Frequently Asked Questions
- What do you call your products?
- Are your panels glass, plastic, or film?
- Please describe your products in more detail.
- Do you stock all designs?
- What do you mean by premium/quality acrylic? Does it sag?
- What type of lighting is required?
- May I request a sample of a design for color matching?
- Do the panels cut down on the light?
- Are the panels easy to install?
- Do you carry light covers for fixtures requiring curved or wraparound panels?
- What common size panels are available?
- What if I need a custom size?
- Can I trim the panels myself?
- Can you print my custom image?
- Where is pricing information?
- Why do your panels cost more than some others?
- What do you charge for shipping?
- What is your return policy?
- Do you have a showroom or distributor in my area?
What do you call your products?
There are a few ways to describe our products. We normally refer to them as decorative fluorescent light panels, but the terms replacement fluorescent light cover, or light panel diffuser are sometimes used. The name of the light diffusing element of a fluorescent light fixture is technically referred to as the “lens”, but we use the three other names through our site, since they are more descriptive.
Are your panels glass, plastic, or film?
All products are made from high quality acrylic sheets and meant to replace your currently installed panel(s). The word “glass” is used throughout our website for descriptive purposes only. Our acrylic is softer than the typical hard brittle diffusers purchased at home improvement stores. It is somewhat flexible and can be carefully bent into most all fixtures and frames.
Please describe your products in more detail.
Our light panels consist of premium white acrylic sheets, printed with our unique decorative designs. They are flat and meant to replace an existing plain white, or clear prismatic lens, to provide a much more enjoyable and attractive lighting solution. The silky matte finish on our carefully selected acrylic offers the perfect artistic canvas for our high resolution prints. The result is a smooth and seamless blending of color from dark to light, and specifically color to white, with no noticeable difference in surface sheen throughout the panel. Since our panels don’t become brittle or turn yellow over time, they can be considered a long term investment.
Do you stock all designs?
Due to the high quantity of our design and size selections, all panels are produced to order. Depending on whether the panels are a common or custom size, the order date to ship date typically ranges from 4 to 5 business days.
What do you mean by premium/quality acrylic? Does it sag?
What makes for a premium acrylic are a few things: 1. It has sufficient light throughput. 2. It diffuses the light evenly to eliminate hot spots. 3. It has the correct pliability so that it will not break when you work with it. 4. It allows a bit of bending into tight spots. We have chosen the best material available with all these properties.
Any light panel will sag a bit unless it is a cast acrylic product, and even then it require a thickness of around 1/4 inch to be completely flat. It’s a plastic thing! A 1/4″ panel is four times the cost and not designed for lighting applications. Designs with lines and borders tend to appear that they have more sag than plain colored panels. We have found that a small amount of sag in the center is not something our customers find to be a problem.
What type of lighting is required?
Our products work well with fluorescent and LED bulbs. A 3 fluorescent bulb fixture is fine for 2×4 panels. 4 bulbs is only slightly better.
Cool light is usuallly 6500K – these are too blue. 5000K is daylight – good for sky panels and most other designs. 4100K works well with the warmer tones, such as brown, green, amber.
May I request a sample of a design for color matching?
Yes, samples at 5″ x 10″ of most designs are available to order on each individual product page. They are printed specific to your order and may take up to two weeks to arrive.
Do the panels cut down on the light?
They work much the same way as a conventional lamp shade, by softening the light and reducing the glare. At the same time the quality of light is changed to produce a more comfortable environment. Certain designs reduce overall light throughput more than others. In order to keep it fairly non-technical, we use a term called Panel Brightness to rate the different designs. Each light diffuser design is given a rating from 1 to 5 (1 being the “darkest”, or most light diffused). We recommend that most kitchen and bathroom applications use a Panel Brightness rating of 4 or 5, unless additional task lighting is available. The Panel Brightness indicator for each design is located under the Description tab of each individual product page.
Are the panels easy to install?
The panels are somewhat flexible, and can be carefully bent to maneuver them into most fixtures. If measured correctly, they will slip easily into the fixture or ceiling grid. For suspended ceiling light troffers, removal of one corner screw in the frame provides easy access.
Do you carry light covers for fixtures requiring curved or wraparound panels?
Our decorative replacement panels are for fluorescent lighting applications containing flat diffuser panels only. Currently, we do not carry panels that curve around a fixture. In order to use our panels, a frame can be built around the fixture by someone with carpentry skills. See some examples on our Showcase page.
Note – It your current panel is curved or sits dropped from a lip, they are designed to keep the acrylic a distance from the bulbs. They can’t normally be replaced with a flat panel, since it needs to sit a minimum of 1 1/2″ to 2″ away from the bulbs.
What common size panels are available?
In fluorescent lighting, it is important to understand that the common reference of 2 feet by 4 feet does not mean 24 inches by 48 inches. Most panel sizes are slightly different based on the manufacturer or light fixture manufacturer. Even “standard” ceiling grid light panels typically measure 47 3/4″ x 23 3/4″.
Our site makes reference to three general (not exact size) light panel shapes.
2×4, 2×2, and 1×4. Each of these panel shapes is offered in two common sizes, Size A and Size B.
Size A: 46 1/2 x 22 1/4, 22 1/4 x 22 1/8, 46 1/2 x 10 1/2
Fits many fixtures with a hinged door assembly, more commonly found in a commercial installation.
Size B: 47 3/4 x 23 3/4, 23 3/4 x 23 3/4, 47 3/4 x 11 3/4
This is a common size that fits into many standard suspended ceiling grids.
Our history indicates that approximately 60% of fixtures use one of our standard size acrylic panels, while 40% require a custom size. Therefore, it is very important to take the time to properly measure for the correct dimensions.
The best measurement is of a currently installed panel, assuming it fits correctly in the frame. Or, measure the visual light opening, plus a minimum of 3/8″ completely around the perimeter of the panel for the proper support without being too tight. See How to Measure
What if I need a custom size?
One of advantages of working with Fluorescent Gallery is that we can produce most any reasonable custom size. The artwork is always modified to fit the panel size exactly. It is never cropped to fit.
For most installations, the length and width of the panel should be sized to 3/4 to 1 inch greater than the length and width of the visible light opening. This will provide at least 3/8 inch of support around the entire perimeter of the lens. This is illustrated in How to Measure.
Note – Our cuts are guaranteed at +/- 1/16″ standard tolerance. If we deliver a panel cut larger and it doesn’t fit, contact us for a replacement.
Any panel made at over 48 inches long or 24 inches wide require additional charges, due to the following: graphic design work required to modify the artwork; the need to cut the panel from higher cost acrylic and, possibly, thicker acrylic (for an over-sized width or length); a custom-built shipping box; premium FedEx shipping charges.
Can I trim the panels myself?
Sometimes we do our best to measure accurately, but it just doesn’t work out as planned. To trim the panels, score and break is the best method for most situations.
Score and Break – Using a straight edge, score the material with a utility knife blade. Place the panel on a table or counter with the edge under the score line. With a flat object such as a board on top of the piece lying along the score line, push down on the part to break off. If you take your time and produce a good score line, this method should work fine.
Note – When trimming very small adjustments, use a pair of pliers to break the excess material off in small sections all along the score line. Panels in .125″ acrylic should be cut by a professional, as they are too thick for this method.
If you’re nervous about trimming yourself, a local glass shop can take care of it for you, usually for a small fee.
Can you print my custom image?
Yes, quite often we print customer images that are purchased from iStock, Getty Images, or even their own camera. You can initiate an order for a custom print on the following page – Custom Light Panels.
It’s always best to send us your purchased or personal image for us to evaluate, based on size and quality. Images simply captured on the web, typically are too small.
How many pixels, or what DPI do I need for a custom print?
Where is pricing information?
Pricing information can be found by clicking on any individual design image until the specific product page appears, then select the Click for Discounts link in the upper right corner of the screen. This table displays prices by total Cart quantity. As you add items to your Cart, the quantity discount amount increases. The total discount is then applied at checkout. See Pricing for an example. As with most print jobs, the higher the quantity, the higher the discount. Our highest discounts start with a Cart quantity of 4+ panels.
Why do your panels cost more than some others?
Our business model involves providing a wide variety of original artistic options in a nearly unlimited number of sizes. Custom artwork is generated each time a special size is ordered. We do not crop pre-printed panels to fulfill custom size requirements, as this would result in a loss of detail, and cause centering issues.
We use .06″ thick premium matte white acrylic to produce what we believe is the best illumination effect possible. This is a very sturdy material that will not become brittle or yellow over time. .08″ and .125″ acrylic options are also available to support large sizes and have the same qualities, plus some – see Acrylic Panel Options.
Our panels are carefully packaged and shipped in a flat, highly protected box, in order to reduce the chance of damage during shipping. Most of our panels require a box over 48″ in length to provide very good protection against breakage while in transit. Added to their normal shipping fees, FedEx/UPS charges an $11.00 premium for boxes over 48″.
In summary, it does cost a little more to deliver the “WOW” factor.
What do you charge for shipping?
Shipping details can be found on our Shipping and Return Policy document.
What is your return policy?
Return and exchange information can be found on our Shipping and Return Policy document.
Do you have a showroom or distributor in my area?
We are an online business only with no distributors. To help with visualizing your lighting solution, a 5” x 10” sample is available to purchase on most individual product pages.