How to Choose a Neon Supplier?

The most important elements to choosing a good neon supplier is to ensure that they have good quality measures in place with a proven track record as well as being a UL Listed manufacture.  Most all municipalities follow the NEC electrical code which requires all neon signs to be UL Listed.  With being a UL Listed manufacture you follow a strict set of guidelines to ensure the safety of the product and the establishments that use the products. 

Another factor that should be considered is whether the company you are buying the product from owns and operates the manufacturing facility.  It is very easy for someone to find a neon manufacturing facility overseas, in fact we get multiple emails a week from companies in China that offer to make neon signs for us.  With the complexity of making a neon sign If you don't control the supply chain or the QC processes it is very hard to maintain a quality product. 

Service should be something that is taken into consideration, what happens if something does go wrong and needs to be resolved?  Does the company you are working have the ability to fix the problem quickly?  Antigo Neon has repair centers all over the US to help with any issue that might arise.  With having a manufacturing facility in the US we have the ability to have the product brought back to our location and resolve the issue quickly and ship it back out. 

NEON SIGNAGE - Combining Electricity & Art to Bring Logos to Life! 

Myths & Questions about Neon!

  • They are very fragile and have high breakage rates.
    • Neons are made of glass so there is some potential for breakage.  But they are more durable that one would think. Most tube breaks are a result of mishandling.  Our breakage resulting from shipping is very low, Our packaging, palletizing and shipping techniques hare highly optimized.  That said, we do not recommend shipping individual neon signs with parcel carriers. 
  • Neon signs don't last!
    • If manufactured properly a neon sign can last 50 years or longer.  In the early 2000's overseas manufacturing became very prominent for neon sign manufacturing in the US.  There are a some overseas manufactures that make quality product and some that don't.  Some USA providers of POS signs don't manufacture them.  They typically job out their work to multiple manufactures overseas.  How do you make a quality product without having the know how or a vested interest in the manufacturing process or facility?  At Antigo Neon, we manufacture all of our Neon signs in Antigo, WI with craftsman that have over 20 to 30 years of experience in making quality products. 
  • Neon signs are expensive!
    • As with anything, "expensive" is relative to other options.  Complexity of design is a factor as well.  Purchase cost of smaller neons may be less than LED signs in some cases. The most important cost considerations are the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and your Return on Investment.  With a neon sign having the ability to last for 20 plus years the cost per year/day is dramatically less than other illuminated signage options.  The serviceability of the sign also give you the ability to protect your investment over time. 
  • Neon signs consume a lot of power!
    • The typical neon sign uses less power than a 75 watt light bulb. And most likely provides more light.  Depending on size, the cost to run a neon sign is $0.15 to $0.25 for 24 hours of usage. 
  • Neons contain harmful gases!
    • Neon signs use two different types of gases, Argon and Neon.  Both are inert gases found within our atmosphere and are not harmful.  
  • Neon signs are shock hazards and are dangerous!
    • All our illuminated signs are built to comply with National Electrical Code and UL standards.Well over a decade ago, UL Standards changed to require ground fault protection.  This means that our power supplies shut off at the first sign of an issue.  True, neon tubes operate at high voltage and low current. The energized parts of the sign are well-insulated.  As long as those are in proper placement, risk of shock is eliminated,

Why Choose Neon?

Artistic, Long Lasting, Impactful, Bright, and Serviceable are among the many reasons neon signs are one of the best options for an illuminated sign.  We take great pride and produce some of the highest quality neon signs in the industry.  A properly made neon sign can last 10 to 40 years or more.  If the sign does have an issues, it is easily repairable with a new tube or power supply. 

With window signage you need to have visibility in daylight and the darkness of night. Daytime creates one of the biggest challenges for window signs: sunlight washout. This issue is caused from the sunlight reflecting off of all of the surface of a window and the signage.  With the high lumen output of a neon tube the light source is able to penetrate through that glare and still provide visibility.  On a sign that has printed graphics that are illuminated from behind it will be very difficult to see during daylight hours regardless of what the light source is. 

Pumping The Gases- Bombarding

This stage of the process is most critical to the longevity of the sign.  As the first step, we employ highly-thorough procedures to eliminate impurities from the tube.  Then we fill with Neon or Argon, both of which are inert gases not harmful to humans or the environment.  If there are impurities left in the tube they may lead to premature bulb dimming.  We take great pride in assuring that we process tubes to the highest standards in the industry.

Once the tube has been filled with gas and mercury (depending upon color, sometimes mercury isn't used) the tube is "aged" to get to full brightness and provide us enough time to ensure that the tube was processed correctly.   

Glass Bending -  A True Art Form!

Glass bending is a craft that takes time to master.  Glass benders typically start out with sticks of glass that are approximately 4' long and heat the glass to the point it becomes molten and is as pliable as a cooked spaghetti noodle.  Once the glass is heated you only have approximately 12 seconds to shape the glass before it hardens.   Once the glass has been heated and shaped you can't go back and reheat the area without potentially weakening the strength of the glass.  Some completed tubes are longer than 4' so there are times where we have to weld one stick to another in order to make up a complete tube.  Once the tube is completed the bulb is transferred over to the bombarding station.

Neon is an art form with over 100 years of great history. Due to the ability to last a very long time and grab consumers attention, neon became a very popular marketing tool. 

A Neon sign that is manufactured properly could last for decades. We have signs in our building on display that are well over 40 years old and still work perfectly to this day!  .