If you’ve clicked on this link, you’re obviously interested in a slightly more in-depth explanation of prismatic structures and how they work.
But first, let’s start at the beginning… the goal of any optical assembly is three-fold: provide high-quality lighting of the space, minimize glare, and maximize the utilization of light from the source.
So, the objective of fixture design simplifies the strategic placement of optical components to control the direction of light from the bare source.
This mission can obviously be accomplished in an infinite number of ways, as demonstrated by the diversity of fixture construction, both today and in the past.
The answer lies in the ability of these structures to provide a highly efficient and effective luminaire. They are efficient because they are made of transparent media, with minimal absorption of light energy.
A typical glass refractor assembly can be as high as 95% light throughput! They are effective because they provide the ultimate flexibility to aim the light in virtually any direction. Look around this web site and you will see the myriad of different light distributions that are possible.
How do prisms "refract" light?
Prisms work on the principle of refraction, which is Latin for “to turn aside, or bend”. As light enters a transparent medium of greater density than air, the laws of physics dictate that the beam undergoes a slight bending.
Without getting too technical, it is simply that the light beam conserves energy by traveling in different directions in different media. The degree to which the light bends depends on a number of factors… The properties of the materials at the interface (eg air / glass), the angle of approach to the surface, and the shape of the prismatic structure.
How do prisms "reflect" light?
As counterintuitive as it may seem, prism can actually be used to reflect light! Light traveling in a medium denser than air (eg glass) can literally be trapped within the medium! This phenomenon is called Total Internal Reflection (TIR for short).
By shaping and orienting a prism in a particular way, we can take advantage of TIR to reflect light. This same phenomenon of TIR is used in fiber optics to allow transmission of signals over hundreds of miles in telecommunication applications.
Why "glass" refractors?
With all of the materials available today (plastics, acrylics, polycarbonate), Holophane has chosen to focus its intellectual energy on borosilicate glass for one simple reason… YOU, THE CUSTOMER!
Glass is actually a very difficult material to work with in manufacturing, but we have chosen to invest heavily in this technology since it has such great economic advantages in application. Here are just a few of the advantages….
Longevity – SiO2 (sand) just doesn’t degrade over time!
UV impervious – sunlight and lamp energy don’t affect it.
Temperature resistance – typical fixture temps are way below melting point.
Thermal Shock – Borosilicate glass is almost impervious to temperature swings
Chemical Resistance – Remember the containers in chemistry class?
ISD SuperGlass™, available exclusively from Holophane, is the next generation of, and first technological breakthrough in prismatic lighting technology. Holophane has redesigned the prism, and redefined the glass manufacturing process in such a way that our reflectors can now supply more light, more efficiently than ever before.
Already leading the pack in lighting performance, Holophane’s glass luminaires are now taking a quantum leap forward to never before seen levels of lighting proficiency. With ISD SuperGlass from Holophane you can expect:
Up to 28% more light to the task than the next best alternative
Up to 59% energy savings
More light with far fewer fixtures installed
Lower Installation costs
Lower annual energy costs
Reduced maintenance and relamping costs
Better lighting uniformity
Lower long-term cost of ownership
For more detailed information on ISD SuperGlass, click the links below to download our new SuperGlass PDF Brochure and our ISD SuperGlass video, “Fundamental Shift”… complete with a virtual plant tour of the glass manufacturing process!
ISD Superglass brochure in