Everywhere you look today, Neon is fast becoming the first choice for business and home décor. From television ads to Victoria’s Secret shops, Neon is enjoying a popularity not witnessed since the 1950’s. Have you ever wondered why this is?
As one of the biggest Neon suppliers in the EU, we see a lot of trends in Neon for both home and business use. The one single thread we see in most purchasing decisions boils down to the modern Neon power supply and the flexibility that modern manufacturing methods bring to Neon. Gone are the days when Neon signs relied on mechanical transformers to power them. Comparing the modern electronic power supply to the old wound transformers is like comparing fuel injection to a carburettor.
In the old days, Neon signs would buzz, get hot and disrupt your TV, radio and telephone. The power supplies would not last as long as the Neon and replacing them was expensive. Roll the clock forward 40 years and we saw the introduction of the first generation of switching power supplies hitting the market. As the technology progressed, these supplies became smaller and much more reliable. Today, an 8Kv electronic supply is 80% smaller than a supply of the same output from the past. The modern supply is silent, dimmable and will last a lifetime in most cases. That is why we guarantee our supplies for LIFE on all our bespoke signs!
Hansen manufacturing of Germany is leading the way in this field. That is why we specify Hansen supplies in our indoor sign builds. However, with success comes copy-cats and “me too” products. Recently we have taken in a load of really nice Neon signs that just simply packed up after a few months in operation. The one thing they have in common is cheap power supplies made in the Far East. These supplies are now flooding the market through the likes of eBay and Amazon. The simple truth is that a good quality, properly certified Neon power supply is going to cost £50 – £70 depending on the output. Customers seem surprised when the supply they purchased for under £20 doesn’t work, overheats or destroys the igniters in the Neon tubes – resulting in a much more costly repair. It also comes as no surprise to find out that the CE mark on these supplies is not valid. They have never been tested because they would fail. The safety stickers aren’t worth the ink that it took to print them.
No matter who you buy your sign from, check the specification before you part with your hard earned cash. Neither you nor your clients are going to be very happy to have your new sign stop working after a short period of time. You will be really unhappy to find that the sign will require new ignitors and a re-gas after one of these cheap supplies goes pop. Remember, if you are specifying a sign for a public space, the responsibility is yours to verify that the electrical safety markings on the supply are valid. Don’t be the one left without a chair when the music stops!