From Flickering to Faulty: Expert Advice on Repairing Your Neon Sign

LED Neon signs are brightly colored and very attractive. They are great for advertising products, creating a focal point to take photos, or adding a cozy feel to your home. If your neon sign is damaged, you may need to find a way to repair it.

Because neon signs of classic design are often handcrafted, it is sometimes difficult to know where to start.

We’re here for you. We’re here to help.

Yes, Neon Signs Can Be Dangerous

Before you do any other thing, make sure that you have taken the necessary safety precautions surrounding your LED neon sign. If you don’t know how to handle neon signs, especially older neon ones, it can prove very dangerous.

Don’t touch your neon sign without turning it off.

To shine, neon signs expose gas that has been enclosed in glass tubing and to a high voltage. This creates the neon glow that we associate with vintage neon signs. But it also makes them more hazardous.

You should always be careful when handling a neon sign. LED neon signs have a low voltage (12-24V), but neon signs require a much higher voltage. An electric shock can result if the sign isn’t turned off or unplugged before it’s handled. The average neon sign runs on between 9,000 and 20,000 volts of power. It can be fatal to try to handle a sign that’s still connected.

Older neon signs were also made with lead and mercury. (Fun fact – Red and pink neon signs are made with actual neon gas. Other colors, aside from neon, often contain. Even though most of these are harmless, neon signs in blue can sometimes contain small amounts.

These neon signs do not contain enough mercury or lead to be considered toxic. It is still important to be vigilant if your neon sign shows signs of a possible break or leak. Wear gloves, and a mask, and be aware of broken glass.


Most signs will cost more to repair depending on how bad they are. Repairs are possible for most neon signs, but the cost will vary depending on the quality and extent.

Never try to repair older neon signage. Your older sign should be taken to a professional. They will be capable of diagnosing the problem and determining how costly it will be fixed. Some cases, such as a dimming neon sign, may be due to age. On average, neon signs can last between 10-12 years.

For older signs, and if they are still intact, you can use the internet to find DIY solutions. We still recommend getting a professional opinion. These DIY solutions for neon signs do not apply to issues such as a damaged transformer or shorted wires.

It’s worth looking at the warranty and return policies for sign companies if your sign is new. While most sign companies won’t give money back, especially for customized neon signs. Many offer warranties for specific issues and design flaws.

How high is it going to cost to fix a neon sign?

It depends. What was the sign’s breakup? How big was the crack? Were the quality materials used in making the sign? Signs made from handcrafted neon are unique. The problem is that neon sign repair can’t be done in one size.

A transformer broke or low quality will cost more than fixing neon glass. The repair of a sign that has broken or cracked partially will take much longer.

If the problem is not obvious, such as a loose wire, then you should budget at least $50-60 to fix it. Small breaks in glass or transformer issues will result in repair costs closer to $300-400. You may need to spend more money to fix broken neon signs or other serious problems.

The cost of neon sign repair depends on how skilled you are. You will find more skilled technicians who can diagnose and fix your sign. However, it will cost you more to hire them.

DIY solutions to fix signs can also be an option if you are confident. However, it is more risky and difficult than calling professionals.

What is the best way to care for my neon sign?

Regular maintenance can help prevent neon signs from burning out or dimming. This cannot prevent the glass from cracking, but it can minimize the need to hire professionals for repair.

For future problems to be avoided, keep your neon sign lit 24/7. Even though energy efficiency can be important, it is also important to keep your custom neon sign on at all times.

Regularly cleaning your neon signs can help prevent any future damage. Make sure to always turn off your neon signs and unplug them before you touch them. After unplugging the sign, turn it off. Then you can clean it. Use a soft cloth to remove dirt and buildup.

You should take care when handling the neon sign. Tempering the glass to create neon tubes weakens it. This makes the glass more fragile and less prone to breaking than other types.

You may want to install a bug trap near your neon signs if they are outside. The neon sign will serve as a beacon to the bugs.

Looking for new signs?

Broken neon signs make it difficult to see. Repairs can cost neon signs even more than the initial cost. Businesses trying to maintain visibility can find it challenging to do so without spending a lot. We understand your frustrations. So, we created a custom sign to replace neon signs.

SpellBrite is unable to repair broken neon signs. However, we have more than 20 years of experience creating neon-like illuminated signs. For more information, contact us at 312-575-9620 or email to receive an immediate quote.

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