Light Box Displays Question and Answer

What is a LED Light Display?

Constructing such a light box requires lamps, housing unit, ballast, and diffusion lens. A LED box is designed to illuminate a backlit graphic from behind in the housing unit. This is achieved by placing a light source behind a diffusion lens that sits directly behind the graphic that you would like to illuminate while the ballast regulates the flow of energy through the source.

What kind of lighting is available for the light boxes?

Lighting is available in fluorescent lamp, LED bulbs, and CCFL lamp. The most energy efficient bulbs are the CCFL. This type of lighting can last about 4 to 5 years running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only problem is that the bulbs are difficult to replace, sometimes the lamp is integrated into the light box frame. Typically, instead of replacing the bulb, purchasing a new CCFL lamp box would be a better option if there’s a lack of personnel to replace bulbs. Next to the CCFL lamps in reducing energy consumption is the LED bulb. LED bulb life span is generally about 3 years and up, some even over 10 years. It’s more practical as far as replacing the bulb; however, it’s more expensive in upfront cost but in the long run, the savings on energy cost and the longevity of the bulbs justifies it. The fluorescents such as the T5 are the least expensive in upfront cost, but in 4 to 5 years, it can easily cost more than the CCFL and LED bulbs.

How are light box graphics changed?

Changing the graphics/backlit film on LED box displays is not as difficult as it seems. Some simple ones would only require unscrewing 4 chrome fittings or a suction cup to take off the acrylic cover, no tools needed which is pretty easy to do. Only problem with that is that if the box is displayed in high foot traffic areas, tampering with and opening the light box by anyone might occur. Other types of light box displays are harder to replace graphics/backlit film. Some require screw drivers or a key, more safety precautions should be considered if the light box would be displayed in an area where damage can occur.

How are lamps changed?

Changing bulbs in a light box isn’t urgent since the CCFL lamps and LED bulbs can last years. But when they do need changing, it can be done by opening the box and removing the acrylic cover to replace the backlit film. Then remove the diffuser to expose the lamps. Take the lamp out and bring it along to hardware store to make sure of correct size when purchasing.

What are color temperature and brightness of light box displays?

In referencing backlit boxes, the color temperature is the degree of “whiteness” that is emitted by the light lamp from inside the box. Different types of lamps have different color temperatures. Standard daylight LED lamps have the highest color temperature of 6500 degree while soft white fluorescent is lowest at 2700 degree. The brightness in a LED box runs throughout the panel. This is somewhat opposite of the color temperature. The T5 lamps consume the most energy yet in terms of brightness, it has the highest LUX of 3500 while LED and CCFL are lower. The lighting mix in with the graphics of the backlit film is the ultimate determination of the lighting of a light box. If the graphic has more light or dark colors, the amount of light that can pass through the film will vary.

Mary J. Gibson

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