Speirs & Major designs urban LED light

Speirs & Major has designed a new light-emitting diode urban lighting concept for US manufacturer Ruud Lighting, which Ruud aims to produce commercially for cities worldwide.

The UK lighting design consultancy’s street lighting system has been designed without conventional street-light components – a first, according to Speirs & Major. The consultancy has also designed a casing for the system which doubles as a cooling system.

Ruud Lighting approached Speirs & Major in April 2009, asking for a street-lighting solution using its Nano-optic Miniature Lens – a device which fits over an LED and dissipates its light evenly, eliminating glare, according to Speirs & Major director Keith Bradshaw.

Speirs & Major aimed to provide an adaptable solution which, where required, could be integrated with existing lamp posts. The system features a new lamp head in a casing designed for the purpose. The alternative measure of fitting individual LEDs into a street light might compromise design, says Bradshaw. ’Filling a normal street light with LEDs ignores the potential of the technology,’ he adds.

One profile of the blade-like design has similar dimensions to the head of a conventional street light (500mm x 150mm), but, from the other elevation ’it appears narrower and you can see through it’, Bradshaw says.

The casing also serves to counter a heat distribution problem which is a side-effect of LED use. It is common practice in LED design to attach a strip of aluminium to the back of each LED in an effort to dissipate heat.

But in this case, says Bradshaw, ’We’ve made the entire fixture out of aluminium, instead of hiding it away, which is a bit more honest and adds to the aesthetic form.’

Form also governed potential adaptations of the design for different urban environments. These might include the use of single blades, or lights hung together – the LED blades can be grouped together and hung in groups of two, four, or six, but individual blades could be used over doorways or even inside, says Bradshaw.

Bradshaw says that, if well looked-after, LED lights can last for up to 40 000 hours, as opposed to 10 000-15 000 hours of life for conventional street lighting.

In tests the Speirs & Major solution was shown to be self-cleaning and will not trap dirt, which could compromise its cooling properties.

Manufacture of the lights starts in March, with a launch to global markets planned for May.

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