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The Case of the Laminated LED Lite


Hi Glass Detective,

We are designing an enclosure for an automated teller machine (ATM). The enclosure has LED screens on the surface. The client has requested that a layer of glass be placed 2-inches from the LED screens. There are two glass sheets sized 102-inches by 43-inches and one 43-inches by 39-inches. I was thinking of using half-inch tempered glass. Should I use laminated glass instead?

Thank you,

Andreas K.

ATM Machine with Enclosure


Dear Andreas,

Thank you for making contact with the Glass Detective with your questions concerning glass selection for what you describe as an ATM enclosure that will have LED screens on the surface (of the ATM, I presume). Your specific question is whether a tempered or laminated glass could or should be used. You state that you are, at this point, thinking about using half-inch tempered glass but you then follow that up with a question about perhaps using laminated glass instead of the tempered.

We have actually written some fairly informative articles about the differences between tempered and laminated glass and you may want to review one in particular. You inform me that there are going to be three pieces of glass that make up the enclosure and the larger two pieces are going to be 102-inches by 43-inches which equates to 30.45 square feet (about 195 pounds of half-inch glass). Typically glass sizes are given indicating the width first and the height as the second dimension so I am wondering if maybe these glass panels are sitting on top of a counter or sill of some type. A sketch of the installation was not provided, but perhaps the orientation of the installation is unimportant.

I think either glass (tempered or laminated) could work for you but, if a great deal of contact is going to take place with the glass, I would probably lean in favor of the tempered glass approach. Again, please review the information being referenced above. I think it will be quite helpful to you in making a prudent decision. As an aside, you could get the best of both products by using two pieces of quarter-inch tempered glass and laminating them together to produce the half-inch product you desire (ending up with a piece of half-inch tempered/laminated glass). Please remember to account for all building codes and loading issues when you make your final decision on the type of glass and the thickness of the glass to use.

There is another item to consider on this. Please make sure you take into account the possibility of reflection and of glare if it applies in this application. There are anti-reflective treatments for glass that are quite helpful in reducing glare. Glare can often become a concern for ATMs in brightly lit areas.

Lastly, the framing system that will hold this glass in place needs to be capable of securing the glass in such a way as to keep it safe and properly in place. The “glazing system” is often as important (and on some occasions more important) than the glass itself. In cases such as yours, we always recommend that you work with a reputable and experienced glazing contractor in your area who will be able to provide you with samples, and sometimes even photos of similar projects, for your review and consideration. They would also prove helpful in pricing/budgeting matters.

If you have difficulty in identifying a glazing contractor to work with, please reconnect with us and we will try to help. In closing, I will again thank you for making contact with the Glass Detective and I wish you good fortune with your project.

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Lyle Hill

Lyle Hill has been in the glass and metal industry for more than 40 years. In this time he has managed glass retail, contract glazing, mirror, architectural window, window film, and automotive glass businesses throughout America. He obtained an MBA from IIT with a focus on Technology and Engineering Management.

Hill is also a columnist for glass industry trade magazines and often called the “face” of the glass industry. He has also authored books including “The Broken Tomato and Other Business Parables,” which is available through Amazon.

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