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156 TECHNOLOGY / BENCH TEST


Selux Lighting grew out of postwar Berlin, bringing battery powered light to a city in ruins. David Morgan considers the company’s M Modular LED system, a refined take on the modular fluorescent linear lighting the company developed in the 1970s.


RETRO INSPIRATION


Selux Lighting, originally known as Semperlux was started by Hermann Bansbach in Berlin in 1948 when the city still lay in ruins with hardly any electricity or light. Hermann Bansbach brought light into this dark time by brightening the lives of Berliners with simple, affordable, battery- powered lamps. That is how Semperlux became Selux - and how a craftman’s shop in Berlin turned into a global company with 500 employees in Europe, North America, and Australia. Today the company generates over 80% of its revenues outside Germany. It is understood that Selux was the originator of modular fluorescent linear architectural lighting systems in the 1970s and went on to develop a full range of pendant, surface mounted and recessed versions including a mitred version to make up square and rectangular patterns. The fluorescent versions were produced in two


sizes – 60mm wide and 100mm wide with a variety of optical controllers. Recessed versions were available in both trimless and with trim designs. As LEDs move into all areas of architectural lighting, Selux has now developed LED versions of the original fluorescent system and also introduced a new narrower LED only version at 37mm wide. The core of the new M Modular LED system is the removable LED gear tray. This is based on a 300 mm module incorporating a metal core pcb populated with medium power Samsung LEDs. The pcbs are mounted onto an extruded heat sink with the drivers fitted on the back. This linear LED module snaps into the various housings for either suspended pendant or direct ceiling mounting. The extruded housings act as part of the overall LED heat management but the core extruded heat sink is so effective that the system will still work at


normal operating temperatures even when the housing is cast into solid concrete. The effectiveness of the system’s thermal management is illustrated by the lumen maintenance figure of 90% after 50,000 hours of use. The system provides up to 2,000 lumens from 24 watts per metre in 3000K or 4000K colour temperature with the most efficient diffuser panel. With the micro louvre this falls to 1,800 lumens per metre and the opal at 1,700 lumens per metre. There are four standard lengths based on a 300 mm module giving 890 mm, 1,186 mm, 1,482mm and 2,372mm plus an L module for corners. A shorter 150mm LED module is also available to special order to enable the system to fit into non modular buildings. Selux provides an online configurator to help designers and specifiers fit the system into any space while using standard lengths. It guides the user through


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