First introduced in 1955 and used as numeric displays in early digital products, Nixie Tubes were the LEDs of their era before being superseded in the 1970s by the actual light-emitting diodes that we see in today’s products.

Among other reasons for their replacement, manufacturing Nixie Tubes was a complicated and pricey process that involved fabricating a glass tube containing a wire-mesh anode and multiple cathodes shaped like numerals and other common display symbols. Filled with a mixture of gases, the cathodes would emit an orange glow when in use.

After discovering nixie tubes in 2011 and realizing that they were no longer being manufactured, design engineer Dalibor Farný took matters into his own hands and decided to revive the once groundbreaking technology in the age of the iPhone for those who appreciate a little of the old mixed in with the new.

In this recently released video from Farný, we get a behind the scenes look at what goes into creating a nixie tube from scratch:

YouTube video

For those who want even more nixie tube goodness, Farný’s entire YouTube channel is filled with the goods.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.