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Francini Inc. Blog

Backlighting / Underlighting Your Natural Stone Surface
15 August 2019

Backlighting / Underlighting Your Natural Stone Surface

Natural stone and translucent stone slabs like quartzite have been used to decorate homes and businesses for decades due to their stunning natural looks and extreme durability. Backlighting these natural stones surfaces has begun to emerge as a trend in more recent years.

Underlighting and backlighting translucent stone slabs is a great way to highlight the natural beautiful qualities of the material by showcasing its veining, playing with colors and enhancing the view of the stones’ layers and depth. Illumination makes the stone feel like a work of art and captures the eye as a focal point of the space. These are all possible reasons why you might want to consider backlighting and/or underlighting a stone surface.

Lighting Your Natural Stone Surface

If you have gone to the expense of investing in a beautiful slab of stone with a lot of character, you should find out what it might look like with backlighting. If you like the look, your next step is to design a system to backlight the stone. It can be a very technical task, which is why it is always recommended that you work with a lighting designer and electrical installer who can engineer a design that maximizes the look of the stone you’ve selected. An expert will offer experience with ensuring the light is distributed evenly by preventing hot spots and reducing shadowing. They will also be able to properly waterproof and provide you with a warranty on their work. 

Typically, an expert at lighting stone will install an LED lighting box behind or under your stone slabs. Then they will paint it white and fit it with LED strip-lighting that will reflect the light through your stone slabs without being visible (which would otherwise ruin the effect). If they need to underlight a thick edge of the stone, they may instead use a transparent box made of an acrylic material, which has been fitted with planar LED panels. This set-up enables them to light the box on all sides and will help to ensure that your stone is well-lit from every angle. 

Lighting translucent stone

Caring for Lit Stone Surfaces

It is imperative that you take extra care of backlit translucent stone slabs. As well as polishing the stone regularly, and making sure that waterproofing is in working order, you should periodically check that any LED lights you are using are in good working order, haven’t shifted in place and are still evenly distributed. It’s also important to have your electrics checked on a regular basis. If you have any issues with the lighting of your stone surfaces, call a professional who can address the issue without damage to your quartzite, onyx, etc.

Backlighting and underlighting of stone are exciting options to add life to a stone. If you are interested in finding out what a slab may look like lit, we can help! To learn more, give us a call or visit one of our slab galleries.

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