Signify wages war on a ‘cosy market’

PETER EARLE'S enthusiasm for Signify’s new emergency lighting  platform for OEMs is personal as well as professional.

Earle, business development manager, emergency lighting, points out that this scale allows the company to make investments that other brands wouldn’t.

He was, after all, one of the leading UK executives who helped persuade Signify to develop the product.

Earle must have been convincing, because the development of the Philips TrustSight range was no small commitment by the company, which was formerly known as Philips Lighting.

The third generation of TrustSight is the result of a two-year, multi-million Euro investment.

Moreover, it involved global co-operation between the Signify R&D team in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, the battery experts at Bodine in Tennessee, USA, the DALI team in Bangalore, India and the design and engineering team in Shanghai, China.

Earle, business development manager, emergency lighting, points out that this scale allows the company to make investments that other brands wouldn’t. Signify invested 4.5% of total revenue in 2018 into R&D.

He’s keen to stress the Philips-branded TrustSight is no ‘legacy product’. The design philosophy was safety, quality, reliability and compliance. ‘After all, it’s a life-critical safety product,’ says Earle. ‘TrustSight is part of a system that’s supposed to save lives and we never lose sight of that’.

The engineers thought about it, and all tasks it has to perform, 'from the circuit board up’, he says.

TrustSight  has a slim profile height of just 21mm,  a fast switchover to emergency mode in case of a mains failure and integrated automatic self-testing.

‘The hardware, the software, the firmware, the behaviour, how it works in the field, the commissioning, all of the stuff that it has to do: the function test, the duration test, working in a real emergency.

‘All this stuff has to be included in your design thinking before you come up with the product. And that’s what we did and we took two years to do it.

‘We’re interested in what’s in the luminaire rather than all the other elements such as signage that are part of an emergency lighting design.

‘We want TrustSight to turn the fitting into a safe, reliable and compliant luminaire. What we’re talking about with TrustSight is componentry; the emergency driver, the battery and other accessories such as the LED indicator.

‘So regardless of the fitting – whether it’s a downlight and a remote kit or a panel with an integrated maintained kit inside – that’s my interest’.

TrustSight ticks a lot of boxes for luminaire makers. It has a slim profile height of just 21mm,  a fast switchover to emergency mode in case of a mains failure and integrated automatic self-testing.

One of the most important features is the battery auto-detect function which offers OEMs flexibility without having to add the usual complexity to their supply chains.

It works by the driver detecting the number of cells in the battery pack. The resulting output power during emergency mode will be then be set according to the detected number of battery cells.

After installation the driver will detect the battery and start the automatic detection process.

This feature dramatically reduces the number of SKUs required.

TrustSight is compatible with both Lithium and NiMH battery chemistries, but not cadmium (described by Earle as ‘poison’).

The safety extra low voltage (SELV) version is aimed at OEM manufacturers who require SELV or for downlight applications and the high voltage version provides an emergency load range for all linear and highbay applications.

There are DALI versions as well as programmable versions with NFC chips so manufacturers can change certain parameters to their specification.

There’s an increased forward voltage window for wider LED board coverage, increased flexibility with SimpleSet and MultiOne programming in the DALI range and automatic current-setting and battery detection during commissioning.

It operates under higher maximum temperatures than industry norms, and boasts extended warranties.

TrustSight hit the market earlier this year ‘with the intention of disrupting the emergency lighting  market’.

It has done just that, says Earle, and has already taken a significant market share.

It has achieved certification to the BSI Kitemark for emergency LED control gear, an achievement designed to give the highest level of confidence to emergency lighting manufacturers. It’s also been shortlisted for a Lux Award and is set to be demonstrated at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition in London in November.

 

  • Learn more about emergency lighting at the Escape Zone at the LuxLIve 2019 exhibition. The show takes place on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November 2018 at ExCeL London. Entry is free if you pre-register here.