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Illuminated Signs for Small Business: Most Popular Types of Lit Signs

On dark, moonless nights illuminated signs guide the weary-wandering customer, finally, to the bright oasis of your business. If not for the revolutionary innovation lit-up signs, many a hungry patron would never find the 7-11, Taco Bell, or local bodega for which they seek, but wander into the darkness of the foreboding nothingness – for want of illumination. Be a light in the darkness – let your customers know where your business is with a sign that lights-up. 

But, you wonder, “what manner of strange and exotic light bulbs, colors and type font awaits in the land of signage?” Learn everything you could want or need to know about the options available for lit-up signage. Find out which types of illumination of best for what uses and environments. And, discover how ‘illuminating’ a refresh to your signage design can be to your business patronage.

Illuminated Signs: Types of Lighted Signage for Small Businesses

Illuminated signs serve a very practical purpose – to direct individuals to your location when it is dark. How you go about achieving this result, however, determines the marketing effectiveness of your sign. And, since the first thing that people usually see before getting to your location is the signage, your signage choice might be hindering your business from attracting new customers – or, at least, not actively helping. 

When it comes to an attention-grabbing business sign, the trick to drawing-in new customer traffic is in the design of your signage. Each different type of lighting offers unique qualities to your signs design. Talk to a sign design professional for more details on illuminated signs for your business.  

5 Most Popular Types of Illuminated Signs for Businesses

Outdoor illuminated signage often requires professional installation. The best option for installation is to consult your sign design professional. On the other hand, many indoor lighted signs are quick and easy to install without the help of a professional. 

The lighting sources of most illuminated signage relies on LEDs, which are the most cost-efficient option on the market. And, LED provides high-resolution capabilities for digital signage and message boards. Driving down Main Street in Anytown, USA, you see these types of lit-up signs in the front of movie theaters, restaurants, retail stores – and more:  

The Lightbox Sign or Cabinet Sign

Lightbox signs or cabinet signs are popular, effective, and versatile. The design of a lightbox sign is simple and affordable, yet it is implemented into the structure of several well-known brand chains like Burger King and Gold’s Gym. It is also the most popular type of signage for most storefront businesses. 

A lightbox sign consists of an inner-light, usually fluorescent or LED, and outer panels that display your business logo, name, or other significant brand information. When the light is on, it shows through the translucent panels, illuminating your business sign to be seen far and wide. Lightbox signs come in a wide range of sizes and can be small enough to hang like a picture, or large enough to need a crane for installation.   

The Neon Light Sign

The best reason to choose neon signs is the aesthetic quality of this style. Neon is one of the oldest types of illuminated signage that is still around, and it evokes the classic images of yesteryear. Neon signs work inside or outside, but they pose several drawbacks. 

Neon lighting is also notorious for causing problems. Neon signage lettering is made by blowing glass to the shape of each letter, and a single lighting tube only stretches so far. So, for larger signs, each neon letter is an individual piece of lighting, which causes problems when one of the letters goes out before the rest. 

Front-lit Channel Lettering 

 Front-lit channel letter signs are a very attractive and effective way to display your business to a wide view of the surrounding area. Front-lit channel lettering is a popular choice for hotels, like DoubleTree by Hilton, and department stores, like Macy’s. The biggest benefit of this design is visibility and cost-effectiveness. 

LED lighting is used behind the surface of the letters to shine through a colored screen. When illuminated, the color of each letter comes through clearly. When it comes to scaling, the sky’s the limit, and a great example of large front-lit channel lettering is the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park entrance sign. 

Backlit Channel Lettering

The difference between a front-lit and backlit channel lettering is how the lettering is illuminated and where the light comes from. With front-lit, the letter is illuminated through its front-facing side. Backlit channel lettering, on the other hand, features LED lighting on the back-side of the letter, which produces a backlit or “halo” effect. 

Backlighting channel lettering is modern and attractive for a wide range of businesses. It offers a sophisticated and distinguished aesthetic while providing visibility from a maximum distance. Ultimately, it comes down to your aesthetic preferences for your business’s brand identity.  

Signage with External Lighting or Externally-lit

External lighting is the most basic and simple way to make your outdoor sign illuminated. Externally-lit signs are simply illuminated by a lighting source shining from above or below the sign. External lighting, however, is a popular addition to backlit channel lettering to enhance visibility while enhancing the backlighting.

Your business deserves a sign that makes it stand out from the crowd. Channel letter signs are excellent attention-grabbers with a modern touch, while lightbox signs are the perfect choice for budget-conscious businesses. If you want to learn about the pricing and options for illuminated signs, talk to a signage planner today.