Before answering some of the specific questions we’re frequently asked here at A1deSIGNS about the safety of neon – let us first say that neon signage is incredibly safe to use, providing it is well looked after and treated with respect.
Neon light dates back over 100 years to the time when it was first invented (take a look at the history of neon, here), and with over a century’s worth of development, you can feel confident that modern day neon signs are more reliable and safe than ever before.
So, does neon get very hot to the touch?
There are a couple of reasons a neon section (tube) would get hot. This can be either due to the existence of impurities in the tube (air usually), the electrodes having too much current passed through them due to incorrect calibration or if it’s incorrectly installed.
The only other time that an electrode may be hot is on large diameter tubing running at a high current in the range of 150mA.
Can neon be at touching height?
Neon can be at touching height, however, different regulations apply for the installation. Touching height (arm’s reach) is defined in section 7 of the European Standard EN 50107 and is concerned with the protection against contact of active (live) parts.
Arm’s reach is defined as the zone extending from any point on a surface that a person would stand or move about from which a person could reach out to. This would be a reach of 1.25m in front and below the surface and up to 2.5m above the surface that someone could occupy.
When a sign is within arm’s reach the following must apply: If the glass tubing is housed completely within a case, for example acrylic, no open circuit protection is required.
If the glass tubing can be touched then a mechanically protective enclosure according to IP2X and open circuit protection is required. This can be a tray panel with the electrical connections in the rear, or the silicon caps fixed in place so as to require a tool to remove them. External metal parts must be earthed and all electrode connections must be protected by silicon caps.
Complete mechanical protection is achieved if the housing does not exhibit any opening with a diameter of more than 12mm even if a tube should break.
Electronic transformers come with open circuit protection by default, other transformer types require a simple change of an internal earth trip, or if being flashed or dimmed by a separate 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.