Light Box Signs – Everything you need to know

In today’s competitive market, storefront visibility is crucial for attracting customers and creating a memorable brand identity. Light box signs have emerged as an ideal solution, offering around-the-clock visibility that draws the eye to your brick-and-mortar shop front. These illuminated signs, are highly visible both day and night, enhancing the elegance of the façade of any business, whether it’s a bustling restaurant, a chic retail store, or a professional office space.

We’ll guide you through the advantages, commercial design process, professional installation guide, and best practices for maintenance.

By the end of this post, you will have a deeper understanding of light box signs.

  • At its simplest form, a light box sign is a box with a clear or semi-transparent front with a printed design on it and inside the box is a light source
  • Modern light box signs are mostly made with folded metal shaped into a box (or shape), with an LED light strip as a light source and an acrylic front panel printed with a brand or logo
  • A light box sign typically ranges in price from $2000 to $4000 depending on the size and the complexity of the design
  • Modern light boxes usually have a lifespan of around 35,000 to 70,000 light hours, or in typical usage, 15-20 years of life

Benefits of LED Light Box Signs for Businesses

As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to enhance your brand’s visibility and presence. Brick-and-mortar signage, like a lightbox, is one of the ways to gain more presence on your shopping strip.

Here are some of the advantages:

  • Customization: can be fully custom-designed to encapsulate your brand – custom sizes, shape and design
  • Sturdy construction: Made from fabricated steel, acrylic, and an LED lightbox is more durable.
  • Brand establishment: with a landmark on your street
  • Low ROI: with 24/7 advertising of your brand to the local community (even when closed) it is excellent value for money
  • Vibrant signage: which draws the eye, day or night
  • Standing out: stand out on the street and be easily located by potential customers
  • Advertising: Lit-up advertising creates curiosity and familiarity among passersby, serving as a perpetual reminder of your brand
  • All weather: Easy to see in poor weather conditions
  • Energy Efficiency: The LED light is known for its energy-saving properties, consuming 75%-80% less energy compared to a 60-watt incandescent bulb making it high-performance
  • Longevity: With a lifespan of around 35,000 to 60,000 hours, LED lights outshine their counterparts, making them a cost-effective and low-maintenance choice
  • Even Illumination: Unlike fluorescent lighting options, LED lights provide a consistent and even light across the sign face, enhancing visibility and impact
  • Environmental Aspects: LEDs are not only cheaper to run but also more environmentally friendly
  • Updating: For certain types of signs, the contents can be effortlessly changed or updated without the need for a completely new sign.

Example Lightbox Signs

 

Are Lightbox Signs also Backlit Signs?

Yes, essentially the two are one and the same. Light box signs are a category, and a backlit sign is a single type within that category. It’s important to clear that up before we dive into the next section.

Types of Light Box Signs

Let’s take a closer look at the types:

Backlit Light Boxes

  • A backlit sign utilizes a panel of LED bulbs positioned directly behind the graphic.
  • Ideal for outdoor displays and high-impact advertisements due to their brightness.
  • Perfect for businesses seeking to make a bold statement, day or night.

Edge Lit Light Boxes

  • Feature LED lights are installed along the edges of an acrylic panel, or fabric sheet, that holds the graphic.
  • Offer a cost-effective solution with fewer LEDs required, without compromising on visibility.
  • Suited for indoor environments where subtle yet effective lighting is desired.
  • The lights being on the edge of the sign can over-power the front panel design, as it’s around the design and not directly illuminating from behind. The design may seem dim in the middle.

Fabric SEG Light Boxes

  • Employ graphics on a fabric panel or printed onto a film substrate which is used as the front panel.
  • The fabric is taut and minimizes the frame effect or bulging/sagging of the fabric.
  • Provide a modern and sleek appearance with a thin profile.

Snap Frame Light Boxes

  • Designed with a frame that opens and closes effortlessly.
  • Allow for quick and easy graphic changes, making them ideal for businesses with frequent advertising updates.
  • A practical choice for venues that need to switch visuals regularly, such as theaters.

In addition to these types, businesses can opt for a custom lightbox, such as:

  • Light Up Signs: Grab attention with vibrant illumination.
  • Push Through Signs: Create a 3D effect with raised letters.
  • Marquee Signs: Offer a classic, retro vibe.
  • Halo-Lit Signs: Provide a sophisticated glow around letters.
  • Pylon Signs: Stand tall for high visibility from a distance.
  • Channel Letters: Offer individual lighting for each letter, enhancing clarity.
  • Reverse Channel Letters: Cast a subtle halo effect on the mounting surface. Each illumination technique, be it front-lit, backlit, or edge-lit, crafts a unique visual effect suitable for different applications.

Box Shape Options

Lightboxes are not limited to traditional rectangles. They can be constructed in unique shapes, circles, stars, oblongs, rectangles, squares, ovals, or any particular design that suits them. There are also options for single or double-sided which deliver increased visibility.

Designing Effective LED Light Box Signs

In designing effective an LED light box sign, here are some key considerations:

  • Strategic Placement: Place the light box sign in areas with high foot traffic, ensuring it’s unobstructed and visible from various angles. If your store is a regular shop frontage, then place the sign perpendicular to the shop, so it can be viewed up/down the street.
  • Size and Legibility: Designing the right size of a lightbox sign comes down to placement height, design, and budget. It’s important to size the sign based on its height and the design, and all for a selected budget. Sizing matters for the simple reason of making sure the sign is legible at a good distance – maybe 30′ minimum – design with this in mind.
  • Lighting and Color: Use warm and inviting colors, that fit in with the company brand and design, and we recommend using energy-efficient LED lighting as it lasts longer and shines brightest.
  • High-Quality Graphics: Ensure to use high-quality UV-printing on the front plate, be it acrylic or fabric.
  • Simplicity in Message: If you’re not using your company logo then keep the design simple, and clear, avoiding jargon or language which some might not understand (like abbreviations).
  • Brand Consistency: Keep the design, colors, fonts, and proportionate sizing consistent with your company brand. It’s a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal, but it should be done right – it should be about enhancing your storefront not overwhelming it, and definitely not underwhelming it either.

Installation

The decision on where to place your new sign should have occurred before you completed the design of the sign. It should be the first thing considered, so we’re going to jump straight into installation. Needless to say for the installation of the sign anyone can do it, but for connecting electricity to the sign a qualified electrician should be contracted.

Outdoor Lightboxes: Front-Facing Installation

For outdoor lightbox signs that face the front, the installation process includes several key steps:

Frame Preparation:

  • Unscrew the side screws to remove the front cover of the aluminum frame.
  • Power Cable and Mounting:
    • Drill a hole in the backplate for the power cable.
    • Align the backplate to the desired location and drill mounting holes through it into the wall.
  • Securing the Sign:
    • Use dowels and screws to mount the PVC backplate firmly to the wall.
  • Electrical Installation:
  • Finishing Touches:
    • Reattach the front cover by securing the side screws back into place.

Indoor Lightboxes: Front-Facing Installation

Indoor lightbox signs are typically easier to install, with the following steps:

Marking and Drilling:

  • Mark the wall according to the hanging holes on the back of the lightbox.
  • Drill holes in the wall, insert dowels, and screw in, leaving a portion extended for hanging.
  • Hanging the Lightbox:
    • Align the keyholes in the back of the lightbox with the screws and hang the product.
  • Power Connection:
    • Connect the power cable to the lightbox and plug it into the power socket.

Projecting Signs: Double-Sided LightBoxes

Double-sided lightboxes, or projecting signs, require a slightly different approach:

Mounting Points:

  • Mark the wall according to the positions of the mounting brackets.
  • Mounting the Sign:
    • Drill holes at the marked spots and secure the lightbox using the mounting brackets, screws, and dowels.
  • Electrical Safety:
    • Connect the power cable to an existing power outlet.
    • Ensure a qualified electrician oversees the electrical installation for safety.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Before cleaning ensure to turn the sign off and wait 20-30 minutes. Here’s how to keep your lightbox signage in top condition:

Routine Cleaning and Care:

  • Frequency: Weekly or fortnightly cleaning is recommended to maintain the sign’s visual appeal.
  • Dusting and Wiping: Gently wipe the surface with a soft cloth dampened with clean water. For more stubborn dirt, a mild detergent is safe to use.
  • No Stains: After cleaning, ensure no water stains are left behind as they can cause washed-out spots. For metallic parts like base fixing screws, apply lubricating oil to prevent rusting.
  • Inspection and Repair: When cleaning give a visual inspection to check for signs of wear, cracks, and fading in colors. If there are signs of any of these then talk with our team about how best to tackle the problem.

Conclusion

Neon By Design commits to helping companies improve foot traffic and sales performance at their brick-and-mortar locations with effective advertising. Talk with our team on how we can help with a lightbox sign display.

FAQs

What factors should I consider when selecting a lightbox sign?

  • When selecting a lightbox sign, consider 4 things. 1. The LED light box itself, what material and color, 2. The size of the sign, 3. The positioning of the sign at your business, 4. The LED lighting and color of the lights, 5. The design and UV-printing of the design onto the front plate.

How does a lightbox sign operate?

  • A lightbox sign operates by using a container that emits light, with a translucent material placed over it that displays text and graphics. When the bright LED lights in the display container are turned on it lights up the sign.

What are the components of a lightbox sign?

  • Lightbox signs consist of illuminated boxes or containers, often referred to as cabinets. These are covered with a thin layer of material such as vinyl, acrylic, or plastic that bears text, graphics, and other pertinent information. The content is backlit, making it stand out.

How can I use a lightbox sign for my business?

  • In retail brick-and-mortar business, a lightbox sign serves as a highly effective tool for advertising your store’s location outside the store. For decor inside the store, a lightbox sign can showcase and highlight many sections of your store. They can also be compact, lightweight, and portable so can be used for market stalls, or pop-up shops and alike.

How much money do light box signs cost?

  • Typically a light box sign will range price from $500 to $3000 – the price can vary greatly based on the size of the sign, the complexity and the design specifications. We handle the designing, sizing, and creation of the sign, including uv-printing, box making, the LED lighting inside the box, power supply and all necessary mounting attachments.

What is a light box sign?

  • A light box signs (also sometimes called backlit signs) are constructed with metal box, which is usually shaped in a circle, square or rectangle, which is commonly 3-5″ deep, with a light source inside the box, and has an acrylic or perspex printed facia on the box which the light can shine through, and illuminates the design from behind.  The design printed onto the light box face is usually a logo of the business outside where the sign is mounted.  In years gone past the light inside the box would have been regular fluorescent lights, but with modern lighting technology the light source inside the box is usually an array of bright LED lights or LED neon flex, as this provides a much stronger and longer lasting light.

How do you install a light box sign?

  • A light box sign is usually installed by professional sign makers.  Light box signs are usually mounted externally to a business, and used as shop frontage, to highlight the name of the business, brand logo or design.  We try to mount our light box signs at about 12 to 15′ off the ground, and close to the front door of the brick-and-mortar business.

What do you use a light box sign for?

  • A light box sign is used by retailers to signify a business at a particular brick-and-mortar location. Usually positioned above the entrance, the light box sign is perpendicular to the shop frontage, to show passers by what the shop sells ahead of them passing the front door.

What material is used for lightbox signage?

  • The box is often made from fabricated steel, the box has a LED light source inside, and the front plate is usually acrylic printed with an image or company logo.

What is the difference between backlit sign and lightbox sign?

  • There is no difference between a backlit sign and a lightbox sign. Both have a box, both have a light source behind a printed plate.
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Author

Christopher is our main author, with over 10 years working with businesses and consulting online.  Christopher has a deep understanding of LED lights, LED neon flex, neon signs and how they can be best used to help business, home and event decor.

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