Since there are so many ways to illuminate a countertops, we thought it would be a good idea to discuss options for lighting glass countertops. There are 4 ways used the majority of the time:
- Under Lighting Glass Countertops
- Down Light Glass Countertops from the Ceiling
- LED strip lighting on Outside Edge of Glass
- LED strip lighting on Inside Edge of Glass
Any combination of these techniques are also available as well. We discuss the various merits of each technique in this info blog.
Under Lighting Glass Countertops
This technique uses LED panels to evenly illuminate the textured glass, and in addition, tends to washout gentle textures. Because it is like a fluorescent light, it lights the glass from all angles, and produces a more subtle effect. For very sharp textures, it therefore produces a fabulous luminous quality not achieved by other techniques. It is an even lighting under the entire (or most) of the glass counter. Downing Designs texture “Ice” is just such as texture that looks terrific with LED lighting panels. It differs from Edge lighting with an LED in that the luminosity decreases as a function of distance from the light source. This is not a problem for a typical glass countertop where the distance is usually 26″ or less.
Notice in the picture below the LED strip on the right vs the under lighting LED panel. As a result, under lighting is recommended for this type of sharply textured glass.
Down Light Glass Countertops with Ceiling Lights
Proper placement of narrow-beam LED ceiling lights can create dramatic shadows on anything with relief in its surface e.g. artistic textured objects, glass countertops, etc. As a result of using 10 or 20 degree down lighting beam angles, either as spot lights or as overlapping beams, you can cast dramatic shadows onto the floor. Most noteworthy, these are dynamic shadows especially in a glass sink when the water is flowing the interplay can be very alive and fun.
LED strip lighting on Outside Edge of Glass
This is probably the most common glass countertop lighting option as most installations are abutting up to a wall. The LED strip goes between the glass and the wall and irradiates from the rear to the front. The advantage of this technique is that since the LEDs are hidden and need no cover plate. The disadvantage is allowing for the possibility that the LEDs ever need replaced. Using the highest quality LEDs is the smartest way to avoid this repair. Downing Designs website features mostly rear edge lighting of our glass countertops. The advantage is with deeply textured glass, that deep and dark shadows are
created on the aft side of the texture ridge. This is very dramatic. On a high bar where 365 degree observation is possible, we employ a stainless cover strip to conceal the LED strip and wiring. Our custom high bar brackets are drilled to allow the wiring to pass inside the bracket and thus be almost entirely invisible. Typical examples are below.
LED strip lighting on Inside Edge of Glass
Often, as in a dining table top, we do not recommend to have the LED strip on the outer edge. We engineer a smart option which is to illuminate the glass from the inside-out. As you can see in the example below, the LED’s are ensconced in the middle and a stainless cover plate conceals them. We observe that the pixelation of the LED’s is masked greatly by the overhang of the stainless plate, and it is a very clean look. Clearly, the texture of the glass and the edges come alive with this technique.
It may seem like there are confusing choices to be made when lighting glass countertops, but with our guidance almost all of these techniques can be used alone or in combinations. Never forget ambient lighting because it is most prevalent during the day. Most clients come to our showroom to see these lighting options for themselves and we will cover their individual merits at that time. Finally, never hesitate to contact us to discuss your project needs upfront, because you only get one shot at cutting your ceiling correctly. The rest is easy!
Jeff Downing (813) 784 5211