Glass Neon vs LED Neon Signs

Glass Neon vs LED Neon Signs
Glass Neon vs LED Neon Signs

When it comes to bright and eye-catching signs, neon is often the first thing that pops into our minds. Neon signs have been lighting up our streets and businesses for over a century with their warm glow and unique charm. However, in recent years, LED neon signs have emerged as a popular alternative. Both glass neon and LED neon signs have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between glass neon and LED neon signs to help you decide which is the best choice for your needs.

What are Glass Neon Signs?

Glass neon signs are made using glass tubes that are filled with gas and then bent into shapes or letters. When an electric current passes through the gas, it lights up and produces a bright glow. The traditional neon sign uses neon gas, which gives off a classic red-orange light, but other gases like argon, combined with different colored phosphor coatings, can create a wide range of colors.

Pros of Glass Neon Signs:

  • Authentic Glow: Glass neon signs offer a warm and inviting light that many people find more appealing than LEDs.
  • Craftsmanship: Each glass neon sign is handcrafted, which means you get a piece of art that’s unique.
  • Vintage Appeal: For businesses looking for a retro or vintage vibe, nothing beats the classic look of a real neon sign.

Cons of Glass Neon Signs:

  • Fragility: Glass neon signs are delicate and can break easily if not handled with care.
  • Energy Consumption: They consume more electricity compared to LED signs, making them less energy-efficient.
  • Heat Production: Glass neon signs produce more heat, which could be a safety concern in certain situations.

What are LED Neon Signs?

LED neon signs use Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) to create a similar effect to traditional neon. These signs are made from flexible LED strips that are encased in a silicone or plastic jacket. The LEDs can be programmed to display various colors and animations, providing versatility in design.

Pros of LED Neon Signs:

  • Durability: LED signs are more durable and resistant to breakage since they don’t use glass tubes.
  • Energy Efficiency: LEDs use less power, which can save on electricity bills and is better for the environment.
  • Safety: LED signs emit less heat and are safer to touch, reducing the risk of burns or fires.

Cons of LED Neon Signs:

  • Light Quality: Some people feel that LED signs lack the depth and quality of light that glass neon provides.
  • Appearance: While LED technology has advanced, some still prefer the classic look of traditional neon.

Comparing Glass Neon and LED Neon Signs

When deciding between glass neon and LED neon signs, consider the following factors:

  1. Cost: LED neon signs are generally cheaper to produce and maintain than glass neon signs.
  2. Installation: LED signs are lighter and easier to install, while glass neon signs require professional installation due to their fragility.
  3. Maintenance: Glass neon signs may need occasional maintenance by a specialist, whereas LED signs are virtually maintenance-free.
  4. Lifespan: LED signs typically last longer than glass neon signs, with LEDs rated for tens of thousands of hours of use.
  5. Customization: Both types of signs offer customization options, but LEDs provide more flexibility with color changes and animation.

Environmental Impact

The environmental impact is another important consideration. LED neon signs are more eco-friendly due to their lower energy consumption and longer lifespan. Disposing of broken glass neon tubes also requires careful handling because of the gases they contain.


Both glass and LED neon signs are used in various applications, including advertising, art, interior design, and events. Glass neon is often chosen for its authentic look in bars, diners, and tattoo parlors, while LED neon is popular for modern businesses, home decor, and event signage due to its versatility and safety.


In conclusion, both glass neon and LED neon signs have their place in the world of signage. If you’re looking for that classic neon look and don’t mind the extra care and cost, glass neon might be the way to go. On the other hand, if you prefer a more modern, durable, and energy-efficient option, LED neon signs could be the perfect fit. Consider your specific needs, budget, and the atmosphere you want to create when choosing between these two types of neon signs.