The Ultimate Guide to Backlighting Stone
The translucent quality of some natural stones allows the use of backlighting to create scenic, expressive applications which cannot be replicated with any other natural or man-made product.
Backlit stone can be used to create walls, benchtops, or tables that illuminate your kitchen, bathroom, or commercial setting. The types of stone often used are marble, onyx, and some quartzites and granites which have translucent quartz crystals in their composition.
Lighting – What to consider?
We consulted with Peter from Cosmo Lighting Castle Hill about their recent project using our New York Marble and lighting from Cosmo Lighting Castle Hill to learn some of the insights on what relevant factors to consider when backlighting stone.
Peter recommends that backlighting requires a multifaceted approach and planning in the design phase to achieve the best results, noting “[the LED] strips need to be installed in such a way that they are serviceable in the future, this means designing cabinets that have removable access panels but also are made in such a way as to not create shadows when the stone is lit”.
Another helpful tip is to test the lighting setup once the stone is selected “As some stone is more translucent than others, you may have to use brighter LED”, in the featured New York Marble project Peter used 9.6 watt LED strip.
Another important aspect to consider is the positioning of the lighting strips, in particular the distance of the LED strip is from the stone, and how far apart each LED strip is. In order to achieve a consistent even glow, Peter explains that there needs to be a balance in the distance the LED strip is from the stone, and how far apart each LED strip is.
To work this out, it is best to test with a small sample piece of stone and a few lengths of LED strip. If the right balance is not achieved the stone will have bands of light rather than a consistent even glow.
The Art of Choosing Stone
Any stone that is translucent in nature can be used, from the Avant Stone some of the unique stones we recommend for backlighting are:
An important design consideration to keep in mind is to pick the stone that aesthetically works in the space, both with and without backlighting and see how the colours, lighting and other finishes in the space work well with the backlit stone.