Over the last few years the need and use of LED lighting has grown rapidly and is being used in a number of industries such as commercial/industrial lighting, horticultural lighting, marine lighting and more.
Designing and using aluminium extrusions for LEDs holds many benefits, they can be used in a wide range of applications, used in demanding environments and require little or no maintenance to keep them going. LEDS also have many other benefits such as lower energy use, little light pollution, no UV light, and so on.
However, manufacturers face a number of challenges with LED fixtures, new fixture designs are required with enhanced performance due to LEDs and other related technologies producing a significant amount of heat which needs to be dissipated quickly to preserve their life and remain safe.
There is no doubt that the requirement for LED lighting will continue to increase as the demand for a more efficient source of lighting is required.
Aluminium for LED Lighting
Custom Aluminium profiles are being designed to facilitate the rapid evolution of LED lighting applications by meeting the challenges that manufacturers are facing.
Fixtures created by aluminium extrusions are perfect for LED lighting, there are endless design opportunities for fixtures, they act as heat sinks, reflectors, aluminium is a corrosion free material which makes it an ideal choice for demanding environments as well as offering sustainability by being incredibly recyclable.
We asked our in-house product designer, Charlie Hill, for his expert advice on designing LED Lighting with aluminium. Below are his top tips and considerations;
Design Tips & Advice
Why would you choose aluminium to design LED lighting?
- Perfect for linier lighting fixtures. Traditional commercial lighting was being based on a linear format due to the use of fluorescent tubes. Today LED lighting can be configured in countless ways but customers still prefer the linear format which Aluminium Extrusion lends itself to perfectly.
- Can incorporate many features such as screw ports, clips, cable management, splice brackets slots, nut tracks etc.
- Limitless design and configuration options, which mean sleek contemporary designs can be achieved easily.
- Strong yet lightweight.
- Huge array of finishes.
What are your top 3 considerations for designing LED lighting/ What should you be mindful of?
- Thermal issues – LED lighting produces a lot of thermal energy that needs to be dissipated quickly. This is generally done by mounting the LED source to the aluminium and incorporating heatsink fins to the extrusion design if necessary to radiate heat to the surrounding air.
- Light distribution – does the design of the extrusion allow for the desired light performance?
- Electrical safety – Aluminium is a strong conductor of electricity, so it is very important that the extrusion is earthed.
What are your top 3 design tips for designing LED lighting? What makes a good design? How do you achieve it?
- Keep it light - lighting is often used in suspended or surface mounted application so although it is nice to include lots design features and shapes, it is worth only including what you need – besides, who wants to add extra weight/cost for no reason?
- Consider hardware management carefully - if done well, you can design the extrusion to include clever ways of securing hardware and managing the cables safely and tidy and of course make it easy for the production like to build your light fitting.
- Future proof your product – you may have a specific application in mind for your light fitting but who knows what the future may bring, it may pay to include features that allow you to suspend the extrusion, splice together to create a corner or continuous run, or incorporate different diffusers/accessories.
Using aluminium extrusion for LED lighting fixtures provides virtually limitless design opportunities with the added benefits of low tooling costs and shorter lead times than using other materials.
Aluminium is lightweight, strong and can have an array of finishes applied making it a quick and cost-effective way to transform into a modern, sleek designs.
Get in touch
If you have a project you’re working on and require more information, why not utilise our in-house product designer?
Charlie will be able to assist and advise you with your drawings making him a great asset for your project.