We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Neon Art?

By Brendan McGuigan
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Musical Expert is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Musical Expert, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Neon art is a relatively new media utilizing neon lights to create visually stimulating forms of art, often incorporating motion and interactivity. As a genre, the field of neon art is still emerging, with new techniques and technologies creating new opportunities each year.

Neon is one of the noble gases, having a number of properties in common with the other gases: argon, krypton, xenon, and radon. Of these, only neon and argon are commonly used in neon art. When a noble gas is bombarded with electrons by running an electric current through it, its atoms are dislodged from their orbit. As the atoms absorb the electrons, the resulting energy emits as light.

Neon gives off red light, while argon mixed with a bit of mercury gives off a deep blue light. These are the two base colors used in neon art, but other colors may be achieved either by baking fluorescent powder into the glass tubing or by using colored glass. In this way, a wide range of colors may be achieved in neon art, including different shades of red and blue, rich greens and yellows, and pure whites.

When creating neon art, most artists bend the glass freehand, while some rely on the sorts of templates commonly used in neon sign making. Glass is bent by fixing it over a high-temperature flame and rolling it back and forth while pulling it into the desired shape.

In 1981, the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) in Los Angeles became the first museum in the world to specialize in works of neon art. To date, they have shown the work of more than four-hundred artists and received extensive praise. As well as operating a museum, MONA also offers classes in introductory neon shaping and technique, taught by the staff of the museum and resident artists.

Neon art takes two main forms. In the first, neon tubing is the exclusive media of the pieces. Often these pieces resemble traditional neon signs, with some subtle message added as a form of artistic expression.

Other times the work may be free-form, with no narrative structure whatsoever, expressing itself through the gentle curves and vivid colors neon lighting lends itself to. Another style of neon art makes use of neon lighting combined with traditional media, or with objects from everyday life. This style of neon art tends more towards political statement than neon art which focuses exclusively on the shape and color of the neon, and has produced some works which have met with great critical praise.

Musical Expert is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Illych — On Apr 29, 2011

@softener - LED based signs are actually not true neon signs. As the article says, neon is actually a gas. LED based signs are a lot cheaper though and is used by some artists.

Unfortunately the process of neon art is quite difficult to learn on your own. There are neon workshops in some parts of the world, but I imagine learning the hands on of neon art is something you'd need to go to art school for.

If you had a design or an idea in mind you could try having it custom made.

By softener — On Apr 28, 2011

I've been fascinated by neon art and was wondering how how to make neon art myself, so this was a great article for me. Looks like it requires glassblowing and then I guess some kind of basic electronics for the LEDs inside. I'm considering making something just for the fun of it.

Musical Expert, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Musical Expert, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.