LEDsmagazine.com JULY/AUGUST 2017 19
interview | SAPPHIRE AWARDS
On March 1, 2017 in Anaheim, CA, LEDs Magazine announced the winnersinthe2017Sapphire Awards
program at a Gala that took place coincident with the Strategies in Light tradeshow.
LED luminaire specialist Fluxwerx won the
Sapphire Indoor Troffer, Linear, and Recessed
SSL Luminaire Design category
for its Fold product as we documented in prior articles (http://
bit.ly/2mm5dER). We recently
had a chance to talk with Scott
Santoro, Fluxwerx vice president of product design, about
the development process the
Fluxwerx team uses, some
details about the Fold development, and the team’s feelings
about the Sapphire Award win.
LEDs Magazine: Hi Scott,
and congratulations on winning an LEDs Magazine Sapphire Award for your Fluxwerx Fold luminaire. I want to
start by asking you about the form factor. We
have written repeatedly that LED sources can
enable completely new concepts in luminaire
design. Still, a lot of products on the market
look like legacy fixtures with LEDs supplanting a lamp of some type. Clearly, Fold and
some of your other products are far different
from legacy fixtures. How does your team
start a product development like Fold? Do you
conceive of the shape and lines before even
contemplating how to make it work optically?
Is there an industrial design type process
that happens before you tackle the electrical,
mechanical, optical, and thermal problems?
Scott Santoro: Innovation is core to who
we are at Fluxwerx. Since the inception of our
company, our mantra has always been to do
things that could not have been done before,
Through years of experience and experi-
mentation, we have developed an integrated
approach that synthesizes all elements of
design — industrial, optical, electrical, ther-
mal, and mechanical — but to say that we start
with any of those elements would be inaccu-
rate. Design starts with a problem or an inspi-
ration and begins with any one particular
element, but we quickly integrate the other ele-
ments through a unique combination of itera-
tive process and engineering savvy.
LEDs: Striking luminaire form is of course
important in architectural lighting projects.
But form without function just doesn’t work
for most lighting designers/specifiers. Can
you summarize the optical performance
that Fold delivers and perhaps contrast that
summary with what linear pendant fixtures
in more traditional form factors might offer?
Santoro: Our goal was to create a mini-
malist luminaire that contrasted sculptural
mass and form of architectural materials
with its own luminous void aperture that —
in combination with our precision anidolic
optics — delivers both design and visual com-
fort with superior lighting and energy perfor-
mance with unmatched quality.
Optical performance is a function of two
factors — the efficacy of converting the input
energy to output light and, more
importantly, the distribution of
that light from the fixture in
the space. The latter is often
ignored in LED product design,
and yet it is more important in
that it is the element of lighting performance that creates
the experience for the people
occupying the space. The focus
of optical design should be to
deliver the light in a controlled
distribution that is optimized
for the application.
Efficacy is important but if it
is the focus, then it ignores the
most significant element — the
people in the office, or school, or library, or
retail space. It is not just about the technology itself, but about the end result and what
that technology delivers.
The opportunity that has been created in
designing optics for LED sources, that was
not available with fluorescent and other legacy sources, is the integration of true precision lighting performance with architectural and industrial design that now exists
in ways that could never be done before.
In short, Fold is the sum of optimal balance of all elements to deliver affordable,
beautiful objects that create superior lighting performance and energy savings with
architectural materials. Its indirect/direct
batwing distributions are separately dimmable and deliver efficacy up to 119 lm/W
Fluxwerx discusses its integrated
approach to SSL product development
MAURY WRIGHT interviews SCOTT SANTORO about how Fluxwerx approached LED-based luminaire
development relative to the Sapphire Award-winning Fold SSL product family.
The Fold linear pendant’s high-transmittance, clear acrylic lenses
provide even light distribution and eliminate point-source visibility.