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News Releases 2015

First in Japan! Innovative light guide plates created with Kuraray's proprietary micro form processing technology
Kuraray develops new light guide plates that control the direction of emitted light.
Perfect for stylishly lighting hotels, museums, stores and other venues

November 17, 2015
Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Kuraray Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Masaaki Ito; “Kuraray”) has developed Japan’s first anisotropic emission light guide plates for controlling the direction in which light is emitted and capable of focusing it as needed to increase brightness. LED lighting using these light guides was recently installed in the soon to be opened new wing of Saijo Central Hospital in Ehime Prefecture.

1.About Kuraray’s Anisotropic Light Guide Plates

Kuraray applied proprietary mastering technology to the creation of these light guide plates, forming intricate micron-level patterns into highly transparent methacrylic resin sheets.
The plates extracts light through both reflection and refraction, resulting in a light extraction efficiency rate of 93%.*1 Moreover, by allowing the precision control of the direction of emission, desired locations can be sufficiently illuminated.

  • *1. Conventional light guide plates have a light extraction efficiency rate of around 85%.

2.Characteristics of Anisotropic Lighting with Light Guide Plates

  • -The anisotropic light guide plates can focus light on a specific location to increase illumination. When the angle of emission is set at zero degrees (directly in front of the light source) the area of maximum illumination is 45 degrees.
  • -By combining light guide plates with a 93% light extraction efficiency rate with LEDs, we achieved an industry top 120 lm/W for lighting using light guide plates.
  • -The light guide plate is 3 mm thick, making it possible to create an LED lighting with a self-enclosed power supply that is only 20 mm thick, the thinnest in the industry. With an external power supply, this can be reduced to 8.5 mm.
  • -Unlike conventional fixtures, such lightings can be placed in a greater variety of locations, enabling the more efficient use of space and more stylish floor designs.
  • -Interiors can be designed to appear more spacious by reducing the area taken up by lighting features through the employment of such options as cove lighting, which conceals light sources in walls or in recesses in a raised ceiling.

3.Actual Usage

Around 900 of these LED lightings have been installed in Saijo Central Hospital’s new wing, which will open on December 1, 2015. In addition to being installed to provide seamless lighting along the hospital hallways, they have been installed as illumination for patient beds. The resulting gentle brightness imparts a warm feeling. (Shimizu Corporation handled the hospital wing’s design and construction.)

4.Potential Applications

This product is well suited for use in hotels, museums, stores, restaurants and other locations that need designer lighting in fixed spaces.

5.Sales Target

After five years: Annual sales of \1 billion (light guide plates)

Reference Materials

■The below illustration and photograph demonstrate line lighting using anisotropic light guide plates illuminating an interior space.

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