Lobby Sign

What’s The Difference Between Back-lit And Edge-lit Lobby Signs?

whats-the-difference-between-back-lit-and-edge-lit-lobby-signsWith the growing accessibility of light emitting diodes, more commonly known as “LEDs,” sign shops have more options when designing markers. This has led to the increasing popularity of illuminated lobby signs. Two of the most popular styles are edge-lit and back-lit lobby signs for Irvine, CA. Today, we will take a closer look at each of these design types.


Essentially, a back-lit sign is any marker that is illuminated from behind. Back-lit lobby signs offer an excellent way to stand out, have your message seen, and increase readability. Back-lit signs consist of two components: the lightbox and the graphics.

To avoid hot spots, where the lighting is concentrated and thus messy looking, it is important to only use high performance translucent vinyl and sign grade acrylics for back-lit graphics. The lightbox is housed behind the graphics with the LEDs spaced according to the manufacturer’s specifications for an even illumination.


There is another type of back-lit graphic that does not involve the light shining through the graphics. Take a moment to look at the job we did for Kajabi. In this instance, we used brushed aluminum letters for the sign, and these were standoff mounted to a patina panel. The light source comes from behind the letters creating a nice halo effect that is as cutting edge as the business the lobby sign was designed for.


The most basic definition for edge-lit markers is that they are illuminated signs where the light source comes from the outside of the sign face along one or more of the edges. The light is then shined back onto the sign face. The LEDs shine into a diffuser, which allows the light to be dispersed evenly across the image.

As with the back-lit lobby sign, you need to have graphics and a light source. The most common graphics are letters and images laser cut into clear acrylic. The illumination comes from LED strips or tape, which consist of evenly distributed and diffused LED modules. Getting the combination of lights, mounting methods, and acrylic just right takes a skilled professional.

whats-the-difference-between-back-lit-and-edge-lit-lobby-signs3As you can see, we nailed it with the Safran lobby sign. We used LED lights that matched the company colors, so that the logo we laser cut into the acrylic would match their other marketing materials. As the name would suggest, back-lit signs are lit from the back, but the light from edge-lit signs come from the edges. In the case of the Safran sign, it is lit from the top and bottom. The lights are hidden by the aluminum mounting hardware for a crisp, clean look.

Are you unsure about which option would work best for your enterprise? No problem! We can meet with you and perform a site survey before making a recommendation based on your budget, vision, and interior design. If you are ready to add a sophisticated touch to your reception area, contact Caliber Signs & Imaging today for a free consultation on back-lit and edge-lit lobby signs for Irvine, CA.