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Can I Use Neon Light Sign Outdoors? Everything You Need to Know

4 minutes read



Neon signs are a popular way to add a touch of style and personality to any space, but what if you want to use your neon sign outside? Many people wonder if neon signs are suitable for outdoor use, and the answer is yes, but with some important caveats. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the question "Can I use a neon light sign outdoors?" and explore the factors you need to consider before placing your neon sign outside.

Understanding Neon Signs

Before we dive into the specifics of using neon signs outside, let's take a quick look at what neon signs are and how they work. Neon signs are made up of glass tubes filled with gas, neon, and other inert gases. An electrical current is passed through the gas, causing it to emit light in a specific colour. Neon signs can be bent into any shape or design, making them versatile and customizable.

Standard Neon Signs for Indoor Use Only

As mentioned in the previous article, most standard neon signs are designed for indoor use only. While they can be used outside in certain conditions, it's important to note that they are not weatherproof and cannot be exposed to wet weather. If you plan to use a neon sign outdoors, it will need to be water-resistant.

Waterproof Outdoor Neon Signs

If you want to use a neon sign outdoors, you'll need to invest in a waterproof outdoor neon sign. These signs are designed to withstand the elements, including rain, dew, snow, and ice. They're made from materials that are weather-resistant, such as PVC or acrylic, and are sealed to protect the electrical components from moisture.

Convert Indoor Signs to Outdoor Signs

If you already have a standard indoor neon sign that you want to use outside, you can convert it into a UL Listed, Outdoor model for an more cost. This process involves making slight modifications to the sign to ensure it's safe for outdoor use and supplying a special power supply. The cost of converting a sign to an outdoor model starts at $219.00 and varies depending on the size and design of the sign.

Custom Outdoor Neon Signs

If you're looking for a unique outdoor neon sign, you can order a custom sign that's designed for outdoor use. When you place your order, be sure to mention that you want the sign to be water-resistant and suitable for outdoor use. The sign will be made differently from indoor signs to ensure it can withstand the elements, and it will come with a special power supply.

Splash proof vs. Waterproof

When it comes to outdoor neon signs, there are two main types: splashproof and waterproof. Splashproof signs are designed to protect the electrical components from light rain and splashes of water, but they're not suitable for heavy rain or extreme weather conditions. Waterproof signs, , are designed to withstand heavy rain, snow, and ice.

Protecting Your Neon Sign from Water Damage

Even if you have a waterproof outdoor neon sign, it's important to take precautions to protect it from water damage. One way to do this is to apply a clear coat of sealant to the sign. This will create a barrier between the sign and the water, preventing water from seeping into the sign and causing damage. Another way to protect your neon sign is to keep it covered when it's not in use. This will help keep the sign dry and protected from the elements.

Unplugging Your Neon Sign

Finally, it's important to note that water can cause a neon sign to short circuit. To prevent damage to your sign, be sure to unplug it before exposing it to water

How to protect your outdoor neon sign from damage

Even if you have an outdoor neon sign that is designed to withstand the elements, it's important to take some precautions to protect it from damage. Here are some tips for keeping your outdoor neon sign in great condition:

Protect it from extreme weather conditions.

While outdoor neon signs are designed to be weather-resistant, they should still be protected from extreme weather conditions. If you live in an area that experiences strong winds, you may want to consider mounting your sign in a location that is sheltered from the wind.

Clean your sign.

Dirt and debris can accumulate on your sign over time, which can reduce its visibility and even cause damage. Make sure to clean your sign using a soft cloth and mild cleaning solution. Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals, as these can scratch or damage the surface of your sign.

Keep your sign dry.

Even though outdoor neon signs are designed to be weather-resistant, it's still important to keep them as dry as possible. Make sure that your sign is not in a location where it is likely to get wet, and consider using a waterproof cover to protect it during heavy rain or snow.

Inspect your sign regularly.

Make sure to inspect your outdoor neon sign for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If you notice any issues, such as cracks in the glass or damage to the electrical components, it's important to address them right away.


While most standard neon signs are designed for indoor use only, it is possible to use them outdoors as long as they are protected from rain, dew, snow, and ice.

If you plan to use your neon sign outdoors, you should consider purchasing an outdoor neon sign that is designed to withstand the elements, or having a standard indoor sign converted into an outdoor sign.

It's important to take some precautions to protect your outdoor neon sign from damage, such as keeping it dry and clean, protecting it from extreme weather conditions, and inspecting it.

With the right care and maintenance, your outdoor neon sign can last for many years and continue to attract attention and admiration.

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