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Cape company manufactures world´s largest colour-changing LED floor

Post Time:Feb 26,2009Classify:Glass QuotationView:504

Cape Town-based light manufacturer Kubik has manufactured a colour-changing light-emitting diodes (LED ) floor which, at 95m², is the largest of its kind in the world.

The glass floor, designed by UK-based architect Darnton Elgee´s Mari Stassen, was manufactured in Montague Gardens in 134 modular elements, and was shipped to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this month.

The floor elements will be assembled like a jigsaw puzzle in less than four days, and was the highlight of the new showroom of UAE-based furniture giant Pan Emirates, which is situated next to the Mall of the Emirates.

Almost 15 000 LEDs were used for this project. The red, green and blue colour-changing LEDs have an expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years. The colour settings and animation are controlled by an in-house developed computer system.

Kubik MD Dirk Durnez says that the illuminated floor is a branded architectural application that will not only set any desired mood in a venue, but will also allow clients to highlight products and showcase product launches and promotional events.

"The illuminated floor is a true marketing tool. We believe this will set a new trend in the way architects, interior designers and showroom designers design shops and shop-windows. The Kubik floor allows brands to stage their products, " he says.

"We are convinced that the world´s largest colour-changing floor will boost awareness of this new approach in shop and showroom design, as well as architecture and interior design for corporate, commercial and even private use," says Kubik finance director Jean-Michel Koenig.

A team of three electrical and electronic engineers, led by Kubik´s Mike Hudson, spent eight weeks on research and development and built the modules for the floor in less than four weeks. Besides the aesthetical, illumination and market-related brief, the development team was asked to create a product with a minimum ten-year lifespan as well as to create an energy-saving, recyclable, ‘green´ product.

Kubik says that the high-quality electronic components and the LEDs, which are mounted on a heat sink aluminium frame, the right selection of cables and the thermostat-controlled power consoles, guarantee a power consumption of only 35 Wm2, which is equal to a small light bulb or night-table lamp.

"If we manufactured the floor using fluorescent lamps, as was done in the past, the power consumption would have been over 220 watts a square meter, which is six times more than the LED floor," says Hudson.

"This will not only save the client a lot of money in electricity bills, but will also contribute to energy saving which is, even in a country like Dubai, an important issue," he says.

Hudson says that all the materials were chosen with recyclability in mind.

"Glass is 100% recyclable, as are the aluminium frames and, thanks to the intelligent design and the use of low voltage, we were able to reduce the amount of electrical cables and components to an absolute minimum," he notes.

Kubik says that in the 300 years that shop design has been in existence, floors have always been underused. While items such as products, mannequins, and logos have typically always been illuminated by spotlights suspended from ceilings, actors and props on a theatre stage, and in the film industry, are illuminated in a different way, it notes, with the Kubik floor making interactive illumination possible.

Durnez, a Belgian, has been living in South Africa for 11 years, and has 27 years of experience with themed entertainment and experience marketing, with clients such as Disney, Warner Brothers, Samsung and several large telecommunication and car brands.

He started a local theming company that was responsible for the themed construction of Ratanga Junction, Canal Walk, Dockside, and many other themed and retail projects in South Africa and the Middle East. Durnez says that experience marketing, which started about 15 years ago in Europe and the US, is now starting to find its way to South Africa.

Kubik´s first flagship project was ‘Auto Pavilion´: Volkswagen - Audi´s showcase Discovery Centre, next to their factory in Uitenhage. The 1 500 m² venue was recently awarded the ‘Best showroom in South Africa´ accolade by leading architectural publication IE Magazine.

Source: engineeringnews.co.zaAuthor: shangyi

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