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Product Review: PhotoGlow

200702bc_photoglow1 By Martha Blanchfield

The PhotoGlow backlit frame (patent pending) represents a coalescence of progressive science and artistic expression. Using a technology derived from his work with lasers for medicine, optical physicist Ed Sinofsky has created a line of backlit picture frames that brings eye-popping vibrancy, energy and resonance to digital photographs.

Sinofsky has made a career out of the manipulation of light. After earning a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona Optical Science Center, he designed and developed a fiber-optic cylindrical light distributor (the Lightstic) widely used in an array of medical procedures. Sinofsky’s mastery of sculpting light into desired shapes for various medical applications led him to develop a way to uniformly and efficiently light a flat plate of any size. And so PhotoGlow was born. With PhotoGlow's illumination you get the display type color-pop that no print can attain.


PhotoGlow backlit frames incorporate a proprietary ‘edgelighting’ technology which produces uniform illumination, minus the thick and bulky casing. At less than one inch thick, the profile of a PhotoGlow frame is no larger than most desktop or wall mount frames. Sinofsky has placed a tiny lamp at one side of the backlit plate and a mirror at the opposite end to bounce back lighting. These lamps inject light into the backlit plate. When bounced off of mirrors or when combined with the output from other lamps, the plate can be uniformly illuminated like a wall of white light. When a translucent image is placed in front of the backlit plate the combination of reflected light off of the print and transmitted light through the ink make the image pop.

This technology is not the same as backlit display boxes you in theatres, lobbies and airports. Those are low-tech frames that illuminate images using fluorescent bulbs placed behind the images.

Customers can FTP files to have their prints made by Photoglow or purchase the special translucent media and make their own prints on a high-quality inkjet printer. Other media like Duratrans, transparencies and even stained glass piece can be successfully trans-illuminated.

It only takes a little imagination to think of some great marketing and resale uses for this product: an attention-getting nighttime display for your storefront window, a fantastic way to show off an engagement portrait at the wedding reception, something extra to offer commercial clients.


Frames come in a variety of sizes (8x10 to 24x36) and three different colors. Each includes a precut matte for a standard image size, available in five colors. The company has added a new dimming feature that allows the viewer to control the amount of light an image receives. A power supply and 12-foot super thin off-white cord are included. Custom sizes as well as unmatted versions are available, including panoramas. Prices range from $79 to $399.

  • Less than 1 inch thin, frames under 22x28 are 13/16-inch
  • Lightweight, about 2.5 pounds for the WH114 size
  • 20,000 hours of bulb life
  • Uniform illumination
  • Wall mount or desktop styles
  • Low heat emission
  • Prices range from $79 to $399
  • Send the company your image file, or print at home using a high-quality inkjet printer and PhotoGlow paper