There are different lighting styles when it comes to illuminated signage. For channel letter signs we do front-lit, reverse-lit, and compound, which are both front-lit and reverse-lit. Depending on the style you’re looking for and what your logo looks like, different lighting styles may work better for you. For example, if your logo colors are very important, you would probably want front-lit channel letters so those colors show up at night time. Reverse-lit channel letters are solid with a clear back so the light shines onto the wall behind the sign creating a halo effect. This is why reverse-lit channel letters are sometimes called halo-lit channel letters.
Many shopping centers will require a reverse-lit channel letter sign so the signage looks more uniform throughout. Unless you specifically use colored LEDs, the colors of the signs do not show up at night time. Some sign programs can also specify what colors are allowed, like black letters or brushed metal finish.
Compound channel letters aren’t always necessary, but they can work great in certain situations. We’ve done many signs where the face lights up a certain color, and we install different colored LEDs in the back for the reverse-lighting. You can see a great example of this with the Taco Ranch sign on our Channel Letters Signs page. But the entire face doesn’t always have to light up. Take the Ortho Engineering sign for example. The details of the logo were routed out of aluminum and backed with acrylic and translucent vinyl so they would show up at nighttime while the outline of the rest of the logo was shown using halo lighting.
The name of the company is made from front-lit channel letters, and the smaller letters are non-illuminated dimensional letters. Sometimes, smaller lettering has too thin of a stroke to make into channel letters that can have LEDs inside of them, but if it’s not too important that the information is seen at night time, we keep them non-illuminated.