There’s just something about neon sings. How they light up a place, the mood they set, I’m not exactly sure what it is. Whatever it is, I do like neon signs. There is a pretty large variety so whatever your interests, you can probably find one that fits your tastes.
Most wall mounted neon signs start at about $100 and go up from there depending on size and complexity. The stand-alone and usually smaller signs are a bit cheaper.
Neon light FAQ and guide
Since neon lights are a bit of a mystery for many people, here are some common questions and quick answers.
What is a neon sign?
A neon sign is a sign that’s lit up by long glass tubes filled with gas. The gas is usually neon hence the name. Electrodes are inserted through the glass and when an electric charge is applied the gas lights up.
Are there different types of neon lights?
There are a few different kinds of neon lights. Let’s see which types there are.
First off, there is the classic wall mounted sign.
There are also stand-alone lamps. These are usually made a bit cheaper and smaller. They’re also cheaper to buy as a result.
Neon lights have different colors. These colors can be achieved in different ways. The first way is to add different inert gasses or chemicals to the tube. For example you can add; hydrogen (red), helium (yellow), carbon dioxide (white), and mercury (blue).
The other option is to just color the glass of the tube. This is usually a cheaper option.
This type doesn’t always come with a plug and switch. You might have to wire it up yourself.
Another type is the stand alone neon sign. This type doesn’t have to be mounted on the wall but you can just plug into a socket and turn it on.
This type of neon sign has a support base so you can just put it down on any flat surface like a normal lamp. This is obviously much easier but most signs of this type are quite small.
How can you mount a neon light on the wall?
Most readymade signs come with mounting hardware. Just measure and drill in the right spots. It’s not that different from hanging any other sign or painting.
How long do neon signs last?
Neon signs should not be outside. But since we’re talking about man caves it will be inside anyways.
If you would keep the sign on for 24 hours a day, neon tubes can last for a long time. Producers quote burn times from 8 to 15 years. That’s plenty of time to get bored of it and want something else on the wall.
Leaving a neon sign turned on actually increases the lifespan since turning a neon light on and off is harder on the transformer.
Does a neon light require special care?
Neon lights might require a little more care than normal lights but all in all it’s not much.
You’ll have to clean them once in a while. Since they draw more attention and are not covered up by anything like a lampshade, the dust is more visible than on normal lights.
You have to be careful handling neon tubes. If they break or crack, the gas escapes and it won’t work anymore. The gas itself is pretty harmless if the tube is broken in a ventilated space.
Are there any drawbacks to having a neon sign?
- It requires slightly more care than normal lights.
- The transformer might make a buzzing sound. How loud this is, depends on the transformer.
- They might be a bit more fragile than normal lights.
Why should you get a neon sign for your man cave?
- They look awesome.
- Neon sings combine decoration and lighting. Two for the price of one!
- They don’t actually use a lot of electricity. You might think you’d need a lot of energy to make gas glow but it’s comparable to a 75w bulb.
- There are so many different options, there is something for everyone.
I still don’t like the idea of a neon sign. Are there any other options?
Yes there is another option that looks quite similar to neon.
This option is LED based. Putting many LEDs in an opaque tube has a similar look to neon lights. It’s not exactly the same but comes pretty close. They will last a long time as well and possibly use a little less energy.
What kind of neon sign is good for your man cave?
What kind of sing is the best for you depends on your interests and theme of your man cave. Here is a selection of signs per type and interest.
Neon man cave signs
Beer/liquor brand. One of the best ways to make your man cave look like a pub is to install a neon sign in the shape of a beer or liquor brand logo. Pick your favorite brand and light up you man cave. This Corona sign on Amazon for example looks pretty and has good reviews.
Is there a message you want to spread in your man cave? Put it on the wall and light it up! Check out this one on Amazon for example. It’s always 5 O’clock somewhere.
Sports team logo
Are you a big fan of a certain sports team? Chances are you can find a very cool looking neon sign to put on the wall of your man cave. Make clear who you support very quickly by putting their logo on your wall and make it light up your room. Here is a Green Bay Packers sign on Amazon for example. If that’s not your team, check out their whole shop. They’ve got several awesome logos.
Car and motorcycle brands are another favorite. These logos are easily recognizable and usually look very nice. I quite like this Ford V8 logo. (Amazon link) Make sure to check out the rest of the shop as well. They handmade awesome neon signs. Some of these are quite expensive but they look absolutely awesome.
You prefer something that will piss off your wife? I found the thing for you. Make sure you don’t tell your wife where you’re going with that strip club sign (Amazon link)
There are countless of other neon signs that are not necessarily saying anything or are in the shape of a logo. These are just things that would look cool in a man cave. A lightning bolt or skull for example.
LED man cave signs
To make your man cave an official home pub, you must have an “open” Sign. Make it clear for everyone that they’re welcome. Since you want to turn an “open” sign on and off many times, LED is suited better than neon. This open sign on Amazon looks really like a neon sign but it’s actually LED.
The benefit of getting an LED sign is that there are quite a few shops that offer personalized signs. If you’ve got your own man cave or home pub, you might as well put your name on it. Here’s a personalized bar sign on Amazon. It’s one of the best looking personalizable signs I’ve seen for a very reasonable price.
Just like the neon version, you can put what you want to say on the wall. Saves you talking and electricity if you go for the LED type!