Are neon signs dangerous?
Are neon lights safe?
We want to preface this article by stating that YES, neon signs are absolutely safe to use! There are however certain risk factors attached to our beloved neon signs which you should be aware of so you can take appropriate precautions should a situation present itself.
Neon lights are a popular choice for businesses and restaurants, but they can be somewhat dangerous if not used properly. There have been cases where neon signs have caused eye injuries when they were broken or shattered by accident.
Neon lights are typically made up of glass tubes filled with neon and/or argon gas and (for specific colours) mercury vapour – a combination that makes them glow brightly when electricity passes through them (this is why they're called "neon" lights). Unfortunately, this also means that if you break one of these tubes while working on it or even accidentally knock it down while cleaning your store windows, there's a chance that some mercury will leak out into the air around you. This poses a minor health risk as inhaling even small amounts of mercury can cause damage to humans. From a one-time accident you will very likely not experience any issues, as the amount of mercury contained in glass neon tubes is too small to have an immediate effect on a person. Exposition to mercury over several years or a long period of time or to a large amount however can be quite harmful.
Dangers of neon
It’s a fact that neon signage uses electricity, glass and gases.
Electricity can be dangerous if you are not careful with it. If you touch an electric wire that is live, it will give you an electric shock which can kill or injure you. This is why it's important to always turn off the power before working on neon signs!
Glass can also be dangerous because if it breaks or shatters then tiny pieces of glass will fly around and cut people who are nearby (like your customers).
Is neon gas dangerous?
Neon gas is a colourless, odourless, and non-toxic gas. However, it can be dangerous if you breathe too much of it or get it on your skin. Neon signs use small amounts of neon gas that are sealed inside glass tubes to make them glow brightly at night. If you work with neon signs or need to change one that's broken, here are some things you should know about handling the gases inside:
- Wear gloves and goggles while working with glass tubes (even if they're not lit).
- Avoid touching the tubes with bare hands – they might be hotter than you think and you could burn yourself!
- As stated above, always turn off the power before working on or with a neon sign – whether for installation, maintenance, or cleaning purposes.
Are broken neon signs dangerous?
Broken neon signs can be dangerous, but only if you don't know what you're doing. The most important thing to remember is that broken neon signs should never be handled by anyone other than a professional. If you break your own sign or someone else's, call an electrician immediately and let them know what happened so they can come out and safely remove it.
If you have any questions about how to handle broken neon signs on your own property, contact an electrician who specialises in neon lighting repairs before attempting anything yourself! Check out our FAQ page or contact our Support Team for tips on what to do in case of a neon sign breakage.
Do neon signs get hot?
Neon signs are made of glass tubes filled with neon gas, which glows when electricity passes through it. The heat generated by these lights is not enough to be dangerous, but it can cause damage if you don't take precautions.
The biggest risk of overheating comes from using a low-quality transformer or power supply that doesn't have enough wattage to power your sign properly. This can lead to flickering and other problems with your neon sign, so always use an appropriate power supply when installing one!
If you have any questions about how much power is needed for your specific sign, contact us today!
The environmental impact of neon signs
Neon signs are a great way to advertise your business, but they can have a negative impact on the environment. Here's how you can reduce the environmental impact of neon signs and make them more sustainable:
- Use LED lights instead of neon tubes. LEDs generally use less energy and are easier to dispose of in case of breakage than traditional neon signs.
- Recycle old neon signs when you replace them with new ones. If you have an old sign that no longer works properly or whose design is outdated (maybe because your company rebranded recently?), consider recycling it by donating or selling it to someone who will repurpose it into something else (like an art piece). This way other people will get some use out of an otherwise useless product.
The benefits of neon signs
Neon signs are a great way to attract customers and create a unique atmosphere.
- They can be used to attract customers: signs are one of the most effective ways to draw attention to your business, especially if you're located in an area where there are many other businesses competing for customers. People will see your neon sign from far away, which gives them time to decide whether or not they want to visit your store before they get there. This helps prevent people from passing by without realising that there's something special about your store!
- They create an exciting atmosphere: The bright colours of neon lights make any place feel more energetic and fun. When people see these lights shining through windows or doors at night, they will know that they're entering into an exciting environment where anything could happen!
Neon signs are a great way to advertise your business and make it stand out. However, they can also pose certain risks to you and your employees. If you choose to use neon signs in your business, it's important that you understand these risks so that you can take steps to mitigate them. But generally, neon signs are not very harmful – if you use them correctly and with the necessary precautions!
Got anymore questions surrounding neon signage and its use? Check out some of our blog posts below!
- Blog article: Every fact about neon you'll ever need to know
- Blog article: How long does a neon sign last?
- Blog article: Do neon signs use a lot of electricity?
- Blog article: How do neon lights work?