LED technology has also brought an enormous change for glass specialists. Coloured glass, for example, completely disappeared from the range. LED light has also offered great opportunities. But the LED light also offered great opportunities. Hecker manufactures customized products for its customers, representing an innovative partner for them.
Dr Appel, CEO of HeckerGlastechnik in Dortmund, Germany explains us “Nowadays, the challenge posed by our customers is: what can we do to make luminaires more performing and efficient? The answer was obvious, but the realization was not as simpleYou can offer great solutions, but if they are too expensive, there is no market for them. In the last 15 years, LED technology has raised artificial light to a new level that we hardly could imagine. Today, lighting devices produce light with outstanding lumen output and colour rendering. Besides, the luminaires are highly efficient with lower maintenance costs – in a few words: simply more efficient”, says Appel. “Cover lenses are subject to absorption and reflection losses, regardless of the use of glass or plastic. So, 15 years ago, we started to establish a low-absorption white glass in the lighting industry. This solution provides better colour rendering and, depending on the thickness of the glass, some more percentage of lumen output”.
The second problem to be addressed, even more complex, involves the reduction of reflection losses, which are 8 to 30% and more depending on the angle of incidence. Anti-reflection coating techniques have been available for optics for a long time. However, these techniques have technical limitations and a cost level that is not affordable for lighting glass. Parallel to the market conquest of LED light, the market of renewable energies boomed and competition for the highest efficiency among solar module suppliers arose. Researchers were active in making glass more transparent by using new, particularly low-cost techniques to improve the efficiency of solar modules. They were successful. However, what could be achieved on a large scale with solar glass could not be applied to a cover lens for luminaires. Lighting glass has much smaller dimensions, the quantities are much lower, and lighting glass has many shapes, thicknesses and designs.
“We felt that the goal of making light fittings more efficient with the right glass was so important that we didn’t give up. It took us many efforts but we could eliminate all difficulties. So, for 10 years now we have supplied our ///Hecker EnergyVision glass, which increases transmission by an average of more than 6% compared to standard lighting glass, thus increasing the efficiency of the luminaire by 2 – 3%. Several million luminaires have already been equipped with this highly transparent glass. We know that our customers could significantly reduce the wattages of the luminaires respectively cut the installed power. We are proud that we have been able to make a major contribution to energy savings in the field of light. But that is not all. The LEDs are becoming more and more powerful and also cheaper. We have understood our customers also in this respect. After their challenge to generate enough light directly under the luminaire, they now have to reduce the large scattering losses of the light, that should exit the luminaire at 60° – 80°, which can be 30% and more.We have also mastered this challenge! We have recently presented the next generation of our EnergyVision glass, the new series ///Hecker EnergyVisionGenII manufactured according to a patented process in our facilities. This innovative series is available in two versions: firstly, for luminaires with rather a narrow beam spread and exit angles between 0 – 45°, and secondly for luminaires with asymmetrical light or wide beam spread and exit angles optimized around 70°. This special feature increases transmission by up to 16%, which enhances the light output by 20%.”
These are fantastic values.Efficiency improvements are now possible by using the ///Hecker EnergyVisionGenII without any change in the construction, nor increase of the energy consumption.