SEG Fabric Light Boxes vs. Snap Frame Duratrans Light Boxes

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Light boxes illuminate printed graphics from behind, accentuating and magnifying every color detail within the image. To achieve the most dramatic results, the graphic must be printed on a special media that is intended for backlit applications. Also, the light box needs to evenly distribute the right amount of light behind the image. The two media types that are most commonly used in light boxes today are backlit fabric that is finished with a sewn gasket around the edge (SEG), and Duratrans transparency film. These popular backlit medias require two distinctly different light boxes to display them.

Below is a comparison between two of the most popular light box styles and medias that are offered by 40 VISUALS. The Frameless Fabric Light Box and Snap Frame Film Light Box both use an LED light source, but offer different unique advantages. Your needs will determine which light box and media that is best for you.

Ultra Thin LED Panel Light Box

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The Ultra Thin LED Panel packs a lot of light for such a slim profile. At a mere 1″ thick, the Ultra Thin LED Panel is the thinnest snap frame light box on the market.  The front loading snap frame system makes it easy to install new graphics. In larger sizes, 3 ft X 5 ft and up, it becomes more difficult to quickly change graphics, so we recommend staying below this size for this style light box.

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Ultra Thin LED Light Box

Snap Frame System

Each of the four sides of the heavy-duty aluminum frame snap open so graphics are easy to remove and replace. Once the frame snaps shut, the graphic is held securely in the place. The frame is available in five standard finishes and can also be powder coated to match any color.

Ultra Thin Design

LED light panels have made major advancements over the last several years resulting in thinner light box designs.  At less than 1″ deep, the Ultra Thin LED Light Box isn’t bulky and practically lies flat on the wall.

Backlit LED Panel

Using a revolutionary new light diffusion method, the Ultra Thin LED Light Box allows the bright LED light to evenly disperse across the surface of the light box. The lights are diffused through tiny holes on the acrylic panel, which provides the most uniform corner to corner lighting, while eliminating hot spots.

Frameless SEG Fabric Light Box

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Frameless Fabric LED Light Boxes use Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG) and perimeter LED lighting to display backlit imagery, with a trendy frameless look. The fabric graphic is inserted into the light box using a thin silicone strip that is sewn around the edge of the graphic, and fits neatly into a small channel around the perimeter of the aluminum frame extrusion. The result is a drum tight fabric graphic that is lit evenly from behind.

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Frameless Appearance

SEG frames do not snap open like the Ultra Thin Light Box. Instead, the graphic is installed by inserting the silicone strip sewn on the edge of the graphic into a small channel around the perimeter of the light box. With this method, the graphic stretches all the way to the edge of the frame extrusion resulting in a “frameless or edgeless” appearance. This new graphic display trend is being used by retailers like H&M, Macy’s, Johnston and Murphy, Aldo and Nike to name a few.


Each light box can be fabricated at nearly any size to either be wall-mounted, suspended from the ceiling, or be a free-standing option. Depending on the application, fabric light boxes can also come in single or double-sided. On top of all that, the extrusions can come standard in either silver or black, and if needed can be custom powder coated.

Size Economy

Frameless Fabric Light Boxes are more economical for larger size light boxes for a number of reasons.  Fabric can be folded, therefore easier to ship and store. Also, Frameless Light Boxes do not need a rigid diffusion panel like the Ultra Thin Light Box, so they are shipped unassembled requiring smaller boxes for shipment.

Printed graphics are only as good as the hardware that houses them. Both the Ultra Thin LED Panel and Frameless Fabric Light Box are immensely popular options for illuminated backlit signage displays. Due to this, it can be difficult to choose which light box is best for you. If you need help in making this decision, please feel free to Contact Us or give us a call at 800-962-3119.

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