FORM Tech: Rays of Light

With 3M’s new Uniformity Tape, uniform light distribution for LED lighting has become a reality. Image courtesy 3m. LED technology, not to mention aesthetics, is changing, pardon the pun, at light speed. Despite the advances, though, some challenges persist. Notably, for some projects, “what you end up getting is a head-lighting effect,” says Brad Zinke, 3M Architectural Markets Global Lighting Business Manager, “with a bright spot and a dark spot.”

Enter 3M DF100L Uniformity Tape, a natural outgrowth, says Zinke “of the optics experience around the display industry,” which encompasses films used in cellphones and tablets that extend battery life. The recently introduced product provides an innovative new solution for mixing and diffusing LED light in edge-lit lightingIt features a simple adhesive tape on one side with a micro-replicated optical pattern on the other side and can be applied to the light injection edges of a light guide plate.

With the new tape in place, light counts can be reduced by 50 percent and spacing increased. “It creates uniform light distribution and reduces the amount of space you need on the edge of the panel,” says Zinke. “It opens up the design space and the spacing of the LED.” It also opens up the world of design and architecture to 3M, as the company brings its experience with surface finishes and lighting components to professionals in those fields. 

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