February 10, 2021
Celebrating Edge-Lit Technology
What is edge-lit technology?
Versions of edge-lit technology have been around for decades, frequently used for signage, television, and portable devices. However, its popularity grew in the lighting industry with more recent advancements in LED technology, quickly replacing the recessed troffer as North America’s preferred choice for general illumination of interior spaces.
Traditional edge-lit solutions position LEDs perpendicular to an optically textured diffuser which redirects some of the light in the desired distribution. While this creates a visually comfortable, illuminated surface, and enables some beautiful products, there are also limitations to the efficacy of edge-lit luminaires.
Our edge-lit designs
This concept served as inspiration for developments in BEGA’s exterior portfolio, which embrace the best qualities of this technology and balance it with the needs of exterior general area illumination. A key characteristic of edge-lit technology is the excellent glare control of the illuminated surface, resulting in a light source that is comfortable to look at. This also results in very uniform illumination, both of the surface itself, and of the resulting light distribution. Additionally, luminaires can be designed with a very low profile compared to backlit solutions, which require more depth in order to properly hide the LED light sources.
BEGA edge-lit exterior luminaires capture all these benefits but utilize a unique approach to the LED placement, which results in increased efficacy and easier lifetime maintenance of LED modules. The source is hidden around the edge of the luminaire housing and the light is redirected using a combination of reflectors and diffusers.
In this diagram, light comes out from the LEDs located at the edges of the upper casting, it is then redirected in the opposite direction so that it shields the source. That light is redirected across the fixture through the open space inside the clear diffuser. When light hits the clear diffuser, most of it exits, but some light is reflected back into the fixture. These interreflections are what make this luminaire's uniquely shaped glow.
The same edge-lit technique is applied to this luminaire. The difference in this diagram is there is no larger diffuser for light to bounce around in. Here light is being evenly dispersed through an optically textured acrylic diffuser. This diffuser is designed to control the optics to achieve precise distributions.
Our new edge-lit system bollard head has a translucent diffuser that extends the full length of the outer diffuser. Although this design does not have the natural interreflection shape as shown in the the first diagram, this double diffuser creates a similar pattern for continuity of design across both luminaire types.
Detail & Quality
All BEGA luminaires feature thoughtful and detailed designs and are manufactured with only the highest-quality materials. When developing BEGA’s first edge-lit pole-top luminaire, product designers spent months trying to remove the interreflection in the acrylic diffuser but the longer they studied it, the more they fell in love with that unique effect. After months perfecting the design, it was introduced to our product portfolio in 2016 and has been modeled by our competitors ever since. This premier luminaire features a simple and elegant design with a clear acrylic diffuser and a unique reflection when illuminated. This interreflection creates an interesting and beautiful aesthetic which remains unmatched by competing products.
After the success and popularity of BEGA’s first edge-lit exterior product, the designers were eager to expand the collection. Inspired by the shape of the reflection, the second edge-lit luminaire was designed with a casting to replicate that shape and introduced in 2017. The luminaire features a sophisticated, minimalist design, with a clear acrylic diffuser and very shallow profile, offering soft, uniform illumination for a comfortable lighting effect.
The visual comfort of a luminaire is an important consideration in the lighting design process. Achieving visual comfort means specifying quality luminaires that provide the correct amount of light to safely and comfortably illuminate a space. Avoiding excessive brightness (glare), dark shadows, or high contrasts that may cause disorientation or difficulty adjusting to extreme changes in lighting is paramount in creating visual comfort.
BEGA edge-lit luminaires offer excellent visual comfort. Their innovative design ensures each luminaire creates comfortable, even illumination in every application, without compromising performance. With various outputs available, maintaining visual comfort and uniformity is achievable in any space.