Trade Show TalesBlog

Trade Show LED Lighting: Bright Ideas & Examples

August 24th, 2023 COMMENTS
Trade Show LED Lighting

Light Emitting Diodes (LED) have transformed trade show exhibits. For the better. Not long ago, LED trade show lighting was a luxury, reserved for expensive island displays or tech companies with unlimited budgets. Now, LED lights are everywhere, from tabletops to double-deck exhibits. As a result, the show floor is brighter, more colorful, and more engaging for attendees. 

Exhibit and graphic designers have gotten creative with LED lights. They use them for backlit graphics, hanging signs, halo-lit logos, and accent lights for counters, shelves, and flooring. Even faux neon signs are back in vogue using LED tube lights with RGB (red, green, blue) programming to add motion and variable colors. 

Trade Show LED Lighting: An Introduction 

If you haven’t purchased a new display for a few years, it’s time to review your trade show LED lighting options. Considering a portable display? LED stem lights or a backlit logo for a portable display can create a more upscale booth space and attract attention. 

Modular displays, both inlines and islands, are perfect for large backlit fabric graphics, which can be single or double-sided. Then add RGB LED lights to the pedestals, charging tables, and downlighting. These can be fine-tuned to your corporate color or programmed to create variable colors and movement.

Custom exhibit design typically starts with a blank canvas, which means the lighting 

LED trade show lights are durable, cost-effective, and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent or halogen bulbs. In addition, LED bulbs can use as much as 75% percent less energy than halogen bulbs. 

The Advantages of LED Lighting in Trade Shows 

Energy Efficiency: LED lights are more energy efficient than traditional halogen and incandescent lights. This can lower your electricity requirements, especially if your trade show booth has extensive LED  lighting.

Longer Lifespan: LED lights have a much longer lifespan which means you’ll replace them less often. And perhaps never. 

Durability: LED lights are durable, which makes them ideal for the harsh conditions of a trade show, including installation, dismantling, and shipping. 

Color Accuracy: LED lights produce a more accurate color rendition than traditional halogen and incandescent lights. This is important for trade show graphics that showcase your brand and products. 

Cost: Over time, the cost of trade show LED lighting has dropped considerably, while the quality has improved. Like any product, the prices vary depending on the availability and complexity of the lighting requirements.

Size: Most LED lighting solutions are smaller than their fluorescent or halogen equivalents. Size matters when designing trade show lighting and the smaller sizes of  LED tape lights, strips, modules, tubes, and bulbs allow for greater creativity. 

Options: There are a variety of LED trade show lights available, so you can choose the right lights for your specific needs.

Choosing the Right LED Lighting Accessories

An electrical product with the listing mark of UL, ETL or CSA means that the entire product and all of its components have been tested as they are used in connection with one another. This means that the entire product meets the applicable UL standard – not just one or some of the components (like the power supply or electrical cord).

Testing is completely documented in a testing report. The components used are listed in the report and are essentially registered for the applicable product. 

UL, ETL, or CSA are separate testing organizations and certification marks –  CSA or UL Listed Mark. They demonstrate compliance with widely accepted product safety standards. All three are recognized as NRTLs in the U.S. and, in a similar capacity, as a testing organization and certifying body in Canada by the Standards Council of Canada. 

LED wall arm for exhibits

LED Wall Washing Arm Light

  • Listed to Both UL and CSA Standards
  • No Exposed LEDs — LED Board is Recessed in Fixture Head
  • Draws Approximately 18.1 Watts of Power
  • Light Output of Generation 3 LED Board is Equivalent to a 200 Watt Linear Halogen Lamp
  • Custom Heat Sink to Properly Cool the LEDs
LED light strips

LED RGB Modular Strips

  • High-Quality RGB LEDs with Custom Selected Lensing and Drivers
  • For Single or Double-sided Lightboxes
  • UL Listed
  • 24V Plug and Play Design
LED track light for trade show displays

LED Track Light

  • 7 1/2″ High x 4 1/2″ Deep x 3 1/2″ Dia.
  • 18 Watt LED Fixture Available in Non-Dimmable Models
  • Choose From Spot, Medium or Flood Beam Angles
  • Warm White (3000K) Only
  • Fixture Available in Black, White or Silver
LED Puck Light

LED Surface Mount Puck Light

  • Designed to Deliver Soft Diffused Lighting to Desired Areas
  • Easy to Install With Plug and Play Connectors
  • Each Puck Includes 36″ Cord With Female Connector
  • Fixture Comes With Interchangeable Clear and Frosted Lenses. 
  • Available in Black, White, or Silver Finishes

10 Examples of Trade Show Booth LED Lighting 

The LED lightboxes are everywhere on the trade show floor, and backlit graphics have become the new standard for many portable, modular, and custom exhibits. Which means, the “same ol same ol” just doesn’t cut it anymore. Consider shapes other than standard rectangles or add practical accessories like shelves, monitors, storage, or programmable RGB edge lighting. These custom touches will elevate your display from the basic lightboxes and attract attention from attendees.

Inline Exhibits

1. VK-1356 | Custom Lightbox

Clean, dynamic, inviting, and practical. The VK-1356 strikes the ideal balance of large backlit graphics, tablet/monitor(s), and casual seating, all in well-defined spaces with creative lighting. Even the Bistro Charging Table has perimeter accent lights. 

custom LED lightbox

2. VK-1963 | Inline Lightbox

Big Lightbox with Vibrant Graphics. Check. Shelves for Products. Check. Locking Storage. Check. Modular Assembly. Check. This modern hybrid display combines vibrant tension fabric graphics and LED Backlighting with lightweight aluminum extrusion for a versatile and attractive solution at any trade show. 

inline LED lightbox

3. ECO-1038- B | Backlit Sustainable

This eco-friendly display has a large backlit fabric graphic with attached LED light modules.  The MOD-1701 Backlit Counter complements the design. There’s ample locking storage with a full-size closet and storage in the counter.

LED backlit sustainable display

4. VK-2971 | Inline Lightbox

The VK-2971 display with SuperNova LED technology combines vibrant tension fabric graphics with lightweight aluminum extrusion for a versatile and attractive solution at any trade show. The displays include storage, large monitor capability, backlighting, and standoff graphics. 

LED inline lightbox display

5. VK-4031 | SuperNova Lightbox

This contemporary Inline lightbox design blends exceptionally bright LED lights, aluminum SEG frames, and vibrant fabric graphics into a brilliant eye-catching display. The large hexagon LED lightbox frames the non-backlit SEG frames and acrylic accents. Upfront the MOD-1598 reception counter comes with both a backlit front graphic and locking storage. Plus there’s wireless and USB charging ports.

LED supernova lightbox display

6. RE-2128 | Rental LED Lightbox

This rental design with LED lightboxes and accent lights includes a custom reception with RGB programmable lights, backlit tension fabric graphics, and a casual charge table with LED perimeter lights. The SuperNova LED lights are attached to the frame which makes assembly easy and packaging a snap and includes integrated cord management.

led trade show lighting

Island Exhibits 

7. VK-5171 | Island Tower

The VK-5171 is a dramatic island exhibit with a 16 ft. backlit tower and lightboxes. Who needs an overhead sign when your booth shines bright and your logo can be seen from across the show hall? But it’s more than just a pretty face. It’s inviting, informative, and practical. 

led lighting trade show

8. GK-5154 | Gravatee Island

Throughout this island, there are large graphic opportunities at multiple angles to attract attendees from every aisle, including a 12 ft. LED Lightbox. 

trade show booth led lighting


9. MOD-1715 | Custom Counter

The attractive MOD-1715 counter with LED accent lighting and backlit logo offers a large countertop for brochures, promotional incentives, or as a product display. The counter has convenient locking storage and an internal shelf. Plus, the programmable RGB lights make it easy to dial-in your branding color. Or choose a sequential color rotation. 

custom LED counter

10. MOD-1590 | Backlit Counter

Reception counters should be attractive and practical. The MOD-1590 has a large backlit fabric graphic and locking storage. The colorful backlit graphic will draw attendees to the booth space and the convenient storage is ideal for literature, promotional products, or samples. Wireless charging pads are always a great addition to any trade show counter. 

LED backlit counter

10 Trends in LED Trade Show Lighting 

1. Backlit Fabric Graphics – Single and double-sided fabric graphics dominate trade shows and events

backlit fabric graphic trade show

2. Double-sided Lightboxes

3. Wall-mounted Lightboxes – Consider lightboxes for lobbies, conference rooms, training areas, and meeting spaces in a variety of sizes.

wall-mounted LED lightbox

4. LED Stem Lights

5. Edge-lit and Backlit Logos – Elevate your design with edge-lit and backlit logos

edge lit LED trade show exhibit

6. Perimeter Lights

7. Portable Backlit Graphics – See the Elegant Symphony Backlit Portable Exhibits

backlit LED display

8. Programmable RGB Lights – Upgrade your LED lighting with a full range of colors and programmable features

9. Puck Lights

10. Uplighting

uplighting LED display

Modern Trade Show LED Lighting Solutions from Classic Exhibits! 

Choose from hundreds of exhibit designs with LED lighting in Exhibit Design Search. Browse the following galleries:  Island Exhibits, Modern Inlines, Sustainable Islands and Inlines, Rental Islands and Inlines, LED Lightbox Exhibits, and Lightboxess and Banner Stands. 

Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufactures portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions, including Symphony Portable Displays. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or


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