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Flickering Neon

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Paul Hovnanian P.E., Nov 13, 2006.

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  1. I suppose everyone has seen neon signs that flicker. They are sort a
    hallmark of a second rate, run down establishment.

    There is one business near me that has an "Open" sign that, for as long
    as I can remember, has had an intermittent flicker. Just a run-down
    dive, I figured. Yesterday, I happened to be in a situation where I
    could observe the sign for an extended period of time. The "intermittent
    flicker"
    is in fact quite repetitive with a period of about 10 seconds and a duty
    cycle of flickering and full on that does not vary.

    It appears to me that this isn't a cheap sign on the verge of failure,
    but rather an intentional effect. Has anyone had a customer that
    specified a neon sign with a tacky looking flicker effect?
     
  2. No, but I have seen LED signs designed to look like neon
    signs that can be set to flash on and off.

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  3. But I'd expect that flickering to be random, not follow a repeating
    pattern.

    Victor suggested an LED sign made to look like a neon one complete with
    the flicker. Its up on top of a building, so getting a closer look at it
    is going to take some doing.
     
  4. If they catch me climbing around on a sign like this, they might just
    commit me.

    I did manage to get a closer look at it from street level. It appears to
    consist of two neon tubes, one just in front of the other (both spell
    out the same thing). They switch between one, which gives continuous
    light and the other which flickers when lit.
     
  5. Does it flicker on and off or does the light jitter inside the tube?
     
  6. Its difficult to tell. I can't get close enough to it. Its on a sign on
    the roof of a building, about 20 feet above ground level. The closest
    look I got of it was when I had to stop for a traffic light in front of
    the business.

    I'm thinking that they are going for the intentional tacky look since
    the business happens to be a strip club.
     
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