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In today’s world we all try to be as environmentally conscious  as we can. LED manufactor’s & distributors have gained an unfair believe that they far outclass Cold Cathode (neon) tubing as the most efficient source for signage illumination. Some of the points made by the LED industry are. 1./ LED’s do not contain mercury. Fair point Cold Cathode does have mercury, but Neon does not! neon is a pure inert gas which is used for the red spectrum of lighting. Also mercury is used in many other forms of lights fluorescent tubes & compact fluorescent bulbs are mercury vapourised. See leaflet for mercury content in Cold Cathode & Blue/Argon Gas tubes BUT WITH LED’s MATERIALS SUCH ARSENIC,ANTIMONY,CHROMIUM & LEAD AS WELL AS OTHER TOXIC CHEMIALS SOMETIMES IN AMOUNTS EXCEEDING REGULATIONS ARE USED. http://theneongroup.org/forcesofchange.pdf 2./ Mercury from old neon signs going into landfill to contaminate the environment. Many recycling companies have made huge advances in being able to recycle mercury vapourised tubes. Under environmental regulations in the State of California, most LEDs would be classified as hazardous waste http://theneongroup.org/forcesofchange.pdf 3./LED’s run of 12v as to the High Voltage of Cold Cathode. The high voltage used for Cold Cathode (Neon) is not the same type used in transmission & other power source it uses magnetic shunt technology to limit the current to produce 30milliamps which when translated to amps it is only 0.03 of an Amp. Both the power supply units for Neon & LED are powered by the same primary volts which is converted. Neon is also able to be run on 12vdc transformers & has even been powered by solar energy. The skipping girl in Melbourne Australia is one such example http://www.skippinggirl.com.au/restoring/ 4./ Cold Cathode (Neon) is not energy efficient A 10Kv 30ma NTS transformer draws 1.2 amps 288 watts to operate but if Power Factor Corrected it draws 0.8 amps 192 watts for 40ft/18mts of linear lumen output. When using a 10Kv Electronic Neon Transformer it draws 0.4amps 144watts to power 35ft/15mtrs of linear lumen output. Transformer Loading Lumen output charts 5./ Neon has a shorter life span. Most indoor neon pieces are virtually maintenance free. The transformer or power supply can last up to fifteen years, if it is correctly matched to the neon display. The neon tubes do not burn out like incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, and will last twenty years or longer if they don't get broken. How long does a neon sign last? 6./ LED’s are more efficient than Cold Cathode (Neon) when it comes to watts per linear foot. Here is the real issue the LED industry always uses the worst case scenario for wattage consumption it uses the power usage of “NEON” not “Mercury Vapourised” tubes to compare as well as transformers not PFC (power factor correctors). Also Cold Cathode & Neon still give far more lumens per foot than LED’s, which means you compare light output to light output, Cold Cathode exceeds  that of LED’s for energy efficiency. Please use the links below to see the comparisons 7./ LED’s are brighter than Cold Cathode (Neon). LED’s do look bright than Neon but that is due to LED’s being smaller tha same applies to the different size diameters of tubing with neon 8/9mm tube is much brighter to the eye than the larger diameter tubes 15/18mm. the truth is the larger the tube the more light output is acheived know as lumems per foot.Please use the links below to see the comparisons
Neon Efficiency
Neon Vs LED’s
Neon Vs LED’s
Neon Vs LED’s
Consultant - Designer Member
Mike Hall Technical Services
With thanks to the Neon Group Here are video’s of direct comparisions
In today’s world we all try to be as environmentally conscious  as we can. LED manufactor’s & distributors have gained an unfair believe that they far outclass Cold Cathode (neon) tubing as the most efficient source for signage illumination. Some of the points made by the LED industry are. 1./ LED’s do not contain mercury. Fair point Cold Cathode does have mercury, but Neon does not! neon is a pure inert gas which is used for the red spectrum of lighting. Also mercury is used in many other forms of lights fluorescent tubes & compact fluorescent bulbs are mercury vapourised. See leaflet for mercury content in Cold Cathode & Blue/Argon Gas tubes BUT WITH LED’s MATERIALS SUCH ARSENIC,ANTIMONY,CHROMIUM & LEAD AS WELL AS OTHER TOXIC CHEMIALS SOMETIMES IN AMOUNTS EXCEEDING REGULATIONS ARE USED. http://theneongroup.org/forcesofchange.pdf 2./ Mercury from old neon signs going into landfill to contaminate the environment. Many recycling companies have made huge advances in being able to recycle mercury vapourised tubes. Under environmental regulations in the State of California, most LEDs would be classified as hazardous waste http://theneongroup.org/forcesofchange.pdf 3./LED’s run of 12v as to the High Voltage of Cold Cathode. The high voltage used for Cold Cathode (Neon) is not the same type used in transmission & other power source it uses magnetic shunt technology to limit the current to produce 30milliamps which when translated to amps it is only 0.03 of an Amp. Both the power supply units for Neon & LED are powered by the same primary volts which is converted. Neon is also able to be run on 12vdc transformers & has even been powered by solar energy. The skipping girl in Melbourne Australia is one such example http://www.skippinggirl.com.au/restoring/ 4./ Cold Cathode (Neon) is not energy efficient A 10Kv 30ma NTS transformer draws 1.2 amps 288 watts to operate but if Power Factor Corrected it draws 0.8 amps 192 watts for 40ft/18mts of linear lumen output. When using a 10Kv Electronic Neon Transformer it draws 0.4amps 144watts to power 35ft/15mtrs of linear lumen output. Transformer Loading Lumen output charts 5./ Neon has a shorter life span. Most indoor neon pieces are virtually maintenance free. The transformer or power supply can last up to fifteen years, if it is correctly matched to the neon display. The neon tubes do not burn out like incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, and will last twenty years or longer if they don't get broken. How long does a neon sign last?
Neon Efficiency
Neon Vs LED’s
Neon Vs LED’s
Neon Vs LED’s
Consultant - Designer Member
Mike Hall Technical Services
With thanks to the Neon Group Here are video’s of direct comparisions
Web site designed, built & managed by Steven Cole - Cole’s Neon Shop 2009  email steven@colesneon.com