Auto Ambiance

Light Diffused Materials and LEDs Provide a Total Solution for Automobile Cockpits

Automobile Cockpit

The 2007 Ford Edge Cockpit: An RTP 300 Series polycarbonate light diffusing compound met challenging automotive standards with the right translucency and impact properties for the climate control systems.

A stylish automobile exterior may attract a driver, but it’s the ambiance of the interior that can inspire the passion to purchase. An automobile’s cockpit appearance often embodies a consumer’s perception of quality.

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) not only help set the mood in the cockpit, they can help customize a lighting scheme to enhance branding. As a result, interior lighting LEDs and light diffusing materials are quickly gaining the attention of engineers and designers.

When LEDs are specified, RTP Company’s light diffused compounds can be used to shift or manipulate the intensity and emitted color of a backlit component. Diffused compounds also provide consistency, which is critical to achieving compelling interior lighting harmony.

With the expertly manipulating of dye and pigment combinations, RTP Company’s light diffusing compounds can shift the color of an illuminated graphic, for example, from blue to green by filtering specific wavelengths of the emitted light. This color converting technology provides designers with a wider range of color options for interiors. It can also be used with white LEDs to fine tune the color temperature in both warm white and cool white spectrums.

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors specializes in harmony in lighting, defined as control of color, luminance, evenness and legibility. They are among the best in the LED binning* selection class. Together, OSRAM and RTP Company provide total lighting solutions to automotive OEMs and Tier One suppliers.

“Knowledge and expertise in backlighting are not well understood in the industry and solving these illumination problems is beneficial for both RTP Company and OSRAM,” said Michael Godwin, OSRAM Business Development Manager. “With optimization of the light diffusement materials, evenness and legibility can be tailored to meet the customer’s desired backlighting and ergonomic requirements.”

OSRAM and RTP Company work closely together to develop interior lighting solutions for Visteon, a leading automotive supplier. One example is the climate control lighting in the cockpit of 2007 Ford Edge, a new cross-over SUV.

RTP Company’s light diffusing compounds provide an ideal contrast to the stylish metallic finish in the Ford Edge. RTP Company conducted a DOE (design of experiment) and formulated a customized RTP 300 Series polycarbonate light diffused compound. The material provided the optimal balance of light transmission versus haze that worked perfectly with OSRAM’s LEDs.

“There was a distinct interaction with the LED and the plastic materials that needed to be optimized to achieve the harmonious backlighting desired from Ford,” said Godwin. “The customer’s interior lighting needs were met with the best solution uniquely tailored to their needs.”

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors produces opto-semiconductors for the lighting, sensor and visualization sectors. For more information, go to

* LED binning: LED manufacturers test every LED and put them into a “bin” according to the emitted color.

The RTP Company Light Diffusement Portfolio

Light Diffusing Compounds

Compounds from RTP Company can eliminate “hot spots” by diffusing light.

PC, PMMA, and PC/PMMA alloys from RTP Company are available at several different diffusement levels. Based on a designer’s requirements, compounds are customized to optimize the balance of light transmission, contrast, color and diffusion.

Diffusion compounds are offered in:

  • Injection molding grades
  • Profile extrusion grades
  • Sheet/film grades

Available on request:

  • Flame retardants
  • UV stabilizers
  • Additive and color concentrates
  • Colors
  • Flexible materials

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