Luminous advertising or illuminated advertising in the form of LUMINOUS TUBES (“neon advertising”) has existed since the “Golden Twenties”. In the modern age, the colorful glass tubes on barrels and roofs have been and are being displaced by new installations using LED technology. But they still exist. In daylight you hardly notice them, but in the dark they often exude the charm of a bygone era and are testimony to the individuality of stores and businesses. But modern forms of illuminated advertising as well as elements in architecture also make use of the glass tubes filled with inert gas.

I went in search of these light tubes in the so-called “open design” (I call them NEONS) in my place of residence Karlsruhe. And I was surprised how many of them there are. They are arranged here by city areas, which can be selected in the menu above. Using the statistics in the header on the right, the neons can be listed according to their current status. Individual concrete locations can be clicked on directly in the map below.

Under the heading “On the road” there are neons that I discovered outside of Karlsruhe. These have nothing to do with Karlsruhe, but I think they still deserve a place in this virtual museum. In the blog on this page, there are irregular posts about interesting neon topics, links or information when there have been changes in the Karlsruhe installations listed here. How I got the idea for this project, how it developed and which technology is behind the neons, you can read here.

Have fun discovering – here on the site and maybe outside! And if something is missing, feel free to let me know.

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Virtual move

After the last months the response times of my virtual museum became longer and longer and working in the backend wasn’t really much fun anymore, I got to the reason. Measurements of the site’s performance

A look to the left and right (Part 2)

With open eyes through Karlsruhe … Here now follows an (unplanned) second part of my post from last year with interesting devices, which otherwise do not fit into my “prey scheme”. Taken and still to

Neon advertising on the Kaiserstrasse in Karlsruhe in 1962

In a Karlsruhe Facebook group, some photos recently appeared that interested me very much. They were digitized color slides that, according to the caption, date from 12/02/1962 and show Karlsruhe’s Kaiserstrasse. The author of the

The red “M” of Gruenwinkel

For many years it stood still and remained dark – the big red “M” on the roof of the silo of the “Moninger” brewery. In 2011, brewery business was closed down at this location. The

Tube replacement

In the summer of 2021, the Park Pharmacy at Moltkestrasse 38 presented a curious picture. All tubes of the neon advertising were removed. What looked so final, however, turned out to be a repair. In

Light Festival meets Neon

The “Light Festival” is currently taking place, during which Karlsruhe’s center is being made to glow. One of the stations is the market square, where, among other things, the facade of Karlsruhe’s largest fashion house

A look to the left and right

Even though I’m dedicated to “open design” neons on this page, I’m not completely disregarding the other devices. Sure, LED-lit plastic signs don’t interest me, of course. But there are a few interesting older illuminated

Historical neon signs in Karlsruhe

In the last days there were some new additions to the historical devices in Karlsruhe. I received them from Georg Kleinert, a Karlsruhe resident, who captured some neon signs with his camera during the last

Neonmuseum also in English

Whether it makes sense or not – after some time of thinking about it, I decided to offer this site in English as well. Then I looked at different possibilities, how I can realize this

US patent on the neon tube

In the calendar sheet of 19.01.2021 of the ARD audio library there is a short podcast about the invention of the neon tube from an economic and political point of view.


On tour with the BNN

In June, an editor of the Badische Neueste Nachrichten (BNN) asked

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All devices in Karlsruhe on the map

The map is only available in German. However, after opening the selected item, you can switch to English.