How To Make Custom Neon Signs? Step By Step Guide

Want to find out how to make custom neon signs? In this article, we will walk you step by step to create your own unique sign that matches no one else. If you’re feeling this is too much, you can always choose a custom neon sign service and let them do all the hard work. 

1. What is an LED neon sign?

Typically, the following elements make up an LED neon sign: tubes, edges, LED, and backing panels. These hollow tubes, which hold the LEDs, are carved from a solid piece of opal acrylic, then they are rounded and sanded. 

Blockout paint or vinyl edging is applied to the acrylic tubes to complete the pattern.LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are generally composed of aluminum-gallium-arsenide and function as semiconductors. The tubes are mounted on a backing panel made of several materials, including polycarbonate, acrylic, and steel if it is essential for the final design.

Arrow LED neon sign

2. How does an LED neon sign work?

Unlike traditional neon, which relies on a reaction between the neon gas and electricity, neon sign for sale is a result of electrons passing through a semiconductor, usually an alloy of metal, gallium, and arsenic.

The LEDs must be placed in position inside the tubes when used in signage. A place with too many LEDs may have hot spots and require more electricity (where the light becomes harsh and creates what appears to be a dotted pattern). There will be black patches if there are too few LEDs placed incorrectly.

3. How to make your own neon sign?

The process might frustrating but you can freely express yourself by creating a custom-made sign. Here are some of the reasons why you should make your own neon sign.

3.1 Creativity

Usually, creating something is more rewarding than purchasing it. When you place your own sign on your wall, you’ll feel very proud of yourself. If you’re artistic, a neon sign from the store might not be sufficient to satisfy your creative desire. And after finishing your first neon sign project, you’ll probably be eager to make more.

3.2 Price

Like other DIY projects, creating a neon sign is far less expensive than purchasing one. A roll of LED strip lights costs less than $30, compared to several hundred dollars for a professionally created sign. You can save a lot if you decide to make your own sign.

3.3 Safe 

Making your custom neon sign a pretty safe project if you use LED neon instead of actual glass and tubes. It does not call for power tools or protective eyewear like goggles. LED neon light signs are known for their versatility and safe components.

Make your own neon sign is fun and unique

4. How to make your own neon sign?

Okay, let’s get into the most important section of this post. We will show you how to create your customizable neon sign in just a few simple steps.

4.1 Preparation

You can create your very own neon sign in a matter of a few hours if you have a strategy in place and the appropriate equipment. Make sure your design, whether it be a phrase, a form, etc., has been planned out before you start gathering your resources so you can see the size of the items you need to utilize.

4.2 Linking the lights

While you must cut the rope light to produce each letter, the first step in wiring the lights is to see it as a straight string. There must be no interruptions in the circuit. Draw this “string” using your template from the first letter to the last, keeping in mind how the wire will be buried behind the letters and where it will connect to the following letter.

Wiring the lights

It’s time to start using your template when you have everything arranged. Cut off the letters if your backing is a solid color, then attach the template on top. You may put the template behind a transparent acrylic piece if you choose to do so. Drill holes with your 4mm drill bit where the letter ends are (your entrance and exit sites for the wires).

4.3 Cut the letters

Since only one end of your LED rope light needs to be wired, just one side of your initial letter or portion of a letter will need wiring. Line up the rope against the template to cut the very first letter. Look at the side of the rope light; it should have a line on one side and an occasional little black spot; this is your cut guide. 

Cut your letters

With a knife, make a mark as near as possible to the point where your letter terminates. Avoid cutting off before or after any of these moments. There are two tiny copper contact points inside the slit. This is where you need to connect the matching wires for your positive and negative points.

4.4 Wiring the light

Separate the positive and negative wires using your wire strippers and knife. A white stripe will be seen on the positive. Positive is red if you have colored wire. Twist the ends so that all the tiny wires are entwined after stripping the ends to reveal a centimeter of bare wire. Determine how much of wire your first light will need to connect to the next using the holes you just made, leaving around 5 to 10 cm extra to come up through the holes.

Wiring the light

Your soldering iron should be on. Put a small amount of glue on the ends of each wire once it is hot. To do this, press the tip of your iron against the solder to remove a little droplet of metal, and then press it onto the end of your wire to transfer the solder. It will quickly solidify. Before connecting the wire to the light, put your end cap to it and repeat the process for the positive and negative wires.

Now that the strip is down, you may fix it with your super glue. Using your template as a guide while you apply glue to the strip’s flat white base to secure it in place. It is nearly hard to completely remove glue from acrylic, so take care not to get it on other surfaces. You may use duct tape to hold your initial piece in place while the glue cures if it has a severe bend.

Follow the same processes for each letter, using the string diagram to decide where the wire should go. As you go, add end caps and feed the wire through the holes, and check each one’s connection with your power cord and adapter along the way. Holding the red wire against the positive and the black wire against the black will do this. You must check your connections if it doesn’t light up.

4.4 Cut the corner

If the rope won’t bend easily around a letter with a sharp curve, such as an E or a T, you can make a little triangle on the rope’s blank side (not the side that indicates where to cut) to help it bend.

Cut the corner

4.5 Test the sign and clean off the mess

Depending on how far your plug is from where your light will hang, you can finish each line of text if you’ve done two or more lines on different strands with one or two long pieces of wire. All the positives and all the negatives must be connected in order to connect your light to the adaptor. 

This may be accomplished by soldering them collectively, with the positives attached to the adaptor’s red wire and the negatives to its black wire. Make sure the wires don’t contact by wrapping each set separately with electrical tape or a shrink-wrap sleeve.

Finish the sign

In order to hide the wires from view from the front, turn the sign over and begin to glue down the areas behind the light rope.

Drill the holes for hanging your sign, perform one last power check, clean it with glass cleaner, and put it up. For this, you can utilize standoff mounts or screws. Take a step back and observe the sign you just finished making!

5. Where to buy custom neon signs?

Orant Neon offers the greatest custom-led wall neon light. Our signs are lovingly crafted by hand. The materials are safe to use and beneficial to the environment. We provide contemporary neon flex technology, which is stronger and lighter than vintage glass neon. There is a 24-month warranty on each sign.

6. How much does a custom neon sign cost?

Before asking how to make custom led neon signs, you should know the production cost. The price of a neon sign is mostly impacted by its size. Your sign’s price will inevitably rise in proportion to its size. This is due to the fact that more materials were used during building and that more labor was expended during assembly. 

Design complexity may significantly increase the cost. Complex designs are more expensive, more time-consuming, and more complex to produce. If you wish to customize your LED sign with personalized logos or images, the cost will go up.

Custom neon sign prices will mostly depend on the size

7. Where to hang the neon sign?

It might be challenging to determine the ideal position for your new neon wall sign, particularly for a business. Watch out for choosing a location that can be seen clearly from various angles, such as over a bar, in a hotel lobby, or neon coffee sign door. Select an area where you want to create a warm, personal atmosphere if you plan to put your LED neon sign in your house.

So we have guided you step by step on how to make custom neon signs. The process is pretty straightforward but it could be challenging at first. If you still want to create the sign and say no to all the bother, you can pick a neon sign customization service and let the professionals make your neon sign.