They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks … But, I'm an old dog and I just learned of a brand new "trick" that literally made me sit up and beg for more. I thought I'd seen everything, but I was wrong … so very wrong . My mind's been officially … blown.

3D Printed LED Luminaires – Coming to America

Steve Maurer, IME
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks …

But, I'm an old dog and I just learned of a brand new "trick" that literally made me sit up and beg for more. I thought I'd seen everything, but I was wrong … so very wrong.

My mind's been officially … blown.

If you've followed my articles, you know I'm a huge proponent of LED lighting. In fact, my own domicile is about 95% lit up by LED fixtures and lamps. I've even got Philips Hue Ambiance bulbs that I can "talk" to via my Alexa devices.

Even in office and factory new installs and retrofits, the bulk of my work has been upgrading from incandescent and fluorescent lamps to LED bulbs, tubes, and fixtures.

Sure, the energy savings and increased control over LED lighting makes them quite attractive. The increased lifespan translates to a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) by lowering maintenance and replacement expenditures. The LED engines and drivers last way longer than conventional lighting.

Overall, the TCO is far less than old fashioned "conventional" filament-based lighting.

And you get a much better return on your investment (ROI) to boot.

The one caveat?

You're limited to "in stock" fixtures, with a few exceptions. Of course, new styles and looks are made available occasionally. But, retrofitting or upgrading can be a time consuming and expensive undertaking.

However, if you wanted something truly unique and personalized—something that really promoted your brand's look and story—it could be designed for you. But again, it took both time and money to get the job done.

But, now you have another option.

What if you could design your own look and color for fixtures that accented your personal style and business model?

What if your new lighting look was limited only by your imagination?

And what if you could change your mind—and your fixtures—whenever you saw fit?

Well, you can … with tailor-made 3D printed luminaires by Signify, the new name of a trusted friend, Philips Lighting.

Prepare to have your mind blown, too.


So, What Are 3D Printed Luminaires?
My wife is a seamstress, so we hang around a lot of crafting and fabric stores. They have 3D printers for crafting.

In industrial manufacturing, 3D printing is often used for rapid prototyping of parts to ensure a good fit.

But 3D printed luminaires are a whole new ballgame. Right now, the only player producing 3D printed luminaires on an industrial scale is Signify.

And in my opinion, they're knocking it out of the park.

Now, first of all, your fixture is never out of stock because it's never in stock. Your order is actually printed on demand. No catalog necessary … ever.

You select the shape, texture, and color of your luminaire online. Once your luminaire is ordered—either through your distributor or sales agent—the specs go to a Signify factory for printing (I still have trouble wrapping my head around that concept, but it's way cool).

Once completed, the order is shipped, and then easily installed at your location by your contractor or electrical crew.

All that in a matter of weeks, not months or years.

The luminaire is printed using polycarbonate. The cord and lamp holder are constructed of regular plastic (with no screws or rust-prone components), except for the metal "business end" components that supply power to your LED lamp, of course.

Whether for hospitality, retail, or office spaces, your personalized luminaire is just a click or two away.

Signify has over 300 different options available for shape, color, and texture. Using CAD files and instructions, you get just the right light for your needs. But, what if you want a totally bespoke, personally customized look and feel?

For example, maybe you want to incorporate your company's logo as a part of the luminaire's design.

No problem!

You can create the fixture of your dreams yourself … or have Signify's design team assist you. And—now get this—your design's CAD drawing is kept on file should you need more fixtures printed in the future.

On file … for printing … still boggles the mind!

But, what if your design needs changed next year?

You might want new fixtures with a new texture, shape, or color.

You might even want a new, updated logo integrated into the design.

What do you do with the old ones?

Return, Recycle, Repurpose for a Circular Economy
When I talked to the U.S. product marketing lead, Matt Wall, this was my first exposure to what is called a circular economy.

Basically, it means a process where you create the smallest possible carbon footprint throughout the buying method, saving money in the process.

Should you want a new look or color scheme, place your order for updated luminaires. But, instead of throwing the old one in the landfill, you'll send it back to Signify. The polycarbonate is then recycled to make new fixtures.

And you get a discount on your order by returning the old fixtures for recycling.

You keep the electrical parts, like the pendant drops, to use with the new luminaires. Just remove the old one, and slip on the new one … a process that takes minutes, not hours. No need to rewire the new fixture. You just reuse the existing electrical components.

Anyone, regardless electrical expertise, can make the change to the updated luminaire lens.
So, by returning the old luminaire in exchange for the new, you save time, money … and the environment.

All at the same time.

Simplify and Identify … with Signify
The Signify 3D printed luminaires are rolling out in the United States now, starting with pendant drop fixtures. Soon track lighting, high bays and more will make their way to our shores. The first U.S. factory is being constructed in Pennsylvania.

Get ready to make your lighting life much easier. Learn more about tailored lighting that YOU design to fit your needs and support a circular economy. It's as simple as clicking buttons on a website. Build your brand identity and simplify the ordering process with Signify fixtures.

Tailored design. Fast delivery. Sustainable by default.

Mind blown yet?

Photo courtesy of Signify
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