What Is Faux-Neon? - Types, Costs & Uses

What Is Faux-Neon? - Types, Costs & Uses

Faux-neon, also known as LED neon signs, is a term that has risen to prominence in recent years. These are the latest generation of signage that offers the same visual appeal as traditional neon signs, but with added benefits. This article provides an in-depth understanding of faux-neon signs, their advantages, how they are made, and their cost-effectiveness.

What is Faux-Neon?

Faux-neon, as the name suggests, is a replica of the conventional neon sign, but designed with LED lights to emulate the neon effect. These signs have redefined the way businesses and individuals use signage, providing a more versatile and energy-efficient alternative to traditional neon signs.

Note: The terms "faux-neon" and "LED neon signs" are used interchangeably throughout this article.

Faux-Neon and its Evolution

Faux-neon has evolved significantly since the introduction of LED-based signage in the 1990s. The initial versions were nothing more than simple rope lights. However, the third and fourth generation of faux-neon signs are a technological leap, offering a wide range of shapes, color options, and even color-changing patterns.

Faux-Neon vs. Traditional Neon Signs

One of the most common questions raised by potential buyers is whether a traditional neon sign is superior to a faux-neon sign. The answer depends on what you value more - energy efficiency or the classic neon appeal.

Traditional neon signs have been a favorite among business owners for their bright lights and visually appealing designs. However, LED faux-neon signs use less power and offer a wider range of colors. They can also be bent more tightly, providing a greater variety of shapes and designs.

In terms of energy efficiency, LED faux-neon signs are the clear winner, using significantly less power than glass neon tubes. With their versatility and energy efficiency, faux-neon signs have quickly overtaken traditional neon signs in popularity.

Faux-Neon for Consumers

Faux-neon signs are not just for businesses. They're also a popular choice for home decor. With their bright lights and 3D appearance, they make a statement and add a unique touch to any room.

Understanding LED Lights

LED lights are the core technology behind faux-neon signs. LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, are semiconductor devices that emit light when an electric current passes through them. They're known for their efficiency, longevity, and versatility, making them an ideal choice for faux-neon signs.

The Benefits of Faux-Neon

Faux-neon offers several advantages over traditional neon signs. These include:

  1. Low to No Maintenance Costs: LED lights have a longer lifespan than neon tubes, reducing the need for frequent replacements. Read about the maintenance.
  2. Durable: LED neon signs are made of sturdy materials, making them more durable and suitable for commercial use.
  3. Cost-Effective: The initial cost of LED neon signs is typically lower than that of neon signs. Additionally, their energy efficiency results in lower operating costs.
  4. Vibrant Glow: LED lights offer a bright and vibrant glow, akin to neon signs.
  5. Energy Efficient: LED lights consume less power than neon tubes, leading to significant energy savings.
  6. Safety: LED signs operate at lower voltages, making them safer than traditional neon signs.
  7. Environmentally Friendly: LED lights are more eco-friendly than neon tubes, which contain harmful gases.
  8. Color Options: LED lights come in a wide range of colors, offering more customization options.

Making a Faux-Neon Sign

Creating a faux-neon sign involves several steps. First, the desired design is sketched out. Then, a suitable material, such as PVC or acrylic, is selected. These materials are carved into the desired shape and lined with LED lights to achieve the neon effect.

Cost of Faux-Neon Signs

The cost of a faux-neon sign can vary greatly, depending on the size, complexity, and materials used. However, they are generally more affordable than traditional neon signs, making them an excellent choice for small businesses and homeowners on a budget.

Identifying Faux-Neon Signs

Faux-neon signs can be challenging to distinguish from real neon signs. However, there are a few telltale signs. For instance, faux-neon signs often use PVC or acrylic instead of glass tubes. Also, they usually have a UL certification mark, indicating that they've been tested and meet safety standards.

Alternatives to Faux-Neon Signs

While faux-neon signs offer numerous benefits, there are also several alternatives available. These include lightboxes and backlit signs, both of which use LED lights to illuminate printed images.

In conclusion, faux-neon signs offer a cost-effective and versatile alternative to traditional neon signs. They're ideal for businesses looking for energy-efficient signage options, as well as homeowners wanting to add a unique touch to their decor. Understanding the benefits and how they're made can help you decide if a faux-neon sign is the right choice for you.
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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.