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Lighting Industry

Challenges and Solutions for Lighting Industry Designers and OEMs

The Lighting Industry is perhaps the most pervasive application of electronics today. Light fixtures are everywhere. The technology of light is the symbol of modernity because it has abolished - after hundreds of thousands of years - the difference between day and night. Thanks to the lighting, the world now lives 7/24 as a single entity.

The production of lighting fixtures has gone through several phases, each of which has profoundly changed the atmosphere of the environments we live in: incandescent light bulbs, halogen, CFL, and eventually LED. Now LED is dominating the Lighting Industry. Manufacturers must face new challenges.

The 5 challenges in the Lighting Industry

Manufacturers in the Lighting Industry around the world face the same 5 key challenges today:

  1. There is increasing market pressure to reduce product development costs and improve margins
  2. Products need to be delivered faster
  3. There’s increasing pressure for a constant stream of new products of increasing complexity and functionality
  4. There is an increasing number of product regulations for companies to comply with on top of ever-tightening warranty requirements.
  5. Getting simulation results in a timely manner during the design phase where it can have a meaningful impact on design decisions is a major bottleneck for many organizations.

Interestingly enough, the design process bottleneck is a crucial one for many organizations, and dealing effectively with it can help alleviate some of the pressure felt.

lighting industry

Simulation in the Lighting Industry

In the current context, it is important to offer innovative, safe, and optimally designed products to the market.

To achieve the desired result, designers must know how to manage the heat emitted by the LED inside the device that contains it in order to:

  • preserve the quality of light over time and
  • increase the useful life of the device.

A few degrees can make a significant difference. For example, when participating in a competition to gain an order to produce devices for street lighting.

Furthermore, in the case of devices intended for external use, the electronic components are housed in a waterproof case that does not allow the exchange of air with the outside. This makes dissipation more difficult, especially if we consider that the design requires attractive shapes and not just efficient ones.

Temperature simulation of a LED fixture for street lighting
Temperature simulation of a LED fixture for street lighting

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Why is simulation so important in the Lighting Industry?

As shown in the chart below, early simulation allows engineers to save time and costs in their design. The cost of the product is locked in by decisions made during the early concept stages when little is known about the design. Also, the cost to fix defects rose as you proceed further down the process.

Simulating early and simulate often is important. The right tools need to be made available at the right time so that the information can be accessed for early evaluation. This practice is called Frontloading Simulation. Frontloading refers to the concept of moving simulation early, into the design process where it can help provide timely information for creating a much better design.

Another way to describe this approach is by talking about Simulation-Driven Design, where simulation is used to synthesize and define the physical design, rather than simply to evaluate and validate completed designs.

The fundamental trend for simulation is that it is becoming better, faster, cheaper, and even easier to use. This has enabled simulation to be used earlier and throughout the engineering development process – from concept, to detailed to design and performance validation.

 

The hidden cost of in-process redesign

Main benefits of Simulation-Driven Design

  1. Simulation-Driven Design allows designers to test different variants and make changes until they find an optimal design.
  2. In addition, there are advantages related to efficiency. Some electronic components - such as MCPCBs and LEDs - are used in different products. Their thermal characterization allows information to be quickly transferred from one design to another, even when it comes to different products in terms of dimensions or areas of application.
  3. The experience in the development of the mechanics of a product, as it relates to the efficiency of heat dissipation, can be shared internally and used as a basis for the development of future projects.
Simulation Driven Design

Simcenter FLOEFD for LED design

Simcenter FLOEFD is the best tool to adopt this strategy, especially in the case of LED design, mainly for the following 3 reasons.

Thanks to its full integration with the mechanical CAD, you can get:

  • Direct use of MCAD geometry.
  • Automatic detection of the fluid domain.
  • Quick and simple mesh procedure (from hours to minutes).

The result is that you don't need to switch between CAD and CFD via file step, design and CFD models remain synchronized and the time for product simulation is reduced.

Automatic parametric studies in Simcenter FLOEFD allow automatic analysis of design variants (geometries and use) and design optimization.

  • It leverages both geometric parameters (dimensions, patterns, etc) and simulation parameters (heat dissipation, conduction of materials).
  • “What-if” analysis and optimizations.
  • Automatisms for design modification, mesh creation, and calculation.
  • Full support for MCAD product "configurations" and "instances“.
  • Multiple "what-if" simulations to identify the optimal design.
  • It saves the user time to focus on defining the model and not on manual tasks.
  • Helps you find optimized designs faster.

A dedicated technology gives you thermal-optical models for LED lighting, advanced irradiation models (solar radiation), and condensation modeling.

 

lighting industry example

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