Edge Lit Acrylic Boards

two acrylic panels laser engraved with company logos and side lit with LEDs to make the letters glow brightly
a futuristic product display panel made of side lit acrylic with the product image and information laser etched on the same. The panel lit up with LEDs places at the bottom edge

Edge Lit Acrylic Boards

Highly futuristic looking display solution

  • Low cost but very unique display solution 
  • Panel can be personalised to show your content
  • When lit up, the etched area glows brightly
  • The remaining parts of the panel remain transparent
  • Futuristic effect where glowing images and text seem to float in thin air
  • Panel made of 5 mm thick laser etched clear / transparent acrylic
  • Strip LEDs consuming very less power mounted on side
  • Prices starting at ₹ 1200/- per square foot

Edge Lit Acrylic Boards

a futuristic product display panel made of side lit acrylic with the product image and information laser etched on the same. The panel lit up with LEDs places at the bottom edge

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Edge Lit Acrylic Boards - Detailed Description

There are a couple of scenes in the ‘Avengers’ and ‘Iron Man’ movies which show very futuristic looking display screens and control panels. These panels are made of a transparent glass like material. There are no LED displays, circuitry or wires to be seen anywhere. And yet text, icons and images are displayed on a transparent screen which can be viewed from both sides. In fact, the actors hold conversations across this screen. And you have brightly glowing images seemingly floating in thin air between them!

While most of the Avenger scenes are created in a CGI lab, we do have a product in the real world, similar to the one we just described. At Orchid Digitals, we refer to this product as an Edge/side Lit Acrylic Board.

Laser etching a product image of a railway axle box, text paragraph and Star Wars cliparts on clear acrylic sheet. Edge lighting the entire panel with LEDs to make the individual engravings glow brightly.

How Does a LED Edge Lit Acrylic Sign Work?

An LED edge lit acrylic sign is made of three main components –

  1. A sheet of acrylic
  2. Text and images which is laser engraved on this sheet
  3. A source of light (generally a strip of LEDs) fitted on the edge of the acrylic sheet.

The principle behind side lighting is fairly simple. When you shine a light, edgewise, through a sheet of acrylic, it passes through. But if there is a blemish or scratch anywhere on this sheet, the light reflects off that particular area, to give a nice and bright neon glow.

Here is the step by step explanation of how edge lit acrylic displays actually work…

  1. The entire display / sheet of acrylic is transparent except for the area where the image is etched onto it.
  2. Etching is a process where images and text are scratched onto the surface of the display panel.
  3. The scratched area has a frosted look in contrast to the rest of the transparent sheet.
  4. Light is then shone edgewise through this sheet.
  5. This beam of light travels invisibly through the transparent area of the acrylic sheet.
  6. But its flow gets disrupted when it encounters the ‘frosted’ area of the scratched image.
  7. Light reflects off the just the images and text making them glow brightly.
  8. And because the rest of the panel is transparent, the glowing text looks like it is floating in thin air.
  9. Moreover, image is extremely eye catching because of its strong neon glow.

Please note: An LED edge lit acrylic sign can also be fabricated out of glass. But glass is an exceptionally hard material. Moreover, it is susceptible to breakage. Acrylic on the other hand can be very easily cut, shaped, and engraved with the help of a laser machine. Moreover it is extremely lightweight and difficult to break. Finally acrylic looks exactly like glass in the sense that it is clear, transparent and has a glossy, reflective finish.

two acrylic panels laser engraved with company logos and side lit with LEDs to make the letters glow brightly

What Are the Applications of Side Lit Acrylic Boards?

Because of their strong neon glow, edge lit acrylic panels are prominently visible. The laser etched glass/acrylic also has a very premium look and feel. Because of these two properties, side lit displays are widely used in the following applications…

  1. Edge lit perspex are used to make ‘Fire Exit’ and ‘Emergency Exit’ signs in residential buildings and commercial complexes. Smoke can hamper visibility in the event of a fire. In such situations a brightly glowing exit sign can prove to become a lifesaver.

  2. Because of their premium look, edge lit perspex are also used for creating direction signs in malls and shopping complexes. Transparent glass like panels dangle from the ceiling. These panels brightly glow with floor numbers, symbols of lifts, restrooms and other icons.

  3. Edge lit acrylic panel is ideal for creating futuristic looking displays. The brightly glowing neon text and images seemingly floating in air, are an absolute eye catcher. Product exhibits using these panels are sure to elicit a wow from viewers.

  4. A photo engraved on a LED edge lit acrylic sign makes for a unique personalised gift. People can use these frames as nightlights or as a novel decor item.

  5. Side-lit acrylic signs are also widely used for logo branding and advertising in low light areas like bars and lounges.

  6. Arts and craft teachers make edge lit gifts in their classes. In place of a laser machine, students use sandpaper to etch the acrylic.
Edge lit acrylic sheet with photo laser etched on it

How Are Edge Lit Acrylic Displays Made?

  1. The main display panel is made of acrylic. Although a polymeric sheet, acrylic looks exactly like glass. Depending on the size of the job, the sheet varies in thickness between 5 – 10 mm. While most panels are cut in rectangular shapes, our sheet of acrylic can also be cut in non linear shapes (like that of a logo) to make it more eye-catching.

  2. The artwork that has to go on the panel is then loaded onto a digital laser engraver. This machine uses a tightly focused beam of light to engrave the image on the reverse side of the panel. So when you look at it from the front, you get a smooth and flat finish. The back surface of the acrylic sheet becomes slightly uneven and notched. This is because the plastic surface is burned away, wherever the laser touches it.

  3. We now need a base platform to support the acrylic sheet. Remember it is 5 mm thick and has to stand on its edge. The platform can be made of a block of wood with a notch cut into it. The acrylic sheet is then inserted edgewise into this notch. Alternatively, if the display has to be suspended from the ceiling, we insert the panel into a metal holder with chains on top.

  4. Finally we need to edge light the whole setup. To do this we use a strip of LED lights. This strip is fitted in the notch cut into the base platform. So the edge of the acrylic sheet is actually resting on the LEDs when it is inserted into the same notch. And when the LED strip is switched on, the light beam is perfectly focused into the 5 mm edge of the display.

Pricing for LED Edge Lit Acrylic Sign

The cost of an edge lit acrylic board depends on a variety of factors like the size of the board, the thickness of the acrylic used and the amount of data that needs to be engraved on the sign. Given below is the cost of a standard sign of dimensions 6 inches high by 12 inches wide.

Specifications Price
  • Size of acrylic plate - 6 inches high by 12 inches wide
  • Acrylic Thickness - 5 mm
  • Laser engraving of the text / image
  • Holder for acrylic plate which can be hung from ceiling
₹ 1200.00

* Please Note:

  • The rates quoted above attract 18% GST.

Shipping and Delivery

  • Edge lit acrylic signs can be delivered anywhere in India.
  • Delivery charges are extra and will be communicated to you once we receive the exact delivery address.

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