How to Hang a Neon Bar Sign
Neon bar signs, with their vibrant colors and nostalgic glow, are not just for bars; they're a popular choice for homes, garages, and man caves too. However, hanging a neon sign is not as simple as hanging a picture frame. It requires careful planning and execution to ensure it's done safely and effectively. This guide will walk you through each step of the process, from choosing the right location to the final touches.
Understanding Neon Bar Signs
Neon signs are made from glass tubes filled with gas and electrodes at each end. When electricity flows through the gas, it lights up, producing the sign's glow. These signs are delicate and require careful handling. Knowing the weight and the power requirements of your sign is crucial before you begin the installation process.
Step 1: Choosing the Right Location
The location of your neon bar sign can make or break its impact. Consider the following:
Visibility: The sign should be placed where it can be seen easily, without obstructions.
Background: A darker wall can make the neon colors pop, while a lighter wall might soften the effect.
Power source: Ensure there's an electrical outlet nearby, or you'll need an extension cord.
Environment: Avoid placing the sign where it might be exposed to constant sunlight, which can fade the colors, or in a spot where it could be knocked over.
Step 2: Gathering Your Tools
A drill with various bits, depending on your wall type.
Wall anchors and screws, chosen based on the sign's weight and wall material.
A level, to ensure your sign is hung straight.
A measuring tape and a pencil, for accurate placement.
Safety gear like goggles and gloves, to protect yourself during the installation.
Step 3: Marking and Drilling the Wall
Measure the distance between the mounting holes on the sign.
Transfer these measurements to your wall. Use a level to ensure they're straight.
Mark the drill points with a pencil. If you’re drilling into drywall, find the studs for extra support.
Drill holes at the marked points. Be sure to choose the correct drill bit for your wall type.
Step 4: Inserting Wall Anchors
Insert the wall anchors into the holes. If you're using a drywall anchor, make sure it's flush with the wall.
These anchors will help to distribute the weight of the sign and prevent damage to your wall.
Step 5: Hanging the Sign
Lift the sign and align its mounting holes with the anchors in the wall.
Screw in the sign carefully, making sure not to overtighten and risk cracking the sign or the wall.
Use a level to check that the sign is straight.
Step 6: Electrical Setup
Plug in the sign. If the cord is visible, use cord clips to secure it neatly along the wall or baseboard.
If you’re using an extension cord, ensure it's rated for the sign's power requirements and run it in a way that it doesn’t create a tripping hazard.
Step 7: Maintenance and Care
To clean the sign, gently dust it with a soft, dry cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or water, which can damage the electrical components.
Check the sign periodically for any signs of wear or electrical issues.
Creative Display Ideas
Pair your neon sign with other wall art to create a themed display.
Use dimmable lights in the room to control the ambiance and make your neon sign stand out.