Retro strip lights, also known as neon strip lights, are a popular lighting option for those who wish to add a touch of nostalgia to their home or business. Although originally popular in the 80s and 90s, retro strip lights have made a comeback in recent years and are now a trendy addition to modern interior design. In this article, we will explore the history of retro strip lights, how they work, their popular uses, and why they are such a desirable lighting option.

History of Retro Strip Lights

Retro strip lights first gained popularity in the 1920s when neon signs became a common sight in cities across America. By the 1960s, neon lights had made their way into popular culture and were used for signage, art, and interior lighting. However, it was not until the 1980s and 1990s that the use of neon lights in interior design truly took off, thanks to the rise of the nightclub and bar scene.

During this period, hanging neon signs and strip lights were used to create a party atmosphere, producing bright, vivid colors that stood out in the dark. Today, neon and retro strip lights are still used in bars and clubs but have also become more popular as a decorative feature in homes, featuring in everything from stylish home bars to statement lighting in living areas.

How Retro Strip Lights Work

Retro strip lights consist of long tubes filled with gas that glows when an electrical current passes through it. Neon gas creates a bright orange-red light, while other gases, such as argon, produce light in different colors. To achieve the desired color, glass tubes are coated with a phosphorous powder that glows when the gas is ionized.

Modern retro strip lights use LEDs, which are more energy-efficient and longer-lasting than traditional neon lighting. The LEDs are mounted onto a long, flexible strip that can be bent and shaped to follow any design, making them an excellent option for creative lighting setups.

Popular Uses of Retro Strip Lights

Retro strip lights are a great way to add a unique touch to any space. They can be used as under-cabinet or above-cabinet lighting in a kitchen or as a statement piece in a home bar. They are also popular as accent lighting in living rooms, children’s bedrooms, and home theaters.

Bars and restaurants often use retro strip lights to create a nostalgic atmosphere or to draw attention to certain areas, such as a bartender’s workspace. Strip lights can also be installed outdoors, making them a great option for signs or to light up a patio or garden.

Why Retro Strip Lights are a Desirable Lighting Option

Retro strip lights offer several benefits over other lighting options. They are energy-efficient, bright, and long-lasting. They are also versatile, being able to be shaped around any design, providing endless possibilities for lighting arrangements.

Retro strip lights are also engaging, drawing the eye to specific areas, and creating a sense of ambiance. With a vintage feel that harkens back to the neon lights of the past, they add a touch of nostalgia to any space, making them a popular statement piece in modern interior design.