Posts: 4
Joined: April 18th, 2018, 2:17 am
Hi! I am working on a wearable device which should have a "glowing surface", i.e. the material should illuminate for specific events. I want to spread the light as much as possible so that you don't see the light source as a dot. The device is shaped as an ellipsoid with the dimensions, lets say about 30 mm x 27 mm x 8 mm maximum. I want it to have a smooth touch, so I am thinking some sort of translucent silicone. Do you have any other suggestions. Do you think this could be done with a couple of very small led diodes, or like a very thin and small screen?

Thank you in advance,

User avatar

full self-realization
full self-realization
Posts: 755
Joined: February 3rd, 2010, 10:20 am
Location: Tilburg, the Netherlands
If it has to be a surface, why start with a dot. Have you considered Oled?

If you light the (unsanded) end side of a heavy sanded Lexan or acrylic the light will also spread nicely without being bulky and there are good LEDs out there. Experiment with different strengths and angles.
IDZone - Product Design || Visualisation || 3D Printing

User avatar

full self-realization
full self-realization
Posts: 3396
Joined: February 7th, 2006, 11:51 pm
Location: New York
Yes it is possible with LED's but if the product is only 8mm thick getting the light to be uniform will be the challenge as you'll need a diffuser to try and make it more uniform and that may not be possible within your space constraints so you'll end up with hot spots.

An EL Electroluminescent panel could be very uniform but obviously harder to prototype with and you'd be limited to a single color.

The third option is to use a light guide film where light can be shot into the side and then create a light pattern that illuminates the area more uniformly. This would require the help of an optical engineer to properly design the film to avoid hot spots near the LED as well as a diffuser to help diffuse the light through the surface further. This is what was commonly used to backlight phone keypads.

Return to general design discussion