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Neon Lights – A Brief History

Neon lights have been around for over 100 years and have provided very effective ways to communicate messages in a colorful and attractive manner. We’ll discuss some of the history involved in the creation and evolution of these lights.

The first neon lights were produced from glass tubes filled with a special type of gas that would glow when electrified. They were called Geissler tubes.

The Geissler tubes were originally developed in the late 1800’s. It was possible for them to emit different colors of light depending on the type of gas used within the tubes. The use of Geissler tubes was somewhat limited, however, because the gas tended to leak out of the tubes and their lighting effectiveness dropped as the tubes lost pressure.

An improvement was made to the Geissler tube with the introduction of the Moore tube. These tubes used nitrogen or carbon dioxide to provide the lighting effects. They also trapped the gas more effectively so that the pressure could remain more constant. Beginning in the early 1900’s, the use of Moore’s tubes was a common way to provide this special kind of lighting.

Neon lights evolved when it was found that glass tubes that were filled with neon gas that was then electrified produced a very pleasant glow. streetlyte This type of lighting was used to illuminate a sign for a brand of French liquor and it was later used in other types of signage.

Initially the expansion of neon lights was limited due to the fact that neon gas was difficult to obtain. However this changed significantly when a company called Air Liquid developed a process that produced large quantities of the gas commercially.

At that point, it became possible to create neon lights for a wide variety of advertising and decorative purposes. Improvements in the technology associated with these lights made it possible to create over 100 different colors and intensities of lighting. The use of different combinations of gases and innovative coatings applied to inside of the glass tubes were used to accomplish this. This enabled neon designers to create impressive and beautiful signs and decorative items. It also helped to significantly increase the use of neon in applications all over the globe.

The technology involved in controlling and powering these lights has also evolved significantly to the point where complex neon lights can be produced which varies colors and provides a sense of movement or special effects by varying which lights will turn on and off or vary in lighting intensity.

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