Coats and Osram partner on new garment illumination technology

Coats, the world’s leading industrial thread company, is partnering with Osram, the global lighting specialist, to launch Coats Signal Active Illumination to help improve people’s safety and visibility.

Coats Signal Active Illumination is a state of the art washable, lightweight and customisable LED light system designed for application in garments and accessories. Visibility range is approximately three times more than retro-reflective products are able to achieve.

Caption courtesy by Coats

Coats Signal Active Illumination is made of flexible light guides which draw their energy from a USB power bank, the size of a credit card. It retains a charge for up to eight hours, which as the average length of a work shift, is especially relevant to those wearing it as part of their workwear. The power bank can be easily unclipped and removed to enable the garment including the LED light system to go through machine washing and drying processes.

Adrian Elliott, President, Apparel and Footwear, Coats, said: ‘Combining our deep expertise in textiles with Osram’s wide technical knowledge of lighting will shape the next generation of high visibility work and activewear. Homogenous illumination in garments will literally power improvements in people’s visibility and therefore also their safety. The potential to extend the range to respond to sensory safety detection for instance approaching vehicles, vital signs of the wearer or a sudden fall could create a life saving product.’

The LED lights are available in a range of colours: amber, blue, green, red, yellow, cool white and warm white which can be used singly or in combinations. There are different settings of permanently on, flashing or soft pulses. Further developments are planned in the form of sensor integration and internet connectivity to add functionality which help further improve people’s safety.

Adarsh Murthy, CEO Business Segment Industry, Osram, said: ‘We have a very synergistic partnership with Coats that allows us to create and shape a totally new market. The convergence of two industries, lighting and textiles, with two leading players in this market presents an excellent opportunity for innovation in our quest to make the world a more safer and enjoyable place.’

There are also piping solutions designed for easy integration into garments and accessories. The range consists of retro-reflective perforated piping, mesh piping, and piping integrated into retro-reflective tapes. These offer passive illumination through retro-reflection as well as active illumination in combination with light systems. They also offer a cost effective manufacturing option for incorporating light systems into existing designs.

Coats Signal Active Illumination is a low voltage device (5V) and complies with the requirements of all relevant standards including CE, RoHS and REACH. The partnership follows a successful pilot with a small group of customers in Germany.

Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread company. At home in some 50 countries, Coats has a workforce of 18000 people across six continents. Revenues in 2018 were USD 1.4 billion.

OSRAM, based in Munich, is a leading global high-tech company with a history dating back more than 110 years. Primarily focused on semiconductor -based technologies, our products are used in highly diverse applications ranging from virtual reality to autonomous driving and from smartphones to smart and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities. OSRAM uses the endless possibilities of light to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities. OSRAM’s innovations enable people all over the world not only to see better, but also to communicate, travel, work and live better. OSRAM has approximately 23500 employees worldwide as of end of fiscal 2019 (September 30) and generated revenue of about EUR 3.5 billion from continuing activities. The company is listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Munich (ISIN: DE000LED4000; WKN: LED 400; trading symbol: OSR).