History of Neon Lights

According to some, the origin of the history of neon lights dates back to 1675. Ever since Neon lights dates back to first replaced Geissler tubes, they have enjoyed immense popularity in the entertainment and advertisement industry. Though the phenomenon of Neon illumination was discovered way back in 1675, it was only in 1910 that the French inventor Georges Claude invented a way to create Neon lamps using electric discharge. The technique involves applying electrical discharges to Neon gas contained in a tube which makes it illuminate

Though Georges Claude is credited with the invention of the streetlyte Neon lighting, the principle behind it was already well known and widely used. Giessler tubes and Moore tubes worked on the principle that different gases emit different colored illuminations when they are supplied with electric current. While Moore tubes used abundant gases such as Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen for luminance, Neon tubes were dependent on the scarcely found Neon. This led Georges Claude to begin manufacturing Neon in large quantities so that it was available for industrial use.

Unlike Moore tubes, the pressure of the gas in the Neon tube does not decrease. Due to this, Neon lighting lasts longer and provide constant light. Because of these advantages, the history of Neon lights enjoyed unrivaled attention for over 40 years from the early 1920s till 1960s. While they are still being used all over the world, their usage and installations in Times Square during the aforementioned period were particularly famous.

Neon signs continue to be a great way of advertising. Their omnipresence is evident from the fact that it is very difficult to imagine an eatery or a motel without a Neon sign hanging in front of them. Neon lights are an easy way to catch the attention of a passerby with their prominent lights and vibrant colors.

It is a common misunderstanding that all Neon lights are made of Neon. Though Neon was discovered in 1898, other gases belonging to the group of inert gases such as Krypton, Argon and Xenon soon followed. However, Neon lights were already a craze among advertisers. Therefore, the name stuck for all lighting that used this technique irrespective of the gas being used. Each gas produces a characteristic color e.g., Argon produces blue, Krypton and Xenon produces light and dark shades of purple. Therefore, individual colors or a combination of colors are used to generate the desired effect.

Using Neon lights also has several other advantages. Since the lighting only consists of a tube filled with gas and two electrodes, it is less complicated than incandescent bulbs which require a filament or fluorescent bulbs which need a fluorescent coating on the bulbs. Also, Neon tubes are malleable and can be bent to any shape. Also, tubes can be infinitely long (theoretically). However, since it is easy and economical to replace short tubes, Neon tubes are often of smaller length.

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