The popularity of LED-based fixtures has grown enormously in a short period – owing to its ‘bang for buck’ in terms of quality versus investment.
However, it is never truer that “you get what you pay for” when buying equipment for professional use. After all, all it takes is one faux pas and the client will lose trust and potentially take the work elsewhere.
Conventionally, the LEDs used in professional lighting fixtures are phosphor-based. In layman’s terms, the diode is coated directly with a phosphorous substance which respond to the electrons from the LED, subsequently emitting luminance. Phosphor-converted LEDs, as they are otherwise known, are formulated to convert ordinary blue light emitting diodes to a specific colour temperature, usually tungsten (3200K) or daylight (5600K). A lighting fixture with a variable colour temperature will usually have an even number of daylight and tungsten LEDs. Adjusting these LEDs independently creates the effect of a varied colour temperature output.
Phosphorous substances, however, are effected by excessive temperatures and are liable to unwanted shifts in brightness and colour. With most LED lighting fixtures, the diodes are packed tightly, so the heat accumulates at an unwanted rate. One way to solve this issue is cooling – either a fan, heat sink or combination of the two. Even with efficient cooling, it’s often impossible to avoid the side-effects of phosphor heat reaction.
If cooling isn’t the answer, what is? Danish manufacturer Brother, Brother & Sons – BB&S for short – pioneered the ingenious ‘remote phosphor’ technique to overcome this phenomenon, with many other benefits for good measure.
Rather than applying phosphorous material to the LED directly, BB&S deploy phosphor in a separate panel and place it in front of the LEDs. Removing this direct contact of diode and phosphor alleviates the consequences of phosphor heat effect, ensuring a totally pure light output. As a result, BB&S remote phosphor fixtures benefit from consistent colour temperature and an unbeatable 98 TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index).
In addition, standard LED fixtures are often subject to a ‘spotty effect’ – the result of having many phosphor-converted diodes beneath a plastic diffusion panel. Remote phosphor solves this too, with the entire phosphor panel reacting to the LEDs and illuminating as one – emitting a soft, even and consistent glow.
Remote phosphor is also friendly for the environment, requiring less energy to produce the same brightness of orthodox LED fixtures, reducing running costs in the process.
BB&S first employed remote phosphor technology in their flagship Area 48 in 2012 and have since developed their popular Pipeline range. Area 48 & Pipeline System have both been extensively used on the latest Star Wars release, The Last Jedi.
Having recently moved into new facilities, BB&S are committed to producing innovative lighting equipment for years to come.