Distinguishing between Neon Signs and LED Signs: Which to Choose

A brightly lit and vibrant sign on your property is the most effective way to get attention to your business and attract customers. Humans are visual because of their nature, and if you can catch their attention, you are more likely to garner their attention to your business. Although neon signs are still the most well-known type of advertising for businesses LED signs are growing in popularity. We’ve also seen a lot of LED neon signs products that are advertised as neon sign items however they’re completely different in composition. This article will help you understand the differences between LED and neon, to enable you to make the right choice.

What are the differences between them?

Neon sign

Neon lighting comes in a tube made of glass which is the most noticeable distinction between neon and LED. The light source is a reaction that occurs with an inert gas that emits the color of a fluorescent because of the energy released. Although neon tubes are exquisitely crafted, they can be damaged if they are not handled properly. If the tube is damaged, the sign must have an open circuit safety feature, which means that if the tubes are damaged then the current will automatically stop flowing to prevent any unwanted accident. Neon sign signs are a popular choice for businesses of any size due to their attractive display and protective safety features.

LED sign

LED lights and signs are made with diodes that emit light (LEDs) that are strung together in a way that the light they release overlaps and creates a steady source of light. LED neon signs are typically lighter and more protected than neon lights since LEDs are typically wrapped in polymer jackets to shield each diode from damage from the outside. They can be difficult to fix if damaged as each LED must be manually fixed to the base. Neon signs only need to replace the glass tube. Another issue is that LEDs can only really be fixed in specific places and therefore, the letters can often look clunky and boring. Not only that, but the colors that emit are stable and not varying like the ones you see in a neon sign’s glow.

Energy efficiency

An LED light uses less power in the secondary circuit than neon lights, allowing for efficient lighting and signs. Large neon displays often require 15,000 volts of power for operation (although this is not common nowadays) while LEDs need just 24 volts. If you’re thinking of an outdoor display that is large and considering either neon or LED then this could mean an enormous reduction in running costs if you were to opt for an LED display. For a business sign or smaller light display the cost of running LED and neon lighting is extremely similar, so there’s no difference between the two. It is also worth considering that it is the amperage that relates to energy efficiency, and a typical neon sign draws less than one amp. Ultimately, you should levy the running cost of your business sign against the way you believe it will be to customers, as the neon sign is far more pleasing to the eyes than the LED neon signs.


When looking at the difference in the cost of neon and LED neon signs, again it depends on the size of the light display you’re creating. Outdoor displays that are large LED are about 10% less expensive than neon signs. However, it is important to consider whether the saving is worth the investment. In regards to life span the neon sign is far more likely to last for a longer time than an LED neon sign, without the need for repairs or replacement of parts So, you must take this into the equation when you think about the cost. If you are talking about large expenses, however, this could be a factor in favor of LED, but for smaller indoor signs, the cost difference between neon and LED is minimal.

Curb Appeal

There’s a reason neon signs are well-liked by businesses across the globe the light they emit is warm and welcoming. The light of the neon conjures images of vintage glamour and locations such as Tokyo and Las Vegas. It is a symbol of trustworthiness and nostalgia. LED lights are, however, bright but can look cold, stiff, and harsh on the eyes. They’re modern which gives them a much more futuristic feel, but it’s not always in a pleasing way so you should look to find the one that has the most visual appeal.


In the end, it’s down to personal preference whether you believe that neon or LED signs are best for your house or your business. You should also take into consideration the benefits of each option to make an informed decision. However, ultimately, you can decide which is superior. If you purchase the sign but aren’t even attracted by it, then it’s probably not going to provide your customers with something either. Therefore, it’s best to see what you consider to be the most appealing from a design perspective, and not shop on cost or effectiveness.

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