Lights, camera, action! Bayer polycarbonate sheet plays a “starring” role in DIRECTV lobby

Makrolon® PC sheet’s light weight, light-diffusing properties light the way for interactive video experience

Pittsburgh, June 17, 2014 — When designers and lighting engineers at Electroland envisioned a new entrance to DIRECTV’s lobby, they pictured an installation that would represent the convergence of artistic creativity, engineering expertise and fabrication know-how.

But first they needed the right material to light the way. Enter Makrolon® Lumen XT polycarbonate sheet from Bayer MaterialScience LLC.

“We like to use LEDs for our installations, but LEDs can create challenges when diffusing light and avoiding hot spots. Until now, we’ve had to use acrylic materials. We couldn’t believe when the Makrolon® Lumen XT polycarbonate sheet from Bayer came out. It is perfect for us. The flame retardant material is light weight, robust and does a great job of transmitting light,” said Cameron McNall, principal, Electroland LLC.

Additionally, Makrolon® polycarbonate sheet is easy to fabricate and enabled Electroland to have nearly all pieces delivered in pre-cut sections, McNall said. This flexibility of the materials, in addition to the use of parametric building software to design the 26-foot-high installation, helped lower manual labor costs because the display could be assembled on-site without the need to hire a highly skilled workforce.

Specifically designed for lighting lenses, Makrolon® Lumen XT sheet is a translucent polycarbonate product with a textured surface on one side. It features:

  • High light diffusion
  • High light transmission
  • Optimized surface texture
  • Advanced diffuser technologies
  • Warm (LW) or cool (LC) hue

DIRECTV, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., is one of the world's leading providers of digital television entertainment services. The finished interactive video display features two walls that are integrated with eight, high-definition televisions. A visitor entering the lobby becomes a “star” in the sky on the wall. As the person moves through the full-surround hall, the star moves in step across the polycarbonate sheet wall. The star eventually swirls onto the bank of HD televisions as a goddess dancing, according to McNall.

“We believe it to be the largest 3D curved video screen featuring more than 47,000 LEDs,” McNall said. “The Makrolon® Lumen XT LC5 polycarbonate sheet helped make the design a reality because of its light weight, great diffusion ability relative to light transmission, toughness and flame resistance index suitable for architectural interiors. The Lumen XT panels were easy to cut and drill and they could be bent and fastened into place during installation without breaking. The effective diffusion capabilities enabled us to place the LEDs close to the polycarbonate sheet without hot spotting, and the material’s high light transmissivity allowed us to reduce the number of lights and conserve electricity.”

About Bayer MaterialScience LLC:

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,300 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2013 sales of 11.2 billion euros. Bayer MaterialScience, a Bayer Group company, manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries.

For more information about Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s Makrolon® polycarbonate sheet products, contact Sales at 800-254-1707 or visit www.sheffieldplastics.com.

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