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Call us today for an Estimate at (805) 641-1387 or

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Call us at (805) 641-1387

What are the Different Types of Lighted Signs? Here are our Top 5:

Signs come in different sizes, shapes, and compositions, but very few have the impact of a well-designed lighted signBar none, having big light up signs on a business lends a truly striking effect.

For instance, gorgeous luminous light box signs immediately grab attention, especially in the evening. That’s why they have been among the most popular electric signs for decades.

Who Makes Business Lighted Signs You Can Count On? Dave’s Signs!

Dave’s Signs stands as one of the leading lighted sign companies in the nation, solidifying its reputation as a top-notch illuminated sign manufacturer with over 20+ years of operation. Through our expansive selection of custom-designed lighted sign options, you are guaranteed to find something that aligns seamlessly with your business requirements, reflecting our merit and expertise in the industry.

Are Illuminated Signs and Lighted Signs the Same?

To shed light on this question, it’s essential to understand that terms like “illuminated sign,” “lighted sign,” and “neon sign” often fall under the same category.

These words are frequently used interchangeably for signs with LED sign lights or neon tubes that create a glowing effect. However, it’s important to recognize the nuances and specificities each term might carry within the industry.

Here are some basic distinctions to guide you:

  • Illuminated Sign:

    • Generally refers to any single sided or double sided sign that emits light, either from within or is illuminated externally.
    • Uses various light sources, including LED modules, neon tubes, or traditional bulbs.
    • Ideal for 24/7 visibility and is typically preferred for businesses operating during nighttime.
    • The backlit restaurant sign for Shanghai Beer Garden is a nice example of an illuminated sign.
  • Lighted Sign:

    • Often powered by LED modules, providing energy-efficient, long-lasting, and bright lighting for sign board LED lights.
    • These light bulb signs are durable and require less maintenance due to the robust nature of the LED module.
    • Typically has a broader range of customizable color options compared to other signs, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of sign board LED lights.
  • Neon Sign:

    • Specifically uses neon gas-filled tubes that produce a distinct and vibrant glow when electrified.
    • Known for its retro and vintage appeal, making it a favorite for certain businesses and aesthetic preferences.
    • Requires more careful handling and maintenance than signs with an LED module due to the fragile nature of neon tubes.

Understanding these distinctions will ensure that businesses select the right type of signage that aligns with their branding, budget, and visibility needs.

Now, let’s read on to check out our sample signage that follows.

lighted sign

Types of Lighted Commercial Signs

As far as lighted options go, different signages are available in the market today. These electrical signs for businesses are among the most popular: Lightbox or cabinet signs, front-lit channel letter signs, reverse-lit channel letter signs, often called halo-lit, neon signs, and externally-direct-lit signs.

These aren’t your run-of-the-mill glowing keep-out signs you can purchase en masse online, either. As such, we encourage clients to discuss them with our expert designers to develop a unique look that is right for their business.

Here’s a Brief Look at Our Top 5:

1.) Lightbox Signs or Cabinet Signs

These are always a hit, and Dave’s Signs really knows how to make a striking, professional backlit sign. If you are out and about, chances are you’ve seen many of our light boxes.

A backlit signage box or a cabinet sign box has a simple design structure with inside illumination. Every sign has an internal light source, usually a fluorescent lamp or LED lights for signboards or boxes.

Light up Street Signs and Indoor Signs

Surprisingly affordable, a lightbox sign stands out well during the day and night when the light comes on.

Plus, indoor and outdoor LED sign lighting can enhance visibility and aesthetic appeal by providing consistent and vibrant illumination.

Dave’s Signs specializes in commercial sign lighting fixtures and exterior sign lighting fixtures, enhancing the visibility and appeal of various lightbox signage solutions.

Examples of Signage Brilliance by Dave’s Signs

In the case of LED light box signs like the two shown below, the light shines through transparent panels for a dramatic and colorful effect.

Additionally, the vibrant color combination on these two LED word signs really elevates the brand.

Dave’s Signs works closely with our clients to provide custom outdoor backlit signs that fit their purpose.

We can create custom lighted word signs in the spirit of your business, ensuring that your message shines bright and captures attention wherever it’s displayed.

illuminated lightbox sign Concourse illuminated lightbox sign

Also, a panel like the one on the light-up sign box above can display your company’s branding, logo, name, or other such information like no other.

Outside signs like the ones below can be seen from far away, and work hard to get the buzz going about your brand. 

Illuminated Lightbox Signs

Whether it’s adding a professional touch to a storefront or illuminating an iconic landmark, our commercial and exterior sign lighting fixtures are designed with precision to meet the unique needs of each client.

Leveraging innovative technology and high-quality materials, these lighting fixtures can elevate the impact of any sign, ensuring that it captures attention and conveys the intended message effectively.

Lighted Signs

2.) Front-Lit Channel Letter Signs 

These store signs with lights are wildly popular. Here’s why: Front-lit channel signs have a bold, prominent effect, making them one the most sought-after electric signs for business today.

All the letters in these lighted box sign panels are illuminated from the front. This ensures their different colors really shine through.

Face-lit signage, such as this outdoor sign lighting example we did above for Yolanda’s Mexican Cafe, can also be used for indoor displays.

Lighted Signs

3.) Backlit / Reverse-Lit / Halo-Lit Channel Letter Signs

Backlit storefront signs, also known as reverse-lit and halo-lit channel letter signs, are all different names for the same type of storefront sign.

Custom backlit signs can be designed to have an ethereal appearance, which is perfect for brands aiming for a more sophisticated look. These signs can incorporate backlit decals, backlit panels, or backlit films to create a captivating effect.

Every single letter or element has an illuminated background and is readable from a distance.

Businesses choose halo-lit signs because they have a more distinguished look and can be lit with a lot more control and colors than a simple lightbox sign.

The channeled metal lettering is easily visible in daylight and at night, with LED or neon lights illuminating each element from behind for that attractive modern look. 

Another good use of backlighting – Custom Backlit Decals

Backlit signs typically are very striking, especially when it comes to adding custom backlit decals. Dave’s Signs will work hard to ensure any custom backlit signage we create for you meets or exceeds your expectations.

So, the next time you’re online Googling halo-lit, reverse-lit or a custom backlit sign near me, know that Dave’s Signs has you covered.

For instance, check out the craftmanship and detail in the backlit piece we created for Red Brick Pizza above. Those large backlit letters really grab attention!

Lighted Signs

4.) Neon Signs

Big neon signs, with their iconic neon light and eye-catching glow, have been around forever — a classic look with a vintage feel of yesterday.  Their bright, warm illumination creates a unique ambiance that few other lighting systems can replicate.

When comparing neon vs lightbox signs or neon against other lighting methods described here, it comes out ahead in terms of aesthetics. That’s because it offers timeless appeal and distinctive brightness.

Lighted wall signs in multi-colored neon like the one above are particularly striking. Used for interior and exterior, they provide a bright, warm glow that few other lighting systems can imitate.

When you think of the signs you remember over the last 100 years, chances are it’s a neon sign.

Again, these custom neon signs aren’t like a basic, off-the-shelf light-up “open sign” that greets you when you go into a shop, either.

Unlike a mass-produced lighted open sign, a custom neon sign by Dave’s Signs turns up your brand’s appeal and allows customers to see what business is in the building before they even pull into the parking lot.

LED Neon Signs

LED neon signs have significantly improved in replicating the aesthetic appeal of vintage neon signs. With their vibrant and mesmerizing glow, LED neon signs can create the same captivating visual impact as their vintage counterparts.

These modern alternatives offer the advantage of versatility in design, energy efficiency, and durability while still capturing the nostalgic charm and timeless elegance that make vintage neon signs so beloved.

This LED sign we created for Ganas Auto Repair is an exceptional example of illuminated signage. Similarly, we do plenty of LED gas station signage.

Looking for exterior sign lighting ideas? Our team of experts can help you design and implement creative and captivating lighting solutions for your exterior signs.

We can incorporate various lighting techniques into traditional neon or energy-efficient LED signs to enhance the visibility and appeal of your outdoor signage.

For instance, check out the LED lights for business windows that we made for Roberta’s. Any customized LED name sign created for your business can also be designed to illuminate in different colors. 

LED Lighting Words

Dave’s Signs also creates signs that feature custom LED lighting words to your specifications. The neon lighting words like these we created for the SeaVees illuminated boat signs display in Mill Valley are a similar example of this. 


5.) 3D Backlit Logo Sign

External-lit signs use external sources such as gooseneck bulbs (also known as barn lights) for illumination. Designers mount these light sources at the base of custom LED backlit signs or hide them.

This design illuminates the sign and often lights part of the sign in the shadows of an internally lit sign like this halo-lit channel letter monument sign: Star of CA.

lighted signs

    • Recessed Lighting – Designers tuck this lighting type away to light areas of a sign that shadows typically cover.
    • Ground Lighting – This illumination type works well with monument signs.
    • Top Lighting – For example, barn lights give that nostalgic feel to a dimensional letter or hand-painted sign. 

The Nostalgic Garry Marshall Theatre: A Beacon Illuminated in Memory

The iconic Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank, California, presents a rich tapestry of entertainment history, a spectacle enhanced by the use of various backlight types. At night, the theatre’s facade sparkles under the mesmerizing glow of LED lighting.

At night, the theatre’s facade sparkles under the brilliant glow of LED signs for sign boards, exuding nostalgia while maintaining modern appeal. The theatre’s name and logo, beautifully backlit with LED lighting, capture the essence of its namesake and the golden age of Hollywood.

The theatre also cleverly employs various types of backlit signs, including the innovative illuminated signs film, which brilliantly showcases the theatre’s intricate details and classic movie posters.

LED lights breathe life into these posters, creating a captivating visual spectacle that draws in visitors and passersby. This blend of past and present in its illuminative signage demonstrates the transformative power of light in celebrating and preserving the Garry Marshall Theatre’s illustrious past.

LED Lighted Signage: A Cost-Effective Solution with a Luxe Appeal

LED lighted signage, with its radiant glow and striking aesthetics, often gives the impression of a premium, high-cost solution. However, this could not be farther from the truth.

Despite their luxe appearance, these lighted signs are actually cheap when viewed from a longer-term perspective. The energy efficiency of LED technology translates into lower power consumption and reduced utility bills over time.

Additionally, LEDs have great longevity and reduce the frequency and costs of replacements. Therefore, while LED lighted signs may initially seem more expensive, their durable nature, energy efficiency, and stunning visual impact make them a cost-effective and attractive choice for businesses looking to make a statement without breaking the bank.

These are our best-selling lighted signs, which include the much sought-after backlit signs for sale. So, the next time you’re scouring the internet for “commercial lighting repair near me,” consider Dave’s Signs for all your lighted commercial signs needs.

Our other options include digital signs like LEDs and push-through lettering. All signs are customizable, so discuss what kind of designs you want with our experts.

We also make lighted window signs to coax all those window shoppers to come in. Lastly, we can use custom backlit decals for your business. A good example is the aforementioned Gary Marshall Theatre, which has backlit posters outside the building.

Moreover, with the right mounting template, which Dave’s Signs provides, installation becomes a breeze, ensuring that your sign is securely and correctly positioned for optimal visibility.

Integrating a mounting template not only streamlines the process but also guarantees that the result looks professional and polished.

So, whether it’s for a storefront or a trade show, making an investment in a custom lightbox sign is a decision that will pay dividends in terms of visibility and brand recognition.

Dave’s Signs: Your Top Sign Makers Los Angeles

sign installation locally here in Los Angeles Counties, Ventura, Santa Barbara; and Nationwide. Turn to our illuminated sign manufacturers for your next project.

If you want to know more about our beautiful lighted signs or get high-quality products, don’t hesitate to contact your sign lighting company, Dave’s Signs. You can contact us or call (805) 641-1387.

Dave’s Signs Blog

This is a blog about signs. We highlight the different types of signs: signs we’ve created for our customers, history of sign design and today’s cutting edge sign technologies. Ask a question about signs, and you’ll likely find the answer here.

Case Studies

Spencer Makenzies Neon Sign

Here we go into detail on some of the custom signs we’ve done. Including Spencer Makenzie’s Neon Sign, Topper’s Pizza Neon Signs in the Oxnard Harbor, and The Historic Ventura Pole Sign. Check back with us. We’ll have more case studies of signs posted in the near future.

Custom Signs Near You

Saloon BBQ Custom Sign

We’ve designed, fabricated, installed and serviced signs all over southern California. Here are some highlighted areas near you including Ventura, Oxnard and Santa Barbara. Check back soon for more updates.

Call us today for an Estimate at (805) 641-1387 or

Request a Quote Online

Call us at (805) 641-1387

Neon Sign Design Computer

We Make Beautiful Neon Signs in Our On-Site Facility

Dave’s Signs has perfected the art of neon signs. We can handle all sizes of neon signage, from the small intricate signs to the eye-catching, large neon signs. Ask us for a personalized quote or contact us for any questions you may have about neon signage.

See Our Neon Sign Gallery

Dave’s Signs Makes Custom Office Signs

Whether you need a lobby sign, directional signage or ADA signs, Dave’s Signs can help you with all your office sign needs. We can use your logo and create a beautiful, distinctive sign for your office. We can also create custom building directory signs, suite signs, and directional signs to give the building a unique unified theme. Call us today to help you with all your office sign needs.

See Our Custom Signs

Custom Sign Design Grove Avenue