Edge-Lit and Back-Lit LED Panel Lights -- How To Make A Smart Choice?

led panel lights

LED panel lights being available in 1x4, 2x2 and 2x4 sizes are one of those popular light fixtures that because of slim and sleek design have taken ceiling spaces in hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants, malls, airports, homes and offices. These apart from improving the aesthetics and ambiance of any indoor space, are light fixtures that can bring a sharp reduction in your current energy bills, when switching from traditional fluorescent light fixtures. These are believed to be a breakthrough combination of high luminous efficacy, high CRI, and high energy savings.

In the manner that light gets distributed, LED panel lights come in two-man types -- edge-lit and back-lit LED panel lights. Now, many people get befuddled on what to choose between the two. In this blog, we will understand each one separately so that you are easily able to make a smart purchasing choice.

Edge-Lit LED Panel Lights

Edge-lit is a popular choice among users of lighting as they can be easily recessed into drop-in ceilings and are high on performance when it comes to illuminating interior spaces. These lights are thinner than back-lit panel lights because of the placement of LED chips on the edges. The light gets emitted from the sides. The light beam emitted is even and uniform. The PMMA lens and nano-grade diffusers in this panel lights make for optical lighting. The external housing is durable and built out of extruded aluminum. As these are thin panels, can be mounted on a wide variety of surfaces.  

The edge-lit panel lights are known as ‘shadowless’ lights because of the light getting distributed to far off distances ( as far as the beam angle of the light -- 120 degrees) and leaving behind no dark spots.

 The only drawback of edge-lit LED panel lights is its little lesser energy-saving capacity than back-lit LED panel lights.

Direct-Lit LED Panel Lights

The direct-lit panel lights are thicker than edge-lit panels (almost 3-4 inches) and the light fixture gets illuminated from behind because of SMD chips located at the back. The light enters from the back but gets emitted from the surface. The light gets forwarded from all sides of the panel in the way you see light flashing from a torch and when the spotlight is smaller from a short distance. With less number of LEDs utilized in this panel as compared to edge-lit, the direct-lit panel can illuminate a much wider area. Its thickness is what helps you to achieve an even and uniform light distribution.        

This light panel is easy to install and easy to repair and maintain as much as an edge-lit panel but the most advantageous side to is its little lower energy-consuming feature than the edge-lit LED panels.


All that said, your choice must depend on the area of application and whether the better light quality is your need or that more energy-savings from LED panel lights. If energy-savings is your focus, choose back-lit, but if brightness is your focus, then choose edge-lit panel light. In any case, conduct a photometric analysis and then reach a conclusion.

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