Gripes & Likes: Backlit Back Wall Displays

Gripes & Likes: Backlit Back Wall Displays

We believe backlit displays in general are currently sitting in the early adopter to early majority “sweet spot”. What we mean by this is that there is enough expected demand that these displays are now being produced and sold at a practical cost but there is not yet enough total sales volume to make these displays redundant at your event, especially in the 10x10 and 10x20 booth spaces. In addition, since many companies don't have their backlit displays in circulation yet, current backlit booths have added visibility and value right now. 

Below are two sections containing “Gripes” and “Likes”. These sections are short lists comprised of feedback from us as a seller and from actual customers on what we like and what we don’t like about some of our backlit back wall displays. In this article, we will be referring to our Wavelight back walls and our Ignitor back walls. There are plenty of other options available but we don't have first hand experience with those other models so we can’t provide honest feedback. 



1. Increased Risk of Technical Malfunction Compared to Standard Displays: 

You want your booth to work perfectly at every show so it's easy to assemble and attractive to your potential clients. As a seller, we want your booth to function perfectly as well so that you have a good experience and we limit our replacement costs. The truth is, as you increase the technical components from a standard frame and fabric graphic display to one with hundreds of LED lights, you naturally have more potential for something to malfunction. This gripe doesn't just apply to backlit displays, it goes for any display that has increased technical components. Fortunately, over the past 12 months we have only seen technical concerns on roughly 3% of all our Ignitor and Wavelight back wall displays. When you order a more technical booth, understand that how it is packed, stored, and shipped will have a large impact on the longevity of the components. We always recommend double-checking your booth before shipping to an event and this becomes even more important as you increase the complexity of the display. Finally, if something does malfunction, let your display booth provider know immediately as most of the time it can be repaired quickly and affordably. 

2. Warm Transformers:

When using a display like a Wavelight back wall all day at your show, your power transformers will get warm. We wish the transformers wouldn't do this to avoid alarming customers but they do and it is normal. This Gripe has been mentioned by several clients mainly because they weren't expecting it. So when ordering a backlit back wall, just be aware this does happen. You can even ask your trade show provider before ordering a display if they have had any experience with this. 

3. Electricity To The Booth: 

We currently don’t offer a backlit display that runs on batteries. They may be available but we have not seen them on a large scale, yet. With that being said, you will need to order electricity to the booth. One drop will cost you about $160 on average according to this 2017 Silicon Lightworks article. While it is a little more expensive, we agree with many or customers that the cost is worth it considering the added attention your backlit booth will garner.

4. Colors Can Look Different When Backlit:

Colors on a standard fabric graphic and aluminum frame display can’t really be altered that much after they are printed. External lighting and material will alter the color’s appearance to some degree but for the most part, the color that printed is the color your guests will see in your booth. On the other hand, colors on a backlit display can look different depending on if the display is lit or not. For example, if you have a purplish-red color in your art, that color can appear dark red without lights and more pink when the LED lights are turned on. This is something that you need to be aware of when designing your booth and should discuss the best way to design for a backlit booth with your designer. 

5. Humming Noise From Power Supply

With some backlit displays you will hear a low humming sound coming from the transformers or power supplies. This is normal as the internal fan is working to keep the transformers as cool as possible just like the internal fan does in your laptop. Most people notice this during setup when they were really focused on the booth but say they don't really notice the sound during their event or trade show. 


1. Easy to Set Up: 

The new style of backlit displays like the Wavelight display system uses essentially the same setup process as the Waveline displays, our standard aluminum pole and pillow-case style fabric graphic option. The main differences are the frame poles are a little larger, you have to hang the LED light arrays, and the graphics are a little tighter going on because the bottom zipper doesn't go up the side like the Waveline graphics do. Still, many of the Wavelight display kits take under an hour to assemble with one to two people. The ease of setup for the Wavelight displays is one of the most common feedback topics we hear from our customers. The Ignitor displays use aluminum extrusions to create an outer frame. The lights are installed around the interior of the frame and the graphic uses an SEG edge to connect to the extrusion. Even though this process is a little more involved, most models do assemble in under one hour. 

2. Easy to ship:

We often hear from clients that the newer backlit display styles such as the Wavelight are more portable than they had expected. The new LED lights come in curtains that roll up and the frame poles breakdown into 24” sections or less. In most scenarios, you can fit a 10ft display in one 3.5ft case. All together, the frames, lights, and the graphics typically weigh less than 100 lbs. The more traditional style of backlit back walls such as the Ignitor ship in a larger flat case. While some of these walls weigh in the 100 lb range as well, their dimensional weight adds up in transit. This is one reason we have seen a shift towards the new streamlined backlit displays. 

3. Show Impact:

Backlit displays do a great job at grabbing attention. The feedback we have gotten from most of our backlit customers is that they notice a bump in the attention their booth receives. This makes having a good design and prepared staff even more important. We believe that having a backlit booth will help get your brand noticed and give your team the opportunity to capitalize on that added attention.  As we mentioned above, we feel that right now people get a little extra value with their backlit back walls because portable backlit displays are still not overly common in most 10x10 and 10x20 booth spaces. 

4. Priced Comparably To Non-Backlit Displays:

Backlit displays used to be significantly more expensive than a standard non-backlit display, especially in a 10x10 or 10x20 space. Now, some of the Wavelight 10x10 backlit display options that are within $300.00 of their non-backlit counterpart and under $2000.00 total. Many of our customers who regularly attend events have been excited to see this price progression and can now afford to start using backlit options as their standard booth. 

5. Popularity Growth:

We have seen a 5X sales increase for new backlit displays over the past 12 months. Generally speaking, our customers have been very excited and satisfied with how their backlit booths have turned out. In fact, over the same time period we have seen a similar increase with our clients purchasing new graphics for their current backlit displays. This growth is good for everyone because it means more backlit display options will be designed and produced at a large scale and will remain affordable. Over the next 24 months, we expect the presence of backlit displays to drastically increase in 10x10 and 10x20 booth spaces. 

Overall, our clients have had overwhelmingly good experiences with their backlit back wall displays. While there are some drawbacks, we feel the positives outweigh the negatives. When deciding on a display style, the most important thing to focus on is how it fits with your show staff and your company’s goals. If you are interested in backlit displays specifically, we recommend looking around to see which style of backlit displays fits your branding the best. 

Below we have included several links to the backlit walls we offer. 

10x10 Wavelight 

10x20 Wavelight

Wavelight Panels

December 5, 2019
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