Luminous Carpets shed some light

October 03, 2016

Fall 2016

Luminous Carpets is manufactured with a unique backing that allows led light to pass through the carpet.

Luminous Carpets is manufactured with a unique backing that allows led light to pass through the carpet.

Luminous Carpets has created quite a buzz in the commercial sector as a high-quality flooring option that interacts with people via its use of Philips LED technology. The winning partnership has led to a durable, stylish flooring solution that can be used to greet and interact with people in the built environment through light-up shapes, words and messages.

Originally developed by Desso in conjunction with electronics manufacturer Philips, Luminous Carpets was introduced to the U.S. market last year under the Tandus Centvia brand.

In developing the product, Geert Snaphaan, Luminous Carpets’ product manager, said, “Desso is constantly looking for new added values for its products, and Philips was working on the integration of LED lighting in different materials.” Thanks to previous collaborations between the two companies, “a natural connection was made.”

The unique light-transmissive carpet tile has an exclusive backing that allows LED light to pass through. “The construction of the carpet was completely adapted [for this product] — yarn, carrier, pre-coat and certainly the backing are developed especially to let light through,” Snaphaan said. “We have the best results on loop pile products.”

Four carpet textures are currently available in Luminous Carpets in 14 neutral colors that range from white and creams to mochas and grays. Lighter colors are used because the darker the car- pet, the more light is absorbed into it.

The carpet is installed on top of the LED units so it remains flush with the non- lit areas of the floor. Keeping the lights separate from and below the carpet gives designers more flexibility and helps with ease of maintenance and replacement.

In terms of the lighting used, developers kept in mind they had to manage the heat emitted from the light. “Heat coming off of light could have an impact on the durability of carpet,” noted Roy Scheepens, business development manager, North America, Philips. “LED lighting is relatively cool. We performed extensive tests for things like heat management for carpet and also found clever ways of trying to avoid seams. We came to find Desso and Tandus Centiva can produce special carpet tiles for installation over light. They made sure the adhesive used did not affect the light either.”


There are three different installation options for Luminous Carpets, which makes it a solution for various types of applications. It is easily installed in raised access floors commonly found in offices, on top of a floor (with the flight source in the subfloor), or can be recessed or routed into floors.

“Beyond the fact we can shine light through carpet, end users can use their mobile devices to actually personalize and change designs in the floor,” Scheepens added. “You can create a welcome message or run the company’s Twitter feed, for example — which is what a lot of our clients like about this.”

The LC Grid option for Luminous Carpets — which includes a 12mm thin LED panel that displays dynamic text and images in 20cm x 80cm or 20cm x 20cm — can be controlled by a web-based con- tent management system that allows users to create and schedule content.

According to Snaphaan, the company has plans to expand the carpet portfolio and explore hard surface in addition to further developing LED units by adding colors, controls and sensors. Target segments include front offices in corporate and hospitality, welcoming guests and illustrating branding along with wayfinding and safety. Branding at trade shows is also a popular application.

In terms of competition, Shaphaan said, “The solution is patented so there is no direct competition. The feedback has been very positive and we are currently doing projects around the world.”

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