Products + Technology

Product Monday: Two Current Products With Innovative Finishes

The AIRA Open Center Luminaire by LiteControl

While many bemoan the end of rapid LED chip innovation, LEDucation once again showed that there are a 100 new technology innovations finding their way into the lighting industry. Of course, you have to keep your eyes and mind open to spot them.

Two of my favorite examples at LEDucation were incorporated into two new product releases from Current.

AIRA by Litecontrol

Pictured above, the AIRA Open Center Luminaire by Litecontrol is a semi-direct linear pendant with light distribution of 25% up and 75% down. It is primarily designed for open / high ceilings. The family also has a wall-mounted version with shared aesthetic and ADA compliance.

Image: Aria

The open center linear pendant creates a rectangular negative space when looking up through the luminaire. The ends and cross braces are not lit to provide opportunities for accent color.

The most startling innovation, in my opinion, was the faux wood finishes on the aluminum frame. They are achieved using an advanced digital printing process call “sublimation printing.” It utilizes a special transfer paper that is “shrink wrapped” onto the aluminum frame. Heat and pressure are used to transfer dye / ink INTO the paper, including texture. The result is the look and the feel of real wood, without the warp or other imperfections of wood. It really felt like wood to the touch, and had realistic wood grain visible (see below).

Also interesting is that the LED driver is hidden within the relatively narrow aluminum luminaire frame, rather than remoted into the ceiling. Aesthetically, Current did a good job of eliminating any dark spots along the length of the linear diffuser. The final result was minimalist and elegant with numerous customization opportunities.

More on AIRA can be found here.


Image: AIRA

Cypher Ghost, by KIM Lighting

Shown at the bottom, below, the latest addition to the Cypher family of architectural wall sconces, Ghost is designed to blend with its environment utilizing end user materials applied onto the luminaire. If a special finishing material, panel, sheet metal, wood, cementitious material, stone, or other vaneer is used on a building, the Ghost is designed to allow the same vaneer to be applied onto the luminaire. The fixture has a perforated metal housing that is designed to accept adhesives and then vaneers of all types. The end result is a luminaire that emerges from the building with the exact same finish / vaneer as the building itself. It’s designed for outdoor use, and can also be used indoors, with indoor finishes / vaneers of all types.

Cypher Ghost is available in two sizes with up, down and side lighting optics for up to 360° of illumination. More on Cypher Ghost can be found here.

What do both of the above new product releases have in common? Both utilize innovative material / finishing approaches to create high-performing, aesthetically-interesting luminaire solutions. As LED technology has matured, innovation efforts can be redirected back to the design aesthetic of the final product, and Current showed that can be a beautiful thing.


Image: Cypher Ghost


Cypher Ghost Wall Sconce

Image: Cypher Ghost


All photos: Suelynn Shiller








author avatar
David Shiller
David Shiller is the Publisher of LightNOW, and President of Lighting Solution Development, a North American consulting firm providing business development services to advanced lighting manufacturers. The ALA awarded David the Pillar of the Industry Award. David has co-chaired ALA’s Engineering Committee since 2010. David established MaxLite’s OEM component sales into a multi-million dollar division. He invented GU24 lamps while leading ENERGY STAR lighting programs for the US EPA. David has been published in leading lighting publications, including LD+A, enLIGHTenment Magazine, LEDs Magazine, and more.


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