The A, B, C’s of Channel Letters


Simply put, channel letters, sometimes referred to as dimensionals, are illuminated, individual letters mounted onto the exterior of buildings. Channel letters are one of the most familiar types of signage, appreciated by businesses, large and small.

PNC Exterior Sign

What makes dimensional letters so popular?

  • Channel letters demand attention! They are highly visible – day and night – and from a distance.
  • Channel letters come in an array of colors, shapes, fonts, sizes and combinations. That means your sign can be as unique as your business.
  • Channel letters work round the clock, identifying your location and touting your brand.
  • Channel letters can be outfitted with power-saving LED components making them both ecologically and economically a smart choice.
  • Channel letters can be integrated with Lightcloud technology, allowing you to control your sign using a smart device, tablet or computer!
  • And, channel letters are durable and low maintenance.

Because of their visual depth, size and illumination, channel letters have that WOW factor! If your business is located in the back corner of a retail center, along a stretch of highway or even a busy cityscape, channel letters can give your location that POP to help you stand out.

Channel letters fall into four basic types:

Standard Front-Lit

Spell it out with standard front-lit channel letters! The most common type – standard front-lit channel letters – are built with aluminum backing and sides (returns). Letters are finished with a polycarbonate or acrylic face. Front-lit letters are illuminated using LEDs or neon. The face of each letter is lit from within spelling out your businesses name in vivid color and light. Channel letters can be used for logos, as well.

Reverse Channel Letters or Halos

What’s that glow? Reverse channel letters or halo letters are made from similar materials as standard channel letters. But, halo-lit (reverse channel letters) use spacers. This raises the letters from the wall, allowing the internal lighting to project onto the building’s surface. The light cast gives the letters their distinctive and sophisticated glow or halo.


Open Face Lit Channel Letters

Channel letters from Philadelphia Sign are versatile and impactful.There’s no denying the pizzaz of neon! Open face lit channel letters employ the same aluminum backs and returns as other channel signs. But, the letters are either open or have a clear face to expose the neon elements inside. Open face channels bring the flash and the fun to your location.


Installation: Mounting Your Channel Letters

The installation of your channel letters is as important as the signs themselves. Mounting methods for channel letters include:

Raceway Mount

Letters are attached to a metal raceway, designed to house the wiring and power supply. Raceways are popular with landlords, building and property management companies as installation requires less drilling into the building surface. Raceways are often painted to blend seamlessly with the exterior of the building.



Direct (Flush Mount)

Letters are attached directly to the exterior wall of the building. Electrical and power components are then installed behind the wall or building façade. Direct mount is a more complex installation requiring access to the space behind the exterior, but results in the most polished and clean appearance. Reverse lit letters are often flush mounted to accommodate the needed spacers.

Withum Highrise Lightcloud channel letters

Backer Mount

Letters are attached to a backer panel – essentially a metal cabinet – that contains all of the wiring and power supply. The cabinet, which is larger than the letters themselves, can be installed onto the wall or behind the building façade.

Adient Exterior Signage

Lightcloud Technology

Imagine controlling your sign with your mobile device! Lightcloud technology can be integrated with your channel letters, allowing you easy control of the brightness and energy level of your sign. A secure network and your smart phone, computer or tablet is all that’s needed to make adjustments with just a touch. Ask a Philadelphia Sign representative about Lightcloud for your channel letters.

Regions Highrise


Philadelphia Sign Channel Letters Spell More Business for you!

Talk to a representative about sign and mounting options. Channel letters from Philadelphia Sign are versatile and impactful. Find out how channel letters can spell more business for you!