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The Ultimate Guide To Channel Letter Signs

Brick-and-mortar businesses have some unique needs when compared to their online counterparts. While both rely on marketing to attract new customers, businesses with physical locations also need to let their customers know exactly where they are so it’s easy to find them. The signage you have on your store can be the difference between being easily found and a customer getting frustrated and going elsewhere because they don’t know which store is yours.

Signs with channel lettering are among the most popular signage options because of their superior visibility and the variety of available options that make them so customizable. When it comes to lighting the sign, though, is it better to light the front or back of the letters? Let’s explore that question a bit.

Advantages of Front-Lit Channel Letters

The front-lit lighting style is the most commonly used style for channel letters. It’s highly customizable, with a variety of lighting elements and colors. The face is typically made from acrylic or polycarbonate, which gives you the option for it to be quite colorful. You may be able to have the acrylic made in the color you want your sign to be. Alternatively, you could have the color come from the lighting element itself, which could then be covered by a clear face, or even left open altogether. Of course, the more exposed your lighting element, the more vulnerable it is to the weather, so using a transparent face may be the better option unless you live in an incredibly temperate climate. Because of how the lights and colors interact in front-lit signs, this type of sign is highly visible both day and night, making it an excellent option for most businesses.

Backlit Channel Letters Advantages

While front-lit channel letters feature light shining through the sign’s face, backlit channel letters (sometimes called reverse channel letters or halo-lit channel letters) allow the light to shine out the back of the letters rather than the front. This reverse lighting creates a halo effect around the lettering that can be rather striking, especially at night. Backlit channel letters can be very customizable as well. You can customize the font, lighting color, size, and finish.

With backlit channel letters, you can choose to have the sophisticated look of a metal sign while still making it highly visible by lighting it from the back. You do have to be extra aware of the spacing of your letters with the backlit lighting style. If the letters are too close together or too far apart, the sign’s readability will be negatively impacted.

The lighting style that works best for your business is going to depend on the aesthetic you’re looking for. Both front-lit and backlit channel letters have their advantages, with neither one being inherently better than the other. Consider the aesthetic and brand image you want your business to have and allow that to guide you to the lighting style that will work best for you.