how to make lighted signs:kosoom Steps guide
1. Choose your sign material. Some popular options for lighted signs include:
• Acrylic sheets – Clear acrylic plastic that LED light can shine through. Easy to cut and engrave.
• Wood – Thin wooden boards like plywood or MDF can be cut and painted. Holes are drilled for inserting LED lights.
• Metal – Sheets of aluminum, stainless steel or copper can be cut, etched or punched with holes for lighting. More durable than wood but harder to work with.
• Fabric – Lightweight fabrics like polyester can be used, with letters/designs cut out and LEDs behind to illuminate the sign. Not weather-resistant though.
2. Create your sign design. You can freehand draw directly onto the material, print out stencils to copy, create a design on a computer to print or project, or hire an engraving/CNC or vinyl cutting service to make the sign graphics for you on the selected material. Leave space for installing the LED lighting.
3. Install LED strip lighting or modules. The most common types for lighted signs are:
• LED strip lighting – Flexible strips that can be mounted behind cut out letters/designs. Easy to install but limited to straight lines.
• LED modules – Individual low-profile lights, often round or square, that can be placed behind each letter or design feature. Require more wiring but can achieve a halo lighting effect.
• Rope lighting – Also flexible but with a rounded shape, good for going around curves and edges of letters. Limited to 6-8 inches between bulb spaces though which may not suit all font styles.
4. Add wiring and power supply. Run wiring from each strip or module to a central power supply, then wire the power supply to your mains outlet. Use wire rated for outdoor/exterior use if the sign will be outside. Properly ground all connections to avoid shorts.
5. Install mounting hardware. Add screws, bolts, brackets or frames to securely mount your lighted sign. Consider the weight of your selected material and any wind/environmental factors for exterior signs.
6. Test and make any final touches. Power on your sign to test all the LEDs are working and evenly lit. Make any needed changes before installing the sign in its final location, where access may be difficult. Add a sealant to outdoor signs to protect from weather.
7.Consider using the remote control. The remote control allows you to easily turn the logo on/off and adjust the brightness. You can also set the blinking mode and speed of the logo.
Using 3D printing technology to create LED lighting signs
1. Choose a transparent 3D printing material. Commonly used are transparent PETG plastic, transparent ABS plastic, etc. These materials can conduct and scatter the light produced by the LED very well.
2. Design the letter, logo or pattern you want. You can use 3D modeling software such as Blender, SketchUp or Solidworks. make sure the details and thickness of the design are suitable for your 3D printer. Finer details require a higher resolution printer.
3. leave channels inside the 3D model empty to accommodate LED strips or cords. The channel width should be slightly larger than the actual width of the lighting. Check that the channel is clear and open before printing.
4. Choose the correct orientation for 3D printing. For best optical results, letters and logos should be printed vertically and the LED channel should be perpendicular to the print bed.
5. Place the LED strip or string and test it. You can insert the lighting after printing or directly into the channel during printing. Make sure it scatters evenly and produces a uniform brightness.
6. Optional: You can paint or spray paint the 3D printed letters and logos to change the appearance. Avoid painting the LED channel, but you can carefully paint the entrance to cover the entrance. Use opaque paint to create more contrast when the LEDs are off.
7. Provide protection for outdoor use. For outdoor applications, it is recommended that the 3D printed letters and logos be painted and treated with an appropriate sealant. This will prevent sun and water damage to the 3D printed plastic and LEDs.
8. Add hanging hardware (if required). If the logo is to be hung, install loops, hooks or other hardware on the back. Make sure they are securely mounted to hold the weight of the sign.
The best choice of led luminous material
Trotec Troply Ultra Reverse is an acrylic sheet material that can be a great choice for LED lighted signs. Some of its key properties:
• Ultra clear. Troply Ultra Reverse acrylic has a high light transmittance of 92% to allow bright, uniform LED lighting to pass through. This results in even illumination of cut out letters and designs.
• Reverse engraved. The material has a satin surface on one side and high gloss on the other. Engraving the matte side results in translucent frosted lettering with the high gloss still intact behind – perfect for channels of LED strip lighting.
• Weather resistant. Troply acrylic stands up well to outdoor weather conditions like sunlight, rain and temperature changes. It is more durable than regular acrylic, making it suitable for exterior signs. Proper sealing still recommended.
• Easy to cut and engrave. Troply acrylic sheets can be cut to size using common woodworking tools like saws, routers and laser cutters. It engraves cleanly using laser or rotary engraving machines. CNC routers also work well for cutting intricate sign designs.
• Multiple thicknesses. Troply Ultra Reverse acrylic is available in a range of thicknesses, from 3mm to 19mm. Thinner sheets are best for interior signs where rigidity is less important. For exterior signs, 8mm and up is recommended.
Using reverse engraved Troply Ultra Reverse acrylic sheets to make LED lighted channel letters and signs offers some key benefits:
• The matte engraved surface disperses the light from the LEDs evenly, preventing hotspots. This results in smooth, uniform lighting across each letter.
• Since the front surface remains high gloss, it has a reflective, mirror-like quality during the day when the LEDs are off. At night, the letters appear to illuminate from within. This contrast can make lighted signs more eye-catching.
• The acrylic material itself helps protect the LED strips or rope lighting from weather and UV damage, preventing fading and color changes over time from environmental exposure.
• Troply acrylic is designed specifically for signage applications, so it has ideal properties like thickness, durability and engraving quality suited to producing high impact lighted letters and signs.
Using a quality acrylic sheet like Troply Ultra Reverse helps ensure your DIY LED lighted signage projects will achieve professional looking, long-lasting results. The material’s characteristics lend themselves well to channeling, diffusing and protecting LED lighting for reverse engraved signs and letters.
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