The Truth About Neon Signs and Heat: How to Stay Safe
Before addressing some of the questions we’re frequently asked here at A1deSIGNS about the safety of neon signs, let us first state that neon signage is incredibly safe, provided that it’s properly maintained and treated with respect.
The story of neon lights has been going on for more than 100 years. (Take an in-depth look at the background of neon). With over a century of development, modern neon signs are more durable and safe than ever.
Does neon feel hot to the touch?
There are a couple of reasons why a neon section (tube) would get hot. It could be due to the existence of impurities in the tube (air usually), the electrodes generating too much current flowing through them because of an incorrect calibration, or even if the tube is improperly installed.
The only other time that an electrode might be hot is when it is placed on large-diameter tubing operating with a high current between 150mA and 200mA.
Does neon have to be at a height?
Neon may be located at a touching height, however, different regulations govern the installation. The height at which a touch is made (arm’s reach) is defined in section 7 of the European Standard EN 50107, which is concerned with the protection from contact between active (live) parts.
An arm’s reach is the distance to any surface where a person can stand or move. This would be a reach of 1.25m in front and below the surface and up to 2.5m over the surface can be used by a person.
When a sign is within arms reach, the following applies: If the glass tubing is housed completely within a case, for example, acrylic No open circuit protection is needed.
If the glass tubing can be touched, then a mechanically protective enclosure conforming to IP2X as well as open circuit protection is required. It can be a tray with electrical connections at the rear of the tray panel that is fixed in a way that requires a tool to remove the caps. All electrodes and parts made of metal connections must be connected to the earth.
Complete mechanical protection is achieved if the housing doesn’t show any openings that have a diameter of more than 12mm even if a tube is to break.
Electronic transformers have open circuit protection as standard Other types of transformers require a simple change of an earth trip inside the transformer, or if being flashed or dimmed by an external earth trip.
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.