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6 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy a Used Light Box Sign

When a person is starting a new business there are a number of up front expenses that have to be borne in order to get it up and running. One of those expenses is to replace or purchase a new light box sign. A brand new light box sign is certainly not a cheap item, and when replacing an existing business or light box sign the first thought that comes to many people's minds is that the best option for a cheap light box sign is to buy a used lightbox sign. At face value that has pretty solid reasoning behind it: there are a lot of lightbox signs already made, businesses are always changing out used light box signs for new light box signs, and there never seems to be there seems to be an unending supply of used lightbox signs.

However after searching to stock an inventory of used light box signs we have found that, at the end of the day, the best option is typically to go with a new light box sign or light box sign kit. Below are 6 reasons why it's smarter to purchase a new light bulb sign or light box sign kit instead of a used light box sign.

1 - Shortened Lifespan

When you purchase a new light box sign, you can expect it to last for a very long time if it is built correctly. But when you buy a used light box sign chances are the sign is a number of years old. Similar to a used car the expected total lifespan of the product is never going to change so you're purchasing something at the tail end of its lifespan and you can expect for it to last shorter then you would if it were a new light box sign period. Ballasts for lightbox signs are expected to last up to 60,000 hours, or about 20 years if they are run approximately 8 hours per day, so there is certainly an upper limit to the most expensive part of the lightbox sign.

2 - Less Efficient Lamps and Ballasts

Technology is growing at a frantic pace nowadays, and technology within signage and light box signs specifically is no exception. The standard lamps and ballasts used 10 years ago such as T12 fluorescent lamps and magnetic ballasts have long been overtaken by new, more efficient technologies. Now T12 lamps are not even legal per current electrical code: T5 lamps are standard and LED lamps are the gold standard. If you buy a sign that is 10 or 20 years old you're most likely buying the old components that come with it. These are incredibly less efficient than today's new standards.

3 - Additional Costs to Customize Your Sign

When you find a used light box sign chances are it's not exactly what you are looking for. Although people are always demolishing old lightbox signs there is not a single, huge, easily accessible inventory of used light box signs. The best place to find a used sign is typically Craigslist.com or from a liquidator who's auctioning off a failed business assets. When you do find a used light box sign that you want to buy it's not going to be exactly what you were looking for: the frame maybe a different color, a different size, or not exactly what you need. Once you get the sign you may have to spend some additional money to repair it or relamp it to get it to work in the first place. So suddenly you find yourself having to repaint the sign, paying someone to repaint the sign, or having to pay an electrician to replace the components or the lamps. The initial inexpensive cost of the sign is no longer as inexpensive as it initially seemed. With a new light box sign you can customize exactly what material is to be used for the frame, the exact size, and the lamp type that is catered to your exact specifications. In addition, chances are that the face of the sign is either in poor shape, cracked, or has an old logo on it that you now need to either peel off or replace altogether.

4 - Initial Costs Sometimes More Expensive than a New Light Box Sign

When someone is selling a used light box sign they are most likely one of two types of people: The first person selling used light box signs is a former business owner whose business has just failed and who is no longer in need of a light box sign. Not to generalize, but I don't know a lot of former business owners who are liquidating their business who are going to give you a screaming deal on any of their merchandise. Chances are they're going to want to make as much money back as possible, so when you review the pricing for the sign be sure to compare used light box sign pricing to similar new lightbox signs. Sometimes you'll find that they are even more expensive than a new light box sign. Another type of person selling used light box signs is either in the liquidation business or is n the salvage business. Both of those types of people are also looking to make a profit on the sign, so again, use caution when researching used light box signs for sale.

5 - The Quality of the Product is Not Guaranteed

When buying a used light box sign it is difficult to determine (especially when looking at one over the internet) the exact craftsmanship and quality of the sign. Similar to above, you really don't know the source of the sign: who is selling the sign, where did they buy from to begin with, and what are the standards of the manufacturer who made that original sign? When purchasing a new light box sign you know exactly who you're getting it from and there's typically at least a 1 year guarantee and a five-year manufacturer's warranty on all the electrical components. These warranties give you a guarantee that you will not have further costs down the road at least for the first year and most likely for even five years.

6 - UL listing

In some jurisdictions it is critical that you prove to the local city or county that your sign has a UL listing. When purchasing a used light box sign it will be very difficult to prove that you have a UL listing on the sign. Again, similar to above, you do not typically know who manufactured the original sign, what maintenance was done on the original sign throughout them life of the sign (and whether that maintenance met UL listing requirements), or even if there is a sticker still on the sign that will allow you to prove that it is a UL listed sign?

Those are our six reasons that we do not recommend purchasing a used light box sign. I hope you don't misunderstand, we have searched for used light box signs, and there are good deals out there. When the stars do align and you find exactly what you're looking for, in good shape and for the right price, you can find a really nice deal. If you do find this please let us know we'd love to hear about your story and we love to be proven wrong. Contact us through the website or leave a comment and tell us where you found your sign. We have done our own research, have looked into buying large quantities of used light box signs, and have found for the most part that when you find a used light box sign chances are one of the six issues will come up: either they're not in great shape, they will take a lot of work to get running or to bring the sign to your satisfaction, or the UL listing is not available to prove so that you can use your sign when a UL listing is necessary.

Another option that we would recommend, if you are looking to save money when purchasing a light box sign, is to review DIY lightbox sign kit options. The kits offer people who are willing to put in a little elbow grease the opportunity to save money by purchasing only the material and doing the assembly themselves. You will get a great new light box sign catered to their specifications and guaranteed to last for years to come.

Why Channel Lettering Signs are so Popular Today

As you already know, there are a lot of different signs on the market. Each type is designed to be used by just one service provider. But, channel lettering signs are the most desirable ones. They are used by large companies, small business owners and even by those companies who are still in development. The real question is why they are so popular?

Direct advertisement

The main reason, why channel lettering signs are so popular and so needed is their main purpose. They are designed to send a short and direct message to a huge number of people. There is no mystery here, so each person will get a true idea what that sign represents. All other types of signs are not as direct as this kind. They may have two or three meanings. Another important fact, when it comes to advertising is that these signs are a permanent solution. They don’t require maintenance and they don’t have to be repaired. Why? They are made from metal, usually aluminum, so they are rust-free and they are coated with several protective layers. If we add large dimensions, which are common, we get the absolute advertisement!

Offer contact information

Most other signs are designed to send just one message to the people, like the name of that business or a house. Channel lettering signs have a huge advantage in this matter. They are commonly paired with a phone number or an email address, of the business provider. As such, they significantly increase the number of potential clients or customers. Other signs are simply less productive in this case.

LED available

The time when we had to use wooden or plastic signs of this kind is long gone. Nowadays, we have LED. In any single case, LED channel lettering signs are better than any other alternative. The main reason is in the number of people who will see the sign. Flashing or glowing signs can attract up to 60% more people than standard ones. The best part, they are seen during the night as well. Don’t think that they are expensive and require a lot of maintenance. They are very durable and they don’t require spare parts. The bottom line is simple; they are the best way to promote your business at all times.

Affordable

If you are one of those who believes that these signs are extremely expensive, you are wrong. In a matter of fact, they are very affordable, simply because they are made with the help of machines, so the production process takes just a few hours, rather than a few days. Then we have low material costs, and we can add cheap designing costs. The bottom line is that you will get a permanent advertisement for as low amount of money as possible.

The lettering signs are a safe, affordable and successful marketing strategy. This is the simplest answer to the question from the beginning. These are the main reasons why they are so popular. 

What Personalized Wooden Signs for Home Can do for You

In the world of complexity and similarity, trying to do something that will make you be different is difficult. In some cases equal to impossible. However, there are some ways. The first and the main difference that matters is your home. Having the same home as all other in the street isn’t very appealing. So, how to make it better? Personalized wooden signs for home are the simplest, but yet the most important advantage you can get. They have several benefits, which will be mentioned below.

Improve originality

Personalized wooden signs for homes have been among us since the early ages, due to a reason. They can make your house stand out from the crowd, make it look more beautiful and extraordinary. Obviously, the sign itself is important and how well-made it is. Some people look for new gadgets and ways to help them make the house look better, but a much better effect can be achieved with signs.

Increase property value

Maybe it doesn’t sound like a well-known fact, but personalized wooden signs actually increase the value of your home. The increase cannot be mozetized, but it is more than just important. With this simple technique, you can make your home look better and be more expensive at the same time. The best part is the fact wooden signs don’t have to be very expensive. Don’t have to be, but there are some expensive models out there.

Personalization

There are no two identical wooden signs out there. There are similar, but they are not the same. The main reason why is in the design and the symbols on a sign, obviously. But, another difference is in the specific aging. Each sign will age differently, according to the exposure to the elements and the location. For example, even if you have the same wooden sign as your friend, after some time they will look different!

Custom built

 Personalized wooden signs for home are always made to look as a client want them to look. Design, letters, shape and additions are something that can be chosen accordingly to the specific desires of a client. This is simply mandatory, due to the fact they must be made for just one home. This is also related to the sentimental value they have. At least for those who are affected by them. It is a well-known fact that most teenagers and younger people prefer houses with wooden signs. Maybe it sounds contradictory, but in their head, those houses are more elegant and more original. Those without signs are treated as regular homes, nothing more!

Houses with wooden signs are popular on social media as well. They are even interesting as a tourist attraction, no matter if your home is a part of tourist resort or tourists just pass by it. Most of you will like to see their house on social media, with a lot of positive comments. This is one of the main benefits wooden signs offer. It cannot be better that this. 

What are Country Wooden Signs and are they Still Used?

Of all sign types, you can find today, country wooden signs are the rarest. The main reason for that is the fact they are old, they are specifically made and they are popular as collector items. Some of them may reach huge prices and they are usually reserved for a high-end clientele. But, what these signs are actually and from where they come from?

The first country wooden signs

Country wooden signs came from the Wild West, in the United States and they have been used by taverns and local service owners. Today, they are used due to the same reason, but only in places where the same atmosphere and the same result are needed. Back at those ages, they were very important and were made to last for decades, without any maintenance at all. Some signs of this kind were made to send a specific message to all people and to invite them to a pre-defined place. Another feature they had is the number of letters. They never had rich information to display, and they were as simple as possible. For example, one of the most common types was ‘’whiskey’’ signs, meaning that the local tavern is close by.

The main characteristics

The first and therefore the most important characteristic was the material itself. Yes, they were made from wood, as the name suggests, but the actual type of wood was special. People usually used oak or cedar and thickens was massive. Far bigger than sings today have. At those times, this was a necessity. Signs had to last for a longer period of time, without being replaced, damaged or repaired. Some signs of this kind can last for decades, without any damages whatsoever. The situation is the same when it comes to the letters and symbols. They are also extremely durable and they can withstand almost anything.

The dimensions were mentioned above, but we must add that they were chosen correspondingly. In a matter of fact, all signs of this kind were huge. They had to be seen directly from a great distance. Smaller signs are rare, and they are linked to a closer history.

 Country wooden signs in a modern age

Today, country wooden signs are rare, but they can be seen. They are used in Texas, Alabama and several other states in the United States and in Australia. People use them to display their private property or to add the appealing old-looked bars have to offer. Still, words and sayings related to the alcohol are displayed, and even the font is the same. It is very nice being able to see a sign of this kind today. They are not something you can see everyday, and they are masterpieces.

We must add the fact that most signs are made today, so they are not vintage. However, they look old and they are customized to look exactly the same as old versions, which is important for their potential owners. 

Possibilities With Custom Made Wooden Signs

Wooden signs are the best and one of the rare eco-friendly alternatives which allow you to share your thoughts and your message with other people. Custom made wooden signs are truly different. They allow you to choose every single aspect about them and to get a sign that is 100% as you want it to be. There are no limitations and everything is possible.

Dimensions and Shape

Usually, this kind of signs is made from bamboo or pine board. In both cases, the thickness may be between 0.3 up to 1 inch. Additional thicknesses are available, but they are rare. Dimensions can be as you wish. Some standard models have 48x48 inch dimensions, but it is possible to get much smaller ones, with 5x5 inches. Those made from pine board are bigger and heavier.

No matter how big a sign is, it can be hung with the help of hangers. These are small elements, mounted at the back of a sign. Smaller ones have just one or two hangers, but larger require more.

The shape is one of the extremely important aspects of each sign. It has to be specific in most cases and in some, it must be original. Custom made wooden signs are the most common in a rectangular shape, but we also have those in other shapes. A great possibility is the fact each user can choose a shape he prefers. Irregular shapes are harder to make, more expensive, but they are completely original.

Text and Graphics

Here, we have two alternatives. The first one is laser imprint, which is quicker, more affordable and more accurate. It is also a permanent choice. A great fact about this method is that all types of texts and graphics are possible. No matter how small or big they are, the laser will imprint them perfectly.

A second technique is drawing the text and graphics by hand. It is slower, more expensive and more delicate procedure, but it is more personal and more appealing to people. The paint, used for these signs is UV resistant. As such, it can withstand all temperatures and UV rays, obviously. The average lifespan is 2 years, but if sign isn’t exposed to the elements and the sun through the entire year, or it has a protective coat, the lifespan is much longer. It can even achieve 10 years.

In both cases, the text and symbols must be perfectly written, imprinted on a wooden sign. Errors and mistakes are not allowed here and they can ruin the entire sign!

Rustic Effect

A real pleasure is being able to get a wooden sign with the rustic effect. It means that a sign will look vintage, but it will be completely new. There is no point to buy vintage wooden signs because they can cost a lot, so they are a money-saving choice.

They are not more complicated to make than ordinary signs and they also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Although, their colors are specific. 

Personalized painted outdoor wooden signs: What you can customize?

Personalized painted outdoor wooden signs are a desire of us many. They are beautiful, beneficial and they have countless applications. As you know, the most important advantage these signs have is the level of possible customizations. In essence, you can change, modify, add or remove anything you want, and you will get a sign that looks precisely as you want it to look. So, the main accent should be on what you can actually customize.

The shape

At the beginning, personalized painted outdoor wooden signs must have a unique shape. This relates to their dimensions and the shape itself. After all, there is no point in making a sign of this kind that looks the same as every other. There are plenty of signs that are 100% original. Their shape is extraordinary and they look like no other sign. The best part is that the shape can be adjusted to the main purpose of the sign. For example, we have signs in the shape of a coffee cup, used for coffee houses. Due to the fact they are made from wood, rather than from metal, choosing the shame you want is simple and it doesn’t increase the price of a sign.

The color

As you may believe, color can be chosen correspondingly for the main purpose of a sign.  We have a lot of eco-friendly related signs that feature green color, so they promote the environment and add a unique accent on nature itself. On the other hand, we have casual white signs that are used for real estates and similar business. A real pleasure is being able to choose any color you want. Even better, you can choose a special, custom made color, which means that your sign will look 100% different than any other. This is useful for some, special types of business or applications that require this level of originality. It should be mentioned that all colors must be for wood and that all of them must be coated with a protective layer. This is mandatory for all signs designed for outdoor applications.

Letters, information or symbols

Another, important and needed fact is that you can choose anything you want to write on your sign. As usual, there are no rules, so you can choose any font, letters, symbols and any information you prefer. This is one of the most important reasons why these signs are so popular and so needed. They are far more important than any other type of signs and they have been used for many applications since the 10th century.

Personalized painted outdoor wooden signs also allow you to choose between several different colors, used on the same sign. This is rare in the world of signs, but it is very useful and beneficial. Thanks to this possibility, we have signs that are painted so they look like no other sign. They are suitable for just one purpose, for just one business and they are something that every single person will notice. 

Painted Wooden signs: Choose a Color for Each Application

Wooden signs are the oldest type of them all. There are two main versions. Those that are not painted in color, meaning that all the lines of the wood are seen (these signs are protected from the elements) and painted wooden signs. When a sign is painted in a specific color, it becomes completely purpose-made. Obviously, paint for wood is used. But each hue has a meaning and it is recommended for just one application.

White Color

White wooden signs are the oldest. They are still treated as elegant and designed to be implemented in the areas with the same definitions. A far more important is that they can be used as family signs, or as those for coffee houses, restaurants and etc. However, a unique application is the ability to use these signs for health-related business. The White color is relaxing and it increases confidence. It simply gives the impression of the purity!

Green Color

Green painted wooden signs can be divided into two categories. Those in bright and those with darker green colors. Darker signs are reserved for well-known families, and they are very popular in the United Kingdom. There, dark green color is treated as a national color and even used in motor-racing. Bright green color is completely different. It is modern and intuitive, meaning that the signs should be perfectly balanced between the rich heritage and a special purpose. Even today, they are commonly used for technology-related business. But, signs in this color are made also from metal and plastics. The latest models are made from glass.

Red Color

Red painted wooden signs are extraordinary and rare. They are not suitable for families or homes. This means that they are related to passion, so they are used in business and by those who want to add an accent on this matter. On the other hand, they are also linked to love and positive emotions! Most dating business will use them. In addition, the red color is also used in signs made for flower-related business. It actually promotes the business and makes it look much better and passionate.

Blue Color

Now we have wooden signs painted in blue color. In any single case, they are designed to be as simple as possible, but still send a direct message. In the past, they were used by car mechanics, transportation businesses, and equivalent, everyday business providers. Today, they are still used for the same applications, but there is one exception. Blue wooden signs are also popular for lawyers and law firms.

The painted wooden signs also come in different colors, and they cannot be generalized. However, the colors we mentioned here are the most common ones and these signs can be easily found. Their roots come from the first wooden signs ever made. They were made to have an original purpose, usually in the house or a business. A beautiful thing is that the heritage is still the same, and the same color-purpose connection is used.

Needed tips when it comes to custom building signs

What are custom building signs? They are signs, especially made for a specific client who will place them on a building. Maybe their role sounds simple, but they are actually extremely important nowadays. They are simply mandatory for all types of business. All experienced business owners will tell you that a building sign is the best way to get more clients or customers. It is a permanent advertisement that all people should use.

Another fact to remember is that custom building signs come in a variety of shapes, features, and design. The word custom means that you can choose anything you want. The most popular are so-called futuristic building signs. They are made to stand out from the crowd and to make your business look completely different. The colors are usually bright, symbols are extraordinary and the shape itself is different. When choosing one of these signs, some tips are very important.

Tips you are going to need

The first tip and therefore the most important one is the shape of a sign. It must be different than all your competitors have. Why? It is used to attract people to your business. If a sign is the same as all other competitors in the neighborhood, the marketing result will be poor. People want to see new things and they are likely to try something that looks unique. Important: Business related to graphic design must pay a special attention to their building signs, due to the fact they reflect their skills.

Neon or standard is another choice to take into account. Neon signs aren’t always the best advertise. They are linked to technology-related business, and they are simply specific. This also means that using one to promote some other kind of business, such as a law firm, won’t be very useful. Standard, not-glowing signs are a much better option. They are treated as the most effective kind. The main reason is in the look itself. People will think your sign is elegant, which reflects your business in the same manner. The best tip here is to use modern design and fresh colors. Black and white aren’t an alternative here.

No maintenance should be one of the priorities. If you get a sign that requires a lot of attention and common repairs, you will be in a problem. Repairs for neon signs are not as expensive as the labor, you must pay!  If we add the fact that most of them are placed high above the ground, you can understand why. Always choose those with no maintenance at all. It simply means that they are 100% resistant to the elements and that they are made to last. They also should have a protective layer which will protect the material from the moisture.

The material itself is important. It should be something durable. Wood isn’t an option either, but glass is. More and more people choose glass as the main element for their signs. 

Making a Masterpiece with EL Wire Neon Sign DIY kit

EL wire is the latest hit in the world of lighted signs. It is easy to use, extremely durable and more than just affordable. Even better, it comes in a variety of colors and sizes. It is useful because it allows you to write anything you want and transfer into a sign. However, a few more items will be needed. EL Wire Neon Sign DIY kit includes:

  •         An acrylic piece of a board. The size depends on the quote you want.
  •         EL wire kit in the color you prefer. Usually, 30 feet are enough for 15 medium-sized characters.
  •         Drill and ¼ drill bits.
  •         Duct tape.
  •         Super glue.
  •         Dry erase marker.

First step:

Print the quote you prefer and use a marker to dry it on the board. Be careful, but don’t try too hard. There are a lot of ways to do this, even using Microsoft Word to create a pattern which will help you to transfer the quote on the board.

Second step:

Drill holes at specific positions. In essence, you will have to use EL wire kit to write the letters you want. Each letter should have entering and exiting point. Points where EL wire enters the board and exits. Always secure at the back side the wire with the duct tape. Secure it in many places as you can.

Third step:

Use the super glue in order to secure the power pack of the EL wire kit. Keep in mind that it should be secured at all conditions, so you can even try something new in order to secure it properly.

Important facts to consider

Using the EL Wire Neon Sign DIY kit is very simple. As you can see, no more than 30 minutes are needed, in order to create an amazing sign that is simply perfect in any way. However, there are some things to consider. The first one is the flexibility of the EL wire. A bigger one, 5mm cannot be used to make 90 degrees angles. A smaller one, 2.5mm can be bent more, but it still cannot be used for 90 degrees angles. This is the main reason why most EL wire signs are straightforward. If you force the wire into forming a shape it cannot, you will get a black spot. It is a huge issue that may compromise the entire appearance of the sign.

Some letters are more complicated to write, such as K. It requires 4 holes and it is still very hard to get properly. There are only two possibilities. The first one is to practice, a lot, on the old acrylic board and the second one is to use superglue in order to force the EL wire into the desired position. Using the glue is a permanent alternative, so it should be taken lightly into consideration.

The end part is the placing the sign on the wall. You can create simple holders at the back and hang it, or you can use fixings in order to place it on the wall, permanently. 

Make a DIY Lighted Sign Box in Less Than 30 Minutes

It is quite easy to make a cardboard lighted sign box. You may believe that this is an expensive and a time-consuming process, but it simply doesn’t have to be with a little creativity! You will need less than 30 minutes and some patience. When we talk about money, you will need less than $10! Still, the best part is the level of fun, this activity has to offer and the freedom, you as a creator has.  Please note that a DIY Lighted Sign Box made per below is meant to be a temporary decoration and/or made to be turned on when you are around – it is NOT UL listed like all of the lightbox signs that we sell here at www.diysignsupply.com and it is definitely not made for “exterior” applications.  With that being said here is how you can do it!

The DIY lighted sign box process requires the following steps:

  1.      Needed materials

All materials you will need are simple and easy to find. In general, you will need cardboard (or posterboard), a plastic sheet – can be plexiglass, polycarbonate, acrylic, or whatever you find around your house, colored paper, glue and etc. In addition, you must use lights, but even Christmas lights can be useful. Of course, for the best effect, you should use LEDs.

  1.      Choose the motto or the word

Once you have done it, print the word you want on a cardboard. Use the scalpel to cut it out and to make a cardboard see-through. Paint the cardboard with a spray. It takes less than 30 minutes to get dry, therefore it is a quick process. Then, we will need the plastic we mentioned. Acrylic plastic is the best choice and highly recommended. Place it on one side and a paper, also in color on the opposite side. Glue them together.

  1.      Create a housing box

DIY lighted sign box requires a simple housing. It can be made from cardboard as well. Simply make a square or a shape you prefer from this material. Add reinforce elements in the edges. The depth can vary, but usually, it should be at least 6” to allow the light to spread out evenly.  It can be more shallow if it is a small sign.

  1.      Add lights

Adding the lights isn’t as complicated as you may believe. In a matter of fact, it is a very simple process. Just take a straight piece of cardboard and drew holes in it. Use smaller pieces of cardboard to lift it from the lower side. Cut the small hole at the back for the light’s cable. Place the lights in these holes you just drilled. Put the power cable through the hole you just made, and that’s it. Plug it in, and you will see the lights on.

  1.      Add the sign we made earlier

On the front cover cardboard (the one that goes above the lights) cut a place to insert the sign itself we made it at the beginning. You can use tape of craft paper to secure it into place. This is the last step. After that, you can plug it in and see how the sign actually looks.

Important facts to remember

Keep in mind that the color of plastic and the color of the paper you use will determine the color of the sign itself. There are plenty of colors to use in order to paint the front cardboard, but we recommended spray, simply because it is the fastest to dry. Also, Christmas lights are the most affordable and the simplest choice, you can choose, but LEDs are still the best choice.