Svarovski sees through a glass, lightly

Who would have thought that Swarovski had a semiconductor division? We didn’t know that it has a division called Swareflex that wants to turn LED lighting around by using pure glass, rather than plastic.

Dr Thomas Wiemers, MD of Swareflex, explained why he thought glass is a better answer for LED lighting than plastic.

And he produced an interesting chart showing the various kinds of illumination available and their brightness, measured in lumens.

White light LEDs are falling a fair bit short of being as efficient as they could be, said Wiemers.  That relies on a number of factors, illustrated by this table.


There are some problems generating pure white light with LEDs. The primary optics goal is light concentrating, colour mixture, and long life and stable colour from LED lights. The problem is that all is not equal. Wiemers said that crystal glass offers the best stable transmission and is the most robust,  comparing temperature, flux, UV and humidity.


It also offers extreme hardness, resistance to temperature, acid/alkali, climate conditions and phosphate.

A white LED light using glass would maintain over 99 percent of the initial brightness over the course of 100,000 hours, he said.

Wiemers was asked about cost. He agreed that using near crystal or crystal glass had an overhead in terms of price, but estimated that over five years and in volume, would become very price competitive. Crystal glass, he said, offered limitless possibilities for application specific optical designs.

We guess you get what you pay for, right now. All LED lighting is still a little bit on the expensive side.