Have you ever wondered how neon lights are made? You’re not alone. In fact, many people are curious about the process but don’t know where to start. To better understand how to create neon signs, continue reading the article below!
1. What is a neon light?
The phrase “neon lights” comes from neon, a rare colorless and odorless noble gas that exists in the earth’s atmosphere. Small amounts of neon gas are responsible for the typical neon lights’ reddish-orange glow, but as we just mentioned, different chemicals and gases are employed by manufacturers to generate other colors.
Neon lights are an eye-catching decoration in your space
Glass tubes may be fashioned into various artistic patterns, such as letters or pictures, and are frequently used to make neon sign sale. They are widely used to make neon signs, which are colorful, striking advertisements.
2. How neon lights are made?
Please read the information below to understand neon custom signs!
2.1 Step 1: Get the right neon sign supplies
A sealed glass tube with electrodes and a noble gas makes a neon light. Neon is the most favored noble gas, which gives neon lights their name. These three parts generally function because the light is produced when the molecules of a noble gas are energized. The lighting procedure goes like this:
- Electrodes in the glass tube receive electric current from the power source.
- As an electric current runs, the gas molecules in the tube are activated or start to vibrate.
- The “sparks” created by these molecules vibrating against one another generate neon light.
Simulate how neon signs work
2.2 Step 2: Getting the glass tubes ready
As a result, 4 to 8-foot-long soft lead glass tubes are used to create neon lights. Borosilicate glass can be utilized in specific circumstances because of how well it can withstand heat. The following is how the glass is processed:
Cleaning: After cleaning to ensure the neon light’s clarity, the glass tubes are temporarily dried in a kiln.
Phosphorus coating: If you’ve ever wondered why neon lights shine so brightly, the phosphor coating is the answer. Glass tubes that have been well cleaned and dried are coated with it, and then they are once more positioned vertically in a kiln for the coating to cure. At this time, certain neon light manufacturers could additionally color-tint the glass tubing.
Have a glass tube ready to make a neon sign
2.3 Step 3: Placing the electrode
In order to make a circuit via the noble gas in a neon glass tube, an electrode, which is a conductor, is utilized. Iron, which is used in its construction, is a good electrical conductor. Each electrode has a glass shell around its core, but two conductor wires stick out from the glass.
Step 2 is putting the electrode
Electrodes are located at the ends of the glass neon light tube. The electrode tip exposed outside the glass tube is connected to the power source. This occurs when the power source is turned on because current flows through the electrode and into the noble gas molecules inside the neon glass tube. To prevent leakage, electrodes are placed before the glass tube is filled with gas.
2.4 Step 4: Bombarding the glass tubes
The glass tube must first be vacuumed out before being filled with pure, noble gas. Otherwise, the noble gas would be “diluted” and provide subpar neon lights. Bombarding is the term used to describe the procedure used to remove the air from the glass tube.
2.5 Step 5: Adding the noble gas
Neon lighting uses different noble gases, resulting in various colors. The most widely used and reasonably priced neon produces reddish-orange tones. After the gas has been put inside and the proper pressure has been supplied, the glass tube is sealed by heating the tubular port until it seals. Neon lights may be produced in more than 100 colors by combining several noble gases with glass tube coatings.
Adding the gas into the glass tube
2.6 Step 6: The glass tube is annealed
Any procedure that a glass tube goes through has the potential to “stress” the material. In this situation, the glass tube is tight and taught, which increases the likelihood that it may shatter when the light is switched on. The glass neon light tube is carefully heated and then allowed to cool naturally to avoid this. We call this procedure annealing.
Anneal neon sign’s tube
2.7 Step 7: Testing
Once all the components were assembled, the glass tubing was “de-stressed,” and the neon light had cooled, it was ready for testing. The neon light should begin to shine as soon as the power supply is turned on and begins to generate electricity.
Noble gases have different densities, therefore, a neon light may initially be thicker than an argon light. This is because a denser gas’s molecules are more numerous and spaced out more closely. They thus vibrate and release light more quickly.
3. FAQs about the neon lights
Please refer to the information below before buying and using neon lights!
3.1 How does neon lighting work?
The main principles of neon light operation are as follows:
- Electrodes are located at the ends of neon tubes. Either DC current or AC current is used to power them. You can only notice the glow around one of their electrodes while they are using DC current, though. Because of this, most neon lights are powered by AC electricity.
- The neon gas atoms’ outer electrons are removed when an electric current flows through the terminals because of the energy that builds up during this process.
- The neon light won’t shine if the inadequate voltage is given because the kinetic energy won’t be sufficient to force the electrons to escape from the neon atoms.
- The positively charged atoms are drawn to the tube’s positive terminal, while the negatively charged particles are drawn to its negative terminal by ejected electrons. The light circuit is complete after this.
- The atoms in the tube move about, collide with one another and give off energy to other atoms as a result. As a result, a lot of heat is emitted.
- The electrons return to their original state as a result of the heat created by releasing energy (photons/light).
3.2 Neon lights’ color is obtained in what way?
Beyond the orange-red of neon, there are two basic approaches to creating different light hues. To make colors, one method is to utilize a different gas or a combination of gases. Controlling the energy provided to the light is another approach to alter the hue of the light, albeit it is not employed in light fixtures.
3.3 Are neon lights dangerous?
Do neon signs get hot? The inert gases used in the manufacture of neon signs are a source of concern for many people. Generally speaking, it is thought that these gases might be hazardous if the tubes fail and the gases seep into the atmosphere. When neon lighting malfunctions, electricity is quickly turned off, so there won’t be any current passing through the gases.
Neon signs are not dangerous and do not cause burns
3.4 Are neon lights use AC or DC?
Although a neon lamp may operate with either AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current), the glow is only visible around one electrode when DC current is utilized. Most neon lights you see are powered by AC electricity.
In conclusion, we have explained how neon lights are made. The process is actually quite simple: a gas is placed in a glass tube, and a high voltage is applied to the gas. This causes the gas to glow, and the result is a beautiful neon light. We hope that the above article has helped readers have more useful information about neon signs.