When an outdoor LED board caught fire in New York’s Time Square earlier this summer, experts turned new attention to fire safety and flame resistance of LED screens.
On this episode of NanoSessions, a NanoLumens podcast, Adam Dixon, operations director of electrical engineering for NanoLumens, gives his perspective on designing fire retardant LED displays.
That fire “raised some eyebrows” among experts like Dixon because health and safety in public spaces where LEDs are often displayed are of utmost importance.
“For any environment where the LED display is considered the building material, such as equipment in a transportation space where large crowds of people in small spaces, health and safety is a concern,” Dixon said.
NanoLumens has been well ahead of the curve in flame retardant LEDs. For about three years now, Dixon has been helping design and test fire retardant LED displays in collaboration with fire research companies and institutions.
“Fire dynamics are incredibly complex,” Dixon said. “We explored some uncommon or never previously used material combinations for the LED package itself as well as the air board construction.”
By looking at published research data about how homogenous materials hold up against fire and conversely how different combinations of materials react to fire, heat and smoke density, NanoLumens developed a well-researched and tested solution that could become a standard.
Dixon explained, “We felt the best approach was to minimize combustible mass, so if you have less material to burn theoretically you’re going to generate less radiant heat.”