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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.


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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