It was my elbow's fault. ;) I went to put my elbow down gently and it just tapped the glass. CRACK! Do you want to know what saved the elbow from any cuts? That glued down tissue paper that's what. Had there not been any, I would've suffered a serious injury. SO PLEASE BE CAREFUL!
Wearing gloves, I removed the glass without removing the LEDs. Not as easy as one might think with that tissue paper holding strong but doable.
This break led me to look for an alternative to glass replacement. Yesterday was the first day I could manage to get to the hardware store where I found this acrylic sheet. Since my frame was 24"X30", and of course these sheets don't come in that size, I had to get a 24"X48". Notice the thickness: .220! That's almost 1/4"!
Also purchased was this silicone sealer which I thought I'd use to glue down the acrylic to the frame. But it's not a glue! :(
Sorry I didn't take photos of the cutting process. It's quite simple really: you measure, draw a cutting line with a marker on the plastic that protects the acrylic, use your favorite quilting ruler and the cutter shown above and make several passes on the drawn line. The instructions on the package the cutter came in recommends 7-10 times for this thickness. I went overboard and made several more just to be sure the acrylic would snap at the right place. Then you position the larger piece of acrylic on a table with the cut line on the edge and push/snap the smaller piece in a downward direction carefully. VOILA!
The instructions also recommends sanding/polishing the cut edge but it was not an issue as I angled one of the cuts to create a small bevel.
I opted to place the acrylic on top of the frame for better support along the edges. The sheet is thick and firm enough not to bow in the center with pressure. I don't know if I'll glue this one down yet or frame it out with some wood trim. For now, the acrylic is just resting on the frame.
I also tried covering the foam board with foil to see if the reflection of the lights helps. It actually does! A mirror under it would really be ideal.
As you can see the foam board isn't as large as the frame but that's OK... it lets the little heat created by the lights dissipate. LEDs normally don't get hot but they do generate a little heat.
See how thick the acrylic is? I'm quite pleased with this version.
LOVE the size of this light box without the frame in the way.
I could have done a better job of foiling the foam board. :(
Off to do some more tracing...