Signify launches 3D printed luminaires for professional and domestic customers

Signify has unveiled its services for 3D printing of light shades and luminaires for domestic and professional clients.

The company has perfected this highly flexible, more sustainable form of manufacturing, using a 100 percent recyclable polycarbonate material, which allows luminaires to be bespoke designed or tailored to customer’s exact needs and recycled at the end of their life.

A typical 3D printed luminaire has a 47 percent lower carbon footprint than a conventionally manufactured metal luminaire when electronics and optics are excluded. Nearly every component may be reused or recycled, supporting the concept of a circular economy.

Signify’s existing 3D printing facility is at Maarheeze in the Netherlands, where the company is planning to have up to 500 3D printers of different sizes with the ability to create luminaires up to 60 cm height and width.

Signify’s 3D printing facility at Maarheeze, Netherlands

In January 2020, a new Signify 3D printing facility will be operational in Burlington, Massachusetts, and additional plants in Noida, India and Jakarta, Indonesia will follow. LED lights will be integrated into the luminaires at all these sites.

“We are the first lighting manufacturer to produce 3D printed luminaires on an industrial scale, reinforcing our position at the forefront of lighting and sustainable innovation,” said Olivia Qiu, Chief Innovation Officer at Signify. “We can create new, or customise existing designs, that fulfil customer needs quickly without huge investments and long development cycles.”

3D-printing a luminaire

Marks and Spencer is an early customer, and is in the early stage of rolling out thousands of 3D printed luminaires across stores in the UK; the project, which will be completed by the end of 2020, is part of a major estate renovation to improve store performance and generate significant energy savings.

In the stores, different luminaires are being replaced by 3D printed LED versions. These bespoke products are sized to fit perfectly into the existing fittings, ensuring the continued use of current ceiling tiles.

Custom luminaires installed at M&S’s Manchester store

Said Oliver Knowles, R&D Manager within the Property Group at M&S: “3D printing has been around for a while, but these luminaires are the first real retail lighting application we’ve seen that improves the sustainability of our stores and are extremely complementary to our sustainability strategy.

“The potential for these fittings is enormous, both from an energy and cost-efficiency perspective. They are printed on demand to fit perfectly without the need for adjustment or cutting into our ceilings. We can also return them to have them recycled and new designs printed, enabling us to be current and topical. M&S is leading the way as the first major UK retailer to take this step.”

M&S joins other major European customers including Albert Heijn, SAS, Total and Praxis.

“Customers can have their ideas brought to life in a matter of days rather than months and printing requires less energy,” said Olivia Qiu. “Our 3D printed luminaires have a lower carbon footprint than traditionally built metal luminaires. They weigh less, which enables us to reduce the carbon emissions in shipping by 35 percent. By keeping production close to urban areas, we reduce the footprint even further. And of course, LED lighting is more energy-efficient than conventional lighting.”

Signify has also announced the world’s first online service to enable consumers to tailor decorative luminaires; it can be delivered to the door within two weeks of order. Included in the range is a customisable Philips LED table lamp made from 24 recycled CDs. The customer selects the base design, then personalises for size, colour, texture and pattern of the luminaire and the LED bulb type.

Signify’s customised 3D printed lamp, made from recycled CDs, costs €99 and can be ordered online from 28 November. Intially it’s available only in Europe

“This is the first mass-market service that allows you to tailor your own sustainable lighting aesthetic,” said Khalid Aziz, Head of Ventures at Signify. “And being online, it could easily be integrated into third-party web stores giving consumers more choice.”

In 2018, 79 percent of Signify’s sales comprised sustainable revenues. The company is committed to be carbon neutral in 2020 and was recently named Industry Leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third year in a row.

3D-printed pendant luminaire