The days of traditional light bulbs are slowly but surely coming to an end as LED lighting becomes more widespread across the world. The popularization of LED lights can still be accelerated through their further development and by breaking barriers to their adoption. This was exactly the vision of a cooperation between VTT and the Finnish start-up Flexbright.
An innovative business began its life with a simple idea. What if the potential use of LED lighting could be extended? What if there were almost no limits in placement or material integration of LEDs and thus no constraints for their use in completely new ways across industries? Starting with this thought, the start-up Flexbright was founded.
A bright idea is born
The cooperation started by connecting this novel idea with the technological expertise needed to make it reality. VTT provided a unique roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing environment and R&D services to develop printed intelligence products and processes. It offered the possibility of manufacturing a very flexible large-area light source. Based on the results of this initial work, the technology was developed to a commercially viable state. This enabled Flexbright to enter the market with LEDFOIL, a potentially game-changing product.
This strong partnership focused on technology development, and the commercialization of the product also led to another big advance. Flexbright built a completely new electronics manufacturing plant in Finland, a facility designed from the ground up to efficiently produce LEDFOIL. The high-tech plant has boosted the local economy with jobs for skilled workers in an area likely to see massive growth in the coming years. VTT supported Flexbright in the initial phase of the plant’s planning and construction by providing its expertise and technological support.
Imagination is the only limit
With its unique characteristics, LEDFOIL is breaking new grounds in how and where illumination can be provided. It has applications in a wide range of industries – from architecture, retail, transportation, and aerospace to the textile industry. Moreover, its unique form factor allows for high integration with other materials. LEDFOIL is compatible with various lamination techniques, which allows for almost endless placement options. It has already been successfully embedded into glass, providing an innovative LED display solution for transportation. It has also been demonstrated as an effective way of integrating LED displays with mirrors or even in the manufacture of unique lamps. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg.
Importantly, LED lights are durable and have an impressive lifetime. As their energy consumption is minimal, this is a cost-effective solution even when used on a large scale. LEDFOIL can be placed on walls, ceilings or floors, without any threat of overheating, which raises safety.
Thanks to the co-operation with VTT and its pilot factory manufacturing capabilities, Flexbright was able to build a prototype and develop an optimal solution prior to investing in their own manufacturing infrastructure. This enabled a smooth and cost-effective way to enter the market with a finalised product,
praises Flexbright CEO Pekka Makkonen
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- Flexible and easy-to-install solution allows almost limitless placement options
- Cost-effective solution even when used on a large scale
- Impressive lifetime for improved sustainability.