THE “LUUM” PROJECT, BIRTH AND DEVELOPMENTS

PROF. AUGUSTO CESARE GRILLO

My first studies on modern light sources and the light they emit date back to the early 1990s. About 30 years ago now. Dr. Nakamura (later awarded the Nobel Prize for Invention) had just completed the development of the first blue light LEDs at the Nichia laboratories in Japan. A band of the light spectrum with greater energy and which would have brought LEDs to the qualitative leap in energy efficiency we know today.
The first LEDs arrived on my table, at the Villatosca Design Management Center in Milan, with the indication of exploring the potential for use in the home.

The studies on light sources and high comfort light continued with the Heliopolis project – the lamp that reproduced the colors of the solar spectrum. The success of this project motivated the acquisition – in 2000 – of Lumen Center Italia, a manufacturing company of lighting fixtures, while the possible applications of those LEDs in the home were suspended.

Villatosca Design Management Center thus consolidated its position as a research center of excellence in the study and development of innovative luminaires in the high-comfort lighting sector, also through its operating arm, Lumen Center Italia.

Between 2000 and 2010 Villatosca Design Management Center through Lumen Center Italy promoted timid attempts to use LEDs, much improved in efficiency, with “Happy Candle” (2002) until the real explosion of their use at the end of 2010.

The blue light LEDs had greatly improved energy efficiency, in terms of higher quantities of lumens emitted and lower watts consumed. The market was showing all the signs of an impending technological revolution in this regard. The objectives indicated by the Kyoto treaty in terms of CO2 reduction required governments around the world to reduce energy consumption. Incandescent light sources were banned, thereby promoting – albeit indirectly – LED sources!

The production of LEDs reached double-digit growth rates and their application in the domestic environment spread rapidly.

Luminaire manufacturers were forced to make an important technological transition by becoming responsible not only for the quality of the luminaires, but also for the light emitted by them.

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On my precise indication Villatosca Design Management Center strong of the experience accumulated in the field and of the privileged relationships maintained with Japan and the major world producers of LEDs. Aware of the imbalance in the light spectrum emitted by the LEDs on the market, a structural defect, never completely remedied with the improvements in terms of efficiency obtained over the years, he decided to promote the “luum” project.
Thus began his collaboration with Toshiba Materials (a company of the Toshiba group) for the development and production of new generation LEDs capable of excellent energy efficiency and emitting a spectrum much more similar to that of natural light. Without the typical imbalances of LEDs on the market, too unbalanced on the higher energy waves, the so-called blue waves, which are harmful to metabolism, human health and the conservation of works of art.
It was a fruitful period of collaboration between Toshiba Materials and the Villatosca group which led to the world premiere presentation of the new generation LEDs in Frankfurt, during the Light + Building Fair in spring 2014. The project was called "Luum" and defined the quality standard of the light spectrum emitted by LEDs. Balanced spectrum, without intensity peaks in the high energy bands (Blue light), white purity, CRI and CQS greater than 95.
The presentation of the Luum standard LEDs produced by Toshiba Materials received great recognition from the public and various public institutions, among which we proudly include the lighting of the hospitality area of the Japan Pavilion at the 2015 Milan EXPO.
Numerous awards followed and the group successfully tackled the illumination of Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus at the Ambrosiana in Milan. The historical wing of the entire museum was subsequently illuminated, containing masterpieces such as the Caravaggio Basket, works by Botticelli, Titian, Brueghel and many others.

Pompeii followed with the house of the Vettii first and the Domus del Frutteto more recently. The Vatican museums and in 2019 Raphael's great masterpiece: The preparatory cartoon of the School of Athens.

These feats of lighting concentrated towards a “correct” and not harmful lighting for the works of art, which allows the best dissemination / use and, at the same time, the best preservation, have made us more aware of the importance of correct lighting not only in domestic environments.

In the same period, the studies begun with the Research Center of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan on the harmfulness of blue light on the epithelial cells of the human retina come to an end. Numerous scientific researches worldwide have already shown evidence of the harmfulness of blue light – defined in the community as “Blue Hazard”.

The San Raffaele research, for the first time in the world on human retinal cells, proved us right and made it clear how the waves emitted by the LEDs with the typical imbalance of the intensity peak on blue waves are harmful.

Our efforts to obtain new generation Luum standard LEDs were rewarded.

All this and the need to put order to the various activities of the group has motivated us to create a new company able to best meet the new demands of the market. Thus was born AHLUX Italia, a company which was entrusted with the production and promotion of the best lighting fixtures with high visual comfort with standard Luum LEDs.

Ahlux italia has a production site of about 1,000 square meters in Santo Stefano Ticino (MI) a few kilometers from the A4, the Grande Fiera, Malpensa and Milan. The production area is divided into the arrival area and semi-finished processing, assembly and electrical test area, prototyping and testing laboratory, technical office, shipping area.
With the increase in demand for luum®, the company has implemented a "gray room", i.e. a room with low dust content, for the assembly of lenses, optics and electronics on board its products, in order to increase the quality and production standard.

Thanks to its mechanical workshop and its team of expert craftsmen and engineers, it is able to achieve the highest quality standards.

Advanced design, quality materials and precision mechanics create products entirely Made in Italy.

In the case of the heatsink used on board the Anub shaper, we have chosen a special aluminum alloy capable of dissipating heat quickly, greatly extending the useful life of the product.

In addition to the production site, Ahlux has Offices / Showrooms in the center of Milan, Via Cenisio.

Ahlux Italia pursues excellence in design, in the quality of light and in the technique of lighting fixtures.

BECAUSE QUALITY OF LIGHT IS ALSO QUALITY OF LIFE.

A Brand of

AHLUX ITALIA S.R.L.S.

Via Cenisio 36, Milano.