Photoshop Tutorial – Neon Lighting Effects

Photoshop Tutorial – Neon Lighting Effects

By myclever™ Agency

Neon lighting effects can really bring an image to life.

When done correctly, a simple lighting effect can make a relatively plain image or text jump out of the screen.

At myclever™ Agency, we have applied this effect to some of the work we have done for our clients. We applied a neon lighting effect to Gumtree’s Facebook milestones to make the ‘300,000 Fans’ message stand out in the newsfeed. By following this simple step-by-step photoshop tutorial you too can learn how to master the neon and add another dimension to your social media images.


Step One:

Find yourself a nice high quality background texture.



Step Two:

Add a radial gradient with transparent centre to add depth and mood.


Step Three:

Add the neon frame, whether this is text or icon based, it works better if it is an outline/stroke of the subject.


Step Four:

Layer Style – Bevel & Emboss. Adjust the depth, opacity, size and colour until you are satisfied with the level of effect.


Step Five:

Layer Style – Outer Glow. With the outer glow tool I find that less is more, use the spread slider to increase the glow range, use sparingly for a realistic effect.


Step Six:

Layer Style – Drop Shadow. Shadows are the most important aspect, too little and your neon may look close to exploding. Too much and it may look like clip art. Remember distance, if you can get the right level of distance in line with the edge of the glow you’re winning.


Step Seven:

Colour Gradients – Create a few small coloured radial gradients, place them behind your neon tubes and change the blending mode to Overlay,this will give an imperfect neon glow which is essential for realism, you can also adjust the opacity for added punch.


Step Eight:

Example Type Based – Repeat the process if you have a secondary type based subject. I have also added the type behind the neon serving as a metal base plate for that little realistic touch.


Step Nine:

Extras – You can add power supplies like the example below or even go as far as adding wire between the individual neon tubes and wall fixings with screws attaching the neon to your backdrop.



If you want to learn how to turn this neon image into a gif then check out our previous blog post here.

Over to you.

What do you think? Do you have any tips & tricks you want to share? Let us know in the comments section!

This post was written by myclever™ Agency

Exceptional marketing is driven by human insight. myclever™ Agency craft beautiful, useful and engaging experiences with social media at the heart.