Lighting the way ahead - Lifestyle NZ
Lighting the way ahead

Lighting the way ahead

A well-lit building is always eye-catching, and with the LED Neon range from Bright Light, the sky really is the limit. Colours can change, blend, move and chase each other and, importantly, Neon can withstand harsh outdoor environments.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Whether we are speaking literally or metaphorically, shining a light on a product, place, or building has the effect of drawing attention to it. This can be a useful device for highlighting a product, brand or retail space and it can also be utilised for other more practical purposes such as wayfinding or safety.

Many of us are familiar with iconic vintage glass neon signs, popular in both indoor and outdoor settings. But technology moves on and other systems such as LED have come onto the scene.

A modern range that’s now available encompasses the best of the old with the advantages of the new. Neon is a broad range of PVC-encapsulated LED ribbons, offering various light emissions and casings that closely reference the traditional glass neon tube.

Visually, however, says Bright Light Director David Powley, Neon has the dot-free appearance and consistent colour of traditional glass neon tubes so that you can look at it more comfortably.

And because Neon is made using modern LED technology, it offers durability that surpasses the traditional glass neon product and is considerably more power efficient. Additionally, its PVC casing provides a variety of other advantages, including UV and flame-resistant protection, while at the same time offering a uniform distribution of light.

This impressive feature wall in the ACT Law Court in Canberra showcases Bright Light’s Neon Edge in a dynamic white, an option which allowed each LED to be controlled independently.

Bright Light: Neon works its magic in harsh, demanding conditions, too

These robust fittings from Bright Light are designed to be installed in outdoor environments, such as close to the sea, under the water, in hot spaces and humid areas and in places where they could be exposed to a lot of UV light, says David. As well as being used on large architectural projects, the company has provided them for installation in Japanese water gardens, private pools, landscaped gardens, on steps and stair nosings, along paths and around seating.

“Our Neon linear strips are especially well suited to coping with harsh outdoor conditions—sun and UV exposure, on buildings and homes in saltwater environments, in and around swimming pools where they are in contact with chlorine and other chemicals, there are even options available for use in hot spaces like saunas where humidity is very high,” he says.

“One reason Neon is so suitable for these environments is in the way it is manufactured. The most secure option is our IP68 dual injection moulded connections in the factory which ensures it has a very tight seal, so bugs, moisture, or water are not able to get into the strip.”

One of the harshest tests for a product is the marine environment. A leading amphibious boating company approached Bright Light to supply LED lighting for their electric craft, and the Bright Light recommended its Neon Edge RGB (red, green and blue) chasing.

“We considered Neon the best choice for a boat, as the LED ribbon is sealed within a protective silicone gel suitable for use in saltwater. In addition, all the connections were made with factory dual-injection moulding to ensure an IP68 rating,” says David.

A sleek product with dimensions of 11.5cm x 21mm and a 60mm minimum bend radius, Neon Edge was perfect for this project.

“Used on the bow, around the steering console, seats and the rear trim, Neon Edge RGB chasing creates a stunning effect, especially in the dusk/evening. With RGB, the colour can be customised to personal preferences. Chasing allows the colours to appear to move and blend along each length, creating a dynamic design.”

The Next Door cocktail bar in Kingsland wanted a unique lighting feature.

Bright Light: creating dynamic moods, looks, designs and effects

Neon is available in three different styles—Classic, Edge and Arc—and designers and architects can also specify it in a wide variety of colour options.

Classic is the ideal replacement for traditional glass neon tubing and features a rounded profile, while Arc and Edge create a more contemporary aesthetic with their flat profiles.

Bright Light also supplies the digital controllers and other equipment to bring the lights to life and enable them to create different looks. Depending on the effect required by the architect or designer, several colours can be blended to create a dynamic, chasing effect and give the strip the appearance of movement, or colours can be digitally controlled to change over time. Strips can be installed straight or curved, to create a specific shape, outline a feature on a building, or focus light on a particular area. Other options include daylighting sensors and timers.

An excellent example of Neon’s flexibility is a retail outlet in Newmarket's new Westfield complex, where Bright Light was asked to provide bespoke feature lighting.

Neon Arc was selected to wrap around the front glass wall and continue throughout the branch office space. It was also used above and below the walls and to illuminate the logo at the store frontage.

A custom, suspended central light feature that reflected the logo was created using Neon Classic, which was chosen for its wider beam angle. In both locations, Neon RGB was used to create the company’s corporate blue colour.

Creating a single, identifiable feature is another attribute of Neon. An intimate cocktail bar located in Kingsland, wanted something unique to capture attention.

The idea of a large Neon cocktail glass on the ceiling, based on logo, was developed and Bright Light worked with the designers to advise on the most appropriate products and how best to achieve the desired effect. Neon Classic was selected for its stunning effect, ease of use, 180-degree beam angle and 60-degree bend radius.

To create the feature, Neon was used in white for the glass, green for the lime on the side, with RGB for the drink component to allow for ‘flavour’ variations.

Bright Light collaborates with architects, designers and homeowners and offers its own in-house lighting designers and technicians to assist with lighting projects. Neon lights can be supplied fully prefabricated and sealed, with all necessary digital controllers, ready for installation by the electrical project team.

Discuss the lighting requirements for your next project with Bright Light and its technical team.

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