face-lit channel letters
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Reverse-Lit Channel Letters

Reverse-lit channel letters (aka back-lit channel letters or rear illuminated letters) gives your business a classy look! 

Reverse Lit Channel Letters, sometimes called Back Lit Letters, are a great way to give your business a classy appearance to prospective customers. The typical construction of these storefront letters is an .080 aluminum face, with .063 aluminum returns (the sides of the letters). In most circumstances we build these letters at 3 inches deep, but since we are a custom sign shop, we can modify when needed.

Components of a reverse-lit channel letter 

.080 Aluminum, painted any color. We also can achieve some really custom looks when we incorporate other options, such as a routed face that has acrylic push-through. Talk with one of our sales reps, or visit our show room (coming soon) to learn more about the options available.

“Returns” is basically another way of saying “the sides of your letters”. Our reverse illuminated letters typically have a 3″ deep return, that is constructed of .063 aluminum. The returns are welded to the face and painted either to match the face, or any other color you would like. Being a CUSTOM sign shop, we can also look at other unique approaches, such as having a perforated aluminum return, or have the sides illuminated as well. The possibilities are endless!

LEDs are used in all reverse-lit channel letters that we produce. We primarily use AVL Samsung LEDs in every reverse-lit channel letter unless your branding guidelines dictate otherwise. We have done extensive testing on this brand, including leaving them in a freezing bucket of water for 6 months. We have found this brand to be the pinnacle of LED technology and we strongly recommend it’s use in all of our internally illuminated signage products.

LEDs come in a variety of colors. For white LEDs (used in 90% of our signs) we primarily use 6500k for the color temperature. We have found this to be the best color temperature for internal sign lighting that really makes your graphics pop on your reverse-lit channel letters.

If you want your letters to reverse light another color, we can achieve the look you are after by using different color LEDs or adding a vinyl film to the clear Lexan that is on the back of the letter. We can also mix and match to really hone in on the color that is consistent with your brand.

The insides of your reverse-lit channel letters will be painted white. This offers the most reflective surface for inside your letter to make sure you get the maximum illumination coming out of the back of your reverse channel letters.

The backs of your reverse illuminated channel letters are clear Lexan. We can apply a vinyl film to the backs if desired to target the exact color you are after.

A power supply is a device that changes the incoming electric voltage level to a different voltage. With LED illuminated face-lit channel letters, we use the best UL listed step down power supplies.

There are three options for where the power supply is located.

  • Self-contained channel letters have the power supply(s) located in your channel letters. This is the least preferred method that is not commonly used.
  • Remote power supply – the power supply will be located inside your building, usually in a drop ceiling or canopy area in shopping centers.
  • Inside the raceway – There are many reasons to have your channel letters mounted on a raceway instead of having the letters mounted flush to your building. One reason is to reduce the number of penetrations in your building fascia. Raceways are also great because they contain all of the wiring and power supplies for your face-lit channel letters and often reduces the amount of time needed for any service work they may be needed in the future.

A raceway is the term used for the aluminum rectangular box you often see behind channel letters. Often times building owners will only allow raceway mounted channel letters in an effort to reduce the number of holes in their buildings. Raceways are also great to reduce the amount of time needed for installation and future service calls. ISF Signs will match your storefront paint color closely to make the raceway blend in with the building for the most visually appealing appearance.

If a raceway is required, it is imperative that you have a backer panel on your reverse channel letters. The backer will give your reverse-lit letter the backdrop needed to reflect the light in an even and attractive manner.

reverse lit channel letter

What size should I make my reverse-lit channel letters?

face-lit channel letter visibility chart

Reverse-Lit Channel Letter Examples

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