Changing Direction: Luminit’s Problem Solving Direction Turning Films

Submitted on Thu, 03/03/2016 - 11:23

by Suleyman Turgut

Getting a light source to behave the way we want it to is not always easy, particularly when mounting or placement constrictions prevent direct line of sight. Fortunately, advances in optical science offer unique solutions for lighting engineers and designers struggling with less than ideal spaces, and one of the most innovative is Luminit’s Direction Turning Films (DTFs).

What Is Direction Turning Film (DTF)?

Direction Turning Films are typically installed inside or above an LED-sourced luminaire or architectural feature. When combined with Luminit Light Shaping Diffuser, these films allow designers to homogenize, redirect, and increase the beam angle of a light source. How do they work? Unseen by the naked eye are microscopic, asymmetrical prismatic structures embedded on Direction Turning Films that impart a 20 degree shift in the angle of a semi-collimated light source. This directional turning allows off-axis placement of an incoming beam, a feat that has a myriad practical applications in lighting.

Direction Turning film

The magic behind DTFs are microscopic prismatic structures imparted onto polymer substrate that can change the direction of a light beam 20 degrees.

Direction Turning Films in Lighting Design

The ability to redirect a light beam affords unlimited display and lighting possibilities spanning a wide range of industries. In lighting design, DTFs give designers more placement flexibility and more control over where and how a light beam is directed. In recessed down lighting, for example, a DTF can be applied to lights mounted in close proximity to a wall. A light beam that would normally point downward can then be redirected 20 degrees to highlight or “wash” the wall, thus turning directional light into volumetric lighting. DTFs are also useful tools for in-grade lighting or recessed up-lights where the DTFs can direct the beam to the target wall or structure and improve illumination and coverage.

direction turning film on downlights
One of the many practical applications of DTFs includes placement on downward recessed lighting where redirecting the light beam toward the wall can have dramatic results.

Another example where Luminit Direction Turning Films are frequently used are in swimming pool or decorative water features. Pool lighting can be tricky. In order to get the best lighting effect, the light needs to illuminate the bottom of the pool, an impractical scenario given that the light structures are almost always installed on the side walls. Applying a turning film diverts the light to the bottom, thus increasing coverage and creating a more even and effective lighting scene.

pool light shaping diffuser
One of the most common uses of Direction Turning Films are in pools where light can be redirected toward to the bottom for better coverage and a more dramatic effect.

Direction Turning Films in Displays

In addition to solving common problems in interior and exterior lighting structures, Luminit DTFs are also incorporated into displays panels such those used as in avionics. For example, in an ideal placement, an avionics display panel would be oriented so the pilot and co-pilot both have optimal views of the panels and images; however, compromises are often made due to space restraints and design limitations. DTF applied to instrumentation or a flat panel display permits image offset of 20 degrees allowing for viewing angle optimization throughout any desired orientation. DTF can also be incorporated in double-sided film with the DTF on one side and a Luminit Light Shaping Diffuser on the other to enhance brightness and visibility.

cockpit lights
Luminit Direction Turning Films are installed in avionics control panels to optimize the view for pilots and co-pilots and when combined with Luminit Light Shaping Diffusers can enhance panel brightness and visibility.

Direction Turn Films are just one of the many Luminit technologies that help engineers and lighting designers overcome design challenges when direct line of sight of a light beam is impractical. Our sales department is ready to assist you with choosing the right Luminit product for your specific application. Send an email to to find out how Luminit DTFs can help you.