How to Prevent Heat Damage from Neon Signs: Tips and Tricks

Before addressing certain questions we get asked frequently here at A1deSIGNS regarding the safety of neon signs, we’ll first mention that neon signs are incredibly safe to use, providing it is well looked after and are treated with respect.

The neon light has been around for over 100 years to the time when it first came into existence (take an overview of the history of neon, here), and with more than a century’s worth of advancement, you can be confident that modern day neon lights are more secure and reliable than ever before.

Are neons hot to the touch?

There are many reasons a neon section (tube) could become hot. It could be due to the existence of impurities in the tube (air typically) or the electrodes being too hot due to the current flowing through them due to incorrect calibration or if it’s incorrectly installed.

An electrode may also become hot if it’s connected to large-diameter tubing, at high currents of around 150mA.

Is neon able to reach its height?

Although neon can be installed at a height that is not touching, however, there are other rules for its installation. Section 7 of EN50107, the European Standard defines the term “touching” height as the height of an arm’s reach. It covers the protection from contact with active (live!) parts.

Arm’s reach is defined as the area that extends from any surface on which a person could be able to stand or move around, and from which one could reach out. It is a range of 1.25m in front and below the surface, and up to 2.5m over the surface can be used by a person.

Signs are to be within the reach of the person using them.

If the glass tubing can be touched, it is necessary to have a mechanically secure enclosure by IP2X, and open circuit protection is needed. It can be a tray-type panel with electrical connections at the rear or an enclosure that is secured so that it requires a tool for removing the caps. All metal components that are outside must be earthed and all electrode connections should be secured by silicon caps.

The housing must not contain any openings that have diameters greater than 12mm, even if a tube does explode.

Open circuit protection is standard on electronic transformers. Different types of transformers need simple adjustments to an earth trip inside the transformer, or if the light is flashing or dimmed the external earth trip.

Do we hope you found this post helpful? Check out more of our neon articles here. And please drop us a line if you’d like to chat about any of the details we’ve covered or to find out more about how our variety of custom neon signs can help your business.