New footwear. What style? What brand? What color? What shape? Consumer trends show an increased demand for personal expression through products. A product can identify who we are and what we value. Lighting products have been used for centuries to provide artistic expression in theatrical performances and the like. With the development of solid-state lighting, the ability to use light to provide personal expression is available to all industries. Customizing the design, performance and style of lighting fixtures is often overlooked by a world searching for individual expression. Designing custom fixtures that are durable and aesthetically is the focus of AVID Labs® .


“Customize: to modify, make, or build according to individual specifications or preference”.

AVERE

Solid-state lighting products are developing at a rapid pace1. Arguably, these lighting products are the fastest developing electrical technology since the introduction of the personal computer. LEDs present a technical challenge for Electrical Engineers, Lighting Designers, Mechanical Engineers and Optical/Illumination Engineers. In most cases, traditional lighting fixtures adopt lambertian light sources either using tungsten or metal halide (arc lamps). These fixtures naturally run hot while LEDs produce much less heat. Currently traditional light sources tend to provide a tighter and smaller single source that is desirable with long range optical challenges.


LEDs are advancing quickly, still LEDs must develop further to compete with larger output fixtures and to be more efficient to allow for smaller fixture designs. Only recently have we seen the first LED2 to break the 200L per W for efficacy output. Designing custom lighting solutions that fit any market with rapid turnaround is challenging when parts often have to be metal type construction (normally aluminum or copper for heat) and durability.


While solutions exist for rapid development of components including heat sinks, the LED’s, constant current supplies, DMX control and some optics, there are relatively few solutions to provide aesthetically pleasing yet durable housings and custom features. It is relatively easy to design a custom solution with high volume production. However, the same solution with low volume production can be cost prohibitive due to the cast aluminum process. Clients also want the product to be made in the USA and not “just” assembled in the USA. To be fluent with the market and cutting edge for our clients, AVID Labs works within these challenges on a daily basis.


The use of 3D modeling is essential when designing a customized product. It has revolutionized the client experience. 3D modeling allows a customer to actually see and touch the product, to see how it performs. 3D modeling allows the client see their dream in a tangible form within days of the initial concept.


3D modeling allows for thermal modeling, ray tracing, structural modeling and more. It can be used to reduce prototyping time and avoid unnecessary skilled labor costs often associated with running manufacturing bases. 3D model can be photographed for marketing and advertising communications. 3D printing is an n extremely powerful tool the creates efficiencies and ties the team together. Discussions involving all parts of the design can be encouraged and Engineers challenged, for example, a discussion on how the power supply support should look (a part that is rarely seen). Attention to every detail is key to providing customers with a quality experience and the final product they envisioned.


CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacture) is used extensively with CNC manufacturing and allows for quick turn, high accuracy products turned and Milled within 0.001 Inches. The primary advantage is response, with the use of CAD/CAM systems it is possible to quick turn and mill a simple product parts in under 2 weeks allowing for manufacture on demand. It also allows for custom anodize or powder coating colors, custom effects, etc. For example, a client demands a rounded fixture that resembles a traditional WW2 search light, CAD/CAM allows for these changes to be made easily while keeping the cost down and response/delivery times reasonable.


Customizing the design, performance and style of lighting fixtures is now a reality for the lighting industry. AVID Labs can help you design and rapidly develop custom solid-state lighting fixtures in both high and low quantities.


  1. http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/led-lighting
  2. http://www.cree.com/LED-Components-and-Modules/Products/XLamp/Discrete-Directional/XLamp-XPL