It would be difficult now to imagine a time when channel letters did not exist. Introduced in the early 1970s, these transformative and highly visible, illuminated letters soon became the premier choice in on-site advertisement. They started out using neon and other materials that originally had potential problems. But over the years, the processes and materials evolved into an art that today is practiced and perfected daily through modern styles and techniques.
The majority of channel letter lighting is now made using LED technology. There are many ways in which the lighting of these letters can be enhanced to present unique looks. The basic style is a front face shining letter using translucent vinyl overlay or painted acrylic. Another option is backlit or ‘Halo’ lighting where the led in various colors can be directed onto the wall or a backsplash to outline the letters in an appealing glow.
Each situation in which these letters are utilized is unique to the location and building. For this reason, when a survey is conducted, the installer will need to look at the electrical connections, wall type and other obstacles that may present challenges to how the letters are designed and installed. Many landlords and communities have restrictions on sizes and also the required mounting of the letters.
Raceways are a rectangular structure that can be used for attaching letters instead of directly installing each individual letter to the building. In this way, Power supplies can be installed within the raceway instead of inside of the building. Also, there does not need to be as many pass-through holes with a raceway. With Flush mount letters, there would need to be pass through holes for each letter and wiring to each letter from inside the building. Each raceway will usually only need one set of electrical wire from inside the building.
A channel letter is a dimensional letter usually made from custom cut and fabricated aluminum in the shape and style of the letter design. In most cases, the sides or returns of the letter, as well as the trim cap that holds the acrylic face are painted per the client’s design. LED light modules are installed within the channel letter and spaced so that the light is spread evenly to give the desired effect. The routed acrylic faces are usually covered with a translucent vinyl in the approved client determined color. If there is a raceway used to attach the letters, it is standard practice to paint match the raceway to the building where it will be installed.
Channel Letters continue to bring success to businesses who strategically employ them. They bring awareness and style to your location. They are a reasonable investment for a huge return.