Channel Letters—What you Need to Know

 Channel Letters—What you Need to Know

Channel letters are the individual letters that you see on the signage on storefronts.  These channel letters signage Los Angelesare three-dimensional and mounted to freestanding signs.  These types of letters are different from dimensional letters in that channel letters are illuminated but the others are not.  The channel letter signs are eye-catching and bold so to attract a person’s attention.  They are mainly used outdoors but some businesses use them in their indoor displays.  In most of the channel letters used today the lighting element is LED because they are more energy-efficient.  Neon is also an option.

Composition of channel letters

The major components are the:

  • Face—the front of the letters will be made of aluminum, acrylic, or be non-existence
  • Lighting element—which lighting element is used will depend on whether you want the lighting element exposed or the letters to be lit. If you want the letters lit, you will leave the back open and if you want the lighting element to be exposed you would leave the back open.
  • Return—this is what the side of the letters are called and are made of sheet metal or aluminum.
  • Back—this will be the same way as the front

Types of channel letters

  • Reverse lit
  • Open lit
  • Front/back lit
  • Front lit

How they are made

To make these types of signs you will need heavy-duty equipment and a router to cut the material.  No matter what type of aluminum is used, it will have to be cut and bent into shape using a channel letter-bending machine. The type of channel letters you want and the material you use will determine exactly how they are made.  The one thing to understand about the manufacturing process is how they are made.  There are some that use computerized equipment called computer numerical control (CNC) while others use tools that are hand operated.  Using the CNC method guarantees you a more precise result.  The letters have to properly assembled because if not water can sneak inside and cause damage to the lighting element.

How they are mounted

There are many different ways that you can hang channel letters for signs Los Angeles, but the two main ways are:

  • Raceway mounted—these are attached to the aluminum box that contains the power supply and wiring. The box is referred to as the raceway and is not hidden although it can be incorporated into your design
  • Direct mounted—these are attached directly to the side of the wall. They are wired to the power supply, which is hidden inside the wall.  In some areas, this type of mounting may be prohibited due to zoning laws.


Paul diverson