Most know about neon signs; what they are, what they’re for, and how cool they look, but not many will know the history of neon signs or the true brilliance of creating them. With that, we have put together a list of fun facts to add to your neon-knowledge!

#1 First Demonstrated at a Paris Motor Show

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The Paris Motor Show, 1910. Source


The first neon light installation was showcased in a modern form at the Paris Motor Show on 3rd December 1910. Two, 12-meter long, bright red tubes filled with neon were used to light up the entrance of the Grand Palais! It was demonstrated by Georges Claude, a French engineer and inventor of neon lighting. Along with one of his associates, Jacques Fonseque, they realised the potential use for neon as advertising and signage.


#2 The First Car Company to use Neon Signs, Spent USD2,500 on them

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American car dealership owner, Earle C. Anthony bought two neon signs from Claude, each costing US$1,250. Bear in mind that during that time, a value like that was considered a huge investment, especially on something for mainly “decorative” purposes. Anthony used the signs on the exterior of his dealership in Los Angeles, California and they were visible even during the daytime. He literally stopped traffic with the signs, as people driving pass would stare at them a little too long, with it being their first time seeing a sign in neon. By 1940, neon lighting had become a cultural phenomenon in the US, with almost every city lit by bright neon signages.


#3 Neon Signs have to be Handmade

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Since the early days of glass neon signs made with glass tubes, a skilled person is needed to bend and shape the tubes, over a heat source. Read more about how glass and LED neon lights are made here. Even now, in the age of mechanized product assembly and Artificial Intelligence, a neon sign is nothing without the human touch. A high level of precision is needed to bend the tubes according to the design. At NEON LIFE, all our signs are 100% handmade by our skilled artisans!


#4 True Neon Signs are Red/Orange

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Neon signs haven’t always been produced in the variety of colours they are now. In its purest form, electronically charged neon gas is red or orange in colour, giving off the same coloured glow. This is why many of the older neon signs were red. The creation of other colours was achieved by adding other gases into the tube. For instance, mercury vapor will produce a pale blue hue when it’s lit. Now, we are able to enjoy neon signs in a variety of warm and cool tones to suit our living spaces.


#5 Neon Light can pass through Thick Fog

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The bright light given off by the neon signs is able to pass through thick fog. For this simple reason, neon signs are commonly used in the airline industry, at gas stations, motels and in any cold or misty areas. It’s good to know that neon signs have more functional use than just for aesthetics.

At, we truly appreciate what neon can do for us. We understand how décor can enhance moods and spaces. We’ve customised unique and wonderful neon signs for our clients across walks of life from major hotel chains to F&B outlets, homes, weddings, fitness centres, and corporate offices. We are a team of skilled designers and LED neon craftsmen that keep the craft creative and original. We ensure to keep the process hassle-free for you through a three-step process. We’ll be glad to craft the perfect, relevant neon sign that caters in the best look and right mood. Feel free to reach out to the Neon Life Team at +65 90888270/

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