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Office lighting just got 10x and a bag o’ corn chips cooler thanks to the son of famed vacuum designer Sir James Dyson. His son, Jake Dyson, set out to redesign a much needed replacement to the inconsistent, or flickering, or glaring, or otherwise headache-inducing lighting found in most office spaces around the world. Enter the CU-Beam–an modern LED suspension lamp capable of directing light up, down or both and running for decades.

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IF you recall the Ariel LED suspension light from 3 years ago, this will look all too familiar. Jake has made some strides since then along with the release of the CSYS task light. The CU-Beam fixture uses the concentrated brightness of a single LED to push out over 8000 Lumens at 90 Watts and can be controlled to shine up, down or both directions at the same time depending on the need. The company claims a single light can burn for up to 180,000 hours or roughly 37 years before the LED luminaire’s needs to be swapped out. The secret to its longevity is the cooling system described in the CU-Beam feature video:

So, the secret to cooling the 8000-lumen LED luminaire module lies in Dyson’s heat pipe technology, the same as in their CSYS task lights, which looks and functions very similar to those used to dissipate heat used with some high-end CPU heatsinks. Let’s break it down–the LED luminaire is seated on several enclosed copper pipes that are filled with a small amount of heat-wicking solution. When that solution gets hot it turns into a vapor and travels to the ends of the heat pipes where copper fins help to dissipate the heat, turning the solution back into a cool liquid. Wash, rinse, repeat.

The light’s intensity and distribution is a much-needed change in an office setting and can be tuned depending on the conditions needed–direct, diffused, bright, dark or a combination of any can be had with just a few simple adjustments, thanks to the lamp’s driver. For example, in some meetings you may want to bathe the conference table in direct light for everyone to share notes and ideas easier, while showing a PowerPoint presentation may require diffused ceiling illumination only.

The CU-Beam broken-down to its base parts including custom lenses, LED luminaire board and heat-pipe technology.
The CU-Beam broken-down to its base parts including custom lenses, LED luminaire board and heat-pipe technology.

The CU-Beam build is rather straightforward with a pair of LED luminaire boards to illuminate both upward and downward, a pair of custom lenses with driver for illumination control and a heat pipe cooling system that extends to each side keeping the LEDs from burning out. While it seems simplistic, it’s no less an effective design set to hit the market this year, but don’t pull out a crisp twenty just yet, the CU-Beam will carry a price tag of $1,999 each. That certainly is on the expensive side, but considering energy cost of an LED is 5x less than an incandescent light, it doesn’t seem like such a bad deal in the long run.

I love LED lighting. CFLs make me so tired after only a few hours. However, I recently read about LED lighting causing retina damage. You’ve heard it all before–that short-wavelength blue light. And the AMA claims that improper LED lighting can cause harm. Keep this in mind, regular old bulbs are cheaper than ever. And who doesn’t like a meeting by candlelight? Just sayin’.

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The one-man ace engineering wrecking crew - If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire... the Cabe-team.