10 questions for Roman Grund
Trevos R&D Manager
- How long have you been working for Trevos? What do you like most about being its R&D Manager?
I have been working for Trevos for nearly 6 years. My entire professional life has revolved around light. With a degree in power engineering, more specifically lighting engineering, from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague, I have previously held the position of a test technician in a national inspection centre, as well as of a lighting consultant in an international company. Currently working as a part of a team that develops light fixtures, I have experience with research, development, production and application of luminaires. Research and development is a fascinating technical area. Not only does it provide me with countless opportunities to stay in touch with the most recent discoveries. It also allows me to participate in creating and launching production of a brand-new light fitting, as well as expanding the technological know-how of the company and developing the skills of its employees. As far as NANOTTICA-line fixtures are concerned, I absolutely loved, and am proud of, contributing to our innovative optical system development and production method.
- Where does the innovative idea of using nanostructured materials to produce light fittings come from?
The aim of the development project was clear from the start – we wanted to come up with a next-generation fitting that would benefit from a game-changing design that makes use of a breakthrough technology. Having developed the optical system used in our INNOVA-line fixtures, we used our experience to design a system that would be even more efficient and allow a better light beam angle at the same time. Our customers had been asking for a system with the best possible luminous efficacy as well as precise beam distribution that reduces discomfort glare. Once we had carefully analysed all the possible options and alternatives, we decided to embark on an exciting and challenging journey to the world of nanostructured lighting systems.
- How long did the development of the new luminaire take?
As we were unable to employ any of our then existing technologies due to the precision and size-related requirements, we spent the first two and a half years exploring the ways in which a nanostructured optical system could be developed and manufactured. It was a lot of work, but the result – a cover using a nanostructured optical system that boasts an exceptional luminous efficacy of up to 94 % while eliminating discomfort glare created by LED spotlights – is definitely worth it.
- Did anything surprise you during the research and development?
Previous luminaires have significantly expanded our expertise related to materials, processability of various kinds of plastics and their resistance to external conditions, technological requirements for production processes, etc. While developing NANOTTICA, in addition to the requirements associated with materials and technologies used, we faced a number of challenges related to physics. An optical system relying on nano-lenses allowed us to produce a fitting with a highly effective 3D optical cover that is designed to distribute light in required directions while ensuring an as low UGR as possible. Overcoming all the combined challenges related to materials, technologies and physics was a tough nut to crack, but we worked hard together and have eventually devised a luminaire with an integrated design that allows it to work as a functional whole.
NANOTTICA is a product of our teamwork. It goes hand in hand with a new production technology and product vision.
- What makes a light fixture with nanostructured fibres different or better compared to its existing conventional counterparts?
An optical system featuring nano-lenses makes it possible for us to produce a fixture with a highly effective 3D optical cover designed to distribute the light beam exactly where it is required, ensuring an as low UGR as possible. While the luminaire contains LED chips that produce minimum discomfort glare, its optical cover boasts a luminous transmittance of up to 94 %. These characteristics result in soft light without unpleasant sharply defined shadows typical of other optical systems.
- How do humans respond to light produced by the innovative luminaire?
Not only does poor lighting cause tiredness and lethargy, but it also results in decreased employee productivity. A fixture featuring a nano-optical system aims as much of the light beam as possible at where it’s required, i.e. where a visual task is performed. Discomfort glare created by LED chips is blocked, providing employees working in the space with effective glare protection. Importantly, pleasant lighting makes it possible to fully unleash employees’ potential throughout their working hours.
- What types of spaces is the fitting designed for?
This fitting is a perfect choice for industrial spaces such as outgoing inspection areas, as well as for public spaces, corridors, car parks, and food manufacturing/processing factories.
- Does this unique luminaire design translate into reduced energy costs?
The fixture boasts exceptional efficacy, which results in an excellent price to luminous power ratio. Clients looking to replace their existing fluorescent tube lighting system with modern LED fittings benefit from a high return on investment. Costs are cut by reducing the number of fittings required, slashing installation costs and, most importantly, by long term savings on energy bills. It’s no exaggeration to say NANOTICCA is a game-changing next-generation fitting thanks to its advanced nano-optical system.
- Unless it’s confidential, can you tell us what the next things on your research and development agenda are?
We have a range of long-term goals that we have been forced to adjust in the last two years. These are complicated times for our clients as well as for us, and we understand the ability to respond flexibly is of paramount importance today. Having successfully launched our new NANOTTICA luminaires onto the market, we are currently evaluating the situation to determine which areas to focus on. The next item on our research and development agenda will probably be a luminaire designed for communal spaces such as conference rooms and meeting areas.
- Many people and projects only became successful after overcoming a number of challenges and failures. Is there anything about this product that has taught you a lesson too?
This project has taught us to be patient and not to succumb to nervousness. It’s true that we failed to honour the initial schedule because over the past two years, it’s been virtually impossible to meet our partners in person. Moreover, performing technology tests and research and development as such through videoconferences is something no one of us had done before. That being said, we managed to finish the development project just a few months later than originally planned. I am quite convinced this is because we never started questioning our abilities while continuing to work hard together as a team.