With an abundance of plastic sheeting products available on the market today, it is often hard to decide upon the right plastic material for your projects. Polycarbonate and plexiglass sheet are two common plastic materials that are used with lighting and signage, but there is also a variety of specialty sheeting available that offer superior quality in certain applications. For example, polycarbonate is usually used for outdoor signage, but when you are using edge lighting, is it truly the best solution? We take a look at some common signage problems and how you can use the right plastic sheeting to fix them.
Light-Diffusing Plexiglass for Hot Spots
When you are using LED lights for signs, using the wrong acrylic sheeting can result in hot spots, where you can see each individual light bulb behind the sign face. Traditional plexiglass sheet does not allow for the proper diffusion of lights, resulting in defined spots on the face of the sign. Luckily, you don’t need to lose the light transmission and UV-stability of traditional acrylic sheeting when you use light-diffusing plexiglass. Optix LD acrylic sheeting has superior diffusion properties that allow for even distribution of light without sacrificing light transmission. Light diffusing acrylic sheeting also provides cost savings as it requires less channel material and less lighting sources.
Edge Lighting with Cast Acrylic Sheeting
Many sign manufacturers and business owners see the benefits of having edge lighting on their signage, however, without the right plastic sheeting, this can be a difficult goal to obtain. Although polycarbonate sheeting is typically used due to its durability and weather-resistance, it does not offer the proper light transmission needed to get the desired effect from edge lighting. Generally, cell cast acrylic sheeting will be your best bet for durability and superior light transmission. Opting for plexiglass sheeting not only will provide a clear, bright, edge-lit sign but is budget friendly as well, being more cost effective than polycarbonate sheeting. Additionally, there are specialty plastic sheets that will provide enhanced edge-lit qualities, such as light guide panels.
Polycarbonate Sheeting for Channel Letters
Many businesses use channel letters for their business signage, but these individual light fixtures can provide a variety of roadblocks when it comes to transportation and installation. Because of acrylic’s light diffusion qualities, it is a popular signage choice, but when having to coordinate the shipment and installation of many pieces, it makes more sense to opt for polycarbonate sheets. Cracked signs can cause a variety of headaches including installation delays, budget constraints, and rocky business relationships, but changing to a more durable plastic solution can alleviate these. Polycarbonate sheeting such as Makrolon® SL offers superior durability as it is 20 times stronger than traditional plexiglass sheeting. Additionally, Makrolon® polycarbonate offers incomparable weatherability.
When searching for cost-effective lighting and signage solutions, it is important to take a look at everything available on the market. Polycarbonate and plexiglass sheeting both offer durability and light transmission, but depending on your application, one might be better than the other.
If you need help selecting the right plastic sheeting for your business signs, contact a plastic expert at A&C Plastics by calling (888) 702-6028 or fill out our contact us form.