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9/25/2008
Sacmi presents its “luminous tile”

A product to inspire the imagination, made possible by next-generation LEDs

A bathroom lined with luminous tiles, which light up in a different way depending on the preferences of each member of your family: not the stuff of science fiction – this is now a reality thanks to Sacmi’s revolutionary luminous tiles. And it’s just one of the potential uses of the “designed by light” ceramics that the company has developed in time for the Tecnargilla 2008 ceramic technology exhibition.
So it’s not by chance that this innovative product will be displayed not only on the company’s stand, but also in the Acimac “CeramiLights” area (Acimac is the association representing Italy's major producers of machinery for the ceramics industry), a kind of “ceramics workshop” in which leading sector players will present possible future developments to visitors and potential clients.
Sacmi’s luminous tile looks like any other tile: it’s white when switched off, but when it is switched on, it can change to any colour you choose, thanks to the high-power LEDs installed between a traditional opaque surface and a special translucent layer. LEDs – which the experts generally believe will be the future of lighting – have an almost infinite life compared to traditional light bulbs, since they do not contain filaments, but electroluminescent diodes which emit light using very little power. One example of the way LEDs are used is in the rows of small lights you sometimes see on the front of high-end cars and, according to the experts, they will soon be used for standard headlights too.
 In the global era, it’s often the case that a technology has no specific country or origin or owner. However, it was Sacmi that came up with the idea of putting LEDs into tiles and turning them into a light source. The key invention that led to this innovation was special tile spacers – the little crosses traditionally used when laying tiles – which conduct electricity and act as a contact between the different luminous tiles. In the near future – considered to be a matter of months – Sacmi will put the finishing touches to a system managed by a single master tile connected to the mains, which will control all the other tiles, giving each of them a specific colour if required. In the demonstrator model to be presented at Tecnargilla, the tiles will light up in the required colour, but in a uniform way, without it being possible as yet to display other variations or “light shows”. These features will be available very soon however, and at a reasonable price, opening up many opportunities for their use, for example in bathrooms, as well as other possible applications such as in colour therapy, or more generally, to suit any customer requirements. Sacmi’s designers affirm that an attractive luminous effect can be achieved in a bathroom with just ten or fifteen tiles. ....more.....

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