Types of Trade Show Lightboxes
There is a huge range of Lightbox options for Event Marketers and Exhibitors now. A few years ago we were limited to just a back wall. Now we can illuminate just about anything. One of my favorites are Lightbox Towers. We have built them as short as 6ft and as tall as 16ft. In addition we now have Backlit Counters, a range of Backlit Back Walls, Table Top Lightboxes and even Lightboxes that can be mounted on Walls.
Pop Up -vs- Modular
Pop Up Backlit Displays
What is new, new, new is the ability to create Backlit Trade Show Displays using pop up frames. Up until this point, it was a big challenge to try and add lighting to pop up frames in a way that looked good and didn't have shadow issues while still being portable. Recently we have added the Lumiere Light Wall Displays which have had an enourmous impact on this portable lightbox display options. This was completely reengineered from scratch to combine the pop up frame with a functional lighting system. We have a range of sizes available for the Pop Up Walls as well as a new matching Counter option as well. Mix and match the walls to give your space a custom look.
The Portable Lightboxes are great for the Exhibitor or Event Marketer on the go, but there are some size & shape limitations with these Pop ups. That is where the Modular Backlit Display options come into play. We utilize the modular and highly functional SEG Display System (silicone edge graphics) to create stunning Backlit Displays of all sizes. These are great for Back Walls of any size, Towers (up to 16ft tall) and Counters. We have even made Platforms, shelving units and free-standing displays out of the SEG Frame System. The options are seemingly endless.
Modular Backlit Displays
Anatomy of a Trade Show Lightbox Display
Types of Lighting
LED (Light-Emitting Diodes) Are the most popular way to create lightboxes. They don't consume a lot of power and don't get hot like Halogens. As a matter of fact a lot of Convention Centers are starting to reduce the use of Halogen lights or ban them all together. LED lights have taken the place and are super bright with low power consumption. Just about all of our Lightboxes are made using LED's.
We use Edge Lighting for most of our Backlit Counters and Back Walls. Edge Lighting uses strips of LED's on a circuit board that connect from one to another to make a chain and can mount to the display frame either in a groove or by Velcro. It creates lighting around the face of the graphic from inside the frame and is great for consistent lighting.
Ladder Lights are a series of LED Strips that are tethered together to make one long flat strip of lighting. These can hang down inside a display like a Back Wall or Tower. Once suspended they flood the space with light. These are great for displays that can't utilize Edge Lighting because the space is too big (like Towers).
Flood Lighting is simply flooding a space with light to make it a lightbox. Most of the time we use the Ladder Lights to accomplish Flood Lighting. Sometimes a luminescent light can also work well.
Frontlit is lighting your display from the outside or front rather than from the inside. This is usually accomplished with top Clamp Lights which are available for many of our displays or also from Floor Lighting that shine up like a spot light.
The material we use most commonly for Backlit Displays is a special material called UV Backlit Fabric. It is a fabric blend that has a special coating on it that not only allows us to print full color, but also gives it that extra glow when the lights are turned on. A standard Dye Sub Fabric does not work the same as the UV Backlit material. This is important to know, because if you order a display non-backlit and later decide you would like to add lighting, it won't look nearly as sharp as if we use our Backlit Fabric material. So if you think there is even a small chance that you will someday want to make your display a lightbox, then make sure to let us know so we use the correct material.
The compenents for backlighting are very straight forward. They are comprised of either the LED Light Strips or LED Ladder Lighting combined with a Transformer. The Transformer provides the power for each strip. Some of our smaller Transformers will have one input and our larger Transformers have 3 inputs or channels to run lighting. The Transformer itself plugs directly into an outlet or extension cord.
Best Practices for Backlit Trade Show Displays
Packaging and Shipping
I know what your thinking, how do I make sure the lights don't get damaged during shipping? Well, by following a couple simple rules, you will be able to prevent any catastrophies of getting to the show and your lightbox not working properly. First and foremost, always make sure to securely bubble wrap your lights. If they are the LED Light strips, then bubble wrap each one individually. If they are the ladder lights, then roll the lights and bubble wrap. I suggest doing the same for the transformer.
Note: I do not recommend shipping your unit with the lights still attached to the frame. If the package is mishandled, then it could lead to the lights breaking. Instead, remove them from the frame and bubble wrap.
Have a Back Up
We ship out new Lightbox Displays with an extra light strip. This is your backup in case you are at a show and one of the light strips fails. You can simply remove the bad strip and replace with the new one. If this does happen, make sure to request a new strip from us asap when you get back so you always have an extra on hand.
Use Bright Colors
When designing your artwork for your lightbox display, I recommend using bright colors. Colors really pop and make your display stand out from all others. White is ok too, but you get the maximum impact when using bright colors.
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