ALED Technology Shines New Light on Glass
LightGlass Technology wasted little time making bold strides into the architectural glass products market.
In 2016—just two years after the Vienna-based firm was founded—the company debuted a line of self-illuminating glass for use in windows, doors, elevators and other construction efforts.
While most smart-glass products use liquid-crystal or electrochromic chemistry for shading or opacity, LightGlass ALED is formulated to act as its own illumination source.
“LightGlass technologies provide light in daylight quality wherever we need it,” says Reinhard Tschaickner, head of marketing and PR for LightGlass. “Imagine a future in which light turns into architecture—in which glass possesses new functions and intelligently participates in shaping our daily life.”
Tschaickner notes that ALED “can be integrated everywhere where there is architectural glass.” Building facades, hospital technologies, ceilings, countertops, floors, and partition wall systems also are possible applications.
A LightGlass TechWall—with controls similar to touch-responsive, smartphone technology—benefits from responsive monitors, gauges and sensors to monitor and adjust light shadings.
Range of Options
LightGlass offers ALED technology in a number of products:
The patented ALED technology uses an insulating lamination of single-pane safety glass to reflect light provided over a light-conducting surface. The glass is ideal for design and construction because it was devised for products with shallow installation depth. The transparent glass can be lit as if it were daylight, or adjusted with a custom color spectrum to reflect disparate hues.
LightGlass tested the elaborate wiring required by its glass in several full-scale installations in Vienna, including an approximately 4-by-7-foot partition wall at the Vienna Technical Museum.
The architectural community has taken notice of LightGlass ALED. The product won the Architizer A+ Award in the Building Products—Glazing Systems and Products category, which was presented May 11 in New York City. In 2016, it was saluted as “Most Innovative Glass Product” at the Glass Magazine Awards in Washington, D.C.
Tschaickner refused to reveal how much LightGlass ALED technology costs, but he plans for the technology and usage to become prevalent enough for buildings to rely on it for their primary source of illumination.
“The phrase ‘turn on the window’ will be as common as ‘turn on the light’ nowadays,” Tschaickner says.