What is the difference between Raceway and Wireway Mounting?
Once you have settled on channel letter signage, the next task you have to fulfill is choosing how you are going to mount those letters.
Once you have settled on channel letter signage, the next task you have to fulfill is choosing how you are going to mount those letters. Most people automatically think that they need to select flush mount, putting the letters directly against the edifice of their storefront or onto a wall; but this is not your only option. In fact, there are three mounting options for channel letters, including flush mount. The other two include raceways and wireways.
What are the differences between raceways and wireways? Which one should you choose for your business? We’re going to answer both of those questions today. Let’s get started.
What Are Raceways?
A raceway is a rectangular mount of signage that also is for enclosing any electrical components, like transformers or the wiring for light-emitting diodes (LED). Depending on certain requirements for buildings or state or local ordinances, the thickness of a standard raceway can be anywhere between 0.063 to 0.125 inches thick. Other raceways come prefabricated.
Installing raceways oftentimes require skilled technicians who can connect electrical units, close the ends, weld attachments, or whatever else needs to be done to attach the unit to the building or wall. However, raceway mounting has one distinct advantage over flush mounts. Fewer holes are required, which can be essential if you are renting your storefront from a landlord.
Raceways can be painted to match the color of the building facade, or they can be made to contrast with both the building and the color of the channel letters attached to it.
What Are Wireways?
Compared to raceways, a wireway is slim, a closed passage that houses electrical wires, and is mainly comprised of aluminum. Channel letters are connected to wireways the same way they would connect to a raceway. The sole advantage here is that a wireway is not a huge panel. Landlords will usually ask for tenants of a shopping plaza or similar location to use wireways over raceways, because they are smaller in size and therefore less of an issue upon removal.
Furthermore, certain laws and regulations permit channel letters to extend or protrude out so far. Wireways help keep channel letters within a permissible area of protrusion.
Simplicity vs. Aesthetics
If you are not compelled by regulations to select a flush mount, raceway or wireway over another, then you can look at which is better for your business based on the ease of installation, simplicity of design, and aesthetics. Raceway mounts, for instance, can be clunky in appearance, since the traditional 7”x7” style is usually mounted with tabs and welded steel. From a design standpoint, this extra metal can be unseemly and may detract from the overall design of your channel letters and logo boxes.
On the other hand, raceways require fewer holes than going flush against the building, which saves both the structure from damage and labor time from drilling and masonry work. This is also where wireways can come in handy.
Raceways often look like an afterthought because of their appearance. A wireway, however, can be implemented into the overall design and become a feature, creating a more streamlined and appealing sign. Why? Wireways are smaller in size and more shallow.
The downside to this lack of depth is that, when servicing or repairing the sign, the whole unit often has to be removed from the wall. Raceways are easier when you need to perform routine maintenance. All of the electrical components are housed within the box, allowing for the technician to simply open up the unit and work from wherever the sign is.
Compared to flush mounting, though, raceway and wireway mounts are easier to remove and relocate, since everything is connected to a mounting structure. If you are planning on moving your business sometime in the near future, you should consider one of these options.
Raceway vs. Wireway: Which Is The Winner?
Both raceways and wireways offer a stress-free method of mounting channel letters to a building and help with managing wires and other elements. If you don’t mind the appearance of a raceway and want ease of access to the electrical elements, then a raceway mount is ideal. That said, wireways are aesthetically pleasing and do not detract from the overall design or appeal of your sign. Yet, they are less flexible when it comes to maintenance.
So which one is the winner? That is up to you. Be sure to research the sign codes and regulations of your area and think about the design of your sign. Knowing that will help you decide which mount style is best!
Are you ready to upgrade your business signage with customized channel letters? Have questions or concerns about mounting channel letters? Reach out to our customer service team by filling out the contact form! We look forward to hearing from you.