6 Ways to Decorate with Neon

These hues are hot. Here are some bright ideas on how to incorporate them

Break out your sunglasses: Neon is back.

Nearly four decades after the vibrant hues last captured mainstream attention, the palette is once again a top trend in the fashion world—with neon-colored couture appearing in the 2019 collections of Gucci and Versace, among other designers.

Neon isn’t limited to the runway, of course. Thanks to developments in technology and home decor, there are plenty of cool, cost-effective ways to add an unmistakable pop of color to any event. 

From subtle accents to an all-out visual splash, here are some easy ways to get the party started by decorating with neon. 

Set the mood with neon lighting: From an inspirational sign boasting a slogan or quote to straight lighting tubes hung as accents, the medium can be flashy or complementary (neutral color shades and clean lines are more artful than excessive). Try LED-lit centerpieces or wrap flexible neon rope around the bar or serving stations. 

Host a neon-hued selfie station: A glowing backdrop is sure to attract the masses. It doesn’t matter if you buy a pre-made sign or image, shape imagery from a thin strand of LED lighting or order a custom wall hanging that mimics your company’s logo or hashtag. Tag images with #neonparty, which has more than 250,000 Instagram posts. 

Hand out neon swag: Bright shades, ball caps or tote bags command attention. Whatever your hot freebie—be it drink tumblers or USB flash drives—it’s likely that neon-hued ones won’t be forgotten. If the motif seems too much, consider neon text or icons—enough to dazzle recipients without overwhelming their eyes. 

Party on a neon dance floor: Eye-catching decor could be the true element that inspires even wallflowers to find a groove. Consider neon-colored spotlights or strands of day-glo bulbs hung from above. For a truly dazzling effect, lay down patterns using neon masking tape and turn on ultraviolet lighting to make it pop.

Supply neon body paint: Let your guests get creative by making their skin a work of art. Results may depend on the kind of paint provided. Some paint glows in the dark; other types react to UV light (perfect for that aforementioned dance floor). If the notion of paint is too messy—or too wild—glow sticks and necklaces make great flair.  
Serve up neon-centric cocktails: Mixologists can get in on the fun by using liquors or other ingredients that shine on their own. Try beverage recipes that include blue curacao, Midori or pineapple juice. Your beverages—yes, even clear ones—will get an extra glow when served in special drinkware with built-in LED lighting.