Case study: Curved Ceiling Light Fitting
Our customer approached us with a plastic flexible led light strip wanting us to design and manufacture a fixing that would allow them to install the flexible LED light strip into the ceiling. It needed to be any combination of curved profile with the fixing element hidden under plaster to give a super clean and thin lighting profile.
We were not given drawings or measurements but only a brief description of the final ‘look’ they required.
The customer also required a high-quality finish with precise dimensions and angles for curved light section and depth to allow quick plastering but the client was not sure how this could be achieved.
We experienced a range of issues and difficulties in achieving these requirements. Here’s how we overcame those challenges:
- We had no drawings to work to and the customer did not know what material would work best. The customer gave us the dimensions of their LED light strip, and we discussed the material options with them. Early on we discounted the idea of making a fully flexible fitting as this required bending to shape / angle on site and would be likely to result in inaccuracies and a poor final fitting.
- The thickness of the material would need to ensure that it could be securely fastened to the ceiling whilst being as light as possible (due to being fixed overhead). It was agreed that 1mm mild steel would be used for the fitting, so we designed and programmed a sample of the fitting.
- The fitting needed to have a depth gauge barrier along the whole length of each side to allow plastering up to light fitting in a clean and consistent fashion without “overspilling” where the LED strip would be located. We determined the best dimension for this to be 2mm and this had to be achieved accurately and uniformly across all fittings.
- We needed to be able to make curves with precision so that shapes could be installed in the ceiling comprising the light fittings. Several samples demonstrating that we could make 90-degree fittings were worked up. We punched holes in this material with 8 holes per section. The size of the holes was estimated when we made the first prototype based on what we thought would work for the plastering team.
- We made a simple tool with the same width as the extrusion to ensure we kept the gap accurate for the led strip to fit well.
- The light fitting needed to be quick to fit and cost-effective. This took a couple of attempts with sampling to perfect the right materials for the job. We landed on using 2mm aluminium. This proved sturdier and had a thicker, smooth edge to hold the LED light. It also looked more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Furthermore, the holes were positioned more uniformly in a row.
- The final ‘look’ of the lighting needed to be aesthetically pleasing as this was a requirement of the customer. The second sample was tested out and the customer was pleased with the final ‘’look’ of the curved light fitting. The final version was light, practical to use and fixed well with the plaster.
We worked carefully through the sampling process to ensure the final finish met the exact needs of the project. The end product resulted in a high-end finish for the curved light fitting which the customer was very satisfied with.