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How to Replace Neon Signs with Flexible LED Neon

How to Replace Neon Signs with Flexible LED Neon


Now that we’ve turned back the clocks, you may have noticed your neon sign flickering or large portions remaining unlit. Before you spend time and money getting your old technology repaired, now is the perfect time to make the switch to a more economical option that is so fast and easy to install, you can do it yourself. Flexible LED neon rope light comes in a variety of colors and is designed to be a direct replacement for glass neon signs. You can create custom lettering, run it along the side of your building, or use it for accent lighting indoors. Read on to learn more about the benefits of neon rope light over glass neon and how easy it is to install.

LED Neon Signs Last Three Times Longer

These flexible neon rope lights are rated for up to 30,000 hours while glass neon lasts around 10,000 hours and is more susceptible to breakage. Flexible LED neon rope lights are made from high quality flame retardant PVC. It’s UL listed for outdoor locations and is designed to withstand punishing weather conditions, making them less likely to break than glass neon signs. 

Flexible Neon Signs are Easier to Install

Unlike glass neon lights, which often require custom repairs by a master craftsman, flexible LED neon rope light is easy to install and if needed, repair yourself. Because LED neon rope light is flexible, you can make adjustments on-site. Using channel guides and mounting clips, it’s easy to create straight lines or perfect curves with a radius as small as 50 millimeters. The rope light has cut marks, lines on side of the PVC jacket, every eighteen inches. Use these marks to separate lettering, splice colors, or create custom lengths for your display, no glass blowing experience required. This eliminates the hassle of creating the neon sign off-site then transporting and installing a completed glass sign. If a section is damaged and stops working, you can easily splice in a new section using an invisible splice kit. This can get your business’ name back up in lights far faster than waiting for custom repairs on a glass neon sign.

LED neon rope lights also give you more flexibility with your design. Similar to standard LED rope lights, it only needs power on one end. While glass neon requires a complete circuit, you only need an end cap to complete your LED neon installation. The rope light runs on 120 Volts, so you can run the sign directly off your building’s 120 VAC power supply.

How to Install LED Neon Rope Lights

Measure out and cut the rope light to the required length. The maximum run for 120V neon rope light is 150 feet; if you have a longer run, you will need additional power supplies. Only make cuts along the cut lines marked on the PVC insulation every 18 inches. Cutting outside of these lines will cause that section not to light. The rope light comes with four power pins, four end caps, eight 4-inch sections of shrink tube, and a power cord. If splicing two colors together, cut each at a cut line, then connect using one of the power pins. Slide the section of shrink tube over the connection and heat so that it seals the connection. The pins are not flexible, so only make connections where you don’t need a tight curve. Use an end cap to cover the end of the rope light not connected to the power supply and on the other end, secure the power adapter. Install the mounting clips or tracks, then gently push the rope light into the track until it clicks in place.

Things to Avoid During Installation

  • LED neon rope light is only flexible against a flat surface. While it has a very narrow bend radius for side-to-side curves, it should not be twisted or bent in an arch or dip that would bend the top or back of the rope light as this may damage the LEDs. It should also not be suspended unsupported or installed on gates or doors where it’s susceptible to frequent flexing and movement.

  • Don’t turn on the rope light while on the spool. LEDs put out less heat than other technologies, but when tightly coiled, the heat has nowhere to go and can ignite the PVC sleeve.

  • When installing parallel runs, don’t install them closer than half an inch apart. This may cause the rope light to overheat, shortening its lifespan.

  • Do not submerge the rope light under water. If you want something to line your pool, consider purchasing underwater tape light instead. LED flexible neon rope light is only designed for heavy rain, not for total submersion.

Make the switch today to keep your neon signs glowing. For assistance finding the right product or getting the most out of this new technology, give our lighting experts a call at 1-800-624-4488.

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