Engraved 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 attractive glass panel is based on the clock face of Big Ben, and is illuminated by LED strips at the top and bottom edges.
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.
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 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 artist Christine 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.
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.
Call 01289 332900 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss Engraved Glass Panels.
The even light distribution of the side-illuminated acrylic is a useful property in signage applications.
Detail of the glowing bamboo stalk design engraved in the rear surface of the acrylic panel.
In this project, commissioned by architects Buckley Gray Yeoman of London and installed by PIP Electrics, edge-illuminated acrylic is also used.
In this case, however, the letters are actually cut, rather than engraved, so it is possible to see through the pierced metal panel which forms the front of this signage in Grosvenor St. The photo was taken during the day, so does not show the effect at its best.
A 100 watt halogen light source, located in the ceiling void above, supplies light via sheathed 1.5mm fibres.