With so many switching to energy efficient, lower heat emitting LED bulbs, manufacturers need to adapt their lighting fixture design and materials to meet more specific design and environmental criteria.
Why use plastics in lighting applications? You get the advantage of lightweight materials, colour diversity, and design flexibility (easy to form). If your lighting is for harsh or high impact environments, plastics is a good choice as it has excellent impact resistance qualities.
For lenses, we recommend using acrylic (in different colours and finishes) or polycarbonate (generally clear). For lighting housing, PVC (or CPVC) or PC plastics are most commonly used.
Examples of plastics in light fixtures
An example of plastics in lighting fixtures is on display at the home of the Canadian Olympic Committee in Montreal. It features an lighted Olympic torch structure in front of the building. Made of orange Polycarbonate tubes and interactive LED lights, it was designed to look like a flame surrounded by the Olympic banner.
Les Ailes de la Mode (literally: “The Wings of Fashion”) is the anchor store in the largest department store in Montreal. In a 2008 store redesign, thee design team added a vast entrance hallway and atrium to the store, supported by columns lined with fluorescent lighting tubes. The tubes are covered with Lexan(R) Polycarbonate panels making the glass and stainless steel balconies above seem to float on shafts of light.
The future of plastics in lighting applications looks bright (forgive the pun). Engineers are developing new thermoplastics with heat dissipative properties to replace metal heat sink applications, reduce the weight of the final fixture, and limit the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process.
See more of Plastifab’s lighting solutions at LIGHTFAIR International May 6-7 2017. Stop by booth 5222 and tell us about your lighting project.