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Glass vs Metal Image Projection

Glass vs Metal Image Projection

A gobo is an essential component in lighting setups, typically crafted from either glass or metal. These circular pieces play a pivotal role in projecting captivating images or patterns onto various surfaces using specialised projectors. From illuminating weddings and birthdays to enhancing the ambiance of bars and nightclubs across the UK, gobos are versatile tools for creating mesmerising visual effects.

However, when it comes to choosing between glass and metal gobos, the differences are stark, with glass gobos emerging as the superior choice. Let's explore why glass gobos outshine their metal counterparts in several key aspects:

  • Durability and Longevity: Glass gobos are renowned for their resilience and longevity compared to metal gobos. While metal gobos are susceptible to corrosion and wear over time, glass gobos maintain their pristine quality, ensuring consistent performance throughout their lifespan.
  • Image Clarity and Sharpness: Glass gobos offer unparalleled image clarity and sharpness, producing vivid and precise projections that effortlessly captivate audiences. In contrast, the inherent limitations of metal gobos often result in less defined and less impressive visuals.
  • Customisation and Design Flexibility: Glass gobos offer greater flexibility for customisation and intricate designs compared to their metal counterparts. With glass gobos, you can unleash your creativity and bring your vision to life with intricate details and vibrant colours, whereas metal gobos are constrained by their material limitations.
  • Cost-Effectiveness in the Long Run: Despite potentially higher upfront costs, investing in glass gobos proves to be more cost-effective in the long run. Their durability and superior performance translate to fewer replacements and maintenance expenses compared to metal gobos, ultimately saving you time and money over time.

In conclusion, when evaluating the choice between glass and metal gobos, it's evident that glass gobos reign supreme in terms of durability, image quality, customisation options, and long-term cost-effectiveness. By opting for glass gobos, you ensure uncompromising excellence in your lighting setups, delivering captivating visuals that leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Color Projection

Metal gobos, crafted from a single sheet of metal, limit colour projection unless aided by coloured filters. Conversely, glass gobos offer unparalleled versatility, allowing for vibrant colour options by employing layers of CYMK glass. This makes glass gobos ideal for showcasing intricate designs or corporate logos with precision and richness of color.


 While metal gobos may appear more cost-effective due to cheaper raw materials, glass gobos provide superior value in the long run. Despite their initial investment, glass gobos boast greater durability and resilience, minimising the need for replacements and maintenance expenses over time.

Heat Resistance

Metal gobos, particularly steel ones, are prone to quicker wear and tear due to their inferior heat resistance compared to glass gobos. The intense heat generated by projectors can lead to premature deterioration, compromising the quality of projections. In contrast, modern glass gobos, crafted from high-temperature borosilicate glass, exhibit enhanced heat resistance and durability, ensuring consistent performance even under demanding conditions.


Metal gobos rely on tagging techniques to connect shapes, especially for letters or intricate designs with cut-out sections. While these tags are minimally visible in the projected image, they add complexity to the manufacturing process. Glass gobos eliminate the need for tagging altogether, as the transparent surface allows light to pass through seamlessly, making them ideal for intricate artwork or multi-coloured designs.


Cleaning glass gobos requires delicacy to preserve their integrity. Utilising a lint-free dust cloth and isopropyl alcohol for stubborn stains ensures optimal cleanliness without compromising the intricate layers of the gobo. Metal gobos may be easier to clean but are more susceptible to damage from prolonged exposure to heat and environmental factors.

In summary, while both metal and glass gobos serve their purposes, the superiority of glass gobos becomes evident when considering factors such as color projection, durability, heat resistance, tagging complexity, and maintenance requirements. For those seeking exceptional visual quality, longevity, and versatility in their lighting setups, glass gobos emerge as the preferred choice. If you require further information or wish to explore custom gobo designs, feel free to reach out to us via email at or by calling us on 0191 265 9832.

In-House Manufacturing Our gobos are delivered straight from our in-house lab to your doorstep.