Sign & Digital Graphics

January '19

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16 • January 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE tions that "Individually illuminated letters, either internally illuminated or backlit (halo-lit) solid letters (reverse channel) are encouraged and are pre- ferred to internally illuminated cabinet (can) signs." Or as part of Redmond, Washington's zoning code that suggests, "Backlit, halo-lit illumination or indi- vidually cut reverse channel letter signs with halo illumination are highly encour- aged for lighting purposes and should be considered. Such signs convey a subtle and attractive appearance and are very legible under moderate ambient lighting conditions." This is an important decision among many cities because it gives local shops guidance while also keeping the area's illuminated sign landscape consistent. "Upscale towns like Scottsdale, Arizona only allow these types of let- ters to be used as they allow minimum amount of light to pollute the night sky while providing a clean, high-end aes- thetic look to the shops that use them," states Mike Bluhm, director of sign prod- uct solutions for Sloan LED. "I would say, in my opinion, that halo-lit letters look more sophisticated than regular acrylic- faced letters." Especially in instances when halo-lit letters are not impacted by other sources of light, they can be very effective and eye-catching. "Halo lit letters when used in the proper environment (no other overpow- ering ambient light in the area) provide an elegant, eye-catching sign solution," says Dion Flaska, product manager for Gemini Sign Products. Letters and Light Outside of the aesthetic elements, halo-lit letters also present other ben- efits. LED color selection is one. "All colors are possible," starts Parks, "especially with Principal LED's RGB Light Tape, which allows you to change colors as often as you'd like. Color choice should be complementary to the color of the letters or vinyl used on the building or letter set." When pairing LEDs with halo-lit let- ters, there are things to consider. Both elements should compliment each other while building toward the most effective solution. "There are several materials that work well for halo lit letters," says Flaska. "The choice made depends on a variety of fac- tors including the desired look, budget, and local regulations." According to Flaska, Gemini offers both plastic and metal halo-lit letters and logos, which are all UL certified. The Gemini line includes Gemlite vacuum- formed cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB), Premium LUXE acrylic, cast aluminum, and fabricated stainless steel and alumi- num. "Halo-lit letters use a transparent or translucent backer populated with the LEDs," Flaska continues. "The LED system used and/or population technique typically varies in comparison to a face lit letter to achieve a uniform halo effect." Circling back to LED colors, choosing the right letter is certainly crucial. But there are other external factors that can impact color selection. "One should consider the color of the Halo-lit channel letters provide an upgraded and sophisticated look to spe- cific customers. (Image courtesy of SloanLED)

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