Neon signs are made from Lead glass tubing in external diameters ranging from about 8-15 mm is most commonly used. The tube is heated in sections using several types of burners that are selected according to the amount of glass to be heated for each bend. These burners include ribbon, cannon, or cross fires, as well as a variety of torches that run on a simple combination of natural gas (butane or propane work better, however natural gas is cheapest) and air.
An electrode is melted (or welded) to each end of the tube as it is finished. The electrodes are also lead glass and contain a small metal shell with two wires protruding through the glass to which the sign wiring will later be attached. All welds and seals must be perfectly leak-proof before proceeding further. A ribbon burner and crossfire is used to heat the glass and then the glass is formed according to a pattern to the shape of the letter.
Then electrodes are connected to each end and the neon unit is ready for pumping. Neon comes in a variety of colors ranging from bright red to ice blue.