University Opportunities

Optical Illuminator


Electronics, Sensors & Photonics
Energy & Renewables

About Opportunity:

Energy efficiency is of increasing global importance for both ecological and economic reasons. The increasing awareness of the negative effects of global warming is not only motivating the development of renewable energy technologies, but also the search for efficient ways to reduce energy consumption. The latter is of particular importance due to the rising price of electrical energy. Street lighting, for example, costs c£500m per annum to power 7.5m homes in the UK, a figure which will increase substantially over the next few years. Cities and councils are trying to reduce both their costs and carbon footprint and have proposed some radical solutions such as switching off or dimming lights in some areas. This has obvious safety issues.

Conventional street lighting illumination sources suffer from a number of problems; short life-spans, low and/or poor quality light and light output and use of potentially harmful materials. Alternative solutions such as LED-based lamps have longer life-spans, emit better quality light and are more energy efficient, however they also have drawbacks. The main one is that current retrofit LED solutions for street illumination do not meet national and international standards. LED lamps installed in poles higher than 6m for instance fail to produce a footprint which complies with CIE, ISO and EN standards. They also suffer from poor thermal performance, have light output and efficiency issues.

The technology described here can be combined with LEDs to address these issues and produce uniformity of illuminanace and footprints of various defined diameter and shape.

Key Benefits:

  • Uniformity of illumination
  • Flexible and defined illumination footprint
  • Energy savings
  • Lower CO2 emissions
  • Improved safety
  • Conformance with national and international standards


  • Street lighting
  • Optical wireless communications
  • General illumination

IP Status:

The invention is protected by a UK patent application, priority date July 2016.

The university welcomes discussions with potential commercial licence or co-development partners.

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