News & Articles

What's the Difference? Direct-View vs Backlit

Nov 25, 2020

Luckily the difference between direct-view and backlit signs is mostly their appearance! Direct-view signs use individual LEDs placed close enough to each other to form letters, numbers and symbols. So, if direct-view means the characters are made of small points of light, what does backlit mean? Backlit signs use diffused light to illuminate a bold character, number or symbol. Below you will find a visual example of each type as well as a few points to consider when choosing which is best for your application.

  • Direct-View

    • Allows for superimposed/overlaid messages.
      • Superimposed/overlaid messages allow you to fit more messages into a smaller footprint.
    • Narrow or wide viewing angle LEDs can be used.
      • Changing the viewing angle of the LED increases the viewing distance of the LED.
  • Backlit

    • Any font can be used for the message.
      • Since the message is printed on a Mimaki flat bed printer and backlit with LEDs, the font can be any of your choosing. This lets you have complete control over your design!
    • Allow characters under 3".
      • Unlike our direct-view signs, the backlit options are not limited by a 3" minimum character height. The minimum in our direct-view signs is required for maintaining the optimal LED placement and character kerning of the LEDs to ensure maximum readability at a distance.
      • This is most beneficial for our indoor, backlit signs where messages are viewed up close and may contain more detailed messages like instructions or warnings.

Wondering about the things they can BOTH do?

  • Message: choose any color on our color chart
  • Frame: painted any of our in-house custom colors or color matched
  • Mounting: utilize all our mounting options
  • Voltage: choose your voltage range 120-277VAC or 12-24VDC