You need to ask the following questions to determine the lightbox you want to manufacture. • Determine the size of the lightbox you would be manufacturing. (Remember, when using the Mae West Corner connector to deduct 66mm in total (33mm per side) from your Mae West extrusion, e.g. if the lightbox is 1000mm2, cut your extrusions to 944mm in length.) • Establish if you want to make a box with either a rigid sign face (Palglas opal acrylic and h-profile) or a flexible sign face (Profil PVC Tensioning System and 1000D Backlit PVC). • Will the box be single or double-sided? • Will the box be displayed indoor or outdoor, as this will determine the width/ strength of the extrusions? • Confirm positioning of the lightbox e.g. suspended from ceiling to the top extrusion (ceiling mount), side supported (between posts/pillars) or base mounted. This is important in order to determine from which side the Palglas acrylic is to be removed e.g. slide from sides, out the top or from the bottom. One must always keep in mind that the Palglas Acrylic and pre-wired light fittings are only available in certain standard sizes and to work your box around these measurements accordingly. In this exercise we will be using the Mae West 150mm wide aluminium extrusions and the aluminium corners to fit this profile. (The Mae West Aluminium extrusion can also be mitred at a 45° angle and then joined with a 50 x 50 Angle Iron.) The actual size of the front face of your lightbox will vary depending on the aluminium h-profile that has been used with the relevant extrusion. Various alternatives to the Mae West extrusion are available from your Falcon office.

1. After the Mae West Aluminium has been cut to size, insert your Mae West corner connectors to the Mae West extrusions. Use a piece of wood to protect the aluminium from being damaged/ scratched when using a hammer or white rubber mallet in the assembly.

• 150mm Mae West Aluminium Extrusion • Baby h or Big h extrusion • Either 050 Palglas Acrylic in 3 or 5mm or Hex-Flex 1000D x 1000D Backlit White/White PVC • 4 aluminium corners to fit the Mae West Extrusion • Pre-wired light assemblies to fit lightbox size • Electrical wire to connect light assemblies • Flat head self tapping screws and rivets • White Chromadek for backing, if single-sided • Power supply cable to connect lightbox to external power supply. (Ensure you use the correct type and size of wiring e.g.; if outside then select UV protected aluminium insulated wire – always check with your accredited electrician). • Plastic Grommet or Compression Gland (to insulate wiring from the aluminium extrusion which is a legal and essential requirement in accordance with Wiring code SANS 10142). • 25 x 25mm Angle Iron to mount light fittings if lightbox is double-sided. • 4 fittings and fluorescent tubes.



Secure the pre-cut Chromadek to the back of the box with the white side facing into the lightbox (remember to remove the clear protective layer from the Chromadek Sheet). Attach the pre-wired light fittings to the Chromadek with pop rivets (it is recommended that you place the light fittings ± 200mm apart on a single-sided box and ± 80 - 100mm apart in a double-sided lightbox.)


Now connect one fluorescent tube to the other in parallel. The first prewired fitting would be the fitting closest to where the power cable would be connected. Then attach corresponding coloured wires to each other. Now connect corresponding colour wires to a central point and connect the wire bundle to a cable connector (also known as “chocolate block”).

• • • • • • • • • • Electric/Portable Drill Metal Drill bits Tape Measure Screwdriver bits Mitre saw (when cutting 45° angles, manual or electric) Rivet Gun Side Cutter and pliers NT Knife Hammer and piece of wood or White Plastic Mallet Garden Scissors (Profil PVC Tensioning)
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all wiring of your lightbox as a precautionary measure. Always obtain a wiring certificate after installation. (Sandwich of Profil TSW+Gripp+Key) 90° each other, along the four corners of the box. Where the lengths meet, cut each corner at a 45° mitre. After cutting the 45° angles on the corner of each length, check again that each mitre meets each other perfectly – then you have a perfect 45° mitre cut on each corner. It is crucial now to mark each side with a number, so that when you are installing all together, each side matches each 45° mitre corner 100% accurately, as planned. C Power up your illuminated lightbox, and marvel at your creation ! B First attach the Profil TSW channel to your box using flat head self tapping screws. Important to note that the self tapping screws must be narrow enough to fit into the channel without causing the channel to be widened or disfigured in any way as this will reduce the effectiveness of the white plastic Profil Gripp.

A 5. Drill a hole into the side of the lightbox where you would like the power supply cable to run through. Fit the plastic insulating grommet onto the external cable and then insert into the drilled hole. Connect the external cable to your chocolate block as per corresponding colours. (As illustrated in this picture Red – Live, Gold – Earth, Black – Neutral) Attach either the Baby-h (If you need a 3mm Palglas Acrylic Face) or Big-h (If you need a 5mm Palglas Acrylic Face) extrusion to the front of the lightbox. Attach 3 sides of the h-channel as permanent fixtures and the fourth section with self tapping screws to be able to remove acrylic for maintenance to the light fitting on a later stage.

(Important Note: Depending on the length of your lightbox and in order to avoid any concaving occurring along the length or width of a large lightbox, additional inner cross section supports may be required to add strength and accommodate the tensioning of the flexible substrate.)Do not underestimate the tensioning strength of 1000D Hex-Flex PVC. A You will need to purchase Profil lengths, which comprise three components: − Profil TSW – bottom channel, in the shape of a C. − Profil Gripp – middle white plastic extrusion to grip the PVC. − Profil Key – top aluminium section, to add final double locking tension with an aesthetic aluminium finish. C Position your printed Backlit PVC onto your lightbox. Using a pair of garden scissors or sheers, cut your plastic Profil Gripp 20mm shorter on each side than the length of your Profil TSW. Ensure your PVC print has at least a 100mm bleed around the printed area to ensure easy tensioning, as well as preventing the outer border of the graphic image from being cut out or skew.


Remove the protective layers from the Palglas acrylic sheets, and apply the vinyl onto the Palglas Acrylic, before inserting into the Baby-h channels. Attach last h-section to lightbox.

D Please note: Only an Accredited Electrician is allowed to connect a lightbox to a power supply. We strongly recommend your Accredited Electrician inspects

2.2 Position the lengths

Start from the top middle section of the box and knock in the Profil Gripp at a 45° angle with the smooth side facing inwards towards the lightbox, with the toothed ribbed side facing outwards (i.e. towards you).
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the Profil Gripp and graphic substrate and gently strike with a mallet at one side of the Profil Gripp. The Profil Gripp will release, after a knock or two. Insert the Profil Key into the slot of the Profil Gripp (Either manually or by lightly knocking it in with a mallet), to encapsulate the Gripp, thereby protecting it from harmful UV. This will also strengthen the tension, due to the second “locking in mechanism” as well as give the lightbox an elegant finish. I Plug in and you have a well constructed flexible illuminated sign!


For a full illustration video on using the Profil PVC Tensioning, please visit http:// www.falconsa.com/signsupplies/profil-tsw E Knock the Profil Gripp into the Profil TSW section, while sandwiching the graphic between the Gripp and the TSW. The recommended tensioning procedure is: Top then side then other side and finally, tension the bottom. If you are still not satisfied with the stretch of the PVC you can always remove the Gripp where some small creases may occur, and re-tension those sections. To remove the Profil Gripp insert a strong paint scraper between the lip of H Trim the sides of the PVC to finish your lightbox, using a NT Knife or Carpet knife. Although Profil is a very easy installation mechanism for fexible faces, expertise is only achieved after many installations of Profil signs. Special Thanks to Tjaka Snyman from SignA-Rama Silverton for assisting Falcon in compiling this step by step guide on building a lightbox. Contact Falcon on 0861 FALCON (325266) or visit www.falconsa.com


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