WhiteOptics' Low-Cost Reflector Composite Boosts LED Fixture Efficiency

Image of two WhiteOptics luminaires with high-reflectance composite coating.

Luminaire components coated with WhiteOptics' high-reflectance composite.

With the help of DOE funding, WhiteOptics has developed a composite coating that can be used to improve efficiency in backlit, indirect, and cavity-mixing LED luminaire designs by maximizing light reflection and output. The highly diffuse coating, which is based on a novel high-reflectance particle technology, allows for uniform distribution of light without exaggerating the point-source nature of the LEDs, and is intended to offer an overall system cost-improving solution for LED optics.

Because of the coating's high reflectance, the same light output can be achieved with 15 percent fewer LEDs, which not only increases efficiency but also extends luminaire lifetime by reducing system temperatures. The color quality of the light is not affected by the coating, which is designed to withstand 50,000 hours or more of luminaire operation under expected LED system thermal and environmental operating extremes.

Carried out in partnership with the University of Delaware's composite materials department, the project has achieved 97 percent reflectance and demonstrated greater than 15 percent optical efficiency improvements in benchmark LED luminaires. With the initial milestones achieved, the effort continues to focus on increasing the overall reflectance of the composite coating, scaling up low-cost production methods, and completing long-term accelerated durability testing. A commercial product is expected to be available in less than two years.