Home' Asian Aviation : AAV March 2012 Contents 24 AsianAviation | MARCH 2012
"Overall, modern and optimally integrated LED illumination leads to
double-digit percentages of savings in terms of power, maintenance and weight,
compared with classic tube-based solutions," says Diehl.
Another German company, Schott, has been responsible for numerous
innovations in cabin lighting. For example, the company developed sidelight
technology for homogenous and exible contour lighting , which was rst
launched by Japan s All Nippon Air ways (ANA) as so blue contour lighting
tted in the side-tables of the carrier s business-class cabin.
Schott also developed starry night-sky simulations for aircra cabins,
using bre optic harnesses, ultra- at LED panels and spotlights. Recent
developments have included exible sidelights which use LED lighting but
create a homogenous line light through the use of bre-optic technology.
Schott is also working with Lu hansa Technik on new lighting technolog y
through its INAIRVATION alliance, which is developing innovative, design-
oriented interior ttings and electronic solutions for aircra cabins and also
includes partners LIST components & furniture and DesignQ.
Late last year, a new lighting technolog y developed by the partners made
its debut. e HelioJet uses light diodes, glass elements and bre optics to
illuminate cabins in a homogenous and energ y-e cient way. HelioJet s slender
glass rod emits light evenly and consistently through the use of two LEDs that
guide the light into opposite sides of the rod.
Schott says the system o ers bene ts over existing technologies, including a
homogenous and brilliant illumination, reduced power consumption, a longer
life span and precise control of lighting levels. HelioJet also requires only one-
tenth as many LEDs as conventional solutions.
"HelioJet thus combines the best traits of existing lighting technology and
o ers many good reasons to be put to use in scheduled planes and business
jets," says Klaus Portmanns, business manager for aviation at Schott Lighting
Lighting innovations developed for the business-jet market are also ltering
through to airliner cabins. US manufacturer EMTEQ, for example, has
previously focused on the corporate aviation market but is increasingly winning
Its lighting products include the uasar full-spectrum LED mood-lighting
system and the Daylight LED wash-lighting system. Last year the company
won a contract with a Boeing 767 operator to upgrade its aircra with LED
cabin lighting. e system supplied provides enough intensity to illuminate the
ceiling of the cabin with only two sets of lights compared with the four sets of
uorescent lights previously used.
"Our LED wash lighting o ers immediate bene ts -- weight savings, reduced
electrical power, increased functionality and reliability, which means lower
maintenance costs, and we re able to do that while accomplishing speci c
aesthetic goals," says Dan Rice, EMTEQ director of air transport.
EMTEQ s Daylight 'intelligent lighting system has been developed primarily
for business jets, but could eventually nd its way into an airline cabin. Daylight
is a white-lighting system that replicates natural lighting inside the cabin. e
white colour temperatures can be controlled, from 1 to 100 percent dimming,
intensity values, fade times and the ability to control groups or zones of light.
"All of our newer products are advancing in terms of sophistication, because
it s what the market demands. More and more we are expected to have
seamless integration with high-end cabin management systems and in- ight
entertainment systems and the best way to do that is to make the product more
capable," say EMTEQ.
Further improvements in cabin lighting are set for the future, with
manufacturers conducting considerable research.
According to Diehl: "Understanding the light source with its electrical and
environmental behaviour, but also the physiological and psychological impact
of light on humans and the appearance within an aircra are essential for
bringing out further innovations and improvements."
Suppliers like Schott expect even more emphasis to be placed on cabin lighting
in the future, with "design meets function" being the focus. New technologies,
such as organic LED (OLED) and Active-Matrix OLED (AMOLED) are likely
to create more lighting opportunities, EMTEQ believes. Diehl also anticipates
bre optics and lasers could play a greater role in cabin lighting.
Aircra seating is an aspect of cabin interiors that has seen some of the greatest
improvements over the last couple of decades. While luxurious seating in the front
end of airline cabins was the focus for a long time, airlines and manufacturers in
recent years have directed considerable attention to seating in the back.
Airlines and seat manufacturers pursuit of the 'magic triangle of reduced
weight, optimum comfort and e cient use of space has led to a wide range of
new seat designs, manufacturing technologies and materials.
A new generation of lightweight seats has emerged. UK seat manufacturer
Acro Aircra Seating, for example, has developed its Superlight family of seats,
which includes the Superlight F, weighing in at 10kg per passenger, including
covers. e seat is designed for low maintenance and maximum comfort at
e company also makes the Superlight R reclining economy seat, which
weighs 11kg per passenger and is aimed at charter carriers, and the Superlight
Ultra, aimed at full-ser vice carriers, weighing in at 12kg per passenger.
Focus on simplicity
Acro says the Superlight design is based on "reduction and simplicity", using
as few parts as possible and lightweight materials, coupled with simpli ed
manufacturing processes. e parts count for a triple-seat assembly has been
reduced to just 63, for example.
e Superlight is one of the lightest seats in the market, but retains robustness
and low cost of ownership, Acro says. Modular construction results in simple
"Our LED wash lighting offers immediate
benefits -- weight savings, reduced electrical
power, increased functionality and reliability,
which means lower maintenance costs."
-- Dan Rice, EMTEQ director of air transport
The HelioJet uses light dioides, glass elements and fibre-optic principles
to illuminate cabins in a homogenous and energy-efficient way.
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