Electronic Components Solutions

Integrated Light For Product Design, Function, Emotion And Branding? Mentor!

Integrated Light For Product Design, Function, Emotion And Branding? Mentor!

As a functional, but also as a design element, light enriches the design of various commodities. More and more design engineers, designers and product managers discover the potential of such integrated light components. They are a popular tool to strengthen brand identity, appeal to customers on an emotional level and to extend the functionality of devices. A specialist for LED based integrated lighting concepts in product designs is the company Mentor. 

Expertise is needed
To facilitate orientation, to put emphasis, to create identity, but also to inform, for example about switching situations and functional parameters – light can take very different functions in the product design. It is important in any case, not only to find an attractive, but also technically a convincing solution. The choice of light sources and optics, its mechanical integration, the choice of materials and the estimation of interaction between the light components and other components are just some areas of technology, which require expertise and experience. The engineers of Mentor can offer both.

Above: Mentor has integrated different refractive and reflective optics in the >Busch-iceLight< for Busch-Jaeger.
With a flush box as base, the lights combine LED technology with an acrylic glass element and various design covers for a customized lighting design. 

Complete solution from one source
In the concept phase, they analyse together with the clients the requirements and select the optimum components for the respective installation situation. Calculations and visualizations with various software programs specifically for light applications, such as >>Speo CAA<<, >>Zemax<< and >>LucidShape<<, allow a realistic assessment of the whole assembly at a very early stage of the project. To put the ideas into practice, Mentor has its own tool. The expert designs and manufactures the necessary injection moulds themselves. For complex high-performance optics, an additive ultra-precision machining of the tool takes place. From single- or multi-component injection moulding, through the processing of optical and non-optical components and the assembly of complete modules to packaging and logistic, Mentor covers all stages of the value chain to the final lighting solution. Using modern light measurement technology, the products are analysed for their light performance and the simulated results validated. The development and the series production  are constantly monitored by a certified quality management system. The in-house light laboratory is equipped with luminance cameras, spectroradiometer, photometer, luxmeter and an integrating sphere with 500 mm diameter.


Above and below: The light guide M-Cut uses less basic types to realize varied-types area, bar graph and solid strip light guides made of PMMA. Tool-free manufacturing process makes simple and fast realisation possible without initial tool investments. The high variability of the system provides much scope for individual designs, also for small quantities.


System concept connects individuality and efficiency
Normally Mentor realizes customized tool-based solutions for medium and large quantities. In order to realize individual solutions quickly, easily and cost-effectively even in small quantities, Mentor goes into the system concept. With >>M-Cut<< , the company has a modular product family in its portfolio. The products of this series can be configured or modified quickly and cost-effectively in accordance with the project requirements. This light guide system is based on precisely machined homogeneous PMMA plates – depending on the design requirements is either fully-transparent or equipped with scattering particles -; usually used under a foil or a keypad. Three basic types form the basis >>M-Cut<< light guide series: the area light guide, the bar graph light guide and the solid strip light guide. With the area light guide, high-quality custom background illuminations for logos, graphics or information areas can be realised. The bar graph light guide can be used for individual multi-element displays, and the solid strip light guide allows homogeneous backlighting of strips and text.

Above: In the past, focus of the automotive interior lighting was on functional aspects, such as a good orientation. Now it is more on the emotional aspects as ambience, feel and value, or the desire to individualize lighting according to the driver. To realize that, RGB LED light sources and light guides are being used.

RGB colour light: Constant Chromacity, Synchronisation
If it should be not only the mysterious glow, luxury rays or discreet signalling in a light colour, but dynamic lighting effects are demanded, RGB-LED systems are used. Typical applications for dynamic LED mixed light, are the areas automotive, transport as well as room or object illuminations featuring coloured light scenarios that can be adjusted for mood. What is always demanded is lighting, that delivers a homogeneous colour picture and perfect synchronisation of all the RGB sources used and with a colour palette covers the entire range of the RGB colour spectrum. Also for demanding requirements like these, Mentor has developed a solution. This solution is based on an intelligent RGB basic module with integrated microcontroller that due to its compact installation space can be used for many different applications as flat, linear and spot light, both for direct and indirect light. The microcontroller and a 100% end-of-line calibration of the modules make it possible to compensate for the effects of temperature and ageing as well as for colour and brightness binning caused by production. At the same time the luminous flux of each module is adjusted individually to either avoid or deliberately use light density differences between individual applications. In this way a constant chromaticity and a constant brightness of all RGB lights integrated in the system are guaranteed. Since dynamic colour applications are in high demand, especially in the automotive sector, the Mentor solution is able to communicate according to automotive standard LIN and the LEDs and microcontrollers used are automotive-certified.


Above: Some realized customized lighting solutions: The visualization of fan functioning and orientation lighting for a sanitary module from Geberit (left), a flexible light guide solution for a concept study regarding the refrigerator of the future by BASF (middle), or the status indicator with a miniaturized light guide for a water heater of Clage.

With attention to detail and a great passion for light, we continuously develop the possibilities to put  our customers’ products in the right light. Now, our range extends through customized lighting systems from light guides to light engines. In this way we develop and produce innovative OEM lighting solutions for our customers. From concept to production. 
Take the advantage of light in your products and create a real added value for your customers.

Foto Busch-iceLight: www.Busch-Jaeger.de  Foto Gebret: www.Geberit.de  Foto BASF: www.basf.com  

    Main Advantages

    Functional Lighting
  • Design Lighting
  • Ambient Lighting
  • Branding / Highlighting
  • Expert Support
  • A-Z Solutions