Sign Illumination as a design element is often over looked or perhaps over used, and can possibly enhance the efficacy of the sign, or perhaps make it totally unreadable, and ineffective. I will present some basic information that will help the reader understand the relationship between the architectural lighting of a certain project and lighting for signing and graphics in general.
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Sign illumination is often a functional element; it is a practical necessity, which we mainly take for granted. Nonetheless, architects and sign designers also use light as a flexible design element. Light from different sources are able to help define forms and spaces and enhance details. Artificial light when used with a bit of imagination can create psychological moods. Especially when used with colorful walls, that can create emotional warmth, dramatic emphasis, and excitement.
Important architectural projects tend to be floodlighted at night. A headquarters office building is part of the corporation’s public image, and the right exterior lighting enhances that image. As well as the exterior sign lighting. Existing project lighting used to illuminate signing elements are going to work, if signs are properly designed, and placed to make use of it.
There are several basic lighting techniques, which relate to the illumination of exterior signing for architectural projects. These’re flood- or even spotlighting, internal lighting, ambient lighting, and external lighting. In some situations exterior signs or perhaps letters that are cast into the building wall or set flush with it could be illuminated by spill light from existing or even supplementary floodlights. This’s usually an appropriate and subtle way to identify dignified office buildings.
Great care must be taken when floodlighting raised, three dimensional letters of any thickness because shadows cast from the letters are able to interfere with legibility. However, shadows cast by such letters is a common problem in signing, whether caused by floodlighting or perhaps the sun. However, the designer can occasionally overcome these challenging conditions by selecting the right material or finish. For instance, aluminum or bronze letters mounted on a dark granite building will be quite legible under varying light conditions, if a bright satin finish is used. The designer must always keep in mind the specific environmental lighting when designing each sign, adjusting the design and lighting when to work together.
Major identification signage for some projects tend to be very large, and placed in such a way that floodlighting should not be used. A”trough” is designed to be recessed next to walkways and covered with a protective glass diffuser. This style provides an unobtrusive source of even illumination, which extends the full length of the sign. Conventional spotlights would’ve created hot spots, uneven illumination, and glare.
In the form of spill light from existing architectural lighting, ambient lighting may produce adequate illumination for many pedestrian-oriented signs. For example, the address numbers or perhaps identification signs at a building entrance can be illuminated by spill light from overhead entrance lighting whether colors and materials of these signs contrast well with the backgrounds of theirs.
The intensity of ambient light oftentimes is a vital element. In parking lots where existing light standards may produce only several foot-candles of illumination, parking entrance signs usually require internal illumination. Internal lighting of exterior signs is frequently required to be able to make them legible at night or to offer them special emphasis. We make all varieties of lighted signs, but find that most business’s will use lighted channel letter signs with internal lighting as the best alternative of theirs for effective sign lighting.