Exterior Sign Illumination – Tips for an LED Sign Upgrade

by | May 9, 2023 | 0 comments |

Your outdoor signage can have an amazing impact on your business. It can increase foot traffic, but only if it is visible day and night. Illuminating your sign will help, but only if it’s done right. Accounting for shadows and choosing the right lighting temperature will optimize your exterior signage, and we can help.

Here are a few tips we give our clients when they are considering exterior sign illumination.

Choose the Right Light Source

Most exterior signs use one of three methods for illumination. You can install a spotlight, light the sign from the back, or have a self-lit sign. Each approach has its best uses, so it’s best to consider the sign’s location before deciding on how you want to illuminate the sign.

Spotlighting typically uses outdoor lamps angled to illuminate the sign. This approach works well for exterior signs that are not meant to be visible from the road. Businesses in the middle of shopping plazas often use this approach. The spotlight preserves the sign’s aesthetics during the day and ensures it’s visible at night. However, spotlights can cast shadows that may alter the look of your sign.

Self-lit signs are easy to see at a distance, especially at nighttime. When you use designs, colors, or flashing lights you can capture more consumers’ attention.

Backlighting is a popular method of exterior sign illumination. However, we do not recommend it with all types of signage. Backlighting ensures the sign is easily readable but can affect the aesthetics of stylized signage.

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Consider Shadows and Shade

Lights cast shadows and it can alter the appearance of your sign. Shadows can hide important information you want to keep visible.

Spotlights create the most shadows, especially if you only use one at an angle. It can make it difficult to read the sign. Businesses with three-dimensional signs may also want to avoid using a single spotlight. However, we can install multiple lights to counteract the shadowing effect.

Self-lit and backlit signs have less of an issue with shadows since they use diffuse lighting. Diffuse lighting is specifically designed to reduce shadows on exterior signage.

Use the Correct Lighting Temperature

Lighting temperature refers to the light’s color. It can be warm or cool. Warm colors are comforting and can give your signage a homey effect. Cooler colors are typically used in industrial lighting. Cooler lights have a bluish cast, while warmer ones tend to have a yellow or red tone.

We recommend combining light temperature with the type of sign. For example, warmer tones work best with wooden signage and cooler hues will make an appliance store sign pop.

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Follow Local Regulations

Most municipalities have laws and regulations regarding exterior sign illumination practices. It can include the number of lights and brightness levels. Failing to meet these regulations can result in fines. You will also need to spend the time and money to remove the lighting.

Action Services can take care of your LED sign upgrade. We will ensure your exterior signage illumination meets all local laws and regulations. Speak to one of our signage experts today by calling 610-558-9773, emailing [email protected], or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below.


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