CPI Embed Printed Electronics into Wireless Lighting

CPI worked with UK design studio Cohda on the integration of printed electronics to significantly enhance the functionality of their wireless Crypsis Lighting’ product and to develop the product from prototype to full commercial manufacture.

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Crypsis Lighting offers wireless ultra-bright LEDs that can be repositioned and dimmed within a transparent glass panel using an external magnetic control puck. The system is a fully interactive low voltage lighting unit and is currently being utilised in a variety of applications where a delicate and precise lighting system is required.

The system includes a range of glass panel sizes, light units, control puck, directional reflectors and access power units. All of these components can be tailored for bespoke applications, allowing the technology to be used within a diverse range of products and markets such as interior design, exhibition design, museum, retail, architecture and contemporary lighting.

Prior to engaging with CPI, Crypsis Lighting utilised silicon based electronics for their lighting units. Due to the rigid nature the circuitry, Cohda encountered a number of issues during research and development, including transferring power to the light units and electronic voltage drop within the light units.

CPI incorporated printed electronics into the light units to introduce flexibility and conformability into the design of the light unit device. These properties enabled the electronics to conform to the surface contact of the glass, resulting in the elimination of voltage drop and an increase in conductivity levels.

The printing of electronics is an emerging technology that opens up a host of design opportunities and has the potential to create a range of future electronic applications in key market sectors such as print and packaging, healthcare, construction, automotive and aerospace. The integration of flexible form factors increases the freedom for product designers to embed technology and functionality into their designs, introducing opportunities for new, innovative components that are wireless, smarter, interactive, conformable, thinner, lightweight, rugged, and able to blend into their surrounding environment.

These new electronics manufacturing methods will give rise to a wide range of novel applications such as flexible displays for mobile devices, smart therapeutic bandages for managing and monitoring recovery of wounds, product embedded electronics which monitor and improve performance and supply chain, wireless medical devices that use printed sensors for rapid diagnostics, conformable lighting, and intelligent packaging for consumer goods and industrial products.

CPI is the UK’s National Centre for Printable Electronics. We help our partners take their innovative ideas from concept to production. We offer world class, open access capability in the scale up and commercialisation of printable electronics applications. Our facilities and expertise allow clients to understand how their products and processes perform under manufacturing conditions before making significant capital investment, in order to accelerate their commercial realisation.

Partnering with CPI and accessing their pilot scale production line, Cohda were able to redesign, validate, and optimise the development of their prototype and scale up the product to manufacturing scale. During the project CPI collaborated with local innovative SMEs 4C Electronics and Cleveland Circuits to test, develop, and refine the concept. Full scale production of the printed electronics within Crypsis Lighting were undertaken by local manufacturing company and CPI partner MAPP Systems. Future development work is currently being performed to test, develop, and optimise the printed electronics used in the device further.