GrowFilm® is one of a family of lighting companies owned by common investors that first started in the lighting business in 2001. Since that time, the company’s ability to produce “light” took a variety of different form factors starting with electroluminescent lighting (EL), turning to solid state lighting (LED) in 2009, and ending up with GrowFilm® in 2015.
GrowFilm® is a pioneer in flexible, solid-state, planar lighting emitters. Historically, all LED lighting has been built using traditional “chip-on-board” techniques. Others are larger, such as “light bars” or “light panels,” which are built on common single-layer boards. In virtually all cases, high-power, high-brightness LED chips are used in this construction, which in turn generate substantial thermal challenges that are only solved by using heavy, bulky (and costly) heat sinks.
The company’s GrowFilm® light sheet is unique because it uses a flexible circuit. That board is manufactured using proprietary techniques that help minimize cost. The flexibility and minimal weight (1.2 oz/ft2) of the board also enables the creation of unique applications – something that others can’t readily accomplish.
Another feature of the GrowFilm® offering is its design using “many points of light” (clustering). The GrowFilm® light sheets use optimally spaced low-power LEDs that leverage the viewing angle of each chip such that the light emitted from one overlaps its neighbor, producing an even dispersion of light. The quantity and alignment of the LEDs is a function of the desired sheet output. And since the chips are under-driven, thermal challenges are minimized (no heat sink device is required).
This new solid-state lighting form factor presents an opportunity to open new applications for GrowFilm®. Those applications can directly benefit from the lightweight and flexibility of the sheet, the blended light emission and the elimination of the heat sink.