For the first few years of the LED revolution the constant question was ‘what shape is an LED?” Being very small meant that, for most of the time, we were just seeing LEDs doing impressions of traditional light sources, but nothing really said ‘We are LED – and this is US!’ until we started making lines of light out of them.
You may argue (and I know who you are) that there is nothing new about the linear light form, and I’ll agree with that; but whether you’re a proponent of the cold cathode cove light or the festoon fascia wash, you have to admit that nothing previously has been able to come near the physical size and performance of the LED. And things keep getting better.
Here, we’re looking at flexible LED light lines. They started out as long thin PCBs in aluminium channels, of variable quality, some dimmable but most not, but ALL of them were straight lines. The obvious question for every lighting designer was ‘can I have one that goes round bends?’ Of all the companies who’ve invested in this area of product development, Vexica Technology stands out as a leading protagonist of the bendable light line.
In the matrix of offers, there are three major factors:
- Light Shape
- Light Power
- Light Control
For openers, Vexica offers two cross-sections in the continuous light offers:
The Flexi-Line range measures a generous 15mm x 20mm (side-band) and 15mm x 16mm (top-bend). The Flexi MiniLine range takes that down to a very slender 15mm x 5.95mm.
And, as if that’s not enough, research is on-going to reduce the cross-section even further; more news on that in 2020.
But it doesn’t end there.
Light lines need to follow the architecture that they’re given and that means horizontal bends and vertical bends . . . and maybe a complete corkscrew, given the exotic geometry of some of our architecture.
It’s no surprise then, that the Vexica Flexi series offers both Side Bend, to accommodate the horizontal curves and Top Bends to handle the vertical curves. And because of the way that the Flexi range is manufactured – it’s a UV-stable polyurethane resin profile designed for durability (Florida and Arizona tested) and flexibility – it means that its capable of following the contour of any building feature.
NEWS! . . . NEWS! . . . NEWS! . . . NEWS! . . .
It appears that we’re not finished yet, though. Vexica launched a new Flexi-Line profile at darc rooms in 2019, to great acclaim. This provides illumination from three surfaces and provides the ultimate in diffused lighting.
Both the Flex-Line and Flexi-MiniLine ranges available in 6W – 10W – 15W per m.
But that doesn’t stop specifiers asking for even more powerful solutions, at which point its no longer about continuous lines of light
, but providing a system that can graze walls at higher wattages. This began with the Flexi-Light-TIR at 15W per m, which is a chain system of connected LEDs measuring a discreet 23.7mm x 13.25mm in cross-section, and using a narrow-medium (20° x 45°)optical lens system for efficient wall-grazing.
The Flexi-Light-TIR has become Vexica’s quickest specified product since it was released earlier this year.
Are people satisfied? Of course not, “More power?” they ask . . .
There was only one thing that Vexica could do, and that was to introduce the Flexi-Light Max TIR.
At a stunning 26W per m and measuring only 41.24mm x 19.8mm in cross section, this raises the specification opportunities to even greater heights of performance (literally!). And the module is also fitted with the same narrow-medium optical control perfect for wall washing. Other beam angles are also available as a custom product (note – 70% of Vexica products end up being customised!).
As we know, LED light lines started with a simple option; you could turn it on . . . and turn it off.
How times change.
The third axis of our matrix shows that Vexica hasn’t hung around in considering the nature of how these systems are to be used; this is good quality fabrication and an awareness of how they are to be used.
Conventional dimming of single circuit Flexi-Line. As you would expect, this is available in all the formats that work for you.
(Flexi-Line and Flexi-MiniLine)
Tunable White twin-channel control provides that additional daytime v. night-time finessing that comes either with Integrative Lighting (human centric) schemes or just plain good design sense as to light colour.
(Flexi-Line TW and Flexi-MiniLine TW)
RGB: has long been a favourite amongst flexible light channels afficionados, so you’d expect to find it here.
(Flexi-Line RGB and Flexi-MiniLine RGB)
RGBW: originally conceived for cruiseship installations, thisoption stretches the colour control concept to guarantee a strong white tone that can be missing from some RGB design requirements.
(Flexi-Line RGBW and Flexi-MiniLine RGBW)
Dynamic RGB brings real theatre to light line design. The Flexi-Line-RGB-DYN provides for colour-changing sequences along the length of the light line, using DMX controls – in fact Vexica have created their very own driver, the Hybrid Drive 6. This is a versatile all-in-one driver that provides 6 channels of PWM output from a supplied DC voltage range of 12-48 VDC, a DMX to SPI data conversion output to control pixel technology in pixel tech and has the capability of replaying onboard memory scenes on an iPhone or iPad using the VEXICA-FLO APP, downloadable from the Apple App store
And, just to finish off this whistle-stop tour of the Vexica flexible range, its worth making two more points:
- All Flexi-Line products are rated to IP67, ensuring safe and robust exterior use.
- And everything is built as a bespoke service, project by project.