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The History of Open Signs: From Neon to LED

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Green Light Innovations was founded in 2008 with the belief that inspired, responsible innovation can transform everyday lives in meaningful ways. Our team has over 50 years of combined experience in open signs. We’ve worked hard to develop the best lighting and signage solutions for your business, and we work hard to understand your business so we want you to understand ours. Here’s our history and story, so you know what motivates us to produce top quality open signs and lighting solutions for you and your business.

A timeline summarizing the history of open signs
A Brief History of Open Signs

In 1985, Fallon Neon started producing neon open signs and selling them in wholesale clubs. Although filling glass tubes with neon gas, causing them to glow was not a new concept- in fact it was first introduced by French inventor Georges Claude in 1910- the neon open sign was a relatively new idea. Fallon Neon produced open signs in the hope of creating a low cost way for small businesses to advertise the fact that they were open and to draw customers in, and they rapidly grew in popularity.


The first neon open signs produced by Fallon Neon were red and blue. Neon burns bright red and argon burns blue. The clear and phosphor coated glass colors were the least expensive and were the easiest way to make open signs affordable.  Thus the red and blue open sign became the industry standard. Fallon Neon continued to produce standard red and blue open signs until the early 2000’s.


In 2005, LED (light emitting diode) technology entered the open sign industry. LED lights are more energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and have more color changing capability. LED technology was presenting the open sign industry an opportunity to grow and innovate to match new technology. While, some open sign producers began utilizing LEDs in their open signs, none took advantage of their color changing capacity.


In 2008, Green Light Innovations was founded by Tim Fallon with the hope of utilizing his knowledge and experience gained during his tenure at Fallon Neon to innovate new lighting solutions that made sense for small business owners and for the environment.   GLI recognizes that business owners spend a lot of time and money cultivating and developing their brand, and for this reason their open sign should match the colors of their business. While a red and blue open sign may have met consumers’ needs when red and blue were the only color options, Green Light’s customers demand more of their open signs.


Today, Green Light Innovations produces a range of LED open signs. We strive to create the brightest and most efficient signs on the market, and all of our open signs have color customization capabilities. Whether it’s our largest sign, the classically oval shaped Typhoon open, the smaller Digital Business Hours open sign, a Vertical Open, or even our Spanish Abierto sign we think our customers should be able to change the color of their open sign to match the colors of their business, a promotion, or just their mood.

Oval open sign in five different color combinations

The team at GLI has been working with open signs for a combined 50 years, but that does not stop us from consistently seeking new innovations. Creating beautiful, quality products and offering the best customer service is what we’ve been doing and what we will continue doing. Our story will always center on our customers and our journey to meet their needs.  Stay tuned and plugged in with us as we work towards inventing the next generation of tools for business to customer communication.