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.
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.
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.
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.
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.