How Are Neon Signs Made?

A neon sign is a long, thin strip of light produced by a chemical reaction between gas in the glass tube and argon. The two gases are mixed and then pressed together. Once inside the glass tube, the gas releases ultraviolet light, and the resulting fluorescent light is a clear, bright red. The color of a neon sign is determined by the amount of each of these gases in the tube.

Most neon signs are made of lead glass, which is a solid-state material. They consist of glass tubes about eight to fifteen millimeters in diameter. To make them, these tubes are melted in parts. A burner is used to heat the glass sections in sections. The burners work on a mixture of air, butane, or propane. The gas is then pumped into the tubes. The neon gas reacts with the electrodes in the glass tube, which reduces their efficiency.

Glass tubing

The glass tubing for a neon sign is a soft lead glass that can be bent or shaped. These tubes can be anywhere from five to five feet long. A single neon sign is about three inches in diameter. The glass tubing is placed inside a tungsten-containing transformer to ensure it is ready for installation. A second transformer with a flasher is then inserted into the tube, and the final product should be ready to display.

Experience and knowledge

To create a neon sign, you will need specialized equipment, experience, and knowledge. The process starts with a drawing of the design on paper, and then the bender begins the bending process. The glass tube is typically four to five feet long and eight to fifteen millimeters in diameter, although it can be smaller if you want to make a tiny neon sign. The tube is then heated using a hand torch or ribbon burner.

How the tube is sized

The process of making a neon sign is unique to each sign. The parameters of the tube, the radius of the bend, and the overall length of the sign will determine the glow of the neon sign. The diameter of the tube is the most important parameter, as the smaller it is, the brighter the glow it will be. For indoor signs, the size of the tube is dependent on the available electrical outlets. However, the length and shape of the tube will determine the amount of gas that can be injected into it.

Each sign is made of small glass tubes that are shaped into the desired shape. Depending on the color and size of the sign, the glass tubing can be made to a specific size or shape. Then, a single tube is bent to form a letter. Then, a hot ribbon is used to formulate the letters. Then, the entire process is repeated to make a larger neon sign.

Complex process

Neon signs involve a complex manual process. A neon sign is created by using a computer program to create a pattern. The design is then isolated and mapped, and a professional is trained to follow the pattern. The first step in the process is shaping the glass tubes, which are then heated to the required temperature. Often, the process of creating a neon sign takes days to complete.