Frequently Asked Questions

Standard VS Reverse Channel Letters

STANDARD CHANNEL LETTERS - FACE LIT

Standard channel letters have aluminum sides (returns) and backs with colored acrylic faces and are illuminated from the inside with either neon or LEDs (light emitting diodes). Since all of our channel letters are fabricated with aluminum they will never rust.

 

REVERSE CHANNEL LETTERS - HALO LIT

Reverse channel letters are often referred to as “halo lit” and are built somewhat opposite of standard channel letters since they typically have aluminum faces and clear polycarbonate backs. The result is a halo of light around the letters at night which gives a warmer feel but may be slightly less readable.

Raceway or Direct Mounting?

RACEWAY MOUNTED CHANNEL LETTERS

Raceway mounted channel letters are attached to a long, narrow rectangular aluminum box called a raceway. The raceway contains all the electrical components such as wiring and power supplies. Instead of each individual letter being mounted to the wall, the letters are mounted to the raceway which is then mounted to the building. Raceway mounting is ideal for applications where local codes, building owners, or the facade of the building prohibit direct mounting. Raceways allow for easier installation and service and can be painted to match the wall.

 

DIRECT MOUNTED CHANNEL LETTERS

Unlike raceway mounted channel letters, direct mounted channel letters are attached directly to the surface of the building. The wiring is then fed through the wall to an interior cavity where the power supplies are located. Direct mounted channel letters are cleaner looking but also require more installation time, cost, and drilling of holes into the building.

L.E.D VS Neon

NEON LIGHTING

Not long ago neon was the only option for illuminating channel letters. Neon lighting consists of a glass tube which is bent to the shape of each letter and filled with a variety of gasses depending on the desired color. While neon still provides slightly greater brilliance in some colors, it is subject to dimming under cold conditions, typically requires more frequent maintenance, and requires greater amounts of energy consumption for illumination.

 

L.E.D. LIGHTING

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are small, low voltage lights that when connected in a series provide excellent illumination under all temperature ranges. LEDs are rapidly becoming the most popular  form of channel letter lighting and are now specified by most national retailers. Not only are LEDs competitive to neon but they also require far less maintenance and energy usage.

What size lettering should I use?

LETTER VISIBILITY CHART

The following distances will vary approximately 10% with various color combinations. Maximum distance in color would be red or black on a white background.

Letter HeightMax ImpactMax Readable Distance
10"100'450'
12"120'525'
15"150'630'
18"180'750'
24"240'1000'
30"300'1250'
36"360'1500'
42"420'1750'
48"480'2000'
54"540'2250'
60"600'2500'

How does a sign compare to other media outlets?

THE RELATIVE VALUE OF SIGNS

Advertising MediaDurationCost range/unitCost range/monthCost range/year
Telephone Directory1 year$84 - $7,440$7 - $620$84 - $7,440
Local Paper Weeklies1 week$66 - $1,268$264 - $4,564$2,808 - $48,100
Local Papers Dailies1 day$96 - $7,952$317 - $31,806$3,375 - $413,481
National Publications1 month$430 - $64,500$430 - $64,500$4,128 - $681,120
Radio & TV30 - 60 seconds$30 - $50$300 - $1600$3,600 - $19,200
Direct Mail2 -3 daysVariableVariableVariable
Signs & On-site Ads5 - 20 years$75 - $10,000$1.25 - $41.66$15 - $500

Note: Of all the media represented here, only signs actually decrease in cost over time.