What is Neon?

Neon refers to bright, electric colors as well as lighting technology used in interior design and architectural settings.


Neon is a dynamic dual-concept in the world of interior design, embodying both a spectrum of vivid, high-saturation colors and a distinctive type of lighting that has been illuminating spaces since the early 20th century. As a color concept, neon colors are strikingly bright and are often used to inject energy and vibrancy into a space. These colors can range from electric blues to fluorescent pinks, and they have the unique ability to draw attention and create focal points within a design scheme.

On the other hand, neon lighting refers to the glow emitted by tubes filled with neon gas or other gases, which produce different colors when electrically charged. This form of lighting is renowned for its high visibility and its capacity to generate a moody or atmospheric ambiance. Neon lights have been historically associated with commercial signage, but recent trends have seen them being incorporated into residential and event spaces for a unique, nostalgic flair.

Neon can serve multiple roles in interior design, from creating an edgy, modern look with neon colors to adding a retro or futuristic atmosphere with neon lighting. Understanding how to balance and integrate neon elements can transform a simple space into an immersive experience.


In contemporary interiors, neon colors may be incorporated through accent pieces such as throw pillows, artwork, or small appliances. In contrast, neon lighting is often used to highlight architectural elements, create unique signage, or add a dramatic focal point in bars, restaurants, and even homes. Designers might also blend neon lighting within minimalist settings to add an unexpected burst of color or to evoke a specific mood.


  • Is neon lighting energy efficient?

    Neon lighting is generally more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs but less so than LED lighting. However, its unique aesthetic often makes it the preferred choice for specific design applications.

  • Can neon colors be used in any interior design style?

    While neon colors are more commonly associated with modern and contemporary designs, they can be judiciously used in small doses within other styles to add vibrancy and highlight areas of interest.

  • Are neon lights safe to use indoors?

    Yes, when installed correctly, neon lights are safe for indoor use. It's important to have them professionally installed and maintained to ensure they are sealed and wired correctly.

Practical Application

When incorporating neon into your design, start with a clear vision of the ambiance you wish to create. For a bold, energetic space, lean into vibrant neon colors with accessories or wall treatments. If aiming for a nostalgic or eclectic vibe, consider using neon lighting to accentuate architectural features or create memorable signage. Always balance neon elements with neutral tones or textures to prevent sensory overload and to keep the space inviting.