The Beauty of Backlit Onyx Countertops
While onyx is beautiful on its own, it is even more beautiful when the light hits it. Onyx is translucent and provides an effect that no other stone does. But there is a good way to go a step further – backlit onyx countertops.
Backlit onyx really glows and miraculously lights up a dim room. It’s simply stunning.
How does backlighting work?
Since onyx is translucent, it lets any light behind the stone pass through the stone. As the light reflects off the interior of the stone and its veining, the whole slab glows.
How do you set it up?
The onyx countertop is set on a frame with light fixtures or LED light strips installed inside. The exact lighting choice depends on the particular situation, but the goal is to light the onyx uniformly. You don’t want to see the individual lights. Sometimes this requires a diffuser such as paper or Plexiglas between the lights and the onyx.
This is not a job for you to do yourself. Generally you need a custom frame for the onyx slab, and it’s not uncommon for contractors to ship your countertop to a custom lighting company who will build a custom light strip based upon the colors and patterns on your countertop.
Is it worth it?
It should come as no surprise that a backlit onyx setup is going to cost more than a plain onyx countertop. However, popular opinion is that if you’re going to spend the money on onyx, you should go “all in” and do the back lighting.
You’ll get the best use out of it in rooms that lack natural light – perhaps an interior living room or a bar in the basement. There was even a story in the New York Times demonstrating how glowing onyx slabs can light up a home!
I would agree that, yes, backlit onyx is worth it!