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Internationally patented, award-winning technology

The designLED patent portfolio supports a wide range of optical device applications for ambient and functional lighting, display back-lighting and human-machine interfaces.

Our technology is uniquely suited to the automotive market, offering extreme space-efficiency, improved power performance and lower cost.

Key Technology Highlights:

  • Patented optical structures create very thin light guides (1–3mm)
  • Light Tiles can be any shape, any size and formed to meet 2.5D and 3D profiles
  • Edge-to-edge light and colour homogeneity
  • Dynamic addressing of white, red and RGB LEDs to create low resolution displays
  • Perfect for interior or exterior vehicle styling
  • Optimised to meet customer use case requirements – contact us with your requirements



Our technology platform is all about manipulating light using our unique optical systems. 

We create very thin and dynamically illuminated surfaces with high levels of homogeneity for backlighting or custom applications. 

We deliver OLED-like appearance, with the reliability of standard LEDs, and with none of the limitations, such as high cost and complexity.

Our LEDs are embedded inside thin and mechanically flexible, transparent materials, and use optical features on the surface or inside to manipulate the angular or special distribution of light to achieve high homogeneity and colour performance.


High Luminance Backlight Units (BLUs)

We have an extensive background in developing award-winning light-guide device structures for high luminance use cases within a very thin, optically efficient system. 

This supports performance exterior lighting use cases, such as rear lighting, tailgates, and front grille, but also the next-generation requirements of LCD BLUs, such as spatial/colour dimming and curved profiles. 

These features are developed by the precise design and engineering of the optics, thermal management and LED and material selection.

One of the key features of the technology is that it is completely material agnostic meaning that solutions can be tailored to specific use case requirements.


Smart Surfaces and Human-Machine Interface (HMI) 

Smart Surfaces

The technology enables illuminated smart surfaces; combining dynamic RGB illumination with decorative surface materials and sensors to enhance user interaction and engagement.  

The platform also supports integration with complementary technologies like HMI, haptic, OLED and LCD displays which can meet the needs of the future automotive cockpit and cabin.

The team is currently working on projects with global customers to develop the next generation of smart surfaces combining our light guide technology with:

  • Natural and synthetic leather, fabric, and wood veneers as well as sustainable composites
  • IMD / IML foils and special coatings such as PVD and gravure printing 
  • Black panel surfaces, offering secret until lit illumination
  • Illuminated touch HMI sensors enabling smart functionality



HMI & Internet of Things (IOT)

With the capability to integrate uniformly lit capacitive switches and other sensors within the light guide structure, our vision is to help realise interactive smart surfaces that can leverage the Internet of Things (IOT) to enhance the driver and passenger experience:

  • Illumination of large area surfaces with HMI (Human Machine Interface), combining touch sensing and lighting to create interactivity and information flow. 
  • Automatic sensing and adjustment of ambient light levels around an instrument panel or in the position/opacity of windows or overhead roof structure.
  • Temperature sensing and feedback through dynamic light control 
  • Voice control of features, with feedback provided by intuitive, helpful lighting scenarios



Lighting Control

Smart surfaces utilise sensors and smart LEDs to communicate useful information to drivers and passengers, whether that’s dynamic lighting to warn of a cyclist near a passenger door or visually indicating cabin temperature to make a journey more comfortable.

All smart surfaces and sensors are interfaced with the on-board vehicle intelligence to monitor and determine the timing and ability of this ecosystem to react, according to automotive industry safety standards.

Our light guides become an important part of the vehicle ecosystem, to ensure they function efficiently (and safely) the LEDs need to know when and how to react it is safe to react.

We frequently work with industry partners to ensure our technology is compatible with the latest automotive LED driving technology and the latest smart LED technology.

In fact we’re very proud to be helping drive adoption of industry standards for automotive lighting through our role within the ISELED Alliance.


Collaborative Innovation


Future-focussed and anticipating upcoming industry needs, our innovation team are pushing boundaries to overcome technical challenges and meet the needs of the market.

Our innovation roadmap addresses opportunities in advanced performance and manufacturability and we have a long-established history of leading UK projects funded by Innovate UK and Scottish Enterprise, and participation in European collaborative projects. 

Future topic areas include:

  • 3D Moulding
  • Photonic materials
  • Printed electronics materials and processing
  • Optical micro-structures
  • Polymers
  • Sustainability
  • Additive Manufacturing