Watch How Neon Signs are Made

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Neon signs are dying out. As LED and other options hit the market, neon signs have been making a slow exit from the cityscape, mainly because they are costly to make and maintain. But in this documentary, we visit neon sign makers in Hong Kong. They show us the artisanal process of building these signs, just as they've always been made. Each sign is a combination of artistry, glass-blowing, chemistry, and engineering.

Aside from the serene beauty of this film, there's a lot to learn here. One fun set of facts is that the most common gases are neon (which glows red) and argon (blue). It's possible to make most other colors by coloring the glass tubes themselves. Tune in, space out, and read the subtitles.

If video isn't your thing, check out this page explaining neon and argon lamps, including their history and chemistry.