Finnish technology growth company Flexbright Oy is introducing a new system based on antimicrobial light and active surfaces, called Lumenasafe, to the market. Lumenasafe produces safe white light while simultaneously disinfecting the surrounding surfaces and environment. The solution promises to improve the food safety of grocery shops and supply chains, among others. Possible future applications also include public spaces and the health care sector.
Lumenasafe’s lighting technology is based on the antimicrobial effects of certain safe wavelengths of visible light, or visible light disinfection (VLD), combined with light active surfaces. The first end product application being introduced to the market is an illuminating glass pane to be utilised for example in meat and fish counters. The glass pane illuminates the products on sale while providing an antimicrobial effect that removes harmful microbes, such as bacteria and mold, from the surfaces of the products and the environment. The lighting system is used in tandem with a photoactive surface coating that boosts the effectiveness of the disinfecting light.
“The key benefit of Lumenasafe is that we can integrate special lighting technology into different surfaces for the purpose of providing required illumination while simultaneously disinfecting and purifying the air and surrounding surfaces. That’s two effects with a single product,” says one of the developers behind Lumenasafe, tech entrepreneur and investor Juha Rantala.
The disinfecting light produced by Lumenasafe is safe for people, the environment and food products alike. It is also a durable and ecological option: the illuminating surface can be kept on at all times and requires no other chemicals or replaceable filters. The antibacterial effects of light – particularly blue light – have been extensively studied, and the technology is already used commercially around the world. The new Lumenasafe system’s special illuminating foil technology that can be integrated into surfaces makes it possible to utilize these effects in broader and more diverse applications.
Lumenasafe can be installed in meat, fish and fresh product counters, buffet lines, food storage rooms or production facilities, for example. Ideal deployment sites include cruise ships, hotels and grocery shops. The potential future applications of Lumenasafe also include laboratories and hospitals, factories, public toilets and lifts.
”Flexbright combines well comprehended and safe technologies in a new way, which is also what led to the creation of Lumenasafe. Printed electronics laminated between panes of glass or combined with other surface structures make it possible to create outstanding large-area lighting and electronics structures and end products. The cornerstones of the design are integrability, reliability, and safety,” says CEO of Flexbright Pekka Makkonen.
Initial deployment at sites that improve food safety
The growing global problem of food preservability and safety and the rise in epidemics around the world spurred Flexbright’s decision to initially focus on applications that improve food safety. Utilising different wavelengths of light makes it possible to increase the shelf life of food products and the preservability of vitamins, improve product quality, and reduce harmful microbes on product surfaces, thus facilitating food safety.
“Food safety has a major impact on people’s well-being, and improving it is an effective way of preventing the spread of diseases. Microbiological safety has become a concrete challenge that must be addressed. Enhanced hygiene and cleanliness is the new normal across the globe, which we want to help maintain with this new technology,” Makkonen and Rantala add.
Funding for the pilot provided by Business Finland
Flexbright has been developing and productising next generation printed electronics applications and structure-integrated electronics for several years. In Finland, the company’s current clients include NSG Pilkington Automotive Finland, the buses and trains of which Flexbright outfitted with glass panes laminated with its LEDFOIL technology. The development of the technology behind Lumenasafe was also contributed to by Juha Rantala, who boasts extensive research and industrial experience in the field of semiconductor and material technology, and his Asian development team.
Flexbright was provided with funding for the piloting of Lumenasafe by Business Finland. The company is currently also seeking private funding for bringing the end product to the market. The company is also actively seeking new pilot applications for Lumenasafe and other cooperation opportunities.
+358 50 523 9481
Printocent | VTT, Kaitoväylä 1, 90571 Oulu, Finland