Are you wondering which type of lighting signage to get from your home or business? You are in the right place. Our in-depth neon sign vs LED sign can help you figure out which option is best for your needs. Built with great versatility, it’s not always easy to pick the right lighting. After all, whether neon or LED signs, you can use either option for home decor, business signage, or even as décor for special occasions. So, let our guide help you decide which signage best suits you.

Neon Sign

A neon sign is built with a crafted glass tube filled with high-density inert gases. This sealed construction allows the free-flowing of ions. When current passes through the ions in the glass tube, light is created and emitted through a fluorescent color due to the high energy release. For the neon sign to work effectively, the glass tube, the voltage generating transformer, and wiring have to be intact.

If the glass tube breaks, electricity flow is instantly cut off while some of the inert gas easily escapes. Similarly, poor wiring, damaged transformer, or low voltage transformer will affect the performance of neon signage. While this may not be the best result when you need the neon sign to be on, this mechanism is created for safety, preventing an open circuit.

LED Sign

On the other hand, an LED sign is made using light-emitting diodes (LEDs), hence the name. The LEDs are connected to each to create synergized and steady lighting. Compared to neon signs, LED signs aren’t too concentrated, appearing lighter. Instead of having a glass tube in them, the row of LEDs is protected by their own polymer jack, shielding each diode from possible damage.

Major Differences

Here’s a breakdown of the main differences between a neon sign and an LED sign;


As mentioned above, neon signs and LED signs bring a versatile lighting experience. However, they couldn’t be further different when it comes to their construction. Neon signs are constructed using glass tubing filled with inert gas. The inert gas sealed in the glass tubing is responsible for harnessing the light when the voltage passes through it.

On the other hand, an LED sign is typically made using a strip of LEDs strung together to produce the neon-light-like effect. However, unlike the glass tubing, each diode is individually protected in its own polymer jacket.


Neon and LED signs have the same purpose but slightly varying appearances. When turned on, neon signs feature a more retro-lighting experience, reminiscent of storefronts in the 20s to 60s. Neon signs continue to be popular in metropolitan areas, like Las Vegas and Tokyo. On the other hand, LED signs are a newer, more modern concept. While they won’t bring the same older nostalgic feeling, they are quite distinct on their own.

You will most likely find them in modern concept décor, like in weddings or newer stores. For many people, LED signs tend to exude a more rigid appearance and can be somewhat harsh to the eyes. Neon signs produce a more multi-directional light pattern while LED signs are more of directional light sources, like flashlights.

Initial Cost

Outdoor neon signs will be more expensive than Led signs. On the other hand, indoor signage pricing varies based on the design and model. Ultimately, it all boils down to your preferences. However, neon signs are longer lasting than LED ones.

Running Costs

Running costs between neon and LED signs to vary due to their design. Made from LEDs, LED signs are more cost-effective.  Even a large LED sign will only use about 24 volts while a large neon sign can use up to 10,000+ colts. This makes LEDs also eco-friendly and energy-efficient.

Maintenance and Repairs

LED signs are nearly maintenance and repair-free. On the other hand, neon signs can be repaired. With a neon sign, you may have to repair the glass tubing, transformer, or wiring. Unlike neon signs, LED signs don’t generate their light from a single glass tube. Instead, the light is formed from individual diodes lined close to each other.

This makes repairs quite tedious and difficult. This is because, if you need to fix the lights, you will have to manually fix each diode to the base. Additionally, due to their arrangement, you will only be able to access several and not all diodes.


Both neon and LED signs are quite safe. However, neon signs are made with real glass running that may need extra care during disposal in case of damage. Larger neon signs also run high voltage which may pose some electrical hazards if mishandled.

For example, you run the risk of being electrocuted if you don’t switch off a neon sign during repairs. On the other hand, LEDs are extremely safe with zero risks or hazards. Even large LED signage uses very little energy and produces very little heat.

Extra Features

Neon signs come in a wide range of colors and designs. You can also find models that feature built-in dimming functions. Modern LED signs also offer more features and technological convenience. In addition to their wide range of colors and designs, you can also find smart LED signs you can control remotely.