What are Channel Letters?

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Channel letters are commonly used in exterior signage on businesses and buildings.  They are typically aluminum or plastic, and shaped into 3D letter forms.  The face refers to the surface seen by the customer while the return refers to the sides of the letter or the can.  Channel letters are mounted individually on a wall or are mounted to a backing before because mounted to the wall.

Hi Signs offers a variety of channel letters from molded polymer to hand-bend aluminum letters.

Open Face Channel Letters

These were the most common channel letter for quite some time.  They are typically aluminum, shaped cut into letters with the can side of the face exposing the neon or LED behind the letters.  These are becoming less popular due to light pollution bylaws requiring more diffusing of the lights, less exposure of the actual light source is needed.

Internally Lit Channel Letters

These are often called front lit channel letters. Similar to the Open Face Channel Letters, they have the open side facing the customers but the face has a colored face which hides the light source inside.  The light is then diffused through the face and lights each letter evenly.

Reverse Lit Channel Letters

Reverse lit channel letters are also known as reverse pan channel letters, back lit, and halo lit channel letters.  The letters have open face of these letters faces the wall.  The customers see a solid face on the letters, using custom colors, and can be used without any illumination.  Halo lit refers to the illumination from behind the letter.  They can be mounted directly onto the wall, or off the wall using studs or raceway.

Front / Back Lit Channel Letters

These are a combination or internally lit and back lit channel letters.


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