Exploring the benefits of acrylic neon signs for business signage

Published March 30, 2023

Acrylic neon signs: The modern alternative to traditional neon signs

Acrylic neon signs are a modern alternative to traditional neon signs, offering a range of benefits that have made them increasingly popular in recent years. In this article, we will explore the different types of acrylic backboards that are available for neon signs, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each. We will also discuss how acrylic neon signs can be used to create cool art, and offer tips on how to maintain and care for your acrylic neon sign.

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Whether you’re a business owner looking to attract customers with a striking new sign, or an individual looking to add some personality to your home or office, acrylic neon signs are an excellent choice that offer a unique and eye-catching aesthetic.

This is chapter 4 in the neon sign library

What are acrylic neon signs?

Acrylic neon signs are a modern alternative to traditional neon signs that have been around since the early 20th century. Acrylic neon signs are made using a flexible LED neon tubing that is shaped and mounted onto an acrylic backboard. The tubing is designed to mimic the look of traditional neon, but with a number of advantages over the original technology.

In simple terms, acrylic neon signs are made up of two key components: the acrylic backboard and the LED neon tubing. The backboard serves as a base for the tubing to be mounted onto, while the tubing is what actually illuminates the sign. The tubing is made up of a series of LED lights that are encased in a flexible PVC housing, which is shaped to mimic the curves and angles of traditional neon tubing.

What acrylic is best for neon signs?

When it comes to creating neon signs using acrylic backboards, choosing the right type of acrylic is essential. There are different types of acrylic available, each with its own unique characteristics. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the types of acrylic that are best suited for neon signs.

First, let’s consider the different types of acrylic. Cast acrylic and extruded acrylic are two of the most common types. Cast acrylic is made using a casting process that produces a denser and more consistent material. Extruded acrylic, on the other hand, is made using an extrusion process that produces a less consistent material.

When it comes to creating neon signs, cast acrylic is generally the better option. Its density and consistency make it more durable and resistant to cracking, which is especially important for neon signs that are designed to last for a long time.

However, not all cast acrylic is created equal. There are different grades of cast acrylic, each with its own unique characteristics. For neon signs, it’s best to choose a grade of cast acrylic that is specifically designed for backlit applications. This type of acrylic is designed to allow light to pass through it evenly, which is important for creating a consistent and vibrant glow for your neon sign.

In addition to choosing the right type and grade of acrylic, there are other factors to consider when creating neon signs, such as the thickness of the acrylic and the size of the backboard. By selecting the right combination of materials and factors, you can create a neon sign that not only looks great but is also durable and long-lasting.

Why did people stop using neon signs?

Neon signs were once the go-to option for businesses looking to advertise their brand. In fact, they’ve been around since the early 1900s and were hugely popular throughout the 20th century. However, in recent years, their popularity has waned. So, why did people stop using neon signs?

**The answer lies in the rise of alternative illuminated sign options, including LED and acrylic neon signs. **While traditional neon signs are undoubtedly impressive, they can be costly to manufacture, fragile, and require a skilled craftsman to make them. On the other hand, acrylic neon signs are a more modern, durable, and cost-effective option.

**Despite their advantages, traditional neon signs remain popular in some industries, such as the entertainment industry, where their retro aesthetic is still highly sought after. **However, for businesses looking for a more modern, cost-effective, and durable option, acrylic neon signs are quickly becoming the go-to choice.

Which is a better material: Acrylic or neon signs?

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When it comes to choosing between acrylic and traditional neon signs, it’s important to understand the differences and weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at the two options.

First, let’s compare the two types of signs. Traditional neon signs are made by bending glass tubes filled with gas and creating an electrical discharge to create the glowing effect. Acrylic neon signs, on the other hand, use flexible LED lights that are shaped into letters or designs and attached to an acrylic backboard.

So, which is better? Acrylic neon signs have a number of advantages over traditional neon signs. For one, they are more energy-efficient and use less power than traditional neon signs. Additionally, acrylic neon signs are more durable and less likely to break or leak, making them easier to transport and install.

Another advantage of acrylic neon signs is that they are more customizable. With traditional neon signs, the shapes and sizes of the glass tubes are limited, whereas acrylic neon signs can be designed in any shape or size. Acrylic neon signs also offer more color options, as they use LED lights that can produce a wider range of hues.

However, traditional neon signs do have some advantages over acrylic neon signs. For example, traditional neon signs are often considered to be more aesthetically pleasing, as they have a softer, more natural glow than LED lights.

Learn more: Neon versus LED: an indepth neon sign comparison.

Do acrylic neon signs break easily?

Acrylic neon signs are a great alternative to traditional neon signs. They are more durable and less likely to break than their traditional counterparts. In this section, we will discuss the durability of acrylic neon signs, the factors that affect their longevity, and tips for maintaining their lifespan.

Firstly, let’s compare the durability of acrylic neon signs to traditional neon signs. Traditional neon signs are made of glass tubes filled with gas and are very fragile. They can break easily if not handled properly or if they fall. On the other hand, acrylic neon signs are made of acrylic plastic, which is much more durable than glass. Acrylic is a lightweight material that is less likely to crack or break, making it a safer choice.

However, the durability of acrylic neon signs can be affected by a number of factors, such as the thickness of the acrylic, the design of the sign, and the environment in which it is placed. Thicker acrylic is generally more durable than thinner acrylic, and a well-designed sign that is properly installed can last longer than one that is not.

To maintain the longevity of your acrylic neon sign, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. First, it is important to clean your sign regularly to prevent dirt and dust buildup. Use a soft cloth and gentle cleanser to wipe down the surface of the sign.
  2. Second, avoid placing the sign in direct sunlight, as this can cause the colors to fade over time.
  3. Lastly, if you need to move or transport the sign, make sure to handle it with care and avoid dropping it.

Do neon acrylic signs glow in the dark?

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**Yes, acrylic neon signs do have the ability to glow in the dark. **However, unlike traditional neon signs that use neon gas to create the iconic glow, acrylic neon signs use LED lights that are molded into the shape of a neon tube. These LED lights have a lower voltage and operate at a cooler temperature, making them safer and more energy-efficient.

How do acrylic neon signs glow?

The LED lights inside the acrylic neon sign are connected to a power source that generates an electrical current. When the electricity passes through the LED lights, they emit light in a specific color, creating the neon-like effect. The acrylic tube itself is transparent, allowing the light to pass through and create the glowing effect.

Comparison of the brightness of acrylic neon signs and traditional neon signs

While acrylic neon signs may not be as bright as traditional neon signs, they still offer a vibrant and eye-catching display. The brightness of an acrylic neon sign largely depends on the color of the LED lights used and the thickness of the acrylic tube. Thicker tubes can diffuse the light and create a softer glow, while thinner tubes create a more intense brightness.

Factors that affect the brightness of acrylic neon signs

The brightness of acrylic neon signs can be affected by several factors, such as the quality of the LED lights, the type of acrylic used, and the ambient lighting conditions of the room. Using high-quality LED lights and a thicker acrylic tube can improve the brightness and vibrancy of the sign. Additionally, using the sign in a well-lit room can help enhance its brightness and visibility.

How do you make acrylic neon signs?

If you’re interested in creating your own acrylic neon sign, the manufacturing process can be broken down into a few simple steps. Here’s a brief overview of what you’ll need and the steps to follow:

Tools and materials required

  • Acrylic sheet
  • LED neon rope lights
  • Jigsaw or other cutting tool
  • Drill
  • Screws or mounting brackets
  • Power drill
  • Power supply
  • Clear silicone sealant

Overview of the manufacturing process

  1. Start by choosing the size and shape of your acrylic sign. Measure and mark your acrylic sheet accordingly.
  2. Cut the acrylic sheet to your desired size and shape using a jigsaw or other cutting tool.
  3. Using a drill, make holes in the acrylic sheet where you want to mount the LED neon rope lights. Make sure to space the holes evenly so that the light is distributed evenly across the sign.
  4. Secure the LED neon rope lights in place using screws or mounting brackets.
  5. Connect the LED neon rope lights to a power supply using a power drill.
  6. Apply clear silicone sealant around the edges of the acrylic sign to seal it and protect it from moisture.

How long do acrylic neon signs last?

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**On average, acrylic neon signs can last up to 10 years or longer if they are well-maintained. **However, this also depends on the environmental conditions that the sign is exposed to. Signs that are exposed to harsh weather or extreme temperatures may deteriorate more quickly than signs that are kept indoors.

To extend the lifespan of your acrylic neon sign, it’s essential to clean it regularly and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. You can also consider using a protective coating to protect the sign from scratches and other types of damage.

Learn more: How to hang neon signs LIKE A PRO? The ultimate guide

Is acrylic safe for lighting?

When it comes to lighting, safety is a top priority. This is especially true for neon signs, which can contain hazardous gases and high voltage. That’s why it’s important to consider the safety of the materials used in illuminated signs.

Acrylic neon signs are a safe alternative to traditional neon signs. Unlike traditional neon signs, which use glass tubes filled with gases, acrylic neon signs use flexible LED lights mounted onto an acrylic backboard. This means that there is no risk of breakage and no hazardous gases involved.

**Acrylic neon signs are also safer to install and maintain. **Because the LED lights used in acrylic neon signs are low voltage, there is no risk of electric shock. Additionally, acrylic is a lightweight material, making it easier to handle and install than glass.

Learn more: Are neon signs dangerous? 14 GREAT TIPS to stay safe

What are other alternatives to traditional neon signs?

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When it comes to illuminated signs, there are several alternatives to traditional neon signs. In this section, we’ll compare some of the other options and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

**First up, LED signs. LED signs have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their energy efficiency and durability. **They’re also much easier to customize than traditional neon signs. However, some people argue that they don’t have the same level of brightness or visual impact as neon signs.

Next, there are neon look-alike signs that use materials other than neon to create the illusion of a neon sign. These include signs made from LED flex tubing or EL wire. While they can be more affordable than traditional neon signs, they also lack the same level of authenticity and can look somewhat artificial.

Finally, there are backlit signs, which are typically made from a translucent material like acrylic or glass and illuminated from behind. These signs offer a sleek, modern look and can be customized to create a variety of effects. Acrylic neon signs fall into this category, and they’re a popular choice because they offer the look of traditional neon signs without the cost or maintenance. They’re also much safer to work with than traditional neon signs, which require the use of high-voltage electricity.

How do you paint neon effect acrylic?

If you want to add some extra pizzazz to your acrylic neon sign, you may want to consider painting it with a neon effect. Painting an acrylic neon sign is a relatively easy process that can be done with just a few tools and materials. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose your paint colors: To create a neon effect, you’ll need to use bright, fluorescent colors. You can find these types of paint at most craft stores.
  2. Prepare your work area: Cover your work surface with a drop cloth or newspaper to protect it from paint drips.
  3. Clean your acrylic sign: Use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe down your acrylic sign and remove any dirt or dust.
  4. Apply a base coat: Apply a base coat of white paint to your sign using a paintbrush or a spray can. This will help to make the neon colors pop.
  5. Apply the neon paint: Once the base coat has dried, it’s time to apply the neon paint. Use a small paintbrush or a detail brush to carefully paint the desired areas of your sign with the neon paint. Be sure to apply several coats for maximum brightness.
  6. Let the paint dry: Once you have applied the neon paint, let it dry completely before handling the sign.
  7. Add finishing touches: Once the paint is dry, you can add any finishing touches, such as a clear coat to protect the paint or additional details using a fine-tip brush.

With these simple steps, you can add a neon effect to your acrylic sign and create a unique, eye-catching display.

Does acrylic fade in sunlight?

Acrylic is a durable and versatile material, but one common question people have about acrylic neon signs is whether they fade in sunlight.** The answer is yes, acrylic can fade over time when exposed to UV rays. This is known as UV degradation.**

Factors that affect the UV resistance of acrylic neon signs include the thickness of the material, the type of acrylic used, and the quality of the pigments used in the design. Acrylic that is thicker and has a higher UV resistance is less likely to fade quickly.

To maintain the UV resistance of acrylic neon signs, there are a few tips you can follow:

  1. Firstly, keep the signs out of direct sunlight as much as possible. If the signs must be placed in direct sunlight, consider using UV-resistant coatings or films to protect the acrylic.
  2. Another option is to use high-quality pigments that are designed to resist UV degradation.
  3. Additionally, regular cleaning and maintenance of the signs can help to prevent damage from the sun’s UV rays.

Why is acrylic used for illuminated signs?

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Acrylic is a popular material for illuminated signs due to its unique properties and advantages over other materials. One of the main advantages of acrylic is its ability to diffuse light, which makes it an ideal material for illuminated signs. When light is shone on acrylic, it is dispersed evenly throughout the material, creating a uniform glow.

Comparison to other materials

Acrylic is often compared to other materials such as glass, polycarbonate, and PVC. While each material has its own set of advantages, acrylic stands out for its high-quality finish, durability, and light-diffusing capabilities. Unlike glass, acrylic is shatter-resistant and less likely to break, making it a safer option for illuminated signs. Compared to PVC, acrylic has better optical clarity and does not yellow or become brittle over time.

Advantages of acrylic for illuminated signs

One of the key advantages of using acrylic for illuminated signs is its versatility. Acrylic can be easily molded and shaped into different forms, allowing for endless design possibilities. Additionally, acrylic is a lightweight material, which makes it easier to install and transport.

Another advantage of acrylic is its durability. It is resistant to weathering, fading, and damage from UV rays, ensuring that the sign will last for a long time. Acrylic is also easy to maintain and clean, which helps to ensure that the sign looks its best for years to come.

Importance of acrylic in modern illuminated sign design

Acrylic has become an important material in modern illuminated sign design due to its versatility, durability, and aesthetic qualities. Its ability to diffuse light evenly and create a uniform glow makes it a popular choice for a range of illuminated sign applications, from commercial storefronts to home decor.

In addition, acrylic can be used to create a range of effects, from neon-style signs to backlit displays. This versatility has made it a favorite among designers and artists who want to push the boundaries of what is possible with illuminated signs. With its unique properties and advantages, acrylic has become an essential material in modern illuminated sign design.

Acrylic neon sign customization

The Neon Sign Customizer app is a handy tool for those who want to create their own unique acrylic neon sign. This app provides a variety of benefits that can make customization easy and fun.

One of the features of the Neon Sign Customizer app is the ability to choose which type of acrylic backboard you want for your neon sign. This allows you to select the perfect material to suit your design preferences and budget. You can choose from various types of acrylic, including clear, colored, frosted, or mirrored.

Additionally, the Neon Sign Customizer app enables you to experiment with different font styles, colors, and designs until you find the perfect combination that reflects your unique style and personality. This app is user-friendly, so even those without design experience can use it to create a stunning acrylic neon sign.

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In conclusion, acrylic neon signs are a popular and modern alternative to traditional neon signs. Acrylic neon signs are a cost-effective and durable option for those looking to add a touch of neon to their business or personal space. They’re also customizable, allowing you to create unique and eye-catching designs.

If you’re considering investing in an acrylic neon sign, we encourage you to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of other illuminated sign options, but keep in mind the benefits of acrylic neon signs, including their energy efficiency and easy maintenance.

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