An important element for an aesthetic interior design is the lighting, because light creates an atmospheric and pleasant ambience. The trend is towards individual and functional lighting concepts that are producible. It is particularly interesting when it is possible to change the lighting design and control it using an optically appealing textile touch pads.
The foundation for innovation is the merging of the textile, electronics, hard and software industries. It is realized by the automatic production of lighting elements in combination with the programming of the lighting effects, the control as well as the realization of the connection technology.
The FSD (functional sequin devises) technology is optimally suited for an efficient manufacture of individual lighting designs on top of textile surfaces. Through this technology it is possible to effectively manufacture an extensive lighting design based on textiles. The LEDs are fed and placed fully automatically on an embroidery machine with a modified sequin attachment at the Textilforschungsinstitut Thüringen-Vogtland e.V. (TITV), Greiz/Germany. Corresponding to the conceived circuit, the conductors are embroidered with an electric conductive thread and interconnect the FSD. 1200 FSDs were automatically embroidered this way on a surface of 0.9 x 0.35 m.
The chosen combination of automatic manufactured textile light matrix, programming of the software for controlling the display through a textile touch pad, design of electric supply and reliability of the electronic were the significant challenges of this innovation. For those areas of application the “flexible display for individual operable lighting design” was developed.
The image data are automatically generated through a self-developed script. Existing pictures or video sequences can be loaded, which are converted into the required format. Beside the visual display of pictures and video sequences, it is also possible to show animated current information (e.g. time, weather and temperature) with the script. The options and control are managed through the textile touch pad.
To control the textile FSD Display with a textile touch pad and its corresponding touch sensors, a specific manufactured electric conductive fabric is used. The interface between touch pad and display are wirelessly connected. This enables an unrestricted positioning of the control panel in the interior. Building on wireless transmission through Bluetooth Low Energy, it is a simple task to implement a navigation for the FSD Display with an app.
Especially in the interior design, individual lighting design is a big topic, as this makes it possible to create a foundation for a safe and pleasant lifestyle, and create an ambiance which conveys a more comfortable feeling. Well-being and safety are aspects which are approved and demanded by the client. Hence, individual and creative lighting concepts for different applications are sought-after. Areas of applications reach from interior for automotive, advertisement, exhibition and event lighting to interior design for flats, shops, hotels, gastronomy and public buildings.
A big step into the distribution of individual lighting designs will be achieved through the improved automated FSD manufacturing technology, simple installation and the reliability of the products. In 2017 the market volume of smart textiles accounted €230 million in Germany alone. Forecast estimate, that this market volume will be increased to €730 million in 2022 and €4.2 billion in 2030. The challenge in development of smart textiles is to make ideas of products applicable. With the FSD Display for individual lighting concepts this task is achieved.