Cooper Lighting demonstrates planar WaveStream lighting at LFI, nears commercial deployment

April 25, 2013
The planar-lighting technology that Cooper licensed from Rambus is coming to market first in products from the Metalux brand in recessed luminaires.

Last year at Lightfair International (LFI), Cooper Lighting used its private demonstration room to show a broad variety of planar-lighting concepts, while this year the demo room focused on products due soon using what is now called WaveStrem technology. Metalux will deliver WaveStream-enabled products within months and later Corelite and other brands will add the planar technology.

WaveStream is a planar light guide technology that Copper licensed from Rambus that utilizes LEDs for edge lighting and delivers diffuse light from a planar surface. GE Lighting is also delivering products based on the same Rambus Technology. Steve Johnson, marketing director for ambient at Cooper, said, however, that the company spent the past year optimizing the technology for its own use, and establishing manufacturing capacity with partner companies.

The Metalux Encounter and SkyRidge luminaires will be first to market, within two months according to Johnson. Both are recessed troffers targeted as alternatives to fluorescent lighting. Johnson said that the intent was architectural-specification-grade products that Cooper can offer in the same price range as fluorescent fixtures.

Cooper Metalux SkyRidge

Both of the Metalux fixtures integrate the planar surface at an angle within the troffer-style enclosure. The fixtures provide glare-free light, but aren’t as impressive as designs that place the planar surface in more prominent position. Both Encounter and SkyRidge will come in a choice of 3000K, 3500K, and 4000K CCTs, and in 2×2- or 2×4-ft packages.

Coming products

The more impressive demonstrations came in the form of products a bit further out from deployment. A Corelight suspended luminaire used planar blades with a minimum bezel that concealed the LED sources. When powered on, the planar light guides deliver uniform diffuse light. When off you can see right throughout the planar surface as if they were glass.

Cooper showed a number of other WaveStream-based concepts. For example the company had a high-bay luminaire that used four light guides that extended perpendicular, or at a slight angle to, the orientation of the luminaire and that ran the length of the fixture.

The company also demonstrated recessed luminaires for indoor ambient lighting with the planar surface flush with the ceiling. And the exhibit included a flush-mount fixture for garage or canopy lighting with a round planar surface providing the diffuse light. Such a design could overcome the glare associated with some LED-based garage or canopy fixtures.

Cooper's overarching message was that planar lighting technology can now produce useful light. Johnson said that the technology has long been used in niche applications, but that WaveStream enables use as the primary light source in a variety of applications.