DESIGN ENGINEERS like a challenge, but this one was special: create an emergency light which fits through a 40mm hole and fits within a ceiling void of 80mm.
Impossible? Not quite. The Tridonic engineers managed to create the EM ready2apply after the combination of multiple design and technology innovations over a four-year development.
The first challenge was a battery that would be small enough, but also pack enough power, for all suitable applications. ‘We knew the current NiCd and NiMH batteries would not make the cut and therefore started a search in May 2013 for the battery that could take the market forward,’ says a Tridonic spokesman. ‘After three years we finally found a LiFePO4 battery which exceeded all safety, lifetime, and performance requirements we had set’.
‘Next we set about the challenge of combining an LED driver, battery charging circuit, Dali interface, and monitoring circuit inside a space of approximately 75mm x 35mm x 25mm – not forgetting to round the corners.
‘In addition we then had to add two cut-outs on the PCB for the springs that keep it in the ceiling. This was finally made possible using some clever engineering and a flexi-rigid PCB which allows for the optimal use of available space.
‘Next challenge was: how do we connect to the battery? Trying to use a terminal block or special connector all while providing a strain relief seemed again, impossible.
‘The solution was to use a strap that connects the two parts together, allows the product to flex over on installation, contains all wiring for the battery and protection circuit, provides a strong strain relief, and contains a simple two-step method for battery connection and disconnection’.
The EM ready2apply combines the interchangeable optic design to give the user a choice of how they want the product to perform without stocking separate units. It also features the BlackBox fault monitoring system which has 40 data points and ultrasonic welding to seal the housing shut. (‘Clips took up too much space’).
The development has now been rewarded with a shortlisting in the Innovations section of the Lux Awards 2017. The winners will be announced on Thursday 16 November 2017 at the InterContinental Hotel at the O2 in London. See the full shortlist HERE.