Nearly 80 years after the first casino blinked to life along the stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard now known as the Strip, the re-illumination of Las Vegas is nearly complete.

Call it the end of the neon era or the beginning of the LED epoch.

Either way, in the next two years, numerous hotels, casinos and other attractions, eager to boost tourism after several relatively flat years, are unveiling new buildings and upgrades that depend heavily on brighter displays, finer resolution, bigger screens, more motion and LED technology.

As they double down on bright lights, many are likely saving money in the process.

Promoters of LED (light-emitting diode) systems say they are dramatically more energy-efficient than other types of lighting, often last three times as long as fluorescent or incandescent lamps, and include fewer dangerous materials. LED systems can be used in a variety of settings, outdoor displays and retrofitted slot machines among them.

The biggest of the new Vegas ventures is Resorts World, a $4.3 billion hotel/casino on the Strip that is the city's most ambitious resort in more than a decade. It will include a dangling video globe inside and one of the world's largest LED-building displays outside when it opens in mid-2021.

Elsewhere on the Strip, Paris Las Vegas has unveiled $1.7 million in new LED lighting on its Eiffel Tower, including a five-minute light show that runs several times nightly yet is expected to cost less to run than the tower's previous lighting scheme.

In October, the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. at Treasure Island replaced a static sign with a curved LED screen about 45 feet tall and 175 feet long, one of the largest such screens in the city — but still not as large as the 18,600-square-foot curved LED screen at Harmon Retail Corner (along the Strip), which was billed as the world's largest in 2014.

Meanwhile, the five-block canopy-covered area in downtown known as the Fremont Street Experience unveiled on New Year's Eve a $32 million lighting system upgrade said to be seven times brighter, with four times better resolution than it had, meaning tourists can look up and see the images and videos on the underside of the canopy even in daylight.

Yet even as neon disappears from the cityscape, it's winning over a new generation of admirers — as a historical artifact. The city's Neon Museum, born in 1996 and relocated in 2012, drew more than a quarter-million visitors, a record, in the 12 months that ended last June 30. It plans an expansion this year.

The museum's collection includes more than 200 vintage signs, some dating to the 1930s, some acquired in the past two years.

Most remain unilluminated because of the time and money it takes to recondition materials and replace custom-shaped neon tubing. But as the museum's multimedia presentation "Brilliant" shows, amazing effects are possible if you project digitally precise light beams onto those old metal letters and shapes. Ever since El Rancho Vegas opened in 1941 as the Strip's first casino — topped by a windmill with neon-lighted blades — "the casinos have always tried to use the latest illumination technology," said gaming historian and author Dave Schwartz. "That was neon at one point. Then they started using video screens.

"The gradual move to LED technology has unfolded over many years, along with the arrival of increasingly flamboyant architecture," said Schwartz, who directed the University of Nevada at Las Vegas Center for Gaming Research until a recent promotion to an associate vice provost position.

For Joel Snyder, an associate professor at UNLV who specializes in cognitive neuroscience, sensation and perception, the city's ever-brighter lights are a logical convergence of psychology and capitalism.

"First, we are very visual creatures, and we pay a lot of attention to patterns that are bright but also those that interest us for motivational and aesthetic reasons," Snyder said in an e-mail.

"We can effortlessly remember thousands of pictures that we were exposed to in a single setting and recognize almost all of them the next day. But we are much less good at doing that for sound."

You'll still find a handful of old-school neon signs in action, including the iconic "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign (posted in 1959), which RoadsideAmerica.com calls "a riot of fonts, bulbs and neon."

On the Strip, besides the welcome sign, the most familiar neon holdouts include the flaming feathers on the Flamingo facade and "Lucky the Clown" at Circus Circus, whose signage these days includes neon, incandescent and LED elements.