Signs of the Times: Whether of vintage glass or durable LED, bespoke neon lights display the bright side of life

Neon signs are an iconic and integral part of the city’s visual identity and cultural heritage. For decades, these vibrant boards illuminated the streets, advertising businesses and added to the energy and bustling character of Hong Kong. They were handmade by skilled craftsmen using glass tubes, neon glass and electricity to create intricate designs and characters.

While neon signs were a popular form of advertising in their heyday of the 1960s and ’70s, they have evolved far beyond their original purpose.  With new technology offering more digital and 3D printing options, they can easily inject vitality into décor and embellishments for the home and light up events and special occasions. 

Daiwa Metal Works

Established in Hong Kong in 1996, Daiwa is one of the oldest companies to offer a customised neon sign service. It began with a mission to display the personality of a business through signage and metal products, and today offers a wide array of products from traditional glass neon, modern LED neon, metal and plastic signs and letters to LED light boxes and large metal signage. 

Daiwa LED neon signs have all the benefits of vintage neon at a fraction of the cost. Complex shapes and brand artwork can be reproduced by CNC (computer-automated) milling on high-quality acrylic instead of fragile glass. More durable than traditional neon signs, with no issue of dead (unlit) pixels and more portable, they illuminate uniformly and appear brighter and more beautiful.


Alex Wong, NeosignLife’s founder and CEO, opened his first store in Mong Kok, infusing his father’s traditional neon craftsmanship with contemporary design. The company has expanded over 20 years, and now boasts an international team and a studio in London. It offers an amazing variety of bespoke signage and illuminated art to embellish spaces and events with a radiant glow. 

An online configurator on the website allows customers to turn their ideas into personalised LED neon signs. The tool gives a live preview of the neon you can get by playing with font, colour and dimensions, so you have a precise mock-up before placing your order. From street art to hype art to kanji, their collections are a vibrant blend of different themes that provoke individual inspiration. 

Wong is also a champion of vintage neon signage, believing that classic glass neon bestows an aura of prestige not found in the LED flex version. In this way, the company is helping to preserve a cherished local craft. Their vision is to reshape the landscape of home decoration, taking inspiration from the vibrant city of Hong Kong. They view neon signs as more than just décor: they are mirrors of personal flair, crafted to inspire boldness and radiate joy, with each piece unique and celebrated for the emotions it evokes.

NeonsignLife’s motto is ‘embrace boldness, shine brightly, and enjoy the journey’, and Wong continually joins hands with the global art and design community, leveraging the transformative power of art to illuminate the world.

MK Neon

A one-stop-shop for high-quality crafting of one-of-a-kind LED neon signage, MK Neon was established in 2015 by Hong Kong-based French entrepreneur Ben Darmon after a table-top glass neon sign depicting the Nike Air Max 1 sneaker that he created caught the public imagination. Named for the Mong Kok district and its past profusion of neon signs, the company specialises in neon art for its original purpose – as a marketing tool for businesses. It has lent professional help to high-profile clients such as Dior, Guerlain, Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Converse; provided neon signage for the 2019 Alsatian Strasbourg Christmas Market in New York; and established a sister brand, La Maison du Néon, in France.

MK Neon is also renowned for making bespoke neon signs for home decoration and events like weddings, bridal showers and baby showers. It prides itself on producing the customised LED design of your dreams that will add a bright, personal touch to your special day.

Little Rae Neon Signs

UK company Little Rae has lit up the neon-sign world with the quality and originality of its designs. Charming phrases, words and motifs like hearts and stars to adorn the walls of the home are made from flexible silicone LED tubing, mounted onto acrylic, for lightweight, safe and durable neon art. LED’s low-energy consumption compared to traditional lighting is another plus while it imparts glowing illumination to a room.

LED neon signs are less likely to break than glass ones and the tubing emits very little heat, making it safe to touch and a great option for nurseries and children’s bedrooms. Bespoke lettering in a variety of fonts and colours is available, and each sign comes with a dimmer to control its brilliance according to mood and occasion. The company strives to bring design ideas to life in glorious neon forms and create beautiful collections to add more light to your life. 

Step into these neon workshops and you’ll be transported into a world of mesmerising colours and intricate designs. Each piece is a custom creation, tailored to the specific needs and preferences of the client. Whether it’s a dazzling storefront sign, a whimsical piece of public art or a bespoke installation, the artisans pour their hearts and souls into every luminous creation – once ubiquitous across the Hong Kong cityscape.

As the city’s skyline continues to evolve, these bespoke neon shops have become beacons of hope, reminding residents and visitors alike of the rich cultural heritage that has long defined Hong Kong. In a world of increasingly dominated by digital displays, these glowing masterpieces stand as a testament to the enduring power of craftsmanship and the importance of preserving the city’s distinct identity.