Luminous surfaces play a significant role in modern control and informational interfaces, such as in vehicle interiors. Due to complex geometries or lack of space, developers are constantly faced with challenges in the implementation of design requirements.
How to make, for example, a homogeneously luminous surface with a small overall depth, which is flexible in all directions, adapts itself three dimensionally to a base, can be designed as desired in terms of surface and shape, and fulfils common requirements for the components in vehicle interiors?
We succeeded in finding the answer with the new development Siloptics® Flexilight. Siloptics® Flexilight is a flexible light guide with a wide range of possible applications.
Possible uses of the Siloptics® Flexilight:
Siloptics® Flexilight consists of a flat silicone body, the dimensions of which are freely adjustable up to a maximum size of 500x300 mm. The silicone body is homogeneously illuminated over the entire surface during operation. The silicone used is white and semi-transparent. It produces a soft and diffused light optimised for background and ambient lighting.
The surface of the Siloptics® Flexilights can be easily customised by means of printing or painting and subsequent laser etching. Also, bonding with other materials is possible, such as leather or plastic. Accordingly, the application scenarios from space saving, area backlighting to the implementation of secret-‘til-lit effects or day/night designs are very extensive.
The Siloptics® Flexilight is particularly suitable for applications that require flexible or soft optical guides due to movement or the required impact protection. As silicone does not turn yellow and can withstand higher temperatures than, for example, polycarbonate, the Flexilight is also ideal for applications with high temperature requirements.
The friction coefficient of the silicone surface is considerably reduced by the well known Silmade® LowFriction technology. As a result, the Siloptics® Flexilight has a surface with a pleasant feel, which is easy to clean and has low dirt and dust adhesion.
The lighting of the Siloptics® Flexilights is based on modern LED technology and is housed on a single small board in the edge. To ensure that the light is available over the entire length, the Siloptics® Flexilight has a highly transparent, also flexible silicone core inside, which takes over the function of the light guide. The material used for this is a resin-based silicone, which is already used in many optical applications. These include lenses for Matrix LED headlights, lenses in the lighting field or for the production of contact lenses.
In order to decouple the light evenly over the entire surface, the light conducting, highly transparent silicone core of the Siloptics® Flexilight is printed with a previously calculated structure. This structure is finer the closer it is to the light source and becomes larger the further it moves away from the light source. As a result, the Flexilight glows uniformly over the entire surface.
Extensive application possibilities
With considerable development commitment and know-how, we have developed the Siloptics® Flexilight, a flexible surface light that, due to its positive features, offers a wide range of uses and is not limited to use in vehicle interiors. Further positive features of the Flexilight are shock resistance, temperature, frost and UV resistance as well as sterilisability.