It is very easy to run into fake news and hoaxes while surfing the web. The neon sector is not immune and often you can come across incorrect, misleading or even purely invented information.
F/ART, with its 74 years of experience with the cold cathode, has collected the most common false myths and explained them in a very simply way.
False: neon is a glass lamp shaped by hands by artisans called neon blowers. So it is handicraft product, it is not the result of an industrial manufacturing, as the common fluorescent lamps.
False: it is a LED strip mounted into silicon or polymer tube that tries to simulate a real neon tube. Reliability and quality of the so called “FlexNeon” are much lower when compared to the real neon tube lamp.
Neon is improperly used in the term “FlexNeon” because it is a well-known technology, immediately recognized for the beauty of the light.
False: Neon is not only used in vintage signs but is also widely used in interior design, art, architectural projects and important style signs.
False: despite the voltage can reach tens of thousands of volts (in Europe the maximum is 10,000 V), the danger is given by the intensity of the current, that for neon lamps is quite low: we talk about milliamps! Anyway, to guarantee the safety of the users, the law requires the neon transformers to have a built-in protection to prevent any danger, even in case of accidental breakdown.
Partially false: the glass tubes can be installed underwater, but the electrodes must be installed in a dry place and protected as they are connected to the high voltage.
False: you can realize light games or adjust the intensity of the light by means of leading edge dimmer. To get an optimal result we suggest to use the electromagnetic transformer rather than the electronic ones.
False: do not confuse the fluorescent lamp with the neon! Also for a proper comparison you have to consider that neon emits light on 360°. Actually at the same level of Lumen a neon sign requires less power than the equivalent LED sign.
False: the neon gas emits a red color light, whilst the argon emits a blue color light. Using the mix neon/argon gases with powder coloured tubes allows you to obtain more than 40 different colors, and more than 12 different shades of white
False: the temperature of the tube does not exceed 45°C, so you can touch the glass without any risk of burning. It is called “Cold Cathode Lamp” also for this reason.
False: neon can easily works for more than 50 years! If installed correctly they can last forever, with just a slight and imperceptible degradation of the light intensity. On the contrary LED strips are subjected to a sharp drop of the quality of the light, also because some dark spots will appear at place of the broken LED diodes (being obliged to change the whole strip LED).
False: Cold Cathode Lamp is a very old technology, so a proper disposal chain has been developed during the years. This is not the case of the LED, the most recent source of light launched in the market, currently it is disposed with the normal electronic waste, so there is no way to recycle the different toxic and dangerous components (arsenic, cadmio, etc).
False: Since 1st January 2019 it is no longer allowed to produce industrial fluorescent lamps in Europe. Neon lamps ARE NOT industrial fluorescent lamps, so they are still a valid source of light.
False: Neon signs and neon piece of arts need just a simply and not expensive maintenance.