Tune-To Signs – How to Make or Buy Them

By Kari / November 6, 2020

If you’re new to setting up an outdoor Christmas display you’ve most likely seen or heard of Tune To Signs. There are actually a couple of different ways to set up these signs and I’ve tried a couple of methods myself.

In this post we’re going to walk through three different tune to sign types to help you decide which one will be the best option for your display.

When building a Christmas light display, there’s a lot of effort and time that goes into. While the display alone is definitely enjoyable, you want to have the music it was created around to go along with it. Setting up the frequency and creating a sign for your audience is an easy project to help your audience get the most out of your dsplay.

What to Consider

Before deciding what sign to go with, there are a couple of things to consider. Just remember that people need to be able to see your sign and know to tune in for the display. So, remember that you will need a way to light up the sign so that it is available to see.

You may consider having your display on during the day and if that is the case you may want to have the sign visible during the day as well.

Lastly, as you are deciding which type of sign you want to use be sure to consider how much effort and time you want to actually put into creating your own tune to sign.

Corrugated Plastic Sign

The first type of tune to sign I had went with was a corrugated sign that we often see put up during an election year. These are very easy to get made and very inexpensive.

For the wording, you can use and put in what ever you would like to be on there. But the most important and visible information you want to be visible is the frequency that they want to tune in to.

For the signs I had created, I used VistaPrint.com and it was very easy to create and it worked well. The mistake I did make was listing hours on the sign which I ended up covering up on the sign since we decided to shut the lights down early.

Once I did set up the sign, I had a light shining on it so that it could be seen. While this worked I did realize that the sign barely stood out from the rest of the display. Even with a light shining on it, some people didn’t even see it or knew to tune in.

Overall, the corrugated plastic signs work well and they are inexpensive to get made up. The downside is that at times they can blend into your display instead of standing out. But, the upside is that they can be seen during the day!

Matrix Panel

Another type of tune in sign you might see would be the matric panel. If you decided to go with this route, I recommend going with the 1 inch matrix panels.

You want to make this panel as big as you can and make sure to get the pixels as close as possible. This will help make the words and the message display appropriately.

A similar approach I have seen is the LED Panels as shown below. Personally, I would recommend the matrix panel before the LED panel because it is very hard to properly waterproof these.

It does look good and when the words scroll through it, it does look very good. But it is hard to waterproof and there’s a lot of extra setup steps. There are also people who have set up TVs and visually it does look very good – and here in 2020 and beyond, TV’s have gotten very inexpensive, even for the large sizes.

However, the waterproofing is definitely a challenge and hard to work around. Mounting a TV is best done inside of a window!

Shadowbox

Lastly, we have the shadowbox tune in sign which is what I decided to use instead of the corrugated plastic.

This was very easy to create and set up. I used corrugated plastic for the sign and then ordered a laser cut PETG sheet from here: Ponoko

It was basically a sheet (3 feet x 2 feet), I had the cutouts, and used self adhesive strips to stuck it to the corrugated plastic. For the sign, I used scrap pieces of wood to make the frame. Nailed the sign on the front and then set up the pixels on the inside of the frame as pictured below.

Once the pixels are lit up on full , it really stood out in my display and looks very good at night.

It was very inexpensive, easy to setup, and actually looks very good in the display for the house.

Whichever you decide to do, it’s so important to let people know that there is music that goes along with the display.

About the author

Kari


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