Intematix applies phosphor and LED module expertise to launch next-generation of retail signage

Dec 7, 2009

Backlighting for high visibility retail signage has consistently suffered from key trade-offs. Extended-life fluorescent solutions have decent efficiency, but suffer from reduced color rendering and sometimes-inconsistent light transmission for differing colors. Richer film colors require more intense backlighting, which increases energy consumption and introduces heat-related issues.

The Intematix "phosphor-paint" retail signage solution implements a carefully designed, 50,000 hour backlight grid of royal-blue LEDs that excite the sign's photoluminescent display surface. In contrast to conventional backlit signage, in which the display surface filters white light to generate a desired color, the phosphor-paint actually generates the desired colors of light over the entire display surface. The result is high-visibility and visual quality in the sign's unlit daytime state, and vivid, "eye-popping" color, similar to neon signage, when lit. Using industry-compatible screen-printing techniques on a transparent or translucent plastic, or glass substrate, the phosphor-paint approach offers a full-color palette while delivering energy savings of 50-70% over conventional backlit signage.

Remote phosphor solutions have previously been applied to individual LEDs and in LED light fixtures. Intematix has created an innovative solution by marrying the elements – phosphor, blue LED excitation, LED light extraction and printing technology – and scaling the solution up to the level of retail signage, all while making sure it would deliver on the long life promise.

As far as future format options, the approach also allows uniform dispersion of the phosphor within a sheet of transparent material, such as a thin flexible film or rigid sheet of polycarbonate or acrylic, which can then be cut to a desired shape or used in channel lettering.

Author:  Ray Andersson

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