1997-02-24

Neon Signal Lighting - An Integrated Approach 970655

Neon discharge lamps contribute four main benefits in automotive rear signalling applications, longevity, efficacy, speed of response and most importantly styling versatility. In systems demonstrated to date, the styling advantages have failed to materialize whilst the cost of implementation has been discouragingly high. Together, Corning and Tunewell seek to solve these problems through the use of sophisticated glass processing and novel power distribution technologies, and the adoption of a systems approach to design to minimise cost.
A glass molding process will be detailed permitting the integration of optimal topology discharge channels with compact optics and connection systems into any curved, laminar form required by the lamp designer. Clear aesthetic advantages over incandescent and LED technologies can be shown due to the extended, uniform light source and the precise placement of its associate optics.
A power distribution system will be demonstrated that provides a substantial cost reduction in the provision of power for multiple lamps, additionally eliminating high voltage wires and bulky, individual ballasts. The system will be shown to facilitate multiplexed control and fault reporting. Extension to encompass additional power supply tasks within the vehicle will further reduce costs.
A systems approach will be outlined demonstrating the cost benefit of reducing the power supply burden in favor of an enhanced lamp performance. It will be shown that substantial cost advantages accrue if power requirements, lamp strike requirements and radiated and conducted emission problems are dealt with at appropriate locations in the system.

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