Press release
October 17, 2013

More efficient lighting with LEDs and PLEXIGLAS®

  • PLEXIGLAS® LED guides light to where it is needed
  • PLEXIGLAS® LED for edge lighting:
    specialty molding compounds, sheets and rods bring light to the surface
  • PLEXIGLAS® LED for backlighting: molding compound and sheets for uniform illumination, with no LED hot spots and with maximum luminous efficiency

LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are meanwhile a ubiquitous light source. They offer higher luminous efficiency paired with lower energy consumption, come in a wide range of colors, and enable new design options due to their small size. But all of these advantages only come to the fore when the light fixtures are adjusted to the LED technology. Evonik Industries AG developed PLEXIGLAS® LED for precisely this purpose. It can be used to produce crystal-clear, structured or light-diffusing lighting covers. Evonik Industries AG is presenting these possibilities at the International Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber, K 2013, in Hall 6, Booth No. B28.

Efficient light guiding
PLEXIGLAS® LED guides light efficiently to the point where it is needed. Lighting applications serve different purposes. Street lights are designed to light up the street, not the space around the light source several meters up in the air. For this, light fixture manufacturers use covers that guide the light through fine structures in the material. The crystal-clear grade of PLEXIGLAS® LED offers extremely accurate mold surface reproduction for manufacturing these structures.

Uniform light output despite flat shape
In other types of lighting, though, light needs to be diffused in order to distribute brightness uniformly throughout the room. PLEXIGLAS® LED was optimized for this purpose. It contains special embedded diffuser particles, which ensure that the light fed in via the edges is evenly emitted across the surface. This edge lighting enables slimmer structures and requires smaller fitting depths, as in the panel lights that are becoming more and more popular. These are ultra-flat light fixtures that can be installed directly in the ceiling as recessed lights.

PLEXIGLAS® LED is also highly suitable for transparent applications. When the material is unlit, it looks crystal-clear. As soon as light is fed into the material, it appears as a uniformly illuminated surface in the same color as the LEDs. This technology can be used, for example, to produce elegant partitions for exhibition booths and store fixtures. Another field of application is ambient or contour lighting in vehicles.

PLEXIGLAS® LED is available in a variety of sheets of different sizes and rods of different lengths for edge lighting. PLEXIGLAS® LED specialty molding compounds serve the same purpose and can be processed by means of all conventional injection molding and extrusion processes. But since the distance to be covered by the light also plays a role in this type of lighting, the material is available in four different grades. These provide homogenous light output across the entire component length of up to 96 centimeters.

Uniform direct lighting
Other light fixtures operate by backlighting rather than edge-lighting. Backlighting is often used in illuminated signs. If the light is not sufficiently diffused, this gives rise to undesirable brightness in certain areas, so-called hot spots. Because of their small size and lower heat generation, LEDs enable compact fixtures in which the light sources are installed closer to the covers, thus posing a greater risk of LED hot spots. A special color of PLEXIGLAS® LED molding compound is ideally suited to meet these requirements. These light-diffusing specialty molding compounds transmit over 60% of light and therefore prevent fluctuations in luminance even at extremely low wall thicknesses.

Illuminated signs also benefit from PLEXIGLAS® LED because the material can be thermoformed into any desired shape and precisely colored. That means that corporate colors look exactly the same at all of a company's sites around the globe. The material's intrinsic UV protection also makes sure logos and advertising signs remain colorfast and retain their high-quality appearance for many years. The combination of PLEXIGLAS® LED and LEDs therefore provides highly efficient illuminated signs at minimal energy costs - an important argument, because advertising messages glow 24 hours a day.

About Evonik

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders
in specialty chemicals. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik's corporate strategy. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms.

Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2012 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €13.4 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2.4 billion (excluding Real Estate in both cases).


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.