When adhesive-backed signs and floor marking tape won’t do, projectors or virtual LED or laser lines can display clear instructions and provide ample notice. In industrial facilities and public spaces, these projected lines and signs help improve safety, navigation, and communication, even on dirt or uneven floors where tape won’t stick. Learn how to choose the right projector based on your facility’s needs, what common messaging may be useful, and which options are available for custom gobos.

Benefits of LED Signs and Virtual Lines

Standard safety messaging, color-coded notices, custom signs, and directional cues can be projected onto the floors, walls, and doors to improve overall visual communication—and can be used on uneven surfaces or other areas where traditional signs and floor markings are difficult or impossible to apply. These virtual signs and lines are useful for sharing important information—especially if the message is temporary or may change often.

Additional benefits of projected signs and lines include:

  • Easy to install
  • LED bulbs offer a long lifespan
  • Not subjected to impact damage as floor marking tape is
  • Ideal for a variety of lighting conditions
  • Gobo signs and lines can be updated quickly and easily
  • Won’t be obscured by dirt, debris, or items on the floor
  • A versatile, long-term solution
  • Optional motion-sensing capabilities offer automatic on/off

What Is a Gobo?

A Gobo is a disc that is inserted into a compatible lighting fixture to create a projected image or design. Gobo stands for “goes before optics,” because of its intended position in the light path. When the projector’s light passes through the gobo disk—or lens—it creates an image, text, or colored circle on the ground or wall.

Our gobos are printed directly on glass discs for a clear image—with intricate details and full-color options available. They’re also heat-resistant, durable, and re-usable.

Because virtual signs work in most lighting conditions, projectors and gobo discs are a suitable solution for providing safety information, instructions, and limitations in warehouses and production facilities where machinery, vehicles, or traffic may damage floor markings, or where adhesive-backed tape and signs may not stick due to floor surface materials or cracked, textured, or uneven floors.

Are All Gobos the Same Size?

Gobos come in standard sizes based on the required dimensions of the projector fixture. Always choose your gobo size to fit your projector. Gobo size is determined by the light source: The more powerful the light, the bigger the gobo. Generally, stronger lights mean a bigger image—but projector height and projection distance can affect the final dimensions. Our available projectors most often accommodate D and M standard gobo lenses.

Projected Boundary Lines and Lane Markings

Virtual LED line or laser light projectors are reliable options used to project lines to designate edges, walkway and lane boundaries, and to pair with projected signs. These are useful in spaces where floor marking tape is often damaged or not visible enough, such as in dark warehouses and storage spaces. The clearly visible, eye-safe lasers project virtual lines up to 50 feet long, from a flexible projection distance, providing low-maintenance solutions for safety markings and visual communication.

Where to Use Projected Signs

When providing safety messaging, projected cues can be used almost anywhere—but are especially helpful where there is uneven flooring, such as where gaps, cracks, or transition strips would hinder tape application. Virtual sign projectors offer more flexibility than static safety signage as the gobo is easy to change: Simply update the projection lens when necessary, such as if an area must be closed temporarily, to communicate if traffic becomes pedestrian-only or one-way for a short timeframe, or to provide important safety information.

Gobo projectors are easy to install in most industrial facilities, including warehouses, production floors, and pedestrian zones, and can be used in public spaces such as retail centers, malls, sports venues, and events spaces. We can create custom gobos to your exact specifications using images, logos, text, and color combinations: Display messages unique to your facility or venue, and change the sides as necessary based on current promotions, important safety information, or even to let a little team spirit shine for a sports event or related gathering.

How to Choose Projectors and Gobos

Our Virtual Signs Selector Tool helps you choose the right projector based on mounting height, image projection size, and lighting conditions within the facility. Then, you can choose interchangeable gobo signs to suit your messaging needs.

While gobo quality can affect the final projected image, the projector you choose plays a part in the visibility—brightness and clarity—of the projected signage. When choosing your projector, consider the height at which you’ll mount the projector, how large you want the projected image to appear, and the lighting conditions in your intended projection area. Projected signs are suitable for warehouses, retail spaces, factory floors, and even in low-light or dark areas, but keep in mind that projected images do not show up as well in bright daylight conditions, such as where the image would compete with intense sunlight.

We offer a variety of pre-printed gobos, and can create custom solutions using one or two colors, or even full-color images. Common industrial projected signs include:

  • Pedestrian zone and crosswalk lines
  • Forklift traffic notices
  • Measuring grids
  • Caution and warning notices
  • PPE required, such as helmets, ear protection, or masks
  • Traffic requirements, including one-way, stop signs, or speed limits

Additionally, projected signs may be useful in retail or public environments to display advertisements, specials, or additional information for customers and visitors.

Projected signs and virtual lines are good alternatives to floor marking tape and signs to improve communication, help meet OSHA standards, and increase safety for employees and visitors. Explore our Resource Center for more tips and information on using visual cues in industrial locations.