Any experince with back lighting Honey Onyx panels? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't ask why my client wants back lit Honey Onyx wainscoting, wondering if I can do it with LED rope light, anyone have ideas?
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post #2 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 02:47 PM
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I haven't done it myself but rope lighting is how I've seen it done.

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post #3 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 02:51 PM
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A brief discussion including a recommended light source. From what I read on other sites, the light source can be tricky as it needs to be held far enough off the Onyx to prevent hot spots (visual ones, not temperature). Not sure rope light would be bright enough. Found lots of info with a Google search of "backlighting stone".
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post #4 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 03:00 PM
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This one shows a few bad examples with rope light

More bad examples with rope light.

Seems like most of the good ones are using specialty fixtures/panels.
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post #5 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

This
Seems like most of the good ones are using specialty fixtures/panels.

This was my first suspicion based on my early searches I was hoping for a cheaper alternatives and some better success stories using rope.
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post #6 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 06:33 PM
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I'm not real familiar with LED strip lights, but if they make one that's easily cut to length where the lengths can be connected by jumpers, you might be able to set up a tightly spaced group of strip lights. The problem with the rope is I don't think you'll be able to get the bends tight enough to maintain a consistent glow across the surface. You might be able to get that with tightly spaced strips. I'm thinking maybe someone might have tried that in one of the more recent poster lightbox threads.

How much wainscoting are we talking about here? The entire room perimeter or just an accent wall?
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post #7 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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entire perimeter, nothing is easy on this project,
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post #8 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 06:47 PM
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Will the wainscoting be visually broken up by columns or other design elements or is it continuous around the entire perimeter? I'm trying to picture an entire room with no interruptions and it seems like it would lose some of it's visual punch. I'm sure it will look great though. Sounds like an interesting project.

Regardless of what you use, it's probably going to take a mock up to figure out the correct spacing of lights and the best method of assembly. Not sure if these would work or not. They may not be bright enough. Or they may be too bright and either require more distance between fixture and stone or perhaps some type of diffuser panel sandwiched between the lights and stone.

Thinking ahead to your installation-regardless of the type of light you use, you might want the lights mounted on some type of board that can be pulled out from behind the stone in case a section burns out or needs repair. A removable wainscot cap could provide access.
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post #9 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 07:01 PM
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Cool look for a bar, but I don't know about a theater

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post #10 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 07:05 PM
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Found this too: Tri-Mod LED Backlighting Panels for Translucent Surfaces

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post #11 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Spaceman: just between the columns

this was the inspiration photo that the client found

http://cantaradesign.com/case-studies/cinema/extreme-audio-home-theater/
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post #12 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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BilDo those panels look great, they are actually more $ sq ft than the stone. Ouch
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post #13 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 08:30 PM
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SubScribed, planning this for my wine cellar.
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post #14 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 08:46 PM
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My theater has back lighted onyx. It was originally installed with incadescent rope light but that had 2 problems - after 5 years it was starting to burn out and when it was on it would get the onyx really hot. That didn't matter for the onyx wall panels but it was bad for the onyx bar. I recently replaced the rope light under the bar with LED. There is a lot of rope light stuffed in there. I learned a couple things about LED - first not all rope lights are dimmable, and second the ones that are dimmable are not necessarily evenly dimmable all the way from 0-100% like incadescent are. When I try to put it down to a lower level I can end up with some flickering in the lights. So my bar now stays very cool to touch, but I have lost even dimming through my Lutron system for the bar lights. Its a trade-off I can live with.
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post #15 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Djmatl, thank you for weighing in. are you happy with the evenness of the light and how far from the stone do your think your ropes are positioned?
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post #16 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 08:59 PM
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Can't say I'm a big fan of the client's inspiration pic. I think there's too much of a good thing going on. I would have eliminated the stone from the side walls (it looks a little forced to me) and perhaps made a nice statement with the Onyx on the back wall, something to compliment the bar. I can't imagine you would keep those on during a movie, even dimmed. That's quite an expense for something that might only be on during coming attractions.

Just my two cents. I know it doesn't help solve the problem of how best to light the stone.
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post #17 of 56 Old 03-26-2014, 09:01 PM
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The rope lighting on the onyx is not perfectly even. If you knew there were rope lights under it and looked right at the onyx you could see the areas right under the rope lit up more. But basically the rope light is a mess of tangled rope behind the onyx so you get a randomish lighting pattern that looks perfectly good. There is a shelf under the onyx holding the rope light which is somewhere between 0"-2" behind the onyx. I think one of those full LED panel lighting setups someone linked above would be the more perfect solution, but I'm happy with the rope lights.
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post #18 of 56 Old 03-27-2014, 04:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Spaceman, you and I are on the same page, but the checkbook rules.
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post #19 of 56 Old 03-27-2014, 04:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmatl View Post

The rope lighting on the onyx is not perfectly even. If you knew there were rope lights under it and looked right at the onyx you could see the areas right under the rope lit up more. But basically the rope light is a mess of tangled rope behind the onyx so you get a randomish lighting pattern that looks perfectly good. There is a shelf under the onyx holding the rope light which is somewhere between 0"-2" behind the onyx. I think one of those full LED panel lighting setups someone linked above would be the more perfect solution, but I'm happy with the rope lights.


Thanks, hadn't thought about the randomness in placing the light.
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post #20 of 56 Old 03-27-2014, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Spaceman, you and I are on the same page, but the checkbook rules.

Being a designer I know how that is and I didn't want to be the first one to say it...

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post #21 of 56 Old 03-27-2014, 05:46 PM
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Big,

Here is another suggestion: use an LED tape and aluminum bars to create something like this: http://www.tivolilighting.com/Products/ARCH_Products_/Strand_Lighting/Illumiwall.aspx

You can cut the LED tape every inch and then solder wires at the end to connect multiple sections together on a transformer. The tape I have used allows you to have 16ft of tape on one run. I've used a similar setup for under cabinet lights. The biggest issue I see is being able to dissipate the heat from the LED's. They get very hot. So, I would install the onyx panels with some spacers to allow air to circulate behind them. The aluminum bars help dissipate the heat, but you still need air flow. You can probably omit the horizontal section at the top and just have a series of vertical sections connected with #18 wire.

If you use a magnetic transformer, you can dim the LED's without special controls.
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post #22 of 56 Old 03-27-2014, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks interesting, but you know it will be pricey when you have to send the specs to the company for a quote.
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post #23 of 56 Old 03-27-2014, 07:58 PM
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These folks might be able to help out. I'm guessing it will be pricey, but it doesn't sound like that's a problem.
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post #24 of 56 Old 03-27-2014, 08:04 PM
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Have you looked at what TMcG is working on? He always does great planning and research, but I'm not sure if he has any prototypes that can inform your decisions here.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1442340/the-stonewater-cinema-build-thread/60#post_22669367
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1442340/the-stonewater-cinema-build-thread/660#post_23953137
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post #25 of 56 Old 03-27-2014, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Looks interesting, but you know it will be pricey when you have to send the specs to the company for a quote.

If you build it yourself is not:

 

LED tape - less than $1/ft: http://www.amazon.com/LEDwholesalers-Flexible-LED-Strip-300xSMD3528/dp/B002Q8V8DM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1395975396&sr=8-2&keywords=led+tape

60W transformer - $90.00 (you can drive two 16ft stings from this): http://www.amazon.com/Ledwholesalers-Dimmable-Magnetic-Transformer-Flexible/dp/B007KWVFXC/ref=pd_sim_hi_50?ie=UTF8&refRID=123YMHET6EPCQGDJ3MQ0

aluminum bar - about $3/ft: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-96-in-x-1-in-x-1-4-in-Aluminum-Flat-Bar-56880/202183573

 

So the material is about $7 per linear ft. Assuming a 6" spacing between rows for good uniformity, it costs about $14 per sf.

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post #26 of 56 Old 03-28-2014, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting, why are the transformers so pricey? I'm looking at about 100 sq ft in ten sections. I also note that transformer has a manual reset button. That would be a problem as the transformers would be accessible but you would have to dismantle something. I'd probably stick them in the columns and you would have to pop the fabric panels. I'm putting this idea on the short list. I see they have a couple of warm white options which would be good.


I think this review is important to keep in mind:

Intended to provide some backlighting using LED strips SMD5050 (6 in total) cut back to 30". Spec for the strips says less than 6 amps/72 Watt for 196" - so I thought the 60W transformer would be adequate. It's not - needless to say that the temperature control switch triggered within the first hour of use and the humming noise was noticeable.

Upgrading to 300W instead has solved that issue - 150W might have been enough but I honestly didn't take my chances - the 60 bucks was just not worth it. Size the unit according to your use and leave room for contingency or make sure that you verify the consumption and not just trust the specs - would have saved me the money on the smaller transformer
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post #27 of 56 Old 03-28-2014, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Interesting, why are the transformers so pricey?

It's a magnetic transformer with a bridge rectifier that works with a dimmer (on the primary side of the transformer, at 120V). If you don't need to dim the LED's, you can use any cheap switched mode power supply that outputs 12V.

 

A 300W transformer has a much better $/W ratio, so if you need more than two 90W transformers, look into the 300W version. Pay attention to the voltage drop though, if you end up with long runs.

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post #28 of 56 Old 03-28-2014, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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How important is the aluminum flat bar, could the lights strips be attached to the primed drywall?
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post #29 of 56 Old 03-28-2014, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
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How important is the aluminum flat bar, could the lights strips be attached to the primed drywall?

The LED's get very hot, so they need a good heatsink. Other light sources usually use much more power than an LED, but with LED's all the power is concentrated in a very small area behind the chip. If you don't have a good heatsink to dissipate that heat, the LED's will burn-out very fast.

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post #30 of 56 Old 03-31-2014, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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The stars must have come into alignment today as the client decided to forgo the onyx wainscoting. However the bar top in the rear of the theater is still an expectation so I will still be using all the information provided so far.
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