Friday, 27 September 2013

Customized Neon Signs: The Gift of Light

It's time again to extol the awesomeness of customized neon signs, being that they're the perfect example of how art and science come together to make something spectacular. Not only do they serve a purpose for business advertisement, they also make great decorations for your home and serve as genuinely unique gifts for that someone that appreciates art, iridescence, and colorful decorations. With the holiday season approaching, I'm here to give you some ideas as to what kind of custom neon signs to give to that deserving special someone.

Have you ever seen a neon sign or sculpture in a movie or T.V. show that you thought would look awesome hanging on someone's wall? Does the person you're shopping for have a favorite movie or show? (who doesn't?) One way to give them the gift of neon light is to present them with a piece of Hollywood memorabilia all their own.

Take this iconic scene from Tim Burton's Batman Returns. Once Selina Kyle assumes her Catwoman persona she trashes her room, and in doing so kicks out some of the letters in her "Hello There" neon sign spelling "Hell Here." Pretty cool huh? This sign can be recreated (purple lettering and all) and can even be fitted with a pull chain that will turn off the 'O' and the "T" making it even more authentic to the movie. What Tim Burton fan wouldn't want this as a gift?

Customized Neon Signs

Here's another example of a customized neon sign. Practically any cartoon character can be turned into neon lights, just like this Pink Panther Neon Sign. Cue the Henry Mancini theme...

Customized Neon Signs

The possibilities are practically endless! Give a memorable and lasting gift to that person in your life that deserves greatness.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Custom Neon Lights: Have it Your Way in Neon

Glass tubes that have been shaped with a hot flame, filled with inert gas and then electrified are a fascinating way to grab one's attention. Here are just 4 ways that custom neon signs can be made for business or personal use!

Neon Signs:

Custom Neon Sign

Neon signs are of course the first and most obvious use for neon lights. Since the invention of the Geissler tube in the late 1800's, neon signs have been adorning the front of buildings and businesses for almost a century. Neon signs can be made for other uses besides advertising of course, including home decoration or as collectors items.

Neon Border Tubing:

Neon Border Tubing

It's called neon "border tubing" because it runs along the borders of things: windows, walls, mirrors, the edges of buildings, and anything else that would look good highlighted in neon. This is a fantastic way for businesses to stand out at night and add a colorful decor to an otherwise drab building.

Neon Posters and Neon Pictures:

Neon Posters

Posters and pictures can be customized to add neon like this poster above for the movie Drive. You can either provide a link to a high resolution picture you want to "neon-ify," or in the case of posters you can send it in and we can mount it on to a Plexiglas backing and add neon around large letters or around the border.

Neon Channel Letters:

Dancing Zorba's Channel Letters Neon Sign

Channel Letters for business signs are different than your standard neon sign in that each individual letter has its own metal casing. The sign above (from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding) features "open faced" neon channel letters, which means the neon is exposed in the letters as opposed to standard channel letters that have an acrylic face and are lit from the inside by LED lights. These type of signs are ideal for medium to large businesses that want to be seen from much greater distances than your standard neon sign.

Source: Neon and More Custom Neon Lights: Four Ways to Customize Neon Tubes

Friday, 13 September 2013

Create Your Own Neon Sign

Neon signs are a marvel to behold. The alluring glow and the beautiful colors are pleasing to the eye, and they not only do a great job advertising for businesses they also make awesome decorations in your home. Have you ever seen a piece of neon art or a neon sign and thought to yourself that you'd like one of your own, or perhaps you thought one would make a great gift? Having a personalized neon sign is quite easy to do, just let professional sign makers do all the work! 

Here are 3 different ways that professional sign makers can create custom neon signs that are uniquely yours:

1.  Turn any image into a neon sign. Here's an example of an image of the Anaheim Angels baseball team symbol that was made into a great looking sign. These are perfect for bars and a great way to show your team pride! 

Create Your Own Neon Sign

2. Small businesses of course benefit tremendously from a neon sign of their logo. They bring in customers and create a lasting image of your brand identity. Don't you feel hungry for frozen yogurt right now?

Create Your Own Neon Sign

3.  Even if you don't have an image or a logo to go off of, all you have to do is have an idea of what you'd like. Want a neon sign of a fish? You can have a neon sign of a fish.
Create Your Own Neon Sign

Monday, 9 September 2013

How to Make a Neon Sign

Neon signs and sculptures are made of bent glass tubes and filled with inert gas. They're usually used for advertising purposes but due to their brilliant colors, many people display them in their homes as a piece of art!

When an electric charge hits the electrodes in the tubes, the electrons flow through the gas making its atoms dance around and glow! The type of gas and col.or of the glass determine the color of the light. The combination of colored glass tubes and type of inert gas can produce up to 120 different colors!

How Neon Signs Are Made Glass Bending
Bending the glass tubes with a flame
To shape the tube, glass benders use a glass blowing technique. Following a pattern drawn on a fire-resistant sheet, they mark where they have to bend the tube with a marker. Then they heat each spot on a propane flame blazing 1200 degrees F. Within about half a minute, the glass softens enough to be pliable. They gently bend the tube while blowing into a rubber tube attached to the uncorked end to restore the original diameter of the tube.

How Neon Signs Are Made Pattern Checking
Checking the bent glass against the pattern
With each bend, they check the shape against the pattern, every so often pressing a wooden block along the tube to equalize the width. After shaping, they cut off the excess and rub the coloring powder off the ends of the tubes. Now they can attach glass casings which contain electrodes. They fuse an electrode to each end of the tube using a propane hand torch and a flexible latex blowing tube. They seal the glass around one electrode, but leave the other one open.

Then, the glass benders create a thin tube with a small bubble that will act as a passageway to the open electrode (known in the industry as a "tubulation"). They fuse this tube to the electrode and then carefully inject a drop of mercury into the open end of it. This mercury will react with Argon gas and make the neon signs glow much brighter.

Using an end torch, they fuse the open end of the tubulation to a long glass tube leading to a pumping system. They connect the electrodes to the system and then power it up. The pump vacuums out the air then injects the gas. To trap the gas inside the tube, they use the crossfire burner to remove the bubble and seal off the open electrode, making sure the drop of mercury has descended into it first. They then dip the back of the sign into black paint, which makes the lettering or design stand out. They use a brush to spread the coat evenly and remove the excess.
How Neon Signs Are Made Finished Neon Sign
Finished Product!
Next, they'll light up the sign at high voltage for a half hour. This will dry the paint and more importantly transform the liquid mercury into vapor that spreads throughout the sign. Using transparent clips, assemblers mount the sign onto a black Plexiglas background to make it stand out even more.

Finally, they connect the protruding electrode wires to a transformer, which converts the current needed to light up the sign. And voila! Custom Neon Signs make great gifts and look awesome on your wall.

Source: Neon and More How Neon Signs Are Made