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Cold Cathode Lighting

Southern Neon manufactured lighting that was installed on the OXO Tower. The Neon for the OXO installation that was for the release of SONY Playstation 4Tower. The ribbon burner that is used to bend the glass tubes. Glass tubes being bent in the process of making a neon sign. Neon Cubes OXO Tower in dark

Specialising in the neon lighting field, Southern Neon has emerged as a market leader since being established in 1988.

Neon lighting has been used since the early 1900s, and Southern Neon specialises in this along with cold cathode lighting. While the latter may seem very technical, Director David Pigott notes that this type of lighting is more common than people may realize. “Cold cathode is ‘hidden light,’ offering a dynamic array of glow lighting effects to highlight and emphasise architectural features,” he says. “Whether used in ceilings, walls or any other physical spaces, this long-life, low-voltage lighting source offers illumination to a high standard.”

Neon lights have a shelf life of up to 55,000 hours

Southern Neon has over 50 different colours in stock, meaning they can produce neon signage in any style in-house – and they have. From signs used in shops to bars, hotels and commercial buildings, there are a number of neon and cold cathode lighting signs in place. When it comes to neon, David notes that while it is still very much used for traditional information signs, in recent years, there has been growing interest in using neon in more upmarket, art installations. “Neon can also be combined with other types of lighting such as bulbs and LEDS to create bespoke pieces, and has been used very effectively as 'product placement' in the home, shops, office spaces and for corporate advertising,” he adds.

The benefits of neon lighting

When it comes to creating different signage designs, David adds that there are no real drawbacks to using neon, as it is versatile and long-lasting.

“Neon is a reliable and trusted product with few components, so it’s very low maintenance and is inexpensive to run,” he says. “Even when the sign is turned off you, still have an attractive visual sign that comes to life when switched on and the ambiance is created,” he says. So versatile is this type of lighting, Southern Neon have used it in different applications for a number of different clients. “In the past, we have undertaken the manufacture of neon which was then installed on the OXO Tower in London for the launch of SONY's Playstation 4, and we have recently supplied cold cathode lighting for the Queen Mary 2's current refit.”

Intricate, bespoke sign designs along with logos and lettering can be manufactured in neon, giving a smooth, continuous even glow of light throughout - especially when neon is used for halo-illumination behind built-up stainless steel or acrylic. “The advantages of neon are many – there’s the wide variety of colours and styles, and the ability to have 'movement' can give a striking mood-changing effect.”

Southern Neon can create signs and deliver these to customers who want to take care of installation themselves, or they can send engineers to install the sign for them.


OXO Tower Neon Sign looked at from below.

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