Neon Clocks – Fancy and flashy
Despite the subheading seeming to refer to a Las Vegas showgirl, this article is about neon clocks. Perhaps some explanation would be in order, since the words “neon” and “clock” are not often found in such intimate proximity. The term refers to clocks with neon lighting, the result of which proves useful in more ways than one. With their powerful lights, these illuminated timepieces are easily readable even in the dark. The neon lighting can be bent and twisted into different shapes, so there is theoretically no limit to the designs one can use. The clocks are no less subject to whimsical and practical turns of style, and there are many clock designs to suit different tastes and design themes. They are fancy and flashy, but not necessarily worthless as a certain old saying would have you believe. Of course, the neon lighting consumes more electricity than conventional lighting. Due to the increased energy consumption and powerful illumination, these are best suited to public places with low light, like bars, but do not let that stop you from getting one for your home. These are sure-shot centerpieces and conversation items, so decorating with them provides you with utility and style.
Neon Clocks – Timepieces over time
Most people are aware of the history of clocks, and neon clocks clearly stem from that long sequence of innovations and inventions. Timekeeping used to be extremely simple, relying on the position of the sun and moon in the sky. Unfortunately, this was useless during cloudy days and nights, plus civilization was evolving and requiring more definite measures of time. Sundials and the like came about, and they did indeed provide more discrete and clear measurements of time. But like the previous time-telling method, they were worthless at night and on cloudy days. An improvement on the sundial, using candles that burnt at known speeds proved useful at night, but it was a bit costly and was not always accurate. Water clocks used the power of water, controlled with troughs, mechanical escapements, and measured amounts, to mark the passing of defined units of time. Water clocks failed when there was too little or too much water, plus parts needed maintenance and replacement, and they were often large and expensive. Spring power and miniaturization saw the introduction of pocket watches, wristwatches, and standing clocks, but they needed regular winding to keep time properly. Finally, with the advent of electricity, time could be tracked using vibrations of materials with known electrically-induced frequencies. Finally, digital clocks that used liquid crystal displays showed time in easy to read numbers. The faces of clocks also saw changes in relation to the eras when they were made or which they were made to look like. Today, there are so many clock designs to choose from, with aesthetic elements from various countries and multiple subcultures.
Neon Clocks – Under the neon lights
Neon clocks use neon lights, but neon lights do not necessarily use the noble gas neon. The first neon lights used neon, which is why the name stuck. At the time of their burgeoning popularity, they were dubbed “liquid fire” due to their fluid appearance as evidenced by twisting into various designs. The basic mechanism requires electricity at high voltages to energize gas molecules and thus release photons, or quanta of light. Though in theory all gases can be electrified and made to glow, most gases cannot sustain their integral nature and thus the lamp would go bust too quickly. Neon, as a noble gas, retains its quality, so the lamp stays usable for a long time. Other noble gases like helium, argon, krypton, and xenon are also used, but neon is the most common. Using the properties of these gases under energizing, the ultraviolet rays released are harnessed using tubes with phosphor finishes. These phosphor compounds produce various colors of light when struck by ultraviolet rays, which is why we have such a large range of colors for neon lighting. Due to the gaseous nature of the electrical medium and the coating methodology for phosphors, it becomes possible to bend and twist tubing into different designs. The only real requirement is that the tube should be airtight and not blocked anywhere along its length. At the two ends of a neon tube, electrodes are installed, and are how electricity moves through the gas. At the flick of a switch, they glow and flash, subject to the whims of man in their use.
Neon Clocks – Light and time
Though light and time has yet to reveal all their secrets to scientists, for the common person neon clocks are pretty much the summation of the two. A neon clock is bright, so one could read the time, day or night. The neon lights are flamboyant and very eye-catching, so the potential for advertising exists. Indeed, neon lighting is best known as a commercial advertising device, meant to grab attention and lure customers. Cities like Las Vegas, in the USA, are replete with these lights, and many things can be found under their neon glow. The best place for one of these luminescent chronographs is a public room, say a game room or living room at home, or in a bar or on a street frontage. If anything else, it will make it easier for patrons to keep track of time, should they be sober enough to read the time. Also, the design paradigms popularized as Fifties and Sixties styles, respectively reflective of 1950’s and 1960’s USA, use neon lights profusely, so any diner or pub employing these designs would find a neon-framed clock ideal. Modern artists play around with neon lamps and create fantastic designs, designs which are sometimes translated onto these illuminating and illuminated chronographs. One could have the neon lamps spell out words and names or have them twisted into caricatures of objects. Various logos and advertising elements can be printed onto the clock face, and the neon framing would be responsible for drawing attention to it. The hardest part about Neon Clocks is choosing one!