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Different Lighting Options For Channel Letters

Front lit channel letters

Illuminated channel letters comprise one of the more cost effective techniques to advertise any business. They are used to capture the eyes of the customer 24 x7. Whether you opt for a front lit, LED or neon illumination, raceway or direct mounting, a professional sign company can design and also install letters perfect for your location. You will also need assistance in obtaining the permits required by your city sign bylaws.

About Channel Letters

Channel letters are of two fundamental types: standard and reverse. However, these can have multiple variations. These are made possible by differing the kind of illumination (for example, LED or neon) and the mounting method (raceway or direct). You may opt for a particular combination of options depending upon your preference.

Note that your favoured combination of channel letters could be limited by local bylaws or your landlord. There may be criteria which may affect installation and fabrication expenses and the continuing maintenance costs.

Non Lit Channel Letters

In some cases there is no need to light the channel letters, but the application calls for lettering that is more substantial than typical flat cut dimensional letters. In these cases non lit channel letters are a great option. They can be manufactured with return depths of 4 – 7 inches. The faces can be painted a different colour than the returns. Typically the backs are left open as the most common installation method is to flush mount them.

non lit channel letters installed on the exterior of a building

Face Lit Channel Letters

These channel letters are the most common. They have plastic, aluminium or stainless steel sides (called returns) and have coloured acrylic faces. Light comes from inside- the source being either LEDs or neon (very rare these days). Rust is not a threat due to the materials used in fabrication.

Halo Lit Channel Letters

These are also known as reverse channel letters and their construction is opposite to the standard channel letters. Solid faces are typical in this kind of lettering and the backs are of clear acrylic or polycarbonate. The letters are mounted with standoffs such that a halo of light encircling the letters is seen at night.

Back lit, halo lit or reverse channel letters in Toronto

Raceway Mounted Letters

Channel letters attached to a narrow and long rectangular aluminium box are termed as a raceway. The rectangular box has all the requisite electrical components like power supplies and wiring. The letters are not individually mounted to the wall. They are mounted on the raceway which is then mounted to the building resulting in fewer mounting holes required. The raceway mounting is perfect for applications where the building owners, local codes or the building facade prohibit any direct mounting. It makes for a much easier installation and subsequent service. Raceways can be painted to the match wall.

Direct Mounted Letters

Unlike raceway mounted letters, these channel letters are attached directly to building surface. Wiring is pushed through the wall to the interior and connected to the power supply. These letters are of much cleaner appearance but need an extended installation time. More holes will also be drilled into the building.

Illumination Type: Neon or LED

Neon Lighting

Years ago, neon was the sole option for the illumination of channel letters. This kind of lighting is made of a glass tube bent to an individual letter shape. The tubes are filled with a number of gases depending on the desired colour. Although neon offers slightly more brilliance in a few colours, it can become dim as the weather turns cold. Maintenance charges are higher compared to LED channel lighting. There is also greater consumption of energy.

LED Lighting

LED or light emitting diodes are low voltage lights, which when they are connected offer excellent illumination across all ranges of temperature. These are rapidly gaining popularity in channel letter lighting. LEDs are now the preferred signage lighting for almost all new installations. LEDs have a number of advantages- including a competitive price when compared to neon. They also need much less energy usage and less maintenance.

Posted in Outdoor Signs



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