Want to make a neon sign but you don't know how to blow glass, or don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on it? Use LEDs and acrylic window blind rods!

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Status:   Completed

After browsing through Craigslist ads and seeing the expensive price tags associated with neon signs, I decided I wanted to make my own. I got the idea to use window blind rods from a website showing how you could make BMW Angel Eye rings for your car (rings around the headlights that glow), and I thought if you could make a circle, why not make any shape?

The process is fairly simple:

  • Buy clear acrylic window blind rods from Home Depot or other hardware store
  • Notch one side of the rod every 2-3mm using a dremel (you can do it by hand, but it is much, much faster and less frustrating to use a dremel)
  • Heat the rod in an oven at 350F for a few minutes (doesn’t take too long, and you don’t want to burn it!)
  • Pull it out of the oven, grab the end of the rod with pliers, and wrap it into whatever shape you desire
  • Hold it in this position and wait for it to cool/harden – you also also blow cool air on it to expedite the process
  • Cut excess length off, and drill out cavities at the ends for 3mm or 5mm LEDs
  • Place the LEDs and glue them in place
  • Wire the LEDs with a DC wall wart and appropriate resistors

I’ll post a picture when I can find a good one of the one I made..

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