Why Are Some Beer Signs Neon?

beer-signs-neon Credit: Lonely Planet/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

According to Neon Library, neon beer signs are designed to advertise beer companies using bright light to attract a customer's gaze. The lights are safe, energy-efficient and visible in daylight and at night, making them useful for advertisements.

In 1923, neon lamp inventor Georges Claude introduced the United States to the concept of neon signs, the Neon Library says. Today, beer companies typically give bars free signs in exchange for keeping their brand on-tap in the establishment, according to About Money.

Beer Signs says most modern neon beer signs have built-in safety features that make them easy to use in nearly any establishment. If the sign breaks, the broken section will only lose its illumination. It does not usually pose a serious risk to anyone handling it. In addition, modern beer signs are only hot to the touch and emit the same amount of heat into the room as most fluorescent lighting.

According to Wayne Strattman, neon lights can create an array of colors due to the chemical process in the tubes. While quality signs are safer than many commercial lamps, the high voltage of neon beer signs can still be dangerous and cause them to burn out quickly, he says. Many companies must weigh the benefits of their high visibility with their short lifespans.