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Neon lights evoke a certain nostalgia. This long-lived lighting, while not as efficient as LED neon lights, is durable and long-lived, often lasting for 50 years or more. The technology behind neon is over 100 years old. Its invention predates the battery, phonograph & other simpler technology.

Still a favorite of interior architects because of its uniqueness as an American experience especially in the post-WWII era, the neon light owes its existence to another innovation: the process of air liquefaction. This process converts gases (like neon) to liquid via cooling and reheating. However, because bulbs require large quantities of neon and pure neon is difficult to obtain,  it took 10 years after developing air liquefaction to patent neon lamps. Learn more about the history of neon lights in the original article from Interior Architects.

Image Credit: Rapid7, Austin, TX. Photo © Thomas McConnel

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