Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘LED Lightboxes’

LED Display Lighting for Trade Shows

March 22nd, 2024 COMMENTS
Symphony Portable Display with LED Lightbox

What’s the hottest trend in trade shows and events? LED trade show lighting. And not just lightboxes, but perimeter lights, backlit logos, programmable RGB lighting, and accent LEDs on counters, workstations, and kiosks. Even creative uses of ceiling and pendant lights. 

It makes total sense. LED lights are versatile, cost-effective, nearly indestructible, and ideal for displays of any size and shape. Best of all, the labor costs are about the same or less since many LED lights come attached to the structure and don’t require a show electrician. Easily 75% of the purchase and rental orders flowing through our shop have LED lighting.

Why Our Customers Love LED Display Lighting

LED lighting offers several significant benefits at trade shows and events, making them a popular choice for exhibitors. Here’s how they can elevate your presence:

Attracting Attention:  LED lights are brighter and more directional than traditional bulbs, allowing you to create eye-catching displays that stand out from the crowd. Strategic use of spotlights and color-changing LEDs can make your booth a beacon, drawing attendees in to explore your products or services.

Highlighting Products:  With their superior color rendering, LEDs can showcase your products in the best possible light. This is especially crucial for products that rely on visual appeal, such as clothing, artwork, or electronics.

Creating Ambiance:  LEDs come in a wide range of colors and can be dimmed or controlled precisely. This allows you to create a specific atmosphere for your booth, whether it’s a bright and energetic vibe or a more subdued and sophisticated setting.

Cost-Effective:  While the initial cost of LED lighting might be slightly higher than traditional options, their long lifespan and energy efficiency translate to significant savings in the long run. This is especially true for multi-day events where lights are on for extended periods.

Portability and Ease of Use:  Many LED lighting solutions are designed to be compact and lightweight, making them easy to transport and set up at trade shows. Some LED systems are even modular, allowing for flexible configurations to suit the size and layout of your booth.

Sustainability:  As energy-efficient lighting options, LEDs contribute to a greener footprint for your trade show presence. This can be a selling point for environmentally conscious attendees and align with your company’s sustainability goals.

Safety: LEDs generate very little heat, reducing the risk of burns or fires compared to incandescent bulbs. They are also safer for the environment as they are free of mercury, a toxic substance present in fluorescent bulbs. Department of Energy:

3 LED Exhibit Lighting Examples for Portable Displays

Consider adding SuperNova LED Lightboxes with Symphony Portable Displays for an additional visual POP. You’ll get the same portability and tool-less construction, along with vertical and horizontal dimensionality. In short, go ahead and experiment with lighting to amp up your sales, generate sparks, and outshine your competitors.

1. SYK-2029 w/ Two LED Lightboxes

exhibit lighting

2. SYK-2027 w/ One Large LED Lightbox

trade show display lighting

3. SYK-2028 w/ One Rectangle LED Lightbox

LED trade show lights

5 Popular LED Trade Show Display Lighting Options

1. VK-5189 | Contemporary Island Exhibit 

LED trade show lights

Canopies RULE as an attractive design feature in many island and peninsula exhibits. Pair that with backlit LED graphics and you’ve got a can’t miss display on the show floor. The VK-5189  features multiple backlit double-sided towers connected to backlit single-sided canopies. Surrounding the towers/canopies are options like custom counters, genius bars, charging tables, and demo stations.

2. VK-2928 | Inline Lightbox w/ Shelves 

LED trade show lights

Big Lightbox(es) with Vibrant Graphics. Check. Shelves for Products. Check. Locking Storage. Check. Modular Assembly. Check. The VK-2928  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.

3. MOD-1585C | Reception Counter with Charging Pads

exhibit lighting options

Custom Counters offer the convenience of a fully assembled component with all the benefits of a custom design. The MOD-1585C takes LED lighting to the next level with a backlit logo, accent toe kick lighting, and even wireless charging pads. The counter includes locking storage and open shelves making it even more versatile. 

4. MOD-1730 | Backlit Reception Counter

LED reception counter

Reception counters are important graphic and physical anchors in any exhibit. On the show floor, most trade show attendees gravitate to the reception counter when they have questions or simply want more information. The MOD-1730 includes a backlit logo and graphics, along with wireless charging and locking storage. Plus, it’s fully assembled so setup is fast and easy.  

5. MOD-1618D | Backlit Product Tower with Shelves

LED lightbox with shelves

Product Display Lightboxes take a familiar concept, lightboxes, and transform them into a two-sided product billboard using lightweight aluminum, tension fabric graphics, and shelves. The MOD-1618D is double-sided and includes six heavy-duty adjustable shelves. The SuperNova LED light modules are designed to last for years of worry-free service. 

Key Considerations When Choosing LED Trade Show Lights

Quality. If you’ve ever had to wrestle with a defective light on the show floor, you know it can be a nightmare. Quality matters and the difference between a high-quality light and a low-quality one isn’t always obvious. The best (and quickest) guide is to look for certifications like UL, ETL, and CE. These ensure that the lighting, including the transformers, has been tested and certified to meet industry standards. 

Warmth or Temperature. In simplest terms, color temperature is a light’s appearance of “warmth” or “coolness.” The temperatures can be classified into three ranges:

  • Warm White (up to 2900K) – This temperature range is similar to the standard incandescent bulb in terms of color tone and warmth. Most people find this range comforting, and LEDs with this color temperature are perfect for family rooms, dining areas, and bedrooms.
  • Cool White (3000K to 4900K) – A bright and crisp tone ideal for use in work areas, home offices, garages, and basements.
  • Daylight (5000K and up) – Crisp, intense light that has a slightly bluish-white tone. This type of light is frequently used for outdoor lighting, commercial or retail spaces, security lighting and so on.

Mixing temperatures, especially for backlit graphics, can create inconsistent colors. What looks dark gray on one graphic may look navy blue on another if the temperatures are different. Those differences can be dramatic and jarring on the show floor. 

Colors: LED lights come in a range of colors from soft yellows to bright whites. Warm light tends toward yellows, reds, and oranges. Cool light appears blue or greenish. In between the two, light appears crisp and white. Opting for programmable LEDs allows you to not only change the colors but also create flashing, fading, and sequencing color patterns. 

Packaging; LED lights are more durable than incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent lights. However, they still need to be protected from damage. Be sure to ask about how the LED lights are packaged in your case or crate. Many LED modules are attached to the display structure making installation easier and lessening the chance of damage. Other LED lights, like stem lights, pendant lights, and accent lights, are packaged in their original boxes which can deteriorate over time. 

Electricity/Amps; For many exhibitors, completing the electrical layout and ordering form is intimidating. Most of us don’t know how many amps each electrical device uses and so we either order too much or too little. The show contractor or electrical provider can be your best friend when ordering electricity. They want you to get it right since it makes their job easier. Don’t be shy about asking them for assistance. Getting it right will save you money and make for a smoother install. 

Cost: There are lots of ways to save money at a trade show or event, like early bird discounts, smart packaging, and modular construction. LED lighting is more cost-effective than ever and has opened the door for interesting lighting features in every size display. Lighting attracts attention on the show floor so before you decide to eliminate a backlit graphic or a stem light consider the tradeoffs.

Your Partner for LED Display Lighting & Much More!

Classic Exhibits has been designing and building trade show exhibit solutions since 1993. We’ve been honored as an Exhibitor Magazine Find-It Top 40 Exhibit Producers and an Event Marketer Fab 50 Exhibit Builders multiple times. Along with numerous Portable Modular Awards. 

With over 200 Distributor Partners throughout North America, there’s a Classic representative closer by. Contact us today whether you need a durable hand sanitizer stand built to last, a rental display guaranteed to attract trade show attendees or a custom 30 x 40 exhibit with all the bells and whistles. We’re not just different. We’re better. 

Brighter Days Sale on Select SuperNova Lightboxes

November 17th, 2023 COMMENTS

Brighter Days are Ahead. Save 10% on (18) SuperNova Lightbox Designs through December 2023.

Brighter Days Sale on SuperNova Lightboxes from Classic Exhibits

Utilizing a Fabric Lightbox for Your Trade Show Display

April 12th, 2022 COMMENTS
Fabric Lightbox
Custom Inline Lightbox with SEG Fabric Graphics

LED Fabric Lightboxes, in an array of shapes and sizes, are the single biggest change to post-pandemic trade shows, events, and signage. They’re EVERYWHERE! And it makes sense. Lightbox Exhibits are cost-effective, easy to assemble and install, and mesmerizing. So, what happened in the past 2-3 years that led to the proliferation of fabric lightboxes? Three things basically: Cost, Convenience, and Comfort. 

What is a Fabric Lightbox?

Before we explore these three “C’s,” let’s define and describe what we mean by LED Fabric Lightboxes, starting the fabric. Over the past 10 years, silicone edge graphics have become the large format graphic for trade show displays. These are dye-sublimated or direct print graphics on fabric with a silicone welting sewn to the perimeter. The silicone welting is folded under the fabric and inserted into a channel along the edge of an aluminum or plastic frame. Because SEG graphics hug the outside channel of the frame (in most cases), it minimizes the appearance of the frame, thereby maximizing the overall graphic impact. In short, more graphics with less frame.  

When those graphics are backlit, there’s, even more, WOW! with brighter, more vivid colors. The attached LED lights can backlight one- or two-sided graphics as back walls, towers, headers, and even storage closets. 

The 3 C’s of Fabric Lightboxes

Cost: Backlighting has always been expensive and complicated. It required fragile fluorescent tubes, a graphic printed on translucent material, and a dedicated frame or enclosure. LED lights changed all that. They’re inexpensive (especially over time), durable, and available in a variety of temperatures/warmth and colors. The additional cost whether it’s for a large tower in an island exhibit or a backlit ad in an airport is both affordable and worth the increased visibility. 

Convenience: Most LED lights are rated between 35,000 to 50,000 hours. Compare that to 750-2000 hours for incandescent lights and 24,000 to 36,000 for fluorescent bulbs. LED modules are easy to mount to frames or reflective surfaces and come in a wide array of sizes.  

Comfortable:  Both exhibit builders and ad agencies are well-versed in how to design graphics and structures to maximize the impact of backlighting.  Wading through the electrical requirements no longer requires an electrical engineering degree. Just some practical experience working LED components and some friendly advice from an electrician on larger jobs. 

6 Fabric Lightbox Examples by Classic Exhibits

Many fabric lightboxes are squares and rectangles consisting of a frame, graphic, LED lights, and a base or feet. But there can be so much more. The examples below are lightboxes with monitors and shelves as inlines, islands, and kiosks. There’s even a hexagon wall-mounted version for a lobby. 

VK-1977 | 10 x 10 – SuperNova Lightbox frames have two distinct advantages: strength and lightweight. The engineered aluminum construction means they can ship in a portable case but are strong enough to hold a large monitor.

10 ft. Inline Trade Show Lightbox with Monitor Mount

VK-4030 | 10 x 20 – Bigger is better when it comes to a lightbox. The custom VK-4030 features nearly 20 ft. of backlit graphics, along with a large monitor mount, charging table, and tablet kiosks. 

Large Inline Lightbox with Tablet Kiosks

GK-5152 | 20 x 20 – Island exhibits offer maximum impact on the show floor, and an island with (3) 15 ft. high double-sided lightboxes can’t be ignored. Available for purchase and rental. 

Island Exhibit with 15 ft. High Lightboxes

RE-2053 | 10 x 20 – Many exhibitors would rather rent than purchase a trade show display. The RE-2053 inline rental features three large backlit graphics on the back wall and two backlit counts with locking storage. 

Rental Inline Exhibit with Large Fabric Lightboxes

MOD-1618D | Product Kiosk – This free-standing double-sided lightbox combines backlit graphics with shelving. The shelves can be adjusted or removed depending on the product requirements. 

Lightbox Kiosk with Product Shelves

SLBW-9595 | Wall-mounted Lightbox – Lobbies, conference rooms, or hallways are perfect for an LED lightbox. The SuperNova Wall Frames can be cut to any size, and the vibrant fabric graphics are cost-effective and easy to replace whenever the seasons change or it’s time to promote an event.

Logo Designed with Wall-Mounted LED Fabric Lightbox

9 Factors to Consider When Purchasing an LED Lightbox Display 

#1. Hardness and Durability: Most LED Lightboxes start with an SEG aluminum frame. Every manufacturer engineers their frames using aluminum of varying hardness and durability. Less expensive lightboxes use softer aluminum because it’s cheaper. But cheaper aluminum scratches easily and tarnishes quickly. In addition, the wall thickness is often so thin that structural rigidity is compromised. For lightboxes mounted to a wall or assembled or disassembled at multiple trade shows, you will want aluminum with a 6063 specification. 6063 has better structural integrity and is scratch resistant. 

#2. Availability: Does the manufacturer have the extrusion, LED lights, hardware, and accessories in stock? And are there extrusion options depending on the situation, such as one-sided vs two-sided, freestanding vs. wall mount. What if you need multiple quantities or quick ship options? Can individual parts be purchased if they are lost or damaged? You don’t want a manufacturer who just dabbles in lightboxes.

#3. Customization: Let’s say you need a specific width or height. Is it possible? If so, how complicated or expensive does it get? How about angles or shapes such as a hexagon? It’s easy to do squares and rectangles (for most manufacturers), but odd shapes and sizes are often a head-scratcher for those who only want pre-configured kits.

#4. Print Quality: Asking the right questions about printing is important: 

  • Dye-sublimation printing is the best. This ensures the colors are infused into the fabric, not just printed on the surface. Many suppliers brag about “fabric printing” but it’s not always dye-sublimation, which requires two steps  — printing to a paper material and then heat fusing the image to fabric. 
  • Ask about the age of the printing equipment. The dye-sublimation printer shouldn’t be more than two years old. Anything older than that means the print resolution is just OK, not photographic.
  • Just like clothing, the fabric quality can vary, which may not matter if the graphic is a throwaway and the resolution doesn’t matter.  

#5. Sewing and Sizing: Experienced manufacturers have this down to a science. They’ve done the calculations thousands of times with varying fabrics, and they know how to print, cut, and sew the fabric so it fits perfectly. Not too loose. Not too tight. Nothing is more frustrating than receiving a fabric graphic that doesn’t fit.

fabric lightbox

#6. LED Lights: Understanding the various color temperatures, lens, UL and ETL certification, module construction, etc. requires some research and patience. Like fabric, there are multiple ways to make LED lights cheaper, if cheaper is the only criteria. Skipping UL/ETL certification is one shortcut. Using exposed connections or alligator clips is another. Sadly, it’s nearly impossible to know what you are getting before you get the LED lightbox. However, in this case, the old adage rarely fails, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.” 

#7. Accessories: Most LED lightboxes are a one-trick pony. They are lightboxes.  That’s it. But what if you want to add shelves, an iPad, a literature holder, wings, or headers? What if you want to connect it to other lightboxes or create a full inline or island display. That requires an exhibit builder who has engineered the extrusion to be multi-functional, stocks lightbox accessories and has the in-house talent to customize. 

#8. Packaging: It’s easy to assume that your display will ship in high-quality cases and packaging. Sadly, that’s rarely true. Most manufacturers use disposable one-way shipping materials. Your lightbox arrives undamaged. Now you have to ship it to the next show or to another location, but there’s nothing to protect it or keep it organized. Insist on reusable shipping materials, which precludes cardboard, shrink wrap, and thin foam. All three will be destroyed after one use. See examples. While you may have to pay a little more, it’s an investment that keeps giving show after show, assembly after assembly. 

#9. Assembly:  It’s easy to overlook how the lightbox will be assembled but that would be a HUGE MISTAKE. Some require tools and a bag of loose parts. Others have push-button connectors. Others are “mostly” tool-less, but the hardware is cumbersome and/or unnecessarily complicated. Ask to see the instructions or an assembly video. Even if you aren’t planning to assemble it, could you put it together based on the instructions in a reasonable amount of time? Remember, time is money, especially on the show floor. No one wants surprises at a trade show, and a well-designed lightbox won’t make you sweat, literally or figuratively. Do the research and trust your gut.

10 x 20 Custom Exhibit with Lightboxes and Backlit Logos

Rent or Buy a Fabric Lightbox or Backlit Lightbox

Classic Exhibits has been designing and building solutions since 1993. We’ve been honored as an Exhibitor Magazine Find-It Top 40 Exhibit Producer and an Event Marketer Fab 50 Exhibit Builder multiple times. Along with numerous Portable Modular Awards. We offer hundreds of lightbox solutions for both purchase and rental for trade shows, events, and environments. 

With over 200 Distributor Partners throughout North America, there’s a Classic representative close by. Contact us today whether you need a durable hand sanitizer stand built to last, a rental display guaranteed to attract trade show attendees or a lightbox with all the bells and whistles. We’re not just different. We’re better.

Bigger, Bolder, and Brighter Rental Exhibit Designs

November 19th, 2021 COMMENTS
Trade Show Rental Exhibits

If you had to pick a post-COVID design trend, would you have picked rental exhibits with lightboxes? Probably, but would you have guessed that nearly 80% of our island and inline rental orders have lightboxes?

It Kinda Makes Sense

First, lightboxes aren’t much more expensive than non-backlit solutions. Secondly, our rental inventory is deep in SuperNova and Gravitee frames. These two systems connect seamlessly and assemble without tools. As a result, their competitive prices, design flexibility, and ease-of-use makes them popular choices for designers and exhibitors. 

This week, we feature three new Rental Lightbox Designs — (2) 10 x 20’s and (1) 10 x 30.

  • RE-2123 uses a massive lightbox as a backdrop for three monitor kiosks. Along with two counters with backlighting
  • RE-2124 is a series of connected lightboxes in a step-pattern. “Stepping” is increasingly popular since it adds visual depth and a creative use of space
  • RE-3008 is a 10 x 30. We’re seeing more requests for 30 ft. inlines as an alternative to islands. This design is amazing “as is” or as a starting point for customization.

RE-2123 — Large LED Lightbox

Rental Exhibit | RE-2123 Inline Lightbox
Rental Exhibit | RE-2123 Inline Lightbox

Description: Unique products deserve unique exhibit designs. And the RE-2123 doesn’t disappoint. The large SuperNova lightbox with SEG fabric graphics is the perfect backdrop for the three monitor stands. The left, right, and center lightboxes create an immersive environment that compliments the overall theme without distracting from the core focus — the monitor demo stations.

The 20 ft. inline also includes two stunning backlit reception counters with locking storage. The booth assembles quickly and packs flat in a crate for convenient shipping.  

RE-2124 — Lightbox Step Design

Rental Exhibit | RE-2124 Inline Lightbox
Rental Exhibit | RE-2124 Inline Lightbox

Description: The stepping creates visual depth and interest while allowing an exhibitor to tell a compelling story through a sequenced graphic presentation. The design includes ample room for a casual meeting space (which can be a challenge in an inline) and the charging table with LED accent lights creates a casual yet business-like setting. The RE-1567 reception counter has attractive backlit graphics and locking storage.

Lights combined with colorful graphics may be the single-most important key to attracting attention on the trade show floor. The RE-2124 turns the table on traditional lightbox designs by “stepping” (5) 4 ft. x 8 ft. individual lightboxes.

RE-3008 — Meeting Space w/ Lightboxes

Rental Exhibit | RE-3008 Inline Lightbox
Rental Exhibit | RE-3008 Inline Lightbox

Description: Versatile 10 x 30 inlines are increasingly becoming an attractive alternative to an island exhibit. The RE-3008 offers ample space for demos and meetings in a booth that’s built for maximum branding and constructive conversations with attendees.

It includes three large lightboxes with SEG fabric graphics with a double-sided lightbox closest to the aisle. There’s also a semi-private meeting area that includes a charging coffee table with LED accent lights and countertop branding. Bookending the meeting space are two genius bars for additional seating. 

Let us know if there are rental design ideas you want to explore.

PP (Post Pandemic) Trade Show Design Trends

May 12th, 2021 COMMENTS

Last summer, we “predicted” (5) post-pandemic display trends (based on hunches, educated guesses, and a six pack of PBR tall boys). So… how well did we do?

What We’re Seeing:

  1. Graphics – Not surprising. Mostly for smaller displays; however we anticipate larger graphic orders in Q3 & Q4 as exhibitors dust-off their storage properties.  
  2. Portables – We expected the new Symphony Portable System to do well. However not this well. What’s even more shocking… it’s being driven by end-users who specifically ask for Symphony.
  3. Rentals – We predicted far more inline than island requests. We’re seeing more islands than inlines. Very encouraging!
  4. Custom Modular (and Lightboxes) – The eager beaver exhibitors are driving this. Since shows are still evolving, exhibitors are forced to be flexible. As a result, we’re seeing a significant interest in Gravitee Modular Wall designs and SuperNova Lightboxes (both tool-less and modular).
  5. Pandemic – It would end by September 2020. 😉

Well, #5 was a swing and a miss. And #3 is very encouraging. All the others are spot on!

I asked Edie Arambula, Classic’s Customer Service Manager, and Jim Shelman, GM Classic Rental Solutions, to share what Classic Distributors have requested over the past two weeks. We thought you might find the trends interesting.

Symphony Portable Displays

Custom Modular (and Lightboxes)

Rental Islands

Rental Inlines

Are you seeing any other trends?  If so, let us know so we can share with our sales, project management, and design teams.

–Mel White


Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. 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