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Home >> Edge lit transparent Acrylic and Glass panels
Edge lit transparent Acrylic and Glass panels
Click:866 Date:6/28/2015 10:58:21 AM

Edge lit transparent Acrylic and Glass panels

Glass and certain grades of acrylic (Perspex) share some of the properties of internal reflection which make fibre optics work the way they do. Light introduced at one edge (using fibre optics or LEDs) will pass through the panel to emerge at the other end. However, just as with optical fibres, if you damage the surface of the panel, some of the light will "leak" out, and this effect can be manipulated to produce glowing images which appear to float in the clear acrylic or glass panel.

There are also laser techniques which allow the engraving to be done internally, allowing for even more interesting effects. 

This engraved glass panel is illuminated by LED tape at its top and bottom edges

This attractive glass panel is based on the clock face of Big Ben, and is illuminated by LED strips at the top and bottom edges.

Glowing lettering on this etched Acrylic panel

Acrylic panel lit from underneath by rigid LED strips.


Acrylic panels will generally be cheapest, particularly if you want deeply engraved patterns. However, acrylic is susceptible to scratching, and the scratches will glow just as the engraved pattern does, so if you opt for acrylic you need to take this into account and take steps to safeguard the surface.

This illuminated glass panel in a retail setting allows for clear branding without obscuring the view of the goods on offer

In this retail setting - at the Bluewater shopping centre - the illuminated glass panel is an eye-catching way of promoting a brand, but doesn't obscure customers' views. 


These illuminated glass panels are engraved internally rather than externally

These beautiful illuminated glass panels are produced using a laser process which engraves them internally, rather than on the surface. The process allows for intricate 3-dimensional patterns.




Even simple straight lines work very well with the edge-lit technique as the piece above by artistChristine Morrison shows. The 52 parallel lines represent the changing pattern of daylight over the course of the year, with the longer, thicker lines in the centre representing the data for summer weeks. The work is entitled "The shape of daylight @ 55°57'N 03°13'W". This piece of 6mm cast acrylic is lit by 3 of Starscape's warm white LED rigid strips. The strips are easily cut and connected, so on each of two sides of the panel there is a run of LEDs made from a whole strip and half a strip.

A combined illuminated panel and mirror adds a dramatic feature to this bathroom.

A combined illuminated panel and mirror adds a dramatic feature to this bathroom.

In this instance the panel is installed in a bathroom, using optical fibres to provide the illumination. The light source is located safely away from wet areas, up in the attic above, with a colour wheel fitted to produce changing colours in the design of bamboo stalks and Chinese ideographs.

A mirror was placed behind the acrylic panel, with the result that it doubles up as a decorative light and a mirror, but a plain or patterned background would also work well.

This is not something we're likely to offer as a standard product, but as bespoke pieces based on artwork of your preference, and to the size you want. For instance, we've made a 1.7 metre square panel for a hotel bar in the Middle East. By the same token, there's no reason why you couldn't use a series of smaller panels set in a group across a wall or across the front of a reception desk etc.

This LED edge lit cast Acrylic panel resides in the Orion bar of the Ramada Plaza Hotel Doha. Blue LED strips down each side of the panel provide the illumination and a Starscape 75 watt halogen light source and custom fibre optic harness the star points.


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