Route 66 News

U-Drop Inn neon lights are back on — in LED

The Facebook account of the historic U-Drop Inn gas station in Shamrock, Texas, recently announced the long-awaited installation of LED neon has been completed and the lights are on.

According to the page, the neon will be on from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly, although I’m certain the “lights on” time will be adjusted later in the year for when days lengthen and sunset arrives much later.

Also, the page said the “Conoco” sign and other signs on the building will undergo touch-up painting in the coming weeks.

We reported in August the city would swap out the Route 66 landmark’s storm-vulnerable neon tubing for more durable and energy-efficient LEDs. A hailstorm in May destroyed much of the neon.

City manager David Rushing became convinced to make the switch because “you can’t tell the difference” between traditional neon lighting and the new LED neon, plus all of its long-range cost benefits.

Frank Gifford of said in an email:

“… Most people will be fooled. It’s awfully close in intensity and quality of light output, and how it plays off the scalloping.  I’m impressed!”