Why Are Neon Signs So Expensive?

Many business owners stay away from neon signs as they are significantly more expensive when compared to traditional signage. Even when you combine normal signage with a light source, the total cost is still way less than a neon sign. However, to compare both of them is to compare apples to oranges.

Neon signs may cost more due to the way they are made and also because most of them are custom-designed for a business or store. The number of tubes required and the number of colored lights plays a substantial role in its price.

However, they act as an efficient light source and as a great promotional material for increasing brand value. The initial cost may be high but it will help you to attract more customers which over time will bring in more revenue. Here in this article, we will be looking at why neon signs are expensive as well as how to keep the cost down to get more value for your money.

3 Reasons why Neon Signs are so Expensive

Neon signs are expensive for a number of reasons. They are usually custom made and quite large. If they are to be placed outside they also need to be waterproofed. Other expensive features some neon signs have are backlighting and halo lighting.

Neon signs in general can cost anywhere between $200 to $1000 and more based on certain key aspects. It may be possible to get one made below $200 but the above range is the average cost incurred by most commercial businesses.

Here are some of the various factors that make up the high cost of neon signs:

1. Custom Design

Why are Neon Signs so Expensive

The entire purpose of using a neon sign is to have attractive one-of-a-kind signage to attract and invite customers to your place of business. To do so, your signage has to not only be appealing but also distinctive enough to stand out from the rest.

If your store is located in a place where there are already plenty of neon signs, then yours has to stand out more to entice new customers. You can go for a simple design to reduce costs but your sign won’t be visually appealing or unique enough to stand out.

To make the design of your sign unique, you will have to play with not only shapes but colors as well. This will involve a substantial amount of work at the neon shop as they will have to bend the glass tubes and create separate sections with different colors and so on. A custom design will also require a professional designer which, again, increases the cost.

2. Type of Neon Lights

With neon signs, you can go for different types based on your requirements. If your signage will be placed outside and is located in a place that has a good amount of rainfall, you might need to go for a waterproof sign.

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When it comes to some LED neon signs, they use various glues and silicone fillers to close any gaps. For high rise buildings or locations prone to extreme temperature, one can go for the option of having an acrylic shield over the sign and around its edges.

Other features that increase the cost of neon signs are backlighting or halo lighting. Halo lighting creates a halo-like glow of light around the letters. Backlit neon signs are usually 3D letters illuminated from the inside using either neon, cold cathode, or an LED.

Due to this, they are often used for signage in hotels, spas, restaurants, pubs, and so on. All of the above requires more time and effort in making the sign and therefore increases the cost.

3. Size Matters

The size of the overall sign as well as the number of letters used also influences the total cost of the signage. Some shops will either price it as a total package or charge it per the specific design and everything it entails.

Some shops will have a standard number of letters they will include in their base cost and charge extra for additional letters. When it comes to size and number of letters, different shops may have different approaches to pricing.

Another important aspect to consider here is the complexity of the design. So even if the size isn’t that big, a complex design may end up costing more as it will require a lot of time and effort to bend glass tubes into intricate patterns.

How to Keep the Costs Down when Buying a Neon Sign?

To keep costs down, always go for a clean design and never go for a bigger size than what you need. If your store name or logo has a lot of letters in it, you can talk to the designer about creative ways in which the letters can be integrated into the sign without making it complex or expensive.

Features such as waterproofing are a necessary expense and therefore would not be ideal to ignore to keep the price down. However, backlighting or halo lighting only helps in making the signage more attractive. So you can choose to not go for it if you are confident about the design you have in mind.

LED neon signs are also a great alternative for glass neon signs as they are significantly less expensive and easier to install and maintain. Traditional glass neon lights also require regular maintenance as you have to change the gas periodically to ensure it stays lit. LED neon signs on the other hand don’t require any sort of regular maintenance which drives down the long-term cost significantly.


When it comes to neon signs, there are many ways in which you can keep the cost down to get more value for your money over time. Traditional neon signs offer more intense lighting but will require a certain amount of cost when you factor in maintenance.

LED neon signs offer more value for your money but may not be as intense as traditional ones. Therefore at the end of the day, you will have to make a decision based on your specific requirements and not stray from what is essential to your business.

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You have to think of a neon sign as an investment and get it made to only meet your specific needs. Only then will you be able to enjoy the extra revenue brought by the sign in terms of new customers.

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