LED Neon vs Glass Neon Signs

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LED Neon Signs and Real Glass Neon - the Winner?

Signs that imitate neon made from LED are becoming more popular. But is an LED light that mimics a neon sign better than a real glass neon sign? How are the imitation neon signs different from the old-style glass tube signs? Do they match up well, and which one is better for uses like wall decorations indoors, signs for outdoor businesses, or portable christmas neon signs?

Let’s look at the key differences between glass neon signs and LED signs that imitate the classic vintage signs many of us recognize.

What makes LED signs different from neon signs?

There are clear distinctions between these two types of signs, and each has its own advantages. In the infographic below, we've focused on the differences people ask about the most.








Keep reading to learn more, or click here to scroll down and check the table comparing LED Neon Flex and Glass Neon below.

Which is better for business signs?

It depends on the size of the sign, where it'll be placed, and what it's for. For businesses, the main things to think about are:

  • Charm and Aesthetics: Both signs grab attention. Some say old-fashioned neon signs look better than LED signs. This might be true for certain stores because people really like the vintage style. But the new LED signs that look like neon are becoming super popular. They're bright, modern, and clean, and many people prefer them over the old-style neon signs.
  • Lighting Showdown: LED lights are brighter for sure. They shine brightly even in daylight. On the other hand, neon signs made of glass tubes give off a softer light, but they stand out more in the dark.
  • Space Considerations: This is not a problem for all businesses, but small cafes or stores might like LED lights because they are thinner, about a quarter to a third, compared to the glass option. They are also very light and can easily be placed on a counter with a stand, hung up somewhere, or attached to a wall.
  • Overall expenses: Considering how long it lasts, whether it needs professionals to install it, how much upkeep it requires, and the cost of replacing it, LED lights usually end up being the cheapest choice most of the time.
  • Efficient Signage: Energy savings are important. Using an LED sign is much better for saving energy compared to a sign made from glass neon tubes. An LED sign can be up to 10 times more energy efficient.
  • Adaptability and Flexibility: LED lights have around 22 colors and can bend into different shapes for signs. They offer more choices for styles and designs. You can make signs move and combine LED lights with other types of signs to create amazing displays, like channel letters or UV printing.
  • Safe Illumination: Safety is important when it comes to lights. Neon signs made of glass can break easily and become hot. On the other hand, LED lights are safer. They're covered in a bendable material and are often connected to a sturdy acrylic board that doesn't break easily. Unlike neon signs, they don't get too warm, so they're safer to touch.

What kind of light-up sign is good for hanging indoors as wall art?

Glass neon signs, while cool, are not commonly found in homes. People who have them usually put them in a home bar, not in kids' rooms. That’s because glass neon signs can get hot and break easily. On the other hand, LED neon signs, which look like neon but are made from different materials, are safer and stay cool. They don’t use glass or mercury, so they're a better choice for homes. Even LEDs do not harm when you touch it while it is lighted. Even if there are no small kids around, LED signs are probably better for indoor wall art because they're light, easy to hang, and don’t need an electrician.

Which is easier to move around, a glass neon sign or an LED sign?

Events like weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, tradeshows, sports games, art displays, and music festivals all benefit from signs that light up. Although traditional glass neon signs can be used for these events, they're often not the first choice because they're big, heavy, delicate, and expensive. Plus, putting them up requires specific installation. On the other hand, LED signs are sturdy, light, and easy to carry without risk. They are cheaper, especially the flexible LED signs, and you can hang them up and plug them in without much trouble. That's why they're a great choice for event signs.

LED Neon Flex vs Glass Neon – the winner?

EconomicalLEDs: low-cost to manufacture, buy, setup, and replace.High-cost to manufacture, buy, setup, and replace.LED Neon 🏆
DurabilityManufactured from top-tier, flexible, fire-resistant PVC for superior quality.Easily broken, fragileLED Neon 🏆
Energy EfficiencyOperates at 12V, low power consumption, low heatOperates at 3-18KV, higher power consumption, more expensive to runLED Neon 🏆
SafetyShatterproof, heat-resistant, no gases = no riskFragile glass and gases = increased riskLED Neon 🏆
InstallationEffortlessly hangs or mounts like art.Requires skilled neon engineerLED Neon 🏆
PortabilityLightweight and Easy to TransportHeavy, fragile, shipping vulnerabilityLED Neon 🏆
Lifespan100,000 HOURS10,000 HOURSLED Neon 🏆
MaintenanceRequires no maintenanceQualified personnel and strategies are required for cleaning and maintenanceLED Neon 🏆
Operational NoiseSilent OperationContinuous BuzzingLED Neon 🏆
InterferenceNo disruptions to TV, Wi-Fi, etc.Potential interference with infrared remotes.LED Neon 🏆
Luminosity and DimmingVariable brightness (24-26 Lumen/ft or 80-85 Lumen/meter), dimmable to very low levels.Higher brightness (60 Lumen/ft or 197 Lumen/meter), emits warm light, but cannot be made brighter.LED Neon 🏆
AestheticsRecreates vintage aesthetic to an extentGive an authentic, nostalgic appearanceGlass Neon 🏆
Possible Shapes and SizesFlexible for complex and tangled shapesLimited bending ability, rigid tubesLED Neon 🏆
Color VersatilityWide color range, changeabletLimited color, non-changeable.LED Neon 🏆
OutlookPerfect, seamless, no imperfectionsDisplays slight imperfections, conceals with black paint bends.LED Neon 🏆
PhotographyVersatile in all lighting, easily photographedPhotography may require learning curve.LED Neon 🏆
Usage RestrictionsUnrestricted outdoor use; compliant.Outdoor use restricted or banned.LED Neon 🏆


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