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Optronics LED Lamps Impervious to Damage, Resistant to Theft

February 15, 2015 - Products

By Tom Berg

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Optronics International

NASHVILLE -- LED lights claimed to be waterproof and highly resistant to many contaminants and toxic liquids will soon be available from Optronics International, which calls them Super Lamp.

The company, which manufacturers its products in Asia, also introduced a single-diode LampLock fixture to combat theft of LED lights, especially from intermodal chassis.

SuperLamp products are the culmination of more than two years of research and development and set a new standard for strength and durability for commercial vehicle lighting, said Brett Johnson, Optronics’ president.

“With the introduction of our LED SuperLamp technology, we’ve created a new category of super-tough, super-long-lasting vehicle lamps and we’ve done it at a lower cost than other premium lighting products,” he said during the introduction of the new lamps at the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting.

The new lamps' performance characteristics are the result of rigorous design parameters established by Optronics in 2012, coupled with equally stringent testing protocols that have followed every step in the process, Johnson said. The 4-inch round LED SuperLamp stop/tail/turn lamp has been designed to withstand assaults on its internal electrical components, while a specially formulated coating and bonding system protects its exterior lens and housing.

Optronics’ new LED SuperLamps have been designed to be immune from the crippling effects of transient voltage, electromagnetic interference and electrostatic discharge. The lamps also feature solid-state, surface-mount device technology that will allow the LEDs to keep working even if the unprotected circuit board is completely submerged in water.

To battle chemical-related degradation, Optronics engineered a coating that it applies to the entire lamp, which has been designed to accept and bond with the coating. The coating is engineered to be highly resistant to petroleum distillates such as coolant ethylene and coolant propylene, as well as diesel fuel, battery fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, organic solvents, methanol, detergents, cleaners and urea.

The LED SuperLamp has also been demonstrated to be highly resilient in tests involving UV exposure, flammability, vibration, temperature cycling, accelerated aging, high-velocity water spray, free-fall drops, humidity, salt fog corrosion, dust, thermal shock and gravel bombardment.

The LED SuperLamp meets all FMVSS 108 photometric requirements for visibility and safety, and each lamp will come with a lifetime warranty. Four-inch round grommet-mount red and amber lamps and six-inch oval red and amber lamps will be introduced first, followed by flange-mount versions. The lamps will initially be available with weather-tight termination.

Testing of the SuperLamp was conducted, in part, by Intertek, a specialist in auditing, inspection, testing, training, advisory, quality assurance and certification, Johnson said.

Anti-theft lamps

Locking ring prevents removal without destroying the fixture.
Locking ring prevents removal without destroying the fixture.

LampLock fixtures are quick and easy to mount on a vehicle but impossible to remove without destroying them, Johnson said. Responsible is a locking ring that snaps into place but cannot be undone.

And the single diode and lens resemble a less desirable incandescent light to reduce theft attempts in the first place, he said.

Optronics developed LampLock in response to concerns by members of the Intermodal Association of North America, which said four equipment provider fleets collectively spent $13.5 million in 2013 to replace 1 million missing,broken or burned-out lighting on vehicle chassis. A significant percentage of those replacements were attributed to stolen lamps.

Single diode and lens resemble a cheap incandescent lamp, so is less likely to invite theft. 
Single diode and lens resemble a cheap incandescent lamp, so is less likely to invite theft.

“It’s clear that vanishing lights is a big problem for intermodal carriers, and this issue has plagued fleets and owner-operators within the shipping industry for years,” Johnson said. “We set out to solve the problem by designing an LED-based anti-theft lighting system that’s both easy to use and price competitive.”

The LampLock Anti-Theft Lighting System is simple and easily replaces missing 4-inch round stop/tail/turn lamps and three-quarter-inch marker lamps by precisely fitting into the holes they leave behind.

The system consist of a specially designed single-diode LED lamp, an integrated anti-theft ring and a foam rubber gasket. In the case of the 4-inch round lamp, an available locking PL-3 receptacle grips the connector plug body, increasing resistance to detachment due to shock and vibration.

The lamps easily snap into position and once installed, are impossible to remove without being destroyed. LampLock fixtures in 4-inch and 3/4-inch round are expected to sell for about the same price as other LED lamps, but include the extra value of their integrated anti-theft feature, Johnson said. The lamps are expected to begin shipping on or about March 31, 2015.

The new lamps meet all FMVSS 108 photometric requirements for visibility and safety. Each lamp comes with a lifetime LED warranty, and Lenses and housings are made of tough polycarbonate material that is sonically welded.

The lamps employ a solid-state, surface-mount device (SMD) design that protects their electronics against moisture, shock and vibration. The video below demonstrates LampLock features:

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