In the series “Everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask”
A light guide plate is a sheet that radiates light, it is a light source. The LEDs are placed on the front side, the light runs into the sheet and is reflected from the sheet by a dot pattern. This light source guarantees the highest light output and provides the evenest lighting of all the LGP technologies that are currently available. The material does not yellow and is particularly durable!
The name ‘light guide plate’ is quite misleading because a clear acrylic sheet is ALWAYS a light guide plate. A bundle of light heads irradiated in acrylic remains in the sheet unless the so-called Brewster angle is exceeded. Because with internal reflection the angle remains the same, the Brewster angle will not be overwritten and the light stays in the sheet. Since acrylic is very clear and therefore causes few losses, the light goes very far. Something can be done to make the light come out of the surface. Dipping the sheet in a bowl of water helps. Because the Brewstershoek is linked to medium 1 (acrylic) and medium 2 (air). If the medium changes, so does the angle. Another way to let the light go out is to disturb the reflection. A scratch in the sheet is very effective, but matte dots or engraving also works great.
If we beam (engrave) a lot of matte dots in a sheet with the laser, in a smart way that takes light losses into account, we create an evenly glowing sheet that we call light guide plate or simply a dotted sheet.
Above is a photo of a dotted sheet of approximately 12 cm wide. We can make sheets with a size of 2700 x 1480 mm with our own laser from 1 piece. It is possible to make larger sheets, this is on request. It is also possible to connect several plates if the ends are polished. The light will then continue. Watch out! There is a maximum bridging distance of 1000 mm. With a diffuser on the surface, the seam is almost invisible.
How is a light guide plate made?
There are different ways to make light guide plates, but the dotted sheet is the approach with the best smoothness and light output. Sheets with scratches are also known, but especially with sizes above 600mm between the light sources can no longer be smoothed out. Sheets with internal scattering by small particles encased in the sheet are very nicely subtle, but not smooth.
Light guide plates are used much more than expected. Each screen or LED TV has an LGP (light guide plate). The light guide plate can be used wherever an energy-efficient, flat light source is desirable, for example as a light wall, floor or ceiling, integrated in counters or bars, column enclosures or steps. In combination with digital print or foils on a diffuser sheet, beautiful expressions are made such as signage, artistic expression, billboard, ceiling, wall or floor. It is also suitable for wet areas. The LGP is even walkable, even heavily taxable. As soon as printing or pasting is done on the sheet, the light pattern changes.
This is a digital print of our flatbed printer in a size of 900 x 650 mm. Behind it is an LGP with only above and below a strip of 5 mm wide LEDs that are inserted into a 5.5 mm deep groove in the acrylic sheet. LEDs with a small pitch (important!) And a strength of 9.6W / m. The light output is clearly sufficient.
The LGP sheet can also be bent. If some conditions are met, the light will continue to run in the curved sheet. We also think of sheets that hang in the room as a light source, without a reflector. Lights out, then you only see a frame, lights on, a flat light source.
Light guide plates are completely transparent and colourless and are therefore very suitable for RGB LEDs. The colour emitted is exactly the colour that is irradiated.
Measurements and delivery options
We can use our own laser from 1 piece of sheets with a size of 2700 x 1480 mm in a thickness of 4 to 15 mm. Larger sheets are also possible on request. Panels with LEDs on 2 sides can be placed virtually invisibly next to each other with the sides without LEDs touching each other to create a light path. LGPs are supplied without LEDs, aluminum tape and frame. If required, we can supply a suitable plastic reflection sheet and light diffuser. We recommend the PyraLed4 for this. Did you know that we also have the PyraLed4 in a Greencast® 100% recycled variant? The PyraLed4 Greencast® has exactly the same properties as the normal cast acrylic sheet.
LightPlex® is always made based on your information. The optimization program for a completely uniform appearance requires the following data:
Do you want to order a light guide plate from PyraSied? Request a quote via our product page. Please state the above data in the request for a quotation.
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Author: Sied Kooistra, creative director – founder PyraSied Xtreme Acrylic
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