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DIY Light Box Sign Kit

DIY light box sign kits are popular among small businesses, stores, and outlets. They allow these establishments to create a customized, high-quality sign for their business. It also lowers their expenditure on the signage as compared to a ready-made sign.

What is a DIY Light Box Sign Kit?

A DIY light box sign kit is a hardware set for making custom signs. It comes with most items that are required to create a sign, although the number of components included may differ. While you can create a sign from zero, it will require a lot of time and effort. DIY light box sign kits come with the essential components but still allow you to customize the sign. Buyers may still have to purchase additional items separately.

What Components are Included in DIY Light Box Sign Kits?

DIY light box sign kits generally include a frame and other basic components like retainers and corner keys. Some of them may also come with LED lights, ballast or driver, and wiring pre-installed. All you have to do is assemble the frame, buy acrylic or plexiglass panels, print, paste, or emboss your design on them, and install them on the frame. Your DIY light box sign will be ready. A few vendors pre-print your design on a panel and add it to the kit before shipping.

DIY Light Box Sign Kit with Frame

An only frame DIY light box sign kit comes with all components required for creating a basic frame or box for the sign. These items generally include the frame system, corner keys, and retainers. They will create the basic structure of the DIY light box sign kit. You will need to purchase the front panel (acrylic or glass), back panel, LED lights, and a ballast separately for finishing the sign.

DIY Light Box Sign Kit with Frame and LED lights

Some kits include LED lighting components in addition to the basic structural components of the sign. You get LEDs (which are generally pre-wired) and a ballast. The sign and back panels may still need to be purchased separately as well as any other components that you may require. The kits are available in single-sided and double-sided variants.

Who can use a DIY Light Box Sign Kit?

A DIY light box sign kit is intended for small outlets or neighborhood stores. Here are a few reasons to consider DIY light box sign kits.

Creating Customized Signs

If you want to create a custom sign, then consider a DIY light box sign kit over a ready-made one. These kits offer more customization freedom as compared to buying a sign from a retailer. You can choose individual components according to your preferences. The LEDs can be from one brand, the power supply from another, and the frame can be manufactured by a different vendor. You can get customized graphics on a panel of your choice. The same freedom may not be available when buying signs from vendors. They use specific components from a particular manufacturer as they get bulk discounts for buying them in large quantities. Also, the number of options available may be limited in comparison.

Need Affordable Signage

A DIY light box sign kit is generally cheaper than getting a sign made from a vendor, especially when ordering one or a few signs. Most retail sign vendors only provide a discount on bulk orders and may charge a higher markup for one or two signs. A few of them may not accept orders for a small number of retail signs altogether. DIY light box sign kits are cheaper because they are generally shipped unassembled. Their manufacturers are able to save expenditure on labor. They only charge a markup on product manufacturing and not on signage services, which further reduces the cost. Sellers also produce these kits in bulk quantities to reduce manufacturing expenses and lower their prices. Therefore, small stores or establishments just starting out their business may find a DIY light box sign kit affordable.

Limitations of DIY Light Box Sign Kit

There are a few limitations of DIY light box sign kits in addition to the advantages they possess. While the disadvantages do not significantly affect the value of these kits, their buyers must still be aware of them.

Require Knowledge and Effort

You will have to spend some time and effort to create a DIY light box sign. Owners of small establishments may be able to spare some time for the same. However, large outlets that have their hands full may find ready-made signs to be the better option. If you are going to install LEDs, the power supply, and wires yourself, you will need a basic understanding of electrical circuitry. A manual explaining the same may be included in the DIY light box sign kit. Alternatively, you can find tutorials and guides regarding the same online.

Graphics Design

While vendors who provide retail signage may design graphics for their clientele, the same facility may not be provided by all DIY light box sign kit sellers. You will have to design your graphics yourself or hire a designer separately. Most sellers of DIY kits do offer printing services, provided you give them a high-resolution image of the graphics or design. But they rarely design the branding, logo, or graphics for the sign.

Permits

Stores and outlets have to obtain a permit from their local authorities before they can install a sign. Some retail sign vendors handle permit applications on your behalf. However, if you opt for a DIY light box sign kit, you may have to apply for the permit yourself.

Size Limitations

Most DIY light box sign kits come in small to medium sizes. They are not suitable for creating large signs for commercial use. While it will suit the need of most stores, some establishments may require larger, custom-sized signs. DIY light box sign kits are generally sold in standard sizes, and you will rarely find a seller who makes them on custom request.

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External Light Box

An external light box refers to retail signage designed for outdoor installation. Just like indoor light boxes, their purpose is to catch the attention of viewers and increase the footfall of the store. They are also installed in places with pedestrian traffic. However, they have a few additional features as compared to indoor light boxes.

Durable

External light box signs are highly durable. They will be exposed to sunlight and other elements of nature. Their graphics must not fade over time and should remain visible. There are UV-resistant inks and panels available for external light boxes. They may be slightly more expensive to make initially but are economical in the long run. Many vendors provide a guarantee against fading and chipping on external light box signage made using durable materials. The manufacturer may replace or repair the sign if it fades or chips. Retailers who will retain the sign for several years can opt for them.

WeatherProof

An external light box must be weatherproof. As the sign will be installed outdoors, it will face rain and even snow. Water or moisture may enter the sign through gaps in the structure. It may damage the graphics, LEDs, or electrical components, shorting and burning them. It not only reduces the life of the electrical components but also creates a fire and electrocution hazard. Therefore, the external light box sign must be weatherproof.

Rubber gaskets or grommets should be used to seal the gaps in the external light box frame and prevent rain and snow from entering the sign. The LEDs, power supply (ballast), and other electrical components should ideally have an IP68 or at least an IP67 rating. They signify that the components have superior resistance to rain and splashes. Also, there should be water drainage holes drilled on the bottom side. They allow any moisture or water inside the external light box to drain.

Photocell Sensors

In most cases, external light boxes will be installed in areas that receive adequate sunlight. The design or graphics may not require illumination during the day. It is better to switch off LED lights during the daytime to avoid electricity wastage. While it may not be feasible to switch each light box on or off manually, the process can be automated. Many external light boxes come with a photocell sensor. It turns the LEDs on when the sun goes down and turns them off when the sun rises in the morning. The sensor also switches the LEDs on when sunlight is not adequate due to cloudy conditions. Retail outlets must prefer external light boxes with a photocell sensor to reduce electricity consumption and are environment-friendly.

Well-Mounted

An external light box has a well-designed mounting mechanism. These signs will be exposed to occasional heavy winds or storms. The winds can loosen or uproot them if they are not properly secured. While it may sound surprising, there is a risk of theft as well. Miscreants may be able to easily remove an external light box sign that employs a basic mounting mechanism. Therefore, the signs must feature a secure and sturdy mounting mechanism. It will depend on their size and the place where they are being installed. The sign should be able to stand in windy conditions without swaying or becoming loose. There must be safeguards in place to make the sign tamperproof and avoid theft.

Care must be taken when mounting the sign so that its visibility is unaffected. The external light box sign should remain visible to pedestrians. It must be at or close to the eye level and easy to read.

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Sign Light Box Manufacturers

There is a large number of sign light box manufacturers in the USA. They are located in different cities across the country. Their product catalog and services differ from one another. The amount of money charged also varies from one vendor to another. Most of them deliver assembled signage, while a few of them specialize in the DIY segment. Here are some of the best sign light box manufacturers in the USA.

DIY Sign Supply

DIY Sign Supply is an excellent sign light box manufacturer in the USA for buyers who want to create a light box themselves. The company sells DIY light box sign kits as well as individual supplies. You can also print custom graphics on panels by providing them with a high-quality image. If you require a render for permit applications, DIY Sign Supply is one of the few sign light box manufacturers that can assist with it. All their products and supplies are made using top-grade materials and built to last. DIY Sign Supply also provides fully assembled single-sided and double-sided light box signs for indoor and outdoor use. The maximum size of a sign light box offered by them is 10-feet by 10-feet.

DSA Signage

DSA Signage is one of the popular sign light box manufacturers in the USA. They specialize in signs for commercial organizations and retail outlets. DSA Signage product catalog includes LED light boxes, drive-thru signs, digital signage, and menu boards (illuminated and digital). The company designs, builds, and customizes signs for stores, entertainment venues, museums and art galleries, exhibitions, and transportation centers. DSA is among the few sign light box manufacturers with elite clientele. The company provides signs for brands like Starbucks, Universal Studios, Cartier, Ferrari, and Gold’s Gym.

ThinLight Technologies

ThinLight Technologies is a sign light box manufacturer that specializes in LED displays. Their product range covers animated and modular light displays, backlit panels, snap frames, and digital signage. All their products are manufactured in the USA, and the frames are cut and assembled in-house. Their clientele includes large retailers, corporate offices, hotels, restaurants, movie studios and theaters, museums, sports stadiums, airports, and religious places located in the USA, Canada, and Latin America. ThinLight Technologies is one of the few sign light box manufacturers that provide a comprehensive warranty on their products (3-year on LEDs and 5-year on power supplies).

Loumarc Signs

Loumarc Signs is a well-known name among sign light box manufacturers. They provide different types of light box signs for indoor and outdoor installation. The company has also been manufacturing digital graphics and non-illuminated signs for more than twenty-five years. Their catalog includes additional sign services like site surveys, permits, installation, and maintenance apart from design and manufacturing. Loumarc Signs is among the sign light box manufacturers that provide a warranty on their products (3-year) that extends to material and paint in addition to electrical components.

FrontSigns

Another name on the list of sign light box manufacturers in the USA is FrontSigns. It is a full-service signage company that specializes in custom signs. Everything from fabrication to printing and installation is handled by it. If required, FrontSigns can get a permit for the sign from local authorities on your behalf. They provide commercial signs for indoor and outdoor installation. FrontSigns uses a wide range of materials for the construction of signs, depending on the customers’ requirements. The company has supplied signs to international companies like LG, Los Angeles Time, America Bank, Burger King, and Disney, to name a few.

Choosing a Sign Light Box Manufacturer

Here are a few things to consider when searching for sign light box manufacturers. They can assist you in choosing the right vendor as per your requirements.

Shipping and Delivery Facility

When choosing a sign light box manufacturer, you may want to inquire about their shipping and delivery policy. Quite a few companies handle the shipping and delivery of signs personally. They employ dedicated vehicles for transporting the signs, although they may charge extra for the same. Most large-scale sign light box manufacturers deliver goods up to a specific distance from their location. Ask the company if they provide free shipping and deliver to your zip code or employ a third-party courier. A few companies may require a minimum order quantity for providing shipping services.

It is wise to obtain information about transit insurance on the signs if they are being delivered through a third-party service provider. While the chances are minuscule, signs may still get damaged during transportation. Insurance can cover the cost of the signs and eliminate unforeseen expenses resulting from damage.

Warranty

Renowned sign light box manufacturers offer a warranty on their products. The warranty period may vary from one year to five years, depending on the manufacturer. Other factors that may affect the warranty period include the cost of the sign, the quality of materials used, and the number of signs ordered by a customer. Sign light box manufacturers may provide extended warranty to bulk buyers such as retail chains, malls, cinemas and theaters, and transportation centers.

The extent of the warranty also varies from one sign light box manufacturer to another. At the very least, it must cover manufacturing defects, LED lights, power supply (ballast or driver), and other electrical components employed in the light box. A few companies may cover issues like cracking, rusting, warping, or other forms of material or frame deterioration. They may also provide a guarantee against fading or peeling for their paint or graphics. Consider a sign light box manufacturer whose warranty policy is satisfactory.

Permits Issuance

Local authorities require you to obtain permits before you can install sign light boxes. You will have to apply for the same to the respective body in your area. A few sign light box manufacturers can take care of the permits on your behalf. It can save you time and effort, preventing you from extra hassles. These sign light box manufacturers conduct site surveys, prepare a graphic render of the sign for the application, apply for the sign, and obtain permits. If you want the company to handle permits, then consider one that provides these services in your area.

After Sales Support

An important thing to ask sign light box manufacturers is their after-sales support. Consider a manufacturer that not only delivers the sign but also installs it on your behalf. While suppliers of DIY do not provide these services, companies that ship fully finished sign light boxes may offer them. It will save you extra expenses, and you won’t have to worry about finding an installer specializing in signage.

Some sign light box manufacturers also offer maintenance and repair services. They may provide these services for the warranty duration. Their cost may be included in the quote you received for the sign or you may have to pay extra. If you need to replace the graphics of the lightbox frequently, then ask the manufacturer if they will handle the same in the future. Inquire regarding the after-sales support before you place the order. It will save you maintenance expenses and keep your sign light boxes in prime condition, elongating their life.

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Light Box Sign Supplies

Whether you are building a DIY sign box from scratch or want to repair an existing one, you will need various light box sign supplies. These may include LEDs, power supplies, frames, panels, and switches, to name a few. They are available from different manufacturers and at varying price points. If you are new to signage, then a basic knowledge of these can help you choose the right sign for your establishments. Here are different types of light box sign supplies that may be used in building retail signage.

Frame

A frame is the most essential item among light box sign supplies. Whether you are building a DIY retail box or ordering one from a manufacturer, you will start with a frame. It imparts structural strength and houses the LEDs and electrical items, protecting them from elements of nature. Most light box signs have an aluminum frame because it is rust-proof, lightweight, and sturdy. Materials like steel, plywood, and plastic may also be used for fabricating the frame, depending on the type and purpose of the light box. Buyers will have to decide the length, height, and depth of the frame. Their sizes start from as small 2’x4’ and go all the way up to 10’x12’. The depth may vary from one inch to one foot or more as per the type and design of the light box sign. Some manufacturers provide pre-fabricated frames, while others allow custom sizes as well. Choose a frame among light box sign supplies according to the installation space available and your requirements.

LEDs and Fluorescent Tubes

The next item that you will need among light box sign supplies is a source of illumination. Retail signs use a source of light below the face panel. It illuminates the sign, improving its visibility at night. Nowadays, most signs make use of LEDs as they consume less electricity and run cooler. They have a lifespan ranging from 30,000 to 100,000 hours. However, using LEDs in light box signs creates light hotspots in the graphics or design. The illumination looks non-uniform and warrants the use of a light diffuser to counter the same.

There are special types of LEDs available for installation in retail signage. They may be spaced farther from each other as compared to standard LED light strips. An optic lens may be provided on each LED to disperse the light at a wider angle (such as 170°) and minimize the chances of hotspots. For e.g., a sign may have multiple groups of three lights wherein the three individual LEDs of a group are separated by an inch, but the distance between each group of LEDs is three to four inches. If you are searching for outdoor light box sign supplies, consider LEDs with an IP68 waterproof rating. They are more water-resistant and suitable for outdoor application.

Fluorescent tubes were the primary source of illumination before LEDs. They are larger in size and therefore require signs with more depth (thickness). The amount of electricity consumed by them is more as compared to LEDs. Their lifespan is also significantly less, which increases the ownership cost of the sign. A primary advantage of fluorescent tubes is that they create uniform illumination. There are no hotspots, and the graphics look aesthetically pleasing. There is no need to install a diffuser separately.

LEDs with diffusers are the preferred illumination source among light box sign supplies for most scenarios. If the sign is correctly designed, LEDs can illuminate a sign as well as fluorescent tubes without any hotspots or shadows.

Power Supply

A power supply will also be required for running the lights inside the cabinet sign. LEDs run on DC power and require a converter to change AC current to DC current. The power supply for LEDs is also known as a driver. They come in different wattage ratings, which also determines the number of LEDs that they can run. In general, a 120W power supply will run twice the number of LEDs as compared to a 60W model. The power supply used with fluorescent tubes is known as a ballast or choke. A ballast must be matched to the wattage rating of the fluorescent tubes. Generally, you will need one blast for each fluorescent tube.

You may require multiple power supplies depending on the size of your light box sign and the wattage and number of LEDs you will be using in it. If you are going to use the light box sign outdoors, consider a power supply with an IP67 waterproof rating.

Sensors/Photocell

Sensors are an uncommon yet important item among light box sign supplies. A photocell is a primary sensor used in signage. Even though most retail signs make use of highly energy-efficient LEDs, they still consume electricity. The energy consumption can pile up when considering the large number of signs used in venues such as malls, theaters, and museums. If a light box sign is installed in an area with sufficient natural light, there is no reason to switch on its LED or fluorescent lights during the day. However, it may be time-consuming to switch each sign on or off individually. Also, it is easy to forget the same.

A photocell is a light box sign supply that can come in handy here. It can automatically turn signage LEDs on or off, depending on the amount of sunlight. The sign’s lights will switch on when the sun goes down and will switch off in the morning. It eliminates the need to switch the lights on or off manually, subsequently reducing electricity bills.

Switches

If you want the ability to switch each sign on and off individually, then you may want to add switches to your list of light box sign supplies. It makes it easy to turn specific signs on or off without having to disconnect all of them. You will have to make sure that the switch is suitable for the total wattage rating or power draw of the sign. Otherwise, it will heat up and melt, increasing the chances of a short circuit or fire hazard.

Wiring

Most manufacturers pre-install wiring in the sign frame. However, if your frame does not come with wiring, then you may have to purchase wiring along with other light box sign supplies. Consider a wire that is rated for the specific application. You may want a model that comes with fireproof insulation.

Face Panels

Panels are the final thing that you will require among light box sign supplies. The logo, graphics design, or brand name is printed or embossed on these panels. They are translucent and allow the light from the LEDs underneath them to illuminate the design. Panels are made from different materials, with acrylic, Plexi, polycarbonate, and glass being the most popular ones. The right panel for you will depend on what you are going to print on them and what are your aesthetic preferences. Buyers will have to pay for them on a per square foot basis. You may have to pay extra for printing the graphics or design on the panel.

These were all the light box sign supplies required for creating your DIY sign. You can buy these supplies individually or as a kit. Most vendors sell all types of light box sign supplies for convenience. Some of them may also offer graphics printing services.

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Internally Illuminated LED Cabinet Sign

Internally illuminated LED cabinet signs are used to display a company’s branding during the day and light it up for optimal visibility at night. They may also be known as wall or box signs. These signs are popularly used by offices, retail outlets, stores, and other commercial establishments, irrespective of their size.

What is an Internally Illuminated LED Cabinet Sign?

An internally illuminated LED cabinet sign is a large-sized sign used for branding. It is one of the oldest forms of signage that still finds a place in the modern world. Cabinet signs are primarily meant for displaying the logo or brand name of a business, store, or outlet. There are LED lights behind the front panel for illuminating the branding during the night. Internally illuminated LED cabinet signs are designed to be extremely durable as compared to other retail signs. Most of them are generally used in the outdoors and hung using retainers, fasteners, brackets, or poles.

Construction of an Internally Illuminated LED Cabinet Sign

Internally illuminated LED cabinet signs are rectangular in shape and range anywhere from 2’x4’ to 12’x12’. Many manufacturers may provide larger signs for custom orders. They are thicker (deeper) as compared to other types of signage. Their heavier weight allows them to stay steady in windy weather. As fluorescent tubes were the preferred source of illumination before LEDs became popular, they required more space for installation and heat dissipation. Therefore, internally illuminated LED cabinet signs were 1-feet thick (deep). However, modern signs can be just a few inches thick as they use LEDs that don’t require as much space for installation. They also run cooler and can dissipate heat efficiently in a smaller area. Cabinet signs have multiple rows or columns of LED strips behind the face panel. It provides adequate illumination for the sign. A diffuser may be used for ensuring uniform illumination and eliminating hotspots.

The exterior frame of an internally illuminated LED cabinet sign is made from aluminum. It is rust-proof, lightweight, and exceptionally durable. It can be coated with paint according to the branding requirements of the customers or left as it is. Cabinet signs may also use a steel frame when strength is a primary requirement. While aluminum is durable, it is not as strong as steel. On the other hand, steel signs may rust over time and must be painted regularly. Aluminum is still the preferred material of most manufacturers and consumers when it comes to internally illuminated LED cabinet signs.

Front Panel of an Internally Illuminated LED Cabinet Sign

The face or graphics panel of an internally illuminated LED cabinet sign contains the design, logo, or branding. It is generally made of Lexan or other similar translucent materials. Traditional signs used opaque materials for front panels as they did not use internal illumination. However, internally illuminated LED cabinet signs require a translucent front panel for allowing the light to pass through and light up the logo, graphics, or brand name.

Their face may be flat or pan-formed as per the design requirements. A pan-formed face has a 3-D shape achieved through molding, embossing, or debossing. Most manufacturers design their internally illuminated LED cabinet signs with a replaceable face panel. There is no need to rebuild the sign completely as you can just change its face panel with a new one. It can be cost-effective in the long run if you plan to replace the sign often.

Internally Illuminated LED Cabinet Signs Mounting Styles

Internally illuminated LED cabinet signs can be mounted via different methods. The right method will depend on the installation space available and the requirements of the store. Some of the popular mounting styles are listed below.

Pedestal Mount

Pedestal mounts are among the most popular mounting styles for internally illuminated LED cabinet signs. A single or pair of pedestals are constructed from concrete, and the sign is mounted on top of them. It is suitable for large and heavy cabinet signs, especially those that are mounted at a height. The sign will not sway with the wind and stay strong for years to come. Pedestal mounts are used when the cabinet sign has to be installed on the ground.

Pole Mounts

Pole mounts are an alternative to pedestal mounts. The poles are fabricated from a material like steel or iron, and the sign is mounted on the top. They are suitable when the internally illuminated LED cabinet sign has to be installed at some height for enhancing its visibility. A single or pair of poles may be used depending on the weight of the sign. A single pole mount is installed at the center of the bottom surface of the sign. When using two pole mounts, each of them is placed at the respective ends of the bottom surface. Pole mounts are generally used for installing cabinet signs into the ground.

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Backlit Sign Box Lighting Material

Backlit sign box lighting materials determine the quality of signage. Some materials are expensive but create highly visible and eyecatching signs. Others are cheaper and more suitable for short-term marketing and promotions. There are different types of backlit sign box lighting materials. They can be broadly classified into two categories – the illumination source used and the graphics material used. Both play a significant role in determining the final outlook of the signage.

Backlit Sign Box Lighting Material – Illumination Sources

All backlit sign boxes use some form of lighting for illumination. They are located on the inside and light up the decals or graphics panel. There are basically three types of illumination sources.

LED’s

LEDs are the most popular illumination source when it comes to backlit sign box lighting materials. They are preferred due to their low power consumption and affordable pricing. LEDs are easy to install, exceptionally bright, and stay cool over prolonged usage. An issue with using LEDs as backlit sign box lighting material is that they create hotspots on the graphics or vinyl panel, leading to variable illumination. A diffuser is used to rectify the same, although it can be minimized by opting for LEDs with diamondback optical lenses. They will increase the cost of the backlit sign box. LEDs are used mainly for large, well-illuminated signboards.

Edge-Lit LEDs

Edge-lit LEDs are a viable alternative among backlit sign box lighting materials. They are placed around the edge of the frame. Instead of directly pointing at the graphics panel, the LEDs are aimed away from the front panel. It eliminates hotspots and allows the light to spread evenly. A diffuser may also be used to improve the aesthetic appearance of the sign further. However, using edge-lit LEDs as a backlit sign box lighting material lowers the illumination as the light bounces around a lot more. It means that you will require many more of them to achieve the same brightness as backlit LEDs. Therefore, they are primarily used in directional signboards and small-sized retail signage. They are suitable for creating thin, shallow, and inexpensive signboards. Edge-lit LEDs can’t be used in large sign boxes as the illumination declines as you go towards the center from the sides.

Fluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent tubes are another backlit sign box lighting material. They were mainly used before LEDs became commercially viable. Fluorescent tubes have excellent diffusion and create a superior aesthetic appearance with a uniformly illuminated surface. There are no issues like hotspots or uneven glow with them. They can be used with signs that are large enough to accommodate them. Sometimes, fluorescent bulbs are used in the place of tubes for smaller signs. However, fluorescent tubes and bulbs as a backlit sign box lighting material are quite expensive. They cost more and have a shorter lifespan as compared to LEDs. The energy consumption is high as well, resulting in higher operating costs. Therefore, their popularity as backlit sign box lighting material is declining in the retail sector as LEDs are becoming cheaper and brighter. Still, Fluorescent tubes are preferred for outdoor signage that requires large and well-lit boxes.

Backlit Sign Box Lighting Material – Graphics Materials

The extent and quality of illumination also depend on the graphics materials used in a sign box. Different graphics materials are used for complementing backlit sign box lighting. Here are the most common ones:

Adhesive Translucent Vinyl

Adhesive translucent vinyl is the ideal backlit sign box lighting material for retail outlets and stores that require durable signage. It is mounted upon acrylic, Lexan, or Plexi panels and is suitable for permanent installation. Adhesive translucent vinyl is a backlit sign box lighting material that can last for several years and is UV safe. It may be used for indoor as well as outdoor signage such as building signs, promotional signs, or directional signs.

Backlit Paper

Backlit paper is a thin and translucent bristol board sheet measuring about 7pt in thickness. It is economical to produce and suitable for short duration campaigns as it is not as durable as some of the other backlit sign box lighting materials. A special coating may be applied to backlit paper if the sign box will be used in a humid climate. UV curing flatbed and Latex roll to roll are popular choices for printing backlit paper.

Printable Film

Printable film sign boxes use thin translucent plastic sheets made from materials like polypropylene or styrene. These materials are highly durable and weather resistant, making them suitable as outdoor backlit sign box lighting materials. Printable film sign boxes are employed at bus stops, shopping malls, movie theater posters, transit signs, etc. The design is printed on the film via a UV curing flatbed as well as a screenprint.

Photographic Transparency Films

Photographic transparency films are a high-quality backlit sign box lighting material. It is a polyester media, commonly referred to as translites or Duratrans (actually a manufacturer of photographic transparency films). The graphics are printed on the films using an RGB laser system, and their quality is exceptional. Photographic transparency films are one of the expensive backlit sign box lighting materials. A downside with them is that they fade in a short time when exposed to sunlight. They are more suitable for indoor applications in the retail sector.

Inkjet Backlit Film

Inkjet backlit film is an economical and durable alternative to photographic transparency films. It also uses a polyester film but coats the images with an ink-receptive layer instead of photographic emulsion. The quality of the inkjet backlit film is close to that of a photographic transparency film. However, it is cheaper and has better lightfastness, making it an excellent backlit sign box lighting material for outdoor use in addition to indoor signage.

Vinyl/Fabric Backlit

Vinyl and fabric backlit sign box lighting materials are suitable for large-sized applications. They require a grand-format inkjet printer that uses either latex or solvent ink. The frames of vinyl and fabric backlit sign boxes have a tensioning system for flatting them out and eliminating wrinkles. It is required as they are used for grand sizes. These backlit sign box lighting materials can be folded into rolls for easy transportation. They are primarily used in large-scale promotional and retail signage.

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Commercial Light Box Signs

Commercial light box signs refer to retail signage for large establishments. These can include stores (retail, apparel, convenience, or any other), cafes and restaurants, cinemas and theaters, concert halls, art galleries and museums, arenas, casinos, shopping malls, stadiums, and transportation centers like airports, railway stations, and subways. They display promotions, products, or branding to the viewers. Commercial light box signs are meant to be viewed at close range. Therefore, they are installed in areas frequented by pedestrians. The graphics and fonts used are chosen to maximize visibility and grab the attention of people walking by.

Characteristics of Commercial Light Box Signs

Commercial light box signs come in different shapes and sizes. They are not that different from standard retail signs used in small stores or outlets. Here are the key highlights of commercial light box signs that owners or managers can consider when ordering signage for their stores.

Swappable Graphics

A significant highlight of commercial light box signs is their reusability. The backlit film, face panel, or sheet used for displaying images or graphics is replaceable. It can be removed easily, and a new panel or sheet featuring a different design can be installed in its place. Commercial light box signs with swappable graphics are great for establishments that frequently need to replace the design, image, or message. These include retail outlets (like apparel stores) and restaurants (like KFC or McDonald’s) that have to change their promotional message every month or season. They don’t have to order new light boxes and can reuse the existing ones. It not only reduces their expenses but is environmentally viable as well. Commercial light box signs that allow easy replacement of graphics without the use of tools are more convenient and time-saving. Smaller stores may not require light boxes that support swappable graphics, but large outlets generally do.

Well-Illuminated

Commercial light box signs are well-illuminated as compared to their cheaper counterparts. The LEDs used inside them have diamondback optic lenses for dispersing the light for uniform illumination. Otherwise, the light from LEDs travels in a tight path and does not disperse as much. It creates hotspots on the graphics panel, impacting the aesthetics of the light box sign.

Also, large commercial light box signs should use an adequate number of LEDs for ensuring uniform illumination. The distance between consecutive modules must be optimal and not too large. Otherwise, it may cause shadows and banding on the sign, especially in the center. Smaller signs will work well with LEDs located along the edges and don’t need LEDs spanning across their entire length. Another thing to consider is the color temperature of the LEDs. Their light should be as white as possible with a slight tinge of blue. LEDs that emit wavelength closer to pure white (around 7000K) should be preferred.

Long-lasting, Energy Efficient

One of the primary considerations for commercial light box signs is their electricity consumption. Places such as malls, cinemas and theaters, retail stores, and restaurants may easily have fifty to a hundred commercial light box signs installed at a time. While the power draw for individual signs using LEDs is minimal, it exponentially increases, considering the large number of signs installed in such establishments. Therefore, the signs must feature highly energy-efficient LEDs to minimize electricity consumption. Also, the LEDs should have a long lifespan. High-quality LEDs can last anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 hours. It is more economical to go for long-lasting LEDs in the long run. Consider a manufacturer that provides at least a 3-year warranty on the LEDs and power supply. You can get them replaced under warranty even if they malfunction.

Better Heat Management

Commercial light box signs emphasize heat management. While LEDs run cool, they still generate heat that multiplies when fifty or a hundred of them are used together. Heat shortens the lifespan of LED circuitry and other power components. It also heats the sign, making it hot to the touch. Therefore, commercial light box signs make use of thicker extrusions for dissipating heat generated by LEDs. It increases the life of LEDs and mitigates injuries like burns caused by hot signs. When ordering commercial light box signs, ask the manufacturer about the heat dissipation capability of the frames. The sign should be comfortable to the touch and run cool. Some companies provide specifications sheets or heat dissipation data on their commercial light box signs. Consult the same before committing to a purchase.

More Customization Options

Manufacturers of commercial light box signs provide more customization options to their buyers. Many organizations need signs in non-standard sizes for their stores. Regular sizes may not fit into the space available, or they may want a large sign that covers an entire wall. They may also specify their wire management requirements as well as custom mounting specifications. Vendors of commercial light box signs accommodate such requests more readily. They customize signs for each customer based on their special requirements. The materials used for frame or panels, the configuration of LEDs or power components, and the graphics panels can be altered based on the client’s inputs or priorities.

Produced in Bulk

Many vendors of commercial light box signs generally take orders in bulk. Large-scale establishments and retail chains may require a few dozen copies of each light box. They may have to install the same sign at each of their stores or outlets. A single order may consist of a few hundred signs, depending on the retail chain’s size. Manufacturers of commercial light box signs offer bulk discounts to their clientele. Their manufacturing costs decrease as the number of copies they have to produce increases. It allows them to offer better quotes to the buyer. Some vendors may not take orders for small quantities of commercial light box signs or charge a significant amount for them.

Warranty and Maintenance

Commercial light box signs are covered by comprehensive warranties from their manufacturers. Most vendors provide a 3-year warranty on the signs, with a few of them extending the same to 5-years. They deliver the signs to the location and install them as well. Some of them also provide maintenance services, along with manufacturing and delivery. The vendor may undertake any repairs or maintenance required by commercial light box signs for the contract period.

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Outdoor Lighted Box Sign Cabinets Wholesale

Outdoor lighted box sign cabinets wholesale options are preferred by businesses, companies, and organizations who regularly need cabinet signs. They can get these signs at prices that are significantly lower than those sold by dealers and vendors. It reduces the company’s expenditure on signage.

Why are Outdoor Lighted Box Sign Cabinets Wholesale Cheaper?

A few reasons allow outdoor lighted box sign cabinets wholesale sellers to provide significant discounts on their inventory.

Volume Production

They manufacture signage frames with standard dimensions. The measurements are chosen based on what sizes are the most popular in the market. These sizes are most likely to sell, and they can produce them in bulk. As production volume increases, the manufacturing cost of each sign decreases. By making signs of only specific sizes, they can pass on the savings to their buyers.

Standard Shape

Outdoor lighted box sign cabinets wholesale sellers rarely offer size-related customization options on the cabinet signs unless the order is large. Their signs are generally available in standard rectangular shapes. It lowers their tooling and manufacturing costs, reducing the price of the sign. You can still customize the graphics and design that will be printed on the panels.

Still, outdoor lighted box sign cabinets wholesale sellers have an adequate product portfolio to meet most buyers’ requirements. You will find a suitably-sized cabinet sign for your needs. Most outdoor lighted box sign cabinets wholesale dealers stock sizes measuring as small as 2-feet(H) x 4-feet(L) and as large as 10-feet(H) x 12-feet(L). The extrusion options available are limited, with 8-inches and 12-inches being popular.

When Should You Consider Outdoor Lighted Box Sign Cabinets Wholesale Options?

Here are a few reasons to consider outdoor lighted box sign cabinets wholesale options.

Bulk Orders

Most wholesalers require you to purchase their stock in bulk. If you only need a limited quantity of light box sign cabinets, then they may not give you a significant discount. A business or an organization that is opening or running multiple outlets and wants to install or change signage across all locations simultaneously may benefit from outdoor lighted box sign cabinets wholesale deals. They may be planning to install them in multiple locations for a marketing campaign or promotion.

Need Standard Size

Another reason to go for outdoor lighted box sign cabinets wholesale options is that you need a standard-sized sign with no customizations. Highly-popular sizes are regularly available with these vendors. You will likely find something that fits your requirements.

Need Signs Urgently

The turnaround time for pre-manufactured frames for cabinet signs is also short. Most outdoor lighted box sign cabinets wholesale dealers have large quantities of signs in their inventory. They can ship your order in as little as a few hours. It can be beneficial to go for these vendors if you need cabinet signs urgently.

A disadvantage of buying outdoor lighted box sign cabinets wholesale is that you may not have as many customization options or the freedom to alter the frame. Still, they significantly reduce expenditure and can be beneficial in certain scenarios.

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Retail Light Box

A retail light box is one of the most popular types of signage used by commercial and retail establishments. They attract the attention of pedestrians and increase the foot traffic of the outlet. These signs enhance the aesthetics of the stores as well.

What is a Retail Light Box?

A retail light box is an illuminated sign used for advertisement, display, and promotions by retail outlets, stores, and commercial establishments. It has a sturdy frame made of aluminum. The front side has graphics printed on a panel made of acrylic, plexiglass, or other similar translucent materials. There are LEDs or fluorescent lights present behind the panel for illuminating the graphics film. LEDs are the preferred illumination source for retail light boxes as they consume less energy and have a long life. Smaller retail light boxes use edge-lit LEDs, while large backlit signs may have multiple LED rows spanning across the entire length of the light box.

Retail light box signage is available in small and large sizes. Most manufacturers provide them in sizes up to 10-feet by 12-feet, although a few dealers may offer larger sizes for custom orders. These signs are thinner as compared to cabinet signs. The reducing cost and increasing efficiency of LEDs have further reduced the thickness (depth) of retail light boxes. They can be as thin as one inch or even less. It reduces the cost of the signs and the space required for installation. They are much smaller as compared to billboards used for outdoor marketing.

The graphics panel of a retail light box can be substituted according to the current marketing campaign. Their film or pane can be removed, and a new one can be installed in its place. It saves businesses and retail outlets quite a bit of expenditure as they don’t have to pay the full price for a new retail light box.

Where are Retail Light Boxes Installed?

Retail light boxes are meant for closeup viewing and therefore installed in areas with pedestrian traffic. Most of them show products or promotions. They are meant to catch the attention of viewers and raise their interest in the product or promotion. Signage communicates with your customers visually and increases the foot traffic to the store. It conveys information about your business, products, and services to customers.

A prime example of retail light boxes is storefront displays. Many retail outlets and stores used them in their storefront windows for showing new products or marketing promotions. Movie theaters use retail light boxes to display posters of movies. Venues and museums may also display artwork or information using a retail light box.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Retail Light Box

The difference between an effective sign and a poorly conceived one comes down to a few factors. Here are some things to consider when choosing retail light boxes.

Shape and Size

Commercial establishments may want to consider the shape and size of signage they require. Retail light boxes are rectangular in shape with a thickness of one or two inches. Their orientation may either be landscape or portrait. Some manufacturers may provide corner-shaped retail light boxes for pillars or corners of stores. They have a 90° bend in the frame and can be used for covering both sides of a corner. It improves the visibility of the sign, allowing more people to see it. A pair of corner retail light boxes can also be combined to cover a square pillar. The size of the box will depend on the space available for installation.

Illumination and Graphics

Retail light boxes must have uniform illumination without any hot spots or shadows. The graphics must be clear and eye-catching. Their LEDs should be bright and have a white color temperature for highlighting the graphics without affecting their colors. Some outlets may want to frequently change the graphics or design of their retail light boxes. They may benefit by opting for models that support the same. The graphics sheet or film can be easily removed and replaced with a new one. It is designed from materials that won’t bend or snag, allowing for easy substitution.

Usage – Indoor vs. Outdoor

While most retail light box signage is designed for indoor use, it can be employed outdoors as well. Outdoor signs are weatherproof so that they can withstand rain and winds. Their frame is constructed to minimize gaps and prevent water and snow from leaking into the sign. LEDs, power supply (ballast or driver), wiring, and other electrical equipment are also weatherproof. These components have an IP67 or IP68 rating and enhanced water, moisture, and dirt resistance. If the retail light box uses fluorescent lamps, they are ideally installed in the horizontal orientation to prevent the moisture from collecting into the sockets of the lamps. Another difference between indoor and outdoor retail boxes is in the graphics and face panels. The printed graphics and panels are UV-resistant and won’t fade with prolonged exposure to sunlight. Advertisers won’t have to replace their signage frequently. Commercial establishments can opt for indoor or outdoor retail light boxes as per their installation requirements.

Single-sided vs. Double-sided

Retail light boxes can be single-sided or double-sided. It means that they can either have the graphics, promotion, or design on one side or both sides. The choice will depend on where the sign will be installed. If it is mounted on a wall, only one of its sides will be visible to the public, and the graphics or branding will be on that side. However, if the retail light box will be hanged from a ceiling or installed on the floor, then both of its sides will be visible to the public. In such cases, a double-sided sign will make more sense. Each side can have the same promotion or two unique promotions, with one on each side.

Finishing

Outlets that prioritize aesthetics may want to pay attention to the aesthetics of a retail light box. Their frames are mostly made from aluminum. Clear silver and black anodized aluminum are the most popular finishing options. Many vendors offer custom finishes in various colors. However, they may impose a minimum quantity limit and charge extra for the finishing. Outlets that want retail light boxes to match or complement the décor of their establishment can opt for custom finishing.

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Outdoor Lighted Sign Panels

Outdoor lighted sign panels are a type of signage primarily used for wayfinding or directional purposes. Some establishments employ them for displaying logos or branding at their business entrances. These signs make it easy for visitors or customers to navigate the premises more easily as well as find locations quickly.

The frame of the signs is made of aluminum or stainless steel, while the face panels containing the pictographs or fonts may have a plastic, plexiglass, glass, or acrylic construction. Lexan and polycarbonate may also be used for high-quality outdoor lighted sign panels. They come with built-in LEDs for illumination to improve the visibility of the sign at night.

Where are Outdoor Lighted Sign Panels Used?

Outdoor lighted sign panels are used in a variety of scenarios. They may be mounted on walls, hanged from ceilings, or installed at the ground level using poles. Educational campuses and large facilities utilize them for guiding people to appropriate locations. They may depict the names of different departments and facilities. Parking lots also install these signs to make navigation easy for drivers. Transportation centers and stadiums may also use outdoor lighted sign panels to assist travelers in locating different terminals and stations. They can be found at subway entrances so that people can find them easily.

Characteristics of Outdoor Lighted Sign Panels

Here are some of the main characteristics of outdoor lighted sign panels.

Weatherproof

Outdoor lighted sign panels have a weatherproof construction as they are installed exteriorly. The frame is designed to prevent rain and snow from penetrating the sign. All the electrical components used inside the sign, such as LEDs or fluorescent tubes, ballasts and LED drivers, and other items, are weatherproof. They generally have an IP67 or an IP68 rating and are safe for outdoor applications.

Eye-catching Design and Colors

Outdoor lighted sign panels should ideally be concise and easy to read. The viewers must be able to comprehend the message or directions at first glance. Therefore, pictographs are the primary recommendations for these signs. However, large and bold fonts that are highly-visible and easy to read may also be employed. Outdoor lighted sign panels use bright and eye-catching colors for improving visibility. Red and green are preferred for entrance and exit signs. Fluorescent colors like bright orange and yellow may also be used, depending on the requirements. At the very least, high-contrast color combinations are recommended for outdoor lighted sign panels.

Single and Double-Sided

Most outdoor lighted sign panels are double-sided. It improves the visibility of the sign, allowing pedestrians to view it from either side. People can find directions or locations faster and the likelihood of them missing the sign reduces. However, single-sided models are also available.

High-Density Printing

Outdoor lighted sign panels feature double density printing. As compared to signs with single density print, the signs appear darker or with more contrast during the day when sunlight shines on them. They light up nicely in the dark as well, which enhances their visibility during the night.

Compact

A majority of outdoor lighted sign panels are small to medium in size, with most of them having dimensions towards the smaller side. They convey information to pedestrians at close range and don’t have to be large in size. Most of them use pictographs, while others display concise information. These signs rarely show detailed graphics like those seen on retail light boxes.