The ultimate stress test: Glamox drops luminaire 1,600 feet to gauge durability

Dec. 11, 2023
Light fixture takes a licking and keeps on ticking. (Article contains video.)

If an LED lighting manufacturer wanted to find out whether its latest ruggedized marine luminaire can survive a 500-meter (1,640-foot) fall into the sea, it could run a computer simulation to get the answer.

Or it could do what Norwegian vendor Glamox AS did: Fly it over a fjord and give it the heave-ho.

In a stunt reminiscent of the classic Timex "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking" wristwatch commercials, Glamox on Sept. 21 tossed its second generation MIR G2 luminaire from a helicopter into the Hjørundfjorden fjord.

Before hurling it into the waters for a diver to recover, senior product marketing manager Rolf Røsberg switched on the light, powered by its emergency battery pack. 

“I had butterflies in my stomach as we took off,” Røsberg said in a press release that Oslo-based Glamox issued today that includes a video of the event. “It was the mother of all drop tests and we did it in one take. I confess there were some anxious moments, but when the diver surfaced with it shining bright in his hands, a massive cheer went up.”  It incurred a few dents and dings, but the illumination remained strong, he says in the video of the mission (below).

The marine and offshore wind sector is an important part of Glamox’s business. LEDs Magazine has reported on several wins this year.

The MIR (multipurpose industrial reflector) line is designed to withstand harsh conditions. Users include offshore oil and gas rigs, wind farms, trawlers, warships, and others.  

The new G2 version uses a stronger diffuser than the first generation, has a smaller volume, and can be mounted lower, a Glamox spokesperson told LEDs. Glamox builds it with a stainless-steel housing and an impact-resistant polycarbonate diffuser. Its length ranges from 724 mm (about 2.4 feet) to 1,634 mm (about 5.4 feet). 

The product is backward compatible with earlier MIR housings including T8 tube models, using a kit provided by Glamox.

Danish shipping and logistics firm DFDS is installing around 140 MIR G2 luminaires on its Begonia Seaways roll-on/roll-off cargo vessel, Glamox said.

In addition to offshore settings, Glamox also positions the MIR for use in commercial and industrial building environments, such as factories, car parks, warehouses, and energy plants.

Glamox can equip the MIR G2 with sensors for IoT applications, and can connect it to a light management system.

Meanwhile, if you’re old enough, the success of the helicopter drop might bring to mind a certain cliff dive in Acapulco some 60 years ago [link opens video on YouTube].

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.