Neon Lights and the Rapid Progress

Exactly 105 years ago, an event occurred that turned the world of outdoor advertising upside down. January 19, 1915 the first neon sign was patented. To this day, neon light constructions remain one of the most popular in the world.

The starting point in the history of light advertising can be considered the end of the 19th century, when chemists from Scotland William Ramsay and Morris William Travers discovered the inert gases neon, xenon and krypton. For this, scientists in 1904 received the Nobel Prize.

The Actual Lamps

A decade later, the French physicist Jean Claude created neon lamps. Once in the course of experiments, he discovered that glass tubes filled with neon under the influence of electricity begin to glow with a reddish light. Claude shared the discovery with his acquaintance, Jean Fonsecue, and he suggested using lamps for the manufacture of advertising signs. On January 19, 1915, a patent was received for a signboard from neon, and in the same year Claude Neon Lights, Inc. was created.

The first neon sign adorned the facade of a small hair salon in Montmartre. A year later, the neon letters Cinzano lit up on the roof of one of the Parisian buildings. And a few years later, a boom in light advertising made using the technology of Jean Claude, came to other European countries and the United States. To produce neon signs under his license, companies had to pay 100 thousand US dollars. Towards the end of the 1920s, Claude Inc.’s revenues reached nearly 10 million dollars.

How does a neon sign work?

The main element of such signs is neon lamps. They are glass tubes (transparent or colored) filled with inert gases. Most often, neon is used, or a mixture of neon and argon in a ratio of 3 to 1.

Neon lamps are connected to a power source. Under the influence of electric discharges, the gases inside the tube begin to glow.

There are several types of neon signs. The first is when glass tubes with gas do not block anything (open signs). The second is when neon tubes are placed inside a light box or volume letters made of plastic (closed type). And finally, the third – neon tubes are arranged along the contour or behind the letters, thus a halo of light is created around the letters. This is the so-called backlight neon lights or just backlighting. As you check this website now you will be able to have the best choices.

Light advertising now

In addition to neon lights, modern light advertising can use fluorescent or Neon lamps. Each technology has its pros and cons.

The advantages of neon signs include their durability, high brightness and a large selection of color options (up to 300 shades). In addition, gas tubes allow you to make signs of any configuration. Minus – high cost, increased fire hazard, as well as the fragility of the lamps.

Last Words

Luminescent signs, as a rule, are cheaper than neon or Neon, and consume less energy in comparison with neon. But they have a number of significant drawbacks. For example, the luminescence of fluorescent lamps is uneven, they quickly burn out and require frequent replacement. In addition, such lamps can only be used in structures of a rectangular or square shape.

  • Skye Marshall

    Ivy Skye Marshall: Ivy, a social justice reporter, covers human rights issues, social movements, and stories of community resilience.

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