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Channel Letters   Channel Letters   Channel Letters   Channel Letters   Channel Letters EnergyStar Signs

Neon Manufacturing for Channel Letters

EXPOSED OUTLINE NEONMost Channel Letters are internally lighted with neon.  Channel letter neon is a hand-made "light bulb", and all neon is not created equal!

Unlike most sign companies, Dallas Signs Manufacturing manufactures neon (and Cold-Cathode lamps).

We use the highest quality glass and nickel-flex electrodes with Dumet alloy inner leads, heavy-gauge solid-nickel corrosion-proof 7-strand exterior leads and ceramic collars, the best we can buy, because except for heat-cracking, most neon failures are electrode failures.DOUBLE-STROKE NEON

Our artisans carefully charge each neon tube for optimum brilliance using the most sophisticated of neon pumping systems because the third most frequent cause of neon failure is improper pumping.

Even though all neon dims in cold weather, neon manufactured by Signs Manufacturing will dim less because we use gases specially formulated for cold weather, which are unaffected by hot weather.

Employing an old "trick-of-the-trade" we place our neon electrodes in the bottom of channel letters wherever possible.  The heat rising off the electrodes heats the neon and causes it not to dim so greatly in cold weather.  Another reason our signs are usually brighter when the weather is cold.

The most common cause of neon failure is heat cracking.  This is caused by improper installation (too much or too little neon footage for the size [secondary voltage] transformer used), or by the effects of high voltage on the shorter neon pieces.LIGHTED SINGLE-STROKE NEON

It is critically important to the long-life of both the neon and the power transformers that each transformer has the proper resistance in neon (loading) for its secondary voltage.

Signs Manufacturing "burns in" each neon tube for twenty-four hours to stabilize the neon, then meters the neon to be connected to each transformer for both voltage and amperage draw to insure a proper load, because even identical neon letters will have different resistance.  Most competitors neither meter nor "burn in" their neon.

Well-made and properly installed neon should average a twenty-year lifetime (40,000 hours of use).

Neon is affected by voltage.  For instance, standard neon will burn nearly 100% brighter if you double the power feeding it.  The neon  will last about ¼ as long, however, making this alternative quite expensive in total cost.

Our challenge is to give you a brighter sign which attracts more customers, without increasing your sign, energy, or maintenance costs.

Channel letters are usually illuminated with neon.  Our artisans individually manufacture the neon for each letter after the letter base is manufactured to insure a proper fit that will evenly and brilliantly illuminate the entire face of the letter without "shorting" against the metal.  Sign companies that buy their neon pre-made from neon manufacturers cannot do this.

Multiple neon strokes are added as required to insure even illumination.

We automatically employ neon intensity control to give our customers the brightest sign possible without increasing energy costs.

Neon Colors

  • White (9 different shades)Neon Colors

  • Warmtone

  • Clear Red

  • Red (4 additional coated colors)

  • Amber

  • Rose

  • Ruby Red

  • Orange (4 different colors)

  • Tangerine

  • Gold

  • Yellow

  • Pink

  • Beige

  • Magenta

  • Violet

  • Purple

  • Green (7 different colors)

  • Turquoise

  • Clear Blue

  • Blue (6 additional colors)

  • Aquamarine

Neon Brightness

Glass tubes 8 mm to 18 mm thick are used to make “neon” lamps, 18 mm to 30 mm thick to make so-called “cold-cathode” lamps, thicker to make “fluorescent” lamps.

Other than size and the type of electrode used, there is no difference between neon and fluorescent lamps of the same color output.  The size and/or color does change the energy requirements, however, which is why they use different power sources.

All things being equal, the thinner the tube, the more light it puts out!

Unless there are over-riding lumen requirements, or landlord restrictions, we will adjust your neon size to give you the brightest sign possible.  However, you CAN have an even brighter sign (see Brighter Signs.)

Brighter Signs™ for Channel Letters

“Our (channel letter) sign is like a star, a beacon in a universe of dull and dingy signs…it lights up the whole area!  We couldn’t be more pleased.”  Greg Clark, Mom’s Kitchen (with Brighter Signs™ option)

New neon is available that increases the light output in channel letters, without increasing the energy consumption of the sign.

This new neon, incorporated into your new channel letter sign, will make your sign significantly brighter than all other signs in the area when lighted.  A 110% brighter sign.  Potential customers will see your sign first so it is the one that will make the strongest impression!

The greatest testimonial to the effectiveness of Brighter Signs™ on our customer’s bottom line is that EVERY customer who has ordered Brighter Signs™ technology for a sign has reordered it for every sign from then on!

Ultra-Bright Signs™ for Channel Letters

We combine our Brighter Signs™ technology with neon intensity control and higher-powered transformers to create a 150% brighter sign.

This option may use up to 16% more energy but its results can be worth it.

LED Alternatives

Two other methods of lighting channel letters is internally with LED lighting, and external first-surface LED lighting.  Click our tabs one page up to learn about these alternatives.

There is a significantly higher "parts count" in a LED lighted sign.  More parts to fail. 

Also click our "Energy Savings" tab one page up to view a comparison of operating costs and number of components in neon and LED lighted signs so you can make an informed decision.

A brand-new channel letter sign with neon not sized properly for the letters.  This is why the corners of the letters are dark!  Enlarge the picture and notice how the paint is already coming off the bottom of the raceway.  (We didn't make it!)



Everything Lighted  

 Everything Lighted

Only LetterLites™ Lighted

Various Styles of Channel Letters

LetterLites Daytime Comparison all lighted

LetterLites Daytime Comparison


Comparison of:

A LetterLites™ Channel Letter "H" EnergySaving Sign

 A "S" exposed double-stroke red neon channel letter

A "I" internally LED lighted white channel letter with red vinyl graphics

A "G" Day/Night Black/White channel letter

A "N" blue acrylic internally lighted channel letter with a backplate

Differences Sell.

Light Sells.

Intertek (ETL) Approved ManufacturerUnderwriters Laboratories (UL) Approved ManufacturerSigns Manufacturing™ & Maintenance Corp.


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·        None of the photographs in our brochures, or on our website, are “photo-shopped.”

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