Channel Letters 101 and FAQs!

Why do so many business owners choose channel letters for their building signs? The answer is simple: illumination. Standing out after dark is a great way of helping customers find your location and advertise the business at the same time. We get plenty of inquiries about this popular signage solution. Here is our list of channel letter FAQs – and their answers.

Q: What can a business do with channel letters?

A: Lit channel letters make excellent façade signs. They also work well as illuminated signage on monument markers. An innovative way of using this product is its application as lobby signage. For the last setup, we would scale down the dimensions to suit the interior’s overall measurements.

Q: How do you display a logo with channel letters?

A: In the case where a logo is part of a corporate identity, we construct a lightbox cabinet in the shape of the symbol. Often, our clients also ask us to create a cabinet that features a niche explanation. The channel letter and cabinet sign combination is quite common.

Q: How do the letters light up?

A: For most applications, we use LEDs. Choose from white LEDs, which are the most common option, or pick colored products to emphasize a hue or introduce another aspect of the corporate color palette. There are typically three types of illumination:

1. Front lit. The light shines brightly through painted acrylic fronts.

2. Halo lit. Illumination escapes through the backs of the letters that we close off with transparent acrylic. We install the signage with standoffs to create a two-inch gap between letters and substrate, which lets the light reflect off the wall.

3. Combination. When you want the best of both worlds, we create a combination product. We recommend the addition of more LEDs to ensure that both halo and bright color displays look great.

A fourth option is the use of neon tubes in open-faced designs that have a classic 1940s feel. (Actually, we close the fronts with clear polycarbonate.)

Q: Do you also make non-illuminated channel letters?

A: We sure do! If you like the three-dimensional appearance of these products but do not need the lighting aspect, we gladly create a product that suits your needs. That said, many business owners who do not need illuminated channel letters right now still order them with all light components in place. We just do not hook them up. Occasionally, a business owner decides at a future time to use the lighting portion.

Q: How do you mount the signs?

A: We already touched on the installation techniques for halo-lit lettering. When you choose a front-lit setup instead, we typically flush-mount the product. If access to the back of the façade is unavailable, we will use a raceway mount. This involves the use of a narrow box that holds the electrical components for the sign. We paint it in the color of the façade, and it blends right in.

If you have additional questions we did not discuss in our channel letters 101 listing, please contact our building sign specialists!

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