INFINITY® Technology – a New Tool for Architectural Lighting

Necessity is the Mother of Invention. Tony Rutenberg¹

Bank of Montreal Building, Toronto
The Challenge

The story of INFINITY® technology started in 2010 when GVA Lighting was approached with an unusual request to help delineate one of the tallest buildings in Toronto, standing 298 meters (978ft) tall. The project had strict requirements and limitations placed by the architect:
Fixtures had to be:

  • Bright, visible from a long distance
  • Small in size, clean looking
  • Color changing
  • Highly reliable
  • Reasonable cost

As well as:

  • No “spaghetti” wiring on the facade of the building
  • No penetrations into the building

The Brainstorming

Our analysis, experiments and extensive engineering brainstorming revealed the following:

  • 18 mid-power LEDs per 300mm/ft module with maximum power consumption of 5W per module creates desirable luminance and uniformity
  • Low voltage design is not applicable: at 5W/ft Class 2 circuits can only power 20 linear feet of lighting and Class 1 with a reasonable cable gauge – up to 100ft (30 meters). Big electrical load with low voltage power requires large gauge wire/cables to handle high current and to minimize the voltage drop
  • Fixtures with built-in AC/DC power supplies are close to the solution, however:
    • they all have lifetime limiting, temperature sensitive electrolytic capacitors
    • physical dimensions are larger than desirable
    • length is still limited to approximately 300 feet (92 meters)
  • The system’s components will determine the system size:
    • cable
    • connectors
    • inductors
    • electrolytic capacitors
  • To meet size requirements, cable diameter should be 7~9mm (0.35”) or smaller
  • To avoid excessive cabling we must transfer the current through the modules (through wiring)
  • The light source must be modular and completely environmentally protected
  • To create a reliable outdoor system, we must separate the light source and the optical system
  • Acrylic (PMMA) materials must be used in the optical system rather than PC (Polycarbonate) to avoid yellowing in the sun
  • A centralized remote power supply is ideal for system reliability and maintenance 

infinity aplicationThe Success

We achieved:

  • Long lighting circuits up to 300 meters (1,000 feet) can be fed from a single power and data input point.
  • Compact size by eliminating bulky capacitors and inductors required for AC/DC converters
  • Small cables and connectors
  • Clean look from a small form factor and lack of visible fasteners
  • Increased fixture reliability and lifespan by eliminating temperature sensitive electrolytic capacitors (typically rated for 4,000 hours @ 80°C)
  • Increased fixture reliability and lifespan by separating light source (completely sealed) and optical system (diffuser)
  • Compatibility with renewable energy sources (solar, wind)
  • Energy saving by eliminating AC/DC conversion
  • Ideal Power Factor 1.0 or 0.99 for AC/DC source
  • Lower system cost with fewer, higher wattage power supplies
  • Lower system cost with savings on cabling and connections with through wiring design

The Problem was solved! We can build very long lighting circuits fed from a single power and data input point*:

  • Wall washing light @ 1,650lm/meter (500lm/ft) – STR9-MONO @ 5W/ft
  • Exterior delineation light @ 4,000cd/m2 – HIGHLIGHTER HL-DL 
  • Cove lighting @ 1,500 lumens/meter (450lm/ft) – HIGHLIGHTER HL-COVE

* Some restrictions apply. Consult factory for maximum run length for your application.   

300meters 1000feet banner

The Applications

  • Architectural delineation of Skyscrapers
  • Illumination of long Bridges
  • Lighting for long coves in Airports, Shopping Malls, Schools
  • Wall washing and wall grazing of long facades
  • Illumination of modern Data Centers


*
As a Member of the EMerge Alliance, GVA Lighting strives towards leading the rapid adoption of safe DC power distribution into commercial buildings through the EMerge Alliance Standards.

Typical System Diagram

 

INFINITY Connection Diagram

INFINITY® Run Lengths

INFINITY run lengths

 

  1. STR9-MONO-INF, 1500mm (5ft) long; 14AWG cables;3 meter (10ft) leader cable; no jumpers; 30°C Ta. For other conditions/configurations consult factory.
  2. Maximum run lengths for STR9-RGB-INF, STR9-DWT-INF are indicated on product pages, for STR9-xxx-ELV – consult factory.
  3. Maximum run length for STR9-LITE-INF are equal to Currently offered for STR9-INF.
  4. HL-MONO-INF, 1200mm (4x1ft module) strings; 3 meter (10ft) leader cable; no jumpers; 30°C Ta.
  5. Maximum length for HL-RGB-INF is limited by pixel resolution: 341 modules with 300mm (1ft) addressability, 672 modules with 600mm (2ft) addressability, 880 modules with 900mm (3ft) addressability.
  6. Run lengths can be longer with lower wattage per module. Consult factory.
  7. PS-INF-3000 and 6000 available in Q3-2016.

 

“Brilliant idea”

Dawn Hollingsworth, LC, FIALD

Next Event

    2017 Catalog

    INFINITY® – a New Tool for Architectural Lighting was last modified: December 11th, 2016 by Stefan Mesaros