Cold cathode Lamps (known as Neon) are artistic lamps created by master blowers, not to be confused with fluorescent lamps for industrial production.
These lamps are exclusively made of glass and contain a noble gas or a mixture of them (mainly: Neon and Argon).
The glass tubes have a length ranging from 30cm to 3m and a diameter between 6mm and 25mm per unit. Lamps in series can also be installed to cover long distances without interruptions or shadows.
Immediate ignition without flickering with considerable stability of the luminous flux.
For instance, any kind of calligraphy can be reproduced, your own too! Not only texts, but also shapes in 2 or 3 dimensions
The cold cathode does not require a support to maintain its 3D shape, as it happens with LED for example.
Cold cathode lamps can be assembled or installed in any framework, including sensitive materials such as wood or fabric.
Colors And Light
Color temperature range: from the warmest shade (1,900 °K) to the coldest one (10,000 °K), with the possibility to choose between 13 types of white and at least 27 color shades.
Cold cathode lamps can be made with Murano (Venice) colored glass too, to obtain a decorative effect when the lamps are off too.
The cold cathode has a 360° light output and it is a continuous stream of light without shadow areas.
The quality of the light’s emission remains the same throughout the entire lifecycle of the lamps, with just a slight reduction of intensity. Moreover, the light’s color remains the same throughout its whole lifetime, regardless of direct sunlight exposure.
The light efficiency is good: over 60lumens/Watt (depending on color-temperature).
The C.R.I. (Color Rendering Index) can reach 97 for some lamps color, therefore it does not visually alter the color of the illuminated objects.
Neon lamps are already beautiful as they are: you do not need to conceal or cover them with other materials. They do not damage your sight: you can directly look at them without any damage to the retina.
Light shows can be created by using standard magnetic transformers and standard dimming devices with leading edge feature.
The operating temperature is between -40°C and +70°C. Specific gas mixtures combined with a right ignition voltage allow cold cathode lamps to operate in extreme temperatures without requiring any heatsink.
Cold cathode lamps are extremely resistant to mechanical vibrations. They are frequently employed, indeed, for both ships and elevators, and any other area where mechanical vibrations may shorten the lifespan of traditional light sources.
Cold cathode lamps are IP55 equivalent without further protection, functioning regularly under rain.
Ecology & Longevity
In 2010, the UL authority indicated cold cathode lamps among the light sources that guarantee the best energy efficiency; moreover, they are among the most convenient in the world because of their long life and consequently, for their low ecological impact.
The life expectancy goes always beyond 50,000 hours in every condition (also with extreme temperature), it reaches easily 100,000 hours. These numbers are not just laboratory tests, but effective working hours based on over 100 years of neon history. The longest neon known is still functioning after more than 80 years.
The number of times you switch the lamps on and off does not affect in any way their duration.
Magnetic transformers for cold cathode have a exceptionally long lifespan: up to 80,000 hours if they are high-quality and properly installed.
The cold cathode does not emit harmful radio interferences. It’s a very important detail for dimming systems as dimmers and other electronic devices have interference problems very often.
The surface temperature is never above 45°C, therefore it can be touched by hands without getting burnt.
Cold cathode lamps are powered by high voltage transformers, but always with low current, typically within 100mA, which makes them one of the safest power sources.
Power supplies also have safety systems which switch the electric voltage off if glass breaks and protect the system from earth leakage (ground fault) of the high-voltage circuit.