Different Types of Signage Lighting

Even if you have a well-designed and visible sign for your business, even the best signs can’t be seen in the dark.

However, having proper lighting for your signs doesn’t just make them easier to see—it also enhances their appearance and beauty. Whether you want to light your signs around the clock or just at nighttime, you have several options for sign illumination.

What are the different types of signage lighting? Here are the most popular options for illuminating business signage for both large and small properties.

Internal Illumination

Internally illuminated signs are just what they’re called—the light comes from the inside of the sign. There are several types of internal illumination to consider for your signage:

  • Cabinet (or lightbox) signs. The light comes from inside the sign and passes through the material, which makes the letters stand out. One of the advantages of lightbox or cabinet signs is that they create a distinctive look during both the day and night, meaning you can make your business stand out around the clock without adjusting lighting based on natural light.

  • Front-lit channel letter signs. Unlike lightbox signs, these lighted signs don’t need to be on during the day, which can help reduce your energy consumption. The light in these signs can create a bold look for each letter, resulting in better visibility and color.

  • Back-lit signs. Back-lit signs have light that comes from the back of the sign and creates a halo effect around each letter, which is why they’re also called halo-lit signs. These signs provide great day and night visibility and a dramatic look.

Different types of internal illumination also make an excellent option for adding beauty and a contemporary look to your interior signage as well.

External Illumination

Externally lit signs have a light source outside of the sign that shines onto the sign. These external lights can be hidden or in plain sight. In many cases, external illumination is combined with internal illumination for an enhanced appearance.

So where internally lit signs would ensure the actual text of the sign is visible, external lighting would brighten the surrounding area as well, which can add more aesthetics to the sign as a whole. External lighting can work well with different types of signage, especially monument signs.

You have different options for external illumination, including ground or recessed lighting and even barn lights, all of which are relatively cost-effective compared to internal illumination. While ground lights would be installed below the sign, barn lights are typically installed above.

When you choose LED lights for external illumination, you have a long-lasting, affordable light source for your signage.

What Type of Lighting Is Best for You?

The type of lighting you choose for your signage depends on both the design and location of your sign. Working with a professional signage company to create your signage gives you the opportunity to incorporate the right kind of lighting from the start.

Contact Legendary Custom Signs & Graphics at (571) 982-8572 to learn more about how we can help you incorporate the best illumination into your business’ sign for enhanced charm and visibility.


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