Solana Beach company adds local flair to homes, businesses with LED signs

Vince DiMella's new business is replicating local city signs.

Paying homage to local cities and neighborhoods, a Solana Beach resident and his two business partners have launched a company that sells LED signs modeled after well-known local city insignias.

“I’ve always built brands, and we came up with this concept and we’ve got a really talented team of local people,” said Vince DiMella, who has lived in Solana Beach for 28 years.

The company, Category6LED, has signs for sale on its website of Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Hillcrest, with plans to create more signs representing other San Diego cities and neighborhoods that can be used in homes, offices, gardens or other settings. They are designed in the style of classic neon signs.

Category6LED has created signs for multiple cities and neighborhoods.

DiMella, a local artist and entrepreneur, said the business has been “locally driven” and embraced by a number of local shops, including SoLo on Cedros Avenue, Anthony’s Shoe Repair and Naked Cafe.

“Obviously the Solana Beach sign doesn’t have any emotion or passion or feeling for someone in New York City or Chicago,” DiMella said. “So it gives it a really nice local business feel, with the true people that are creative, that come from the community, that were raised in the sand who have generated this project.”

His partners in Category6LED are Brendan Raasch, a local artist and musician, and Espen Schaathun, a local entrepreneur. DiMella added that they wanted to promote a “local community vibe.”

“We’re local partners working with local communities, sharing the warmth of LED lighting into homes, into gardens, into bedrooms, into patios, into game rooms,” he said.

DiMella, whose past business ventures include a 3D beverage coaster, said that so far “the feedback has been outstanding” from people who have added the signs to their businesses and homes.

“We started this in a very challenging time,” he said.

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