LED Channel News
A year or 2 in the life of an MSL Boffin

One day, a few years ago we invented a beautifully simple product called LED channel. It consisted of our new LED strip quite simply potted with crystal clear resin into a tiny extruded aluminium channel. We made some samples and showed you. You loved it, it was easy to make, what a success. Except that our silly development department kept getting 3500K LEDs confused with 3000K (or so we thought) but as long as we could give you that nice warm 3000K you’d have some. Our first big job was for red LEDs and you started to specify it seriously in warm white. By this time our boffins were blaming our supplier of the LEDs for the colour issues and given the state of the industry we believed them.... until they revealed an unexpected culprit. The crystal clear resin shifted the colour temperature of the LEDs by 500-1000K. Useless! We tried other brand after other brand until just for a laugh we tried water. Guess what, same thing: it must be something to do with refractive index but if you want the colour to stay the same, don’t specify potted product.

So we had to think of other ways of keeping the rain out. We designed a new acrylic and a new aluminium extrusion that snap beautifully together. There was even a trough for glue to seal all the way along: surely with a bit of silicone in the ends......well it half worked.

I could go on more. So what we’re doing now is offering 2 products: an interior one 16.5mm wide x 12mm high at a reduced price and a NEW 16.5 x 16.5mm exterior one where we pot OVER that nice snap in acrylic extrusion. We’ve also upgraded the sealing around the cables and we’re even experimenting with Gore-Tex pressure relief valves (very small ones). We have a neat new fixing method too, using linear threads. So if you’ve had leaky channel or colour problems with them, we apologise, we’ll fix it, we hope you understand and we hope you see the funny side. If you do please explain it to me.

Posted: 10/12/2009