Edge-lit Vs. Back-lit LED panel lights

by Tyler T.

LED panel lights are the modern solution to fluorescent ceiling lights. They are easy to install and energy-efficient options that can be applied in different situations and environments. They come in a wide range of sizes and colors. They also come in a wide range of types. Some of the most common types are back-lit and edge-lit.

What makes edge-lit and back-lit panel lights different?

Definition; An LED edge-lit panel light refers to an LED panel light that has LEDs placed on the edge of the frame. This means that the panel emits light sideways. A light guide panel also disperses the light.

On the other hand, a back-lit LED panel light has LEDs installed on the back of the frame as opposed to the edges. This means that the LEDs are normally pointing directly out. This allows for panel light to shine light straight through the diffuser.

Some significant features that differentiate the edge-lit and back-lit LED panel lights to include;

· Light distribution- one of the top features of edge-lit panel lights that use LED technology is that they allow for even glow. They come with a super bright LED lens, which allows for even diffusion of light. This means that the light gets to spread evenly across the entire panel light surface. It, therefore, produces an area of light that is extremely smooth.

On the other hand, a back-lit LED panel does not come with a light guide panel.  The reason is that the light shines directly forward. Instead of a light guide panel, the back-lit type comes with a diffuser. The diffuser works to ensure that there is smooth light and there isn’t a hotspot or glare. This means that there are no issues like yellowing, which most of the time comes as a result of cheap and low-quality light guide panels.

· Profile- another incredible feature of the edge-lit type of LED is that it features a depth that is as small as around half an inch. The small depth, as well as the clean and neutrally finished frames, allow for the sleek look of the panel. On the other hand, the back-lit design features a deeper profile. The reason is that back-lit panels need a deeper housing to allow for even light distribution.

· Mounting- this type of LED panel light also allows for versatile mounting. The fact that they come with extremely thin frames means that they can be mounted in regular grid ceilings. However, other options for installation are also possible. For instance, the product allows for surface mounting to different areas of the house like the ceiling and the walls. Tools like a junction box and a cable mounting kit can come in handy for the different modes of installation. Back-lit panel lights, on the other hand, can only be installed on the grid or the drop of ceilings. This is because of their design and deep profile.


Back-lit LED panel lights are usually more lightweight than their counterparts. This allows for easy ceiling installation. However, both designs are durable. The application and the installation type should determine the decision between the two types.  

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