The 'How' and 'Why' of Custom Neon Signs

February 13, 2013

At Conrad’s Big “C” Signs, we design and fabricate both indoor and outdoor custom neon signs. We specialize in all types of Rapid City signs and can supply everything from neon bar signs, custom neon outdoor signage, to neon “open” signs.

How They Work

In order to move and glow throughout the glass tubing of the unit, the gas within must be given a positive or negative charge by way of ionization. Once charged, the gas becomes a plasma gas substance that is pushed through the tube by kinetic energy. This movement creates the colorful glow we associate with neon signage. This is how all similar neon Rapid City and Black Hills signsare created and run.

Black Hills Saloon Ten Signs

How They Are Used

Custom neon signs are especially popular in business and storefront displays because the brightly lit tubing is so eye-catching. What better way is there to seize someone’s attention than putting your message in vivid display of yellow, green, red, and orange that lights up both light and dark atmospheres? Some of the most successful Black Hills signs in this area use neon to promote products, goods, and services.


Marlyns of Black Hills signs

One of the most common places to find custom neon signs is the average sports bar. In fact, a sports bar hardly feels like a sports bar without fluorescent beer and liquor advertisements hung upon the walls. The NFL and major college football teams are major proponents of the neon tubing you might find at the local watering hole. Team signs are a common site in a location where football fans gather to watch the big game. You’ll find Rapid City signs like these in various sports bar locations throughout town, such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Shooters, Boston’s, etc.

However, the most popular and commonly associated usage of neon in business advertisement is the simple “open” sign that owners, managers, and employees will switch on upon unlocking the front door and starting business for the day. In fact, the public has become so accustomed to looking for this sign, they might assume that your business is closed if they cannot locate this brightly-lit signal on your storefront.

custom flame neon signs

Did You Know?

Not all of the custom neon signs that you see glowing around town use actual neon. Some of these Rapid City signs might use Helium, Argon, or Xenon to get the job done—and by “job,” we mean lighting up the colorful glass tubing in custom neon signs.

Why? This is simply because neon itself is not capable of changing colors. Alone, neon burns bright orange-red. What changes the color inside the tubing is the mixing in of different inert gases and application of various phosphorous powder coatings inside the glass tubes. Mercury is added to almost all colors except orange-red to help it light.


Arnolds Rapid City Signs

Who knew that the business of creating custom neon signs involved a background in chemistry and the periodic table! Contact Conrad’s today for expert Rapid City sign service in building your neon signage unit!


Last Modified: 02-19-2013-10:57:16

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