Friday, October 21, 2016
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Packaging an Innovative Light Source

Boston Uplights owner Paul Therrien needed a spotlight that was light in weight, battery powered, and remotely controlled. He requested it from his suppliers, but soon realized such a light was unique and not available in the market. Rather than accept defeat, he saw an opportunity to market such a light. As a lighting expert, Therrien conceptualized the first wireless light-emitting-diode (LED) spotlight, although he needed help with the final design.

During the initial design and fabrication of the prototype spotlight, Therrien searched for an enclosure to house the new light's internal components. He approached Buckeye Shapeform, an enclosure manufacturer based in Columbus, OH and known for its customization capabilities. Therrien purchased Buckeye Shapeform's standard E2 extruded aluminum enclosure because it had the look, feel, and quality well suited to his new lighting product. The E Series extruded aluminum cases offered superior strength and protection in a compact, lightweight package — perfect for Therrien's new battery-powered LED spotlight. The design capabilities for the E2 enclosure were on-par with Therrien's vision for the spotlight product, since the standard case incorporated an attractive front bezel with a smooth or ribbed exterior and an anodized or black wrinkle powder finish.

As Therrien tested and refined his new light, he discovered that the enclosure's dimensions were slightly too small for what he needed for his new product. Some of the components that Therrien had custom-designed for the one-of-a-kind light, including a custom lithium battery system, were too large by millimeters to fit within the E2 extrusion. Therrien contacted Buckeye Shapeform and inquired about fabricating a custom extruded aluminum enclosure to fit his innovative new light. Buckeye Shapeform's designers and engineers were more than ready to work with Therrien to create that custom design, modifying the standard E2 enclosure to meet the new light's exact specifications.

Fewer Vendors Needed
By working with Buckeye Shapeform, Therrien maximized his profit by minimizing the number of vendors and using efficient logistics. From start to finish, Buckeye Shapeform had the in-house tools and expertise to take the special lighting enclosure from engineering concept to fully-modified and painted, professional-quality finished product. With this complete set of capabilities, Buckeye Shapeform saved Therrien time, lowered his costs, and made the entire process — from design to product fabrication — relatively simple and highly efficient. It was the ideal partnership.

"I started by giving (Buckeye Shapeform) the exact dimensions of the inside of the case I needed," Therrien said. "The outside dimensions of the current case were perfect so the task was to make the walls thinner to create the space needed inside, but maintain enough strength in the overall design to protect our custom lithium battery system. This process was easier than I had hoped since it took only a few drawings through email to be updated to achieve the look and dimensions I had envisioned."

Buckeye Shapeform worked with FUEL Lighting to create four completely custom parts, helping to meet Therrien's exact product requirements by making several adjustments to the units during the design stage. Buckeye Shapeform's E Series enclosures could easily incorporate custom depths, painting, shielding, machining, milling, silkscreening, self-clinching inserts, fasteners, and graphic overlays. In the end, FUEL Lighting received a fully-customized E2 Series extruded aluminum enclosure that it could use for two of its industry-leading lighting systems: the Angle Light and the Penda Light.

Buckeye Shapeform finished each extruded aluminum enclosure by installing a round, clear overlay that provided protection for a sensor. It also applied silkscreen printing in various colors, anodize treatment, and powder coating to give each unit a durable and high-quality appearance.

Precise Packaging Solution
As a result, a new company producing innovative lighting systems was born. Buckeye Shapeform provided a packaging solution for FUEL Lighting that the latter company took to market and successfully sold as a high-end, truly innovative, event lighting product.

FUEL Lighting's Angle Light is the lighting industry's first battery powered LED highlight system. The Angle Light provides a visually pleasing warm-white LED light output, full dimming capability, and high-contrast optical system with virtually zero light spill outside a narrow 3-degree. beam. The portable light is easily positioned and adjusted using industrial magnets and a remote-control system to create various ambiance and lighting effects during events.

The Penda-Light LED Fixture is the company's latest addition, and it is the lighting industry's first battery-operated, remote-controlled, and dimmable 360-degree light source, capable of mimicking the smooth illumination of a standard incandescent light bulb.

Therrien explained the importance of being treated properly by Buckeye Shapeform: "From the standpoint of a fresh startup company with no history, I got the sense that Buckeye Shapeform was behind me. And as the project grew, their belief in what I was doing grew with us. When a manufacturer believes in what you are creating and gets behind you, this can be the key difference in helping a product actually get to market."

The new Angle Light received top honors and recognition within the lighting industry. During its first year at the LDI Conference and Tradeshow (, the largest event lighting and entertainment technology tradeshow in the United States, FUEL Lighting was selected as one of the top three companies in 2012 to develop a new lighting innovation that is changing the landscape of event lighting. FUEL Lighting's Angle Light was recognized as a "truly elegant, beautifully designed, well thought-out and innovative light system." Therrien noted: "The over-the-top positive feedback we received about the quality, function, design, and creative thinking behind the Angle Light was beyond anything we could have imagined."

From product conception to fabrication, Buckeye Shapeform helped FUEL Lighting bring its concept to life, ensuring a smooth ride throughout the process for this up-and-coming lighting company and its innovative and ever-evolving lighting products.

Contact: Buckeye Shapeform, 555 Marion Rd., Columbus, OH 43207 877-728-0776 E-mail: Web:

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