Low-pressure Plasma indicators – Smoldering discharge

 Low-pressure Plasma indicators – Smoldering discharge

Updated December 2018

 You already guess, today we will talk about something stylish, and, at the same time warm and vintage, carrying exactly this warmth every need.

 Neon Lamps Electroluminescent Lamps and plasma displays are using the smoldering discharge or the low-pressure plasma discharge principle.




1. Theory

2. Electronics Indicator Device Usage

3. Vintage Clock Design: Nixie Clocks


1.) Theory:

  The low-pressure plasma discharge principle is widely used in the vacuum tubes, as indicator lamps, and for stabilizing voltage circuits, many years before being developed the Semiconductor Zener Diodes. 

 They Utilize and use the idea of low light irradiation between two electrodes surrounded with special inert gas, when is applied, controlled, highly enough DC Voltage Source. The Emitted Light has a different color, strongly dependent by an used gas. in the Common case is using The “Argonium”, and emitted light has the pretty warm orange color.

The Simple dot indicator implemented into the wall switch has the same principle, as the next described Indicators.

The Matrix Dot Nixie VFD Indicator Display ITM1A / ITM-1A:

VIDEO 1. Nixie Tube SHIELD for Arduino



2.) Electronics Indicator Device Usage:

  The typical usage of Neon Indicators was into the measurement equipment from the near past. The Alpha-Numeric single Digit Tubes are the main indicator part for building the Alpha-Numeric Display. They are easily readable in a dark and in daylight.


3.) Vintage Clock Design:

  Let’s see Nixie Clocks Examples:

  Both Devices are using premium materials from Moscow, The Russian Federation.

The Nixie indicator lamps are the common case of neon lamp application. Staying modern nowadays, the Nixie Clocks can easily obsess you. 

“Saturn 5” – Black Marble:


“Vostok 2” – Oak Wood:


“Vostok 2” – Ash Wood:


 The next link is showing an amazing and very bold project, the nixie wrist clock:


Low-pressure Plasma indicators – Smoldering discharge

Updated December 2018