Nauth returned to the Dragons’ Den after appearing last year with a related remote phosphor product, which impressed the dragons despite its yellow appearance when off. In the intervening months Intematix has developed a way to combine a layer of remote phosphor with a diffuser in a single extrusion, achieving a white appearance. Nauth also said the product gives a continuous and uniform light, with only 1 per cent light loss due to the effectiveness of the bond. It enables the end user to customise colour temperature, with reduced glare, and it can be made in any length. The dragons described the uniformity of light as ‘fantastic’.
Other products which impressed the dragons were a driverless LED GU10 replacement presented by Neil Partridge of Enilight. Using a Samsung AC chip, the product does away with the driver – often the weak link in a retrofit lamp. The dragons liked the idea but expressed concerns that a layperson wouldn’t understand the instructions on the box which state that the lamp is not suitable for use in an enclosed luminaire, as well reservations about the dimming function would work in certain settings. But it still won approval – subject to testing. Liz Peck of LPA Lighting pointed out that lack of suitability in enclosed luminaires is a problem for all GU10s, not just this one.
Ian Bryant of Carclo’s road lighting solution led to some concerns on the part of the judges in terms of thermal control. Performance would change dramatically in a hot climate, they said. Colour shift was also a worry, with Andrew Bissell of Cundall saying that even if colour shift is within acceptable levels, it can still ‘give LED a bad name’.
John Bullock of Greenspec Light proposed an idea as opposed to a product – that of an accreditation scheme to demonstrate lighting companies’ supply chain sustainability. ‘We deal with outputs, but what about input?’ he asked the judges, claiming: ‘The community of lighting manufacturers need to create a sustainable future.” He proposed a certification for the industry which would act like ‘a bracelet or a badge to open doors’. ‘The idea is it would help you beyond the tender list if you have the badge,’ he explained, adding that an independent accreditation would benefit the industry as a whole and give buyers confidence in the quality of products. Judges were broadly in favour of his proposal but expressed concern about the notion of spending thousands of pounds a year on membership fees. ‘In terms of the principle, I’m in,’ said Phil Champ of Champ Industrial Design. ‘But as a sole trader, at £5k, I’m out.’