Making the Leap into Lighting Designs

At Lighting Japan 2014 that took place at Tokyo Big Sight last Wednesday to Friday, LEDinside editorial team spoke to various designers at the show. For some, this was the first time they worked with LED designs, while others were seasoned veterans. Tony Yu, Design Director, Design Department for WOW LED Lighting, an Everlight Group subsidiary, speaks about his experience working with lighting.

Tony Yu, Design Director, Design Department for WOW LED Lighting. (LEDinside)

Lin: Can you talk to us a bit about your background?

Yu: I first started as an industrial designer and have experience making 3C products, furniture and even jewelry. I worked as a design director for a jewelry company in Hong Kong for awhile.

Lin: How did you become involved in lighting design?

Yu: While working as a hotel furniture designer for Home Hotel in Taipei, a friend of WoW LED Lighting General Manager Chiu Chen Hong was very impressed with my design and introduced me to him. I also began designing LED products as a student and applied for several LED patents then.

Liang booth at Lighting Design 2014
Liang lighting booth at Lighting Design 2014. Yu also used his previous experiences to design the lighting booth this year. (LEDinside)

Lin: What is your design concept?

Yu: For me design is problem solving. It has to be able to provide a solution to a problem, and although having a much more appealing form is important, the form of the design must be functional…Sometimes I design lighting more like pieces of furniture. I want my lighting products to be more interactive and communicative, such as the Angle luminaire design.

For example, how often do you come in contact with your table lamp at work? You probably just switch it on when you arrive at work and off when you leave. For me most table lamps are very boring designs. So I wanted the Angle LED lumianire to be more interactive, the light turns on and off by touch.

The Angle luminaire for example gives up vertical design, and can be adjusted horizontally to different angles according to the user preference. This also allows the user to become creators of the luminaires and create their own form during adjustments. The luminaire is designed at a height of 475 mm because according to my studies it is the most comfortable height for users.

Angle LED luminaire design by Tony Yu, Design Director, Design Department, WOW LED Lighting
The Angle luminaire designed by Yu displayed at Lighting Japan 2014. The joints of the LED luminaire can be moved horizontally and is comprised of Everlight LED lighting components. (LEDinside)

Lin: What is the CRI for the Angle Luminaire? And the LED used?

Yu: The Angle luminaire has a CRI of about 5,700 K and can be customized. The luminaire is also dimmable, and uses Everlight 5630 LEDs. We are developing customized LEDs for the luminaire and hope all our lighting products will have customized LEDs in the future.

Lin: What are some of the challenges in designing the Angle Luminaire?

Yu: As you can see, the three sectioned luminaire does not use any locks at its joints. Another difficult part in the design is concealing the lighting wires and heat dissipation from view to give it a clean and simple design. Also, since I’m not originally a lighting designer, I am unfamiliar with lighting technologies. I need to rely on my experienced colleagues with engineering backgrounds, who worked previously at Everlight. I am still studying beam angle at the moment. This is why it took me nearly one year to finish the design.

Lin: When will Angle be mass produced?

Yu: We plan to mass produce Angle in March 2014. The product will be launched in Asia much faster than in Europe and U.S., but we are thinking of launching the product in Europe by 1H14. We have gotten a lot of interest from German visitors at Lighting Japan 2014 for this product, and also for our Shan-Shuei Series.

Wow LED Lighting Shan-Shui Series
WoW LED lighting Shan-Shuei series shown under color temperature close to white. The mirror finished stainless steel tops reflect light to create ripple like effects. (LEDinside)

Lin: Is there a particular Chinese painting that inspired your Shan-Shuei series?

Yu: I was inspired by Song Dynasty style traditional Chinese paintings when I made these luminaires. They are not based on any particular painting, though.

WoW LED Lighting Shan-Shui Series
WoW LED Lighting Shan-shui series dimmed to warmer color temperatures. The prototype uses regular PCB covers at the moment, which enables viewers to see the LEDs arrangement inside the luminaire. Yu emphasized these will not be visible in the final product. (LEDinside)

Lin: What is the design concept for the Shan-shuei series?

Yu: As you can see the top of the Shan-shuei series is made from mirror finished stainless steel that naturally reflects light from beneath. The luminaires are dimmable and dimmed with a controller. The luminaire has a correlated color temperature between 2,700 K to 5,600 K. I want the luminaire to reflect the different lighting seen on mountains from sunrise to sunset. The luminaire is still a prototype at the moment.

Lin: What market are you targeting with Angle and Shan-shuei series?

Yu: I don’t want to limit my luminaire products to any market yet. What I value the most is the product’s interactive properties. I want the user to determine its use.

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