How Long Do Neon Signs Last?

How Long Do Neon Signs Last?

It's important for anyone who wants to buy a neon sign to consider how long do neon signs last. Nevertheless, the lifespan will be different since it depends on several factors. Since the 1920s, neon signs have been a widely used type of lighting. Neon signs have been used in many shapes and styles throughout the years to assist business owners in improving the aesthetic appeal of their establishments and giving their offline marketing strategies a significant boost.

Neon signs, as opposed to traditional lights, can easily be mixed into many hues, and create distinctive color palettes based on your company shop's preferences and theme. There are countless combinations of colors available. All you must do is let the professionals handle the job.

In this article, you will learn how long do neon signs last. In addition, this post will highlight important steps to extend your neon sign's durability.

Neon vs LED Lights

Neon lights and LED neon signs differ in several ways and offer advantages. LED lights have several uses: a long lifespan, energy efficiency, and a versatile design. However, neon lights have a distinct visual appeal, vivid colors, and an unmatched vintage charm. The most recent advancements in LED lighting technology, such as UV printing, improve the neon sign personalization options and aesthetic appeal. 

Neon Sign Construction Quality

Businesses seeking a means to stand out frequently opt for neon signs. The structure of a neon sign determines its quality—something that many people are unaware of. Glass, gas, and electrical connections are the three primary components of a neon sign's structure. How long and bright your sign will survive depends on each component's quality.

Typically, quartz or borosilicate glass is used to make neon signs. While quartz is more costly than other options, it is more resilient and produces more light. Although cheaper, borosilicate produces less light and is more likely to break.

Neon Sign Construction Quality

Neon signs use neon or argon gases. Despite its lower cost, argon produces less light than neon. Although it costs more, neon is more resilient and generates more light.

Neon signs typically use copper or aluminum for electrical connection. While copper is more costly, its conductivity is higher, and it is more durable. Though it costs less, aluminum has a lesser conductivity and is more prone to corrosion.

How Long Do Neon Signs Last?

Most manufacturers predict the neon sign's lifespan to be between 45 and 50,000 hours. However, it can last much longer if installed properly and made of high-quality material. Compared to traditional signs, LED lights lifespan outlived tradititonal signs because of their low energy.

Around 10,000 hours is how long traditional neon lights should last. Hence, depending on how frequently you use the sign, you must schedule a periodic light replacement. LED lights are much less likely to be replaced because of their three-fold longer lifespan.

Neon signs that are maintained properly can last eight to fifteen years on average. With the right maintenance, some can stay longer. Things such as dust, weather exposure, and physical damage can affect how long neon signs last. Nevertheless, proper maintenance can improve their lifespan, which we will discuss later.

As such, several variables may impact how long your neon sign lasts. Among these are:

  • Shelf life
  • Neon sign usage duration
  • Design sign
  • Sign color
  • Sign placement
  • Power supply consistency
  • Sign Maintenance

These elements must all be considered. What decisions you make at the time of purchase determine how long do neon signs last. The location of the sign's installation and upkeep will also greatly impact on it. As a result, choosing and caring for a neon sign requires thoughtful consideration.

Neon is designed to operate at high voltages without putting undue pressure on the component. Although low-voltage operation is also possible, it has insignificant effect on lifespan in comparison to high-voltage operation.

How Long Do Neon Sign

Notably, the only real neon product on the market—glass neon—does not burn fingers. Neon is completely safe to touch once correctly constructed and fitted. It is important to note that although the electrodes may get heated, they will not burn if you meet them. The electrical connection should always be protected from heat by rubber covers known as electrode sleeves or shrouds.

The ease of repairability of neon contributes to its extended lifespan. Interestingly, you can replace shattered glass tubes, fix broken wires or connections, and swap out malfunctioning transformers or power supplies, among other fixes. However, neon signs can be dangerous to operate with and require specialized knowledge and tools, so it's crucial to only trust skilled professionals to repair them.

How to Improve Your Neon Sign Durability?

With the right maintenance, you can quickly resolve issues with your neon signs and maintain their eye-catching appearance for many years to come. These are important tips to improve your neon lights lifespan.

Regular Cleaning

Cleaning your neon signs regularly will increase their effectiveness and lifespan. Since neon signs are outside all year long, routine cleaning can help keep dirt, dust, debris, and other things out of the signs' central sections. Consider washing the signs with the proper cleaning agents or a gentle cloth to restore the signs' brightness.

Repair The Damaged Area

You must fix any damage to your neon signs as soon as they arise. Neglected damage and issues may impact your neon signs' effectiveness, which could lead to high repair costs. Repair services can also increase your neon light signs' power capacity and help you avoid having to replace them.

Use A Voltage Regulator

Power spikes or variations in the electrical supply can severely damage electric sign tubes' transformers and wiring. A voltage regulator protects neon signs from shock or unexpected electrical breakout and can also help steady the energy supply. When local stores experience power outages, a voltage regulator is the ideal solution.

Turn Off When Not in Use

Turn Off When Not in Use

To avoid neon lights burn out, you should always be turned off. Overall, this will let neon light signs recover and become more effective. Nonetheless, choose LED neon signs if, for whatever reason, turning off the lights is not an option. Standard neon light signs are less versatile in their application and have a shorter lifespan than LED versions.

Avoid heat sources

Another thing that can affect how long do neon signs last is overheating. To avoid overheating issues, install your neon light far from heat sources. Most standard-quality neon signs constructed with care enable them to survive a long time in extremely hot or cold weather.

Install Covers

Lastly, it is advisable to put covers on your neon signs that shield them from potential harm if they are left outside in the sun and other weather. In addition to providing more dimensions to your design arrangements, covers can help prevent weather-related components from accessing the light signals. In this manner, your neon will be visible during the day and will readily stand out from the crowd.

How Much Do Neon Signs Cost?

The cost of a neon sign should let you know how long do neon signs last. The price of neon signs can range from $200 to thousands of dollars. There are several reasons for this pricing range:

  • Sign size
  • Design complexity
  • Waterproofing feature
  • Sign maker

Neon glass signs are more expensive because of the complex labor involved in creating them. In addition to the initial outlay, maintenance can be expensive. For example, creating a new tube from scratch is necessary to repair a damaged glass tube. Additionally, some stores charge more for these services because there is a risk to health from mercury in some glass tubes.

LED neon light signs, on the other hand, are simple to make and are constructed from inexpensive parts like LED neon lights. Furthermore, since the construction of the lights and substrates requires durable materials, they require less maintenance. However, compared to generic ready-made designs, personalized LED neon light signs cost more. Making your own would allow you to circumvent this, though.

Environmental Impact of Neon Sign

Environmental Impact of Neon Sign

Neon signs are not environmentally friendly. They first use more electricity than LED equivalents when operating up to five times as much. One crucial factor to consider in the modern world is the increased carbon footprint caused by this high energy use. Neon signs use energy, but there are other negative environmental effects.

Several RGB lights lifespan studies have shown that neon lights can last a long time. However, they must still be disposed of eventually. Neon technology must be disposed of properly during its lifetime because it uses potentially hazardous gases and precious metals. These signs can have negative effects on the environment because, regrettably, many people just throw them in landfills.


Understanding how long neon signs last can drastically affect the product you purchase. Proper maintenance is essential to extending the lifespan of neon lights. The sign should be regularly cleaned, dusted, and kept out of direct sunlight to prevent the gases from decomposing too quickly. It's crucial to use a qualified installer or repair specialist to manage all maintenance and repairs to avoid mishaps or harm to the sign.

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