The name of the bright, vibrant shade known as neon orange is simply that – neon orange. Unlike other common color names like red, blue or green, there is no alternate common name for this bold, fiery hue. The name says it all – neon orange describes an intense, glowing orange color reminiscent of the neon lighting seen in store signs and art.
While standard orange sits between red and yellow on the color wheel, neon orange pops out as a super-charged version – amped up in saturation and brightness. It has a searing, flamboyant presence that demands attention. Let’s take a closer look at what defines this sensational shade and sets it apart from regular orange.
So what makes neon orange different from regular orange? There are a few key characteristics that set it apart:
Vibrancy – Neon orange is supersaturated, meaning it has a very high degree of chroma, or colorfulness. This saturation gives it an intense, concentrated color.
Brightness – In addition to being vividly saturated, neon orange is also extremely light and bright. It has a luminance value higher than normal orange.
Glowing – True to its name, neon orange seems to radiate light from within. This creates an eye-catching glowing effect.
Fluorescence – Many neon shades exhibit a fluorescent quality under certain lighting conditions. This can make them appear to glow or shine.
So in summary, neon orange is distinguished by being boldly saturated, light and bright, and having a glowing, fluorescent presence. This sets it apart from the more mellow, burnt undertones of standard orange.
In color coding systems like HEX, neon orange is defined by very high values for red and green (the two components that make up orange) along with moderately high blue values. Here are some examples of HEX codes for popular neon orange shades:
As you can see, neon oranges tend to have HEX values in the FF5XXX to FFFFXX range. This corresponds to the highest values for red and green on the 256-step HEX scale. The bright yellowish “laser lemon” shade pushes this even further.
Use in Design
Neon orange’s intense nature makes it perfect for use where a bright, bold accent color is desired. Here are some popular uses for this shade:
Warning Signs – Neon orange’s eye-catching glow makes it ideal for high visibility applications like traffic signage, safety vests, and warning labels.
Retail Displays – In store displays and packaging, neon orange commands attention, perfect for loud, youthful brands.
Event Promotion – In posters, banners and other promotional materials, neon orange conveys a sense of excitement and vibrancy.
Accent Pieces – For fashion accessories, furniture accents and modern textiles, neon orange adds a burst of color and flair.
Athletic Gear – Sportswear and activewear brands harness neon orange’s energizing spirit in workout apparel and shoes.
Electronics – Neon orange often highlights the power buttons, status indicators and branding on electronics like speakers, headphones and gaming gear.
So whenever a boost of radiant energy and fun is needed, neon orange’s flaming brilliance can ignite any design.
How It’s Made
There are a few different ways neon orange color is produced for commercial applications:
Dyes – Textiles like clothing and wallpapers get their neon orange hues from synthetic fluorescent dyes. These optical brighteners absorb UV light and re-emit it as visible orange.
Pigments – Paints, plastics and coatings use pigments made from saturated orange azo compounds to achieve neon effects. Halo-sulfonated pigments increase brightness.
Neon Lighting – The original neon orange comes from actual neon gas lighting. Electricity excites neon gas to produce a brilliant orange glow.
LEDs – Modern neon orange lighting comes from clusters of powerful narrow-spectrum LEDs tuned to orange wavelengths.
So neon orange color spans the realms of dyes, pigments, gases and diodes – a versatile hue indeed!
Perhaps not surprisingly given its vibrancy, neon orange carries many lively cultural connotations. Here are some of the key associations this shade evokes:
Youthful Energy – Neon orange exudes a sense of youthful vigor, fun and enthusiasm. Brands use it to appeal to a young market.
Parties – Glowing neon evokes images of lively nightlife, dancing and letting loose. Blacklights make neons really pop at parties.
Athleticism – Neon orange carries connotations of fitness and high-energy sports, from runners’ jerseys to basketball court colors.
Tropical Sun – Vibrant neon oranges are reminiscent of warm tropical landscapes – sunsets over palm trees, etc.
Citrus Fruits – As one of the boldest citrus colors, neon orange carries associations of zesty, energizing fruits like oranges and pineapples.
So culturally, neon orange carries vivacious, energetic meanings associated with youth culture, sports, the tropics and citrus fruits. It provides a visual adrenaline boost!
There are a number of trademarked neon orange tones with unique names. Here are some standout shades:
Safety Orange – This iconic fluorescent tone is specifically mandated for highway signage, barricades and construction vests.
Blaze Orange – Slightly redder, this easy-to-spot hue is required for hunters’ apparel to avoid accidents.
International Orange – The Golden Gate bridge’s iconic orange was specially formulated to increase visibility through San Francisco’s fog.
Tiger’s Eye – A golden neon orange reminiscent of the gemstone, seen on New York Knicks uniforms and branding.
Molten Orange – A proprietary Nike bright hue seen on NFL gear, soccer kits and running shoes.
These specialty shades demonstrate neon orange’s ability to convey specialty meanings across contexts – from safety to sports and more.
So in summary, the name for this radical orange hue is simply neon orange – a descriptor that perfectly captures its eye-searing vibrancy. With intensely saturated, glowing color reminiscent of actual neon lighting, neon orange demands attention wherever it appears. Culturally, it conveys energizing, vibrant meanings associated with youth, parties, sports and all things bright and fun. And by any name, this blaze of color provides an electrifying visual spark. The next time you encounter this radiant shade, you’ll know exactly what makes it shine.