalgia  Directional Light
 Can Be Moulded To Any Shape  Heat Generation
   High Energy Use
   High Power Requirement
   Color Limitations
   Very Fragile
   High Maintenance Costs
   Few Manufacturers
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Chris Diprose - Author, Interior Designer and Neon Sign Consultant

Chris is our subject matter expert whose vast experience in helping business owners and individuals with a neon sign designed specifically for them.

With over 20 years experience in online he has worked with many businesses.

Founder of Voodoo Neon, Chris is our resident expert.

He also helped setup Neon By Design.

Author Bio