Textile lighting systems demonstrated

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The incorporation of lighting into vehicle interior textiles is growing in popularity with manufacturers, and in this video, lighting specialist Munda and textile developer Aunde demonstrate some of the effects that can be achieved.

According to Munda, the basic components of textile lighting systems are at least one LED light source and a textile material – a fabric that acts as a light guide. The light is fed into the fabric’s fiber ends and can be emitted from its side (lateral emission). The fabric is provided with suitable light-scattering surface structures at the desired light output points for this purpose. However, the light can be emitted – additionally or exclusively – at the end of the fibers too (axial emission).

The fabric consists of clear plastic PMMA optical fibers (POFs), which are woven with warp threads made from white polyester to form light-guiding fiber mats. A diffusor and top fabric are placed over the light-conducting fiber mat and a reflector is placed under it. The individual POFs are combined into one or more ferrules, and the ferrules are connected to the LED modules. A special mixer optic in the LED modules ensures that the LED light is distributed optimally to all polished fiber ends in the ferrule.

According to the company, textile lighting systems are flexible and can be draped. This is a key advantage for integrating the system into many applications. Combined with the very flat structure of the overall design, this technology enables developers to work very flexibly where installation space is often tight.

Textile lighting solutions can be used in very versatile ways in vehicle interiors: they can illuminate and backlight textile and non-textile surfaces in door panels and seats, in the cockpit, footwells, roof liner or trunk – for decorative purposes, for branding using an illuminated logo, or to provide safety or guide functions. If multiple LED modules are used to feed in the light, dynamic lighting scenarios are possible.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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