The average life span of a neon sign is eight to 15 years. Failure at this age is due to the burnout of the electrical components; the neon gas itself retains its ability to produce light for up to 50 years.
Neon gas produces a red-orange light. Other colors of neon lighting are produced by coating the inside of the glass tube with compounds that change the color of the light. Gases other than neon can also be used inside signs, which produce different colors; while these are also colloquially known as neon signs, they are made with argon, krypton or mercury.