Spencer Woodburn

2 piece(s) in the gallery

Spencer Woodburn's "Nixie" Tubes' Durability:

Nixie tubes last around 100,000 (11 years) to 200,000 (22 years) hours when in direct "driven mode", which is when each tube is driven with enough voltage to light up. Some people have had them running for over 30 years.

I multiplex the tubes, which means all of the numbers are connected together, then I feed power to individual tubes to display the numbers. It will then cycle through all of the tubes turning off the previous tube and turning on the next tube to display the digit inside. It does this so fast that it looks like all of the tubes are turned on at the same time but, in reality, they are not. The benefit is that it doubles the life of the tubes since they are not turned on all the time so, in theory, it should last 44+ years.

But, if any of the tubes do go out, they are in sockets. So, all that would need to be done is to take the circuit board out of the case and replace the individual tubes.

Back to artist list






        PALETTE Contemporary Art & Craft • 7400 Montgomery Blvd. NE • Suite 22 • Albuquerque, NM 87109 •  505.855.7777