Do you know the neon signs that are disappearing?
A neon sign is a light that emits light when electricity is passed through a glass tube filled with gas. By changing the gas to be put inside or painting the glass tube with a color, you can make it emit light in your favorite color. Many bright neon signboards have been installed in downtown areas for a long time. However, in recent years, the number of neon signs is decreasing. This time, we conducted a questionnaire about neon signs for 100 men and women. We will introduce various opinions about the image and necessity of neon signs.
82% of respondents knew the neon signs, while 18% did not. Neon signs were invented in France in the 1910s. Japan also imported the technology and has been used since the Taisho era.
Neon signs can be made into any shape by bending the glass tube, so you can create three-dimensional signboards with letters and illustrations. Most people have probably seen them installed on top of buildings in cities or shops in downtown areas.
Among those who voted for “I don’t know neon signs”, there are probably a certain number of people who have seen neon signs but don’t know their names.
Q2. What kind of place do you think you are?
Q1. Do you know neon signs?
The strongest impression of having a neon sign is the “downtown character signboard”, which received 67% of the votes. In particular, it seems that many shops in downtown areas have used neon signs as signboards for a long time. Many people recognize that “where there are neon signs = downtown area”, and the downtown area is sometimes called a “neon town”.
The second most frequent answer was “exterior walls of pachinko parlors, etc.” This old-fashioned store also uses neon signs a lot.
The third was “a large advertising tower such as Glico”. The bright colors of the neon sign make it perfect for large, eye-catching advertisements.
Q3. Did you know that neon signs are disappearing from the city?
84% of respondents do not know that neon signs are disappearing from the city, while 16% know. Most people don’t seem to know that neon signs are dying out.
Due to the trend of the times, the number of companies that manufacture neon signs is decreasing, and the number of craftsmen who process glass tubes is also decreasing. It seems that more and more signboards are now being made with LEDs and another lighting.
Although the number of neon signs is decreasing, there are still many colorfully lit signs. As you walk through the downtown area, you will see billboards and advertisements that glow in various colors. Therefore, there may be few people who feel that neon signs have decreased.
Q4. Think you need a neon sign?
57% of respondents do not need neon signs, while 43% do.
“It’s too flashy and consumes a lot of power. (Kochi Prefecture/38 years old/female)”, “It’s quieter and safer without it. (Tochigi Prefecture/34 years old/female)” Like this, those who do not have a good impression of neon signs are voting for “not needed”.
However, some people view the lighting of the neon signs favorably, such as, “There are places where brighter lights are better for crime prevention. It can also be a tourist attraction. (Shizuoka prefecture/45 years old/female).” Not a few.
As for neon signs, the result was that there were few more negative opinions. Neon signs were often installed in downtown areas, so it seems that people had the image that “places with neon signs are unsafe”.
Neon signs are characterized by processing glass tubes into any shape and producing vivid colors. It is easy to use as an advertisement, but some people feel that the color is “too flashy” or “vulgar”. Some people simply don’t like the appearance of neon signs, but some people are drawn to the image of a downtown area and feel that the neon signs themselves are in bad taste.
Also, from the perspective of global environmental issues, there was an opinion that billboards that use electricity are not eco-friendly. It seems that many people are worried about the impact of power consumption on the global environment when they see neon signs shining brightly in the darkness of the night.
Neon tubes do not consume as much power as light sources compared to LEDs, but because they contain tiny amounts of mercury, they are regulated as mercury waste and can be said to be environment-loading products.
Of course, some people have positive feelings toward neon signs. There were many responses that they didn’t want it to disappear because they liked the design and texture. It seems that there is also a recognition that it is a kind of illumination that colors the night view. Certainly, the gathering of colorful neon signs adds to the atmosphere of the city. There are also opinions that it would be sad to lose the neon sign as something that forms the traditional landscape. Some people answered that they don’t want the neon signs to go away, simply because it’s hard to find shops in dark places at night. Neon signs are also useful in terms of practicality. It is especially convenient for those who are unfamiliar with the area because it serves as a landmark for the store you are looking for.
Nowadays, there are many ways to advertise other than neon signs. In particular, signs using LEDs have begun to replace neon signs. Some may think that there is no need to fight against this trend.
It is unavoidable that the number of neon signs will decrease as the trend times. However, the demand will not disappear completely. There is also an opinion that the neon signs should not disappear, saying that young people can “enjoy a retro atmosphere” and elderly people “remember the good old days.” As long as these people don’t disappear, I don’t think neon signs will disappear.
We sell the “Border V Series” as an alternative light source for neon tubes. This is an LED neon for borderline applications that combines LEDs and a silicone case.
Although it is not suitable for creating neon letters, it can be used to easily express borderlines that require R. The lighting is different from that of a neon tube, but why not consider using it as a tool to reproduce the look of neon while realizing the conversion to LED?