The first commercial LED luminaires made in Australia were developed by DIGILIN Australia in 1997 for a record store in Brookvale, Sydney.
Having recognised the potential of LED technology, Digilin’s foray into the commercial LED lighting market began in the years leading up to the new millennium. During this period, LED technology had advanced significantly and new LEDs were delivering substantially more light than their predecessors, which were commonly used as display indicators.
Based on their expertise in the emerging technology through their work designing signalling systems for Queensland Rail, as well as more than a decade’s experience in electronics and other lighting technologies such as halogen and fibre optics, Digilin was well positioned to lead LED’s entry into Australia’s commercial lighting market.
Digilin’s engineers began testing various offerings from Kingbright, Nichia and Cree, names that would go on to become dominant players in the worldwide lighting market.
However, it was a request from leading lighting designer Barry Webb in 1997 that led to a transformational development in Australia’s LED lighting space. Webb sought from Digilin a maintenance-free luminaire that could be manufactured for installation in Mall Music – a record store in Brookvale on Sydney’s Upper North Shore.
Webb wanted the luminaire to be ‘low heat’ as it would have to sustain high pedestrian traffic. Fibre optics was ruled out due to its minimum bend radius requirements. Additionally, the luminaire needed to be very compact, robust, resistant to water ingress, and of course, maintenance-free.
Aware that this opportunity was LED’s moment to take the spotlight, Digilin applied their expertise in the technology to design a solution. The resultant product was not only Digilin’s first commercial LED luminaire, but also the first made in Australia. The Mall Music project went down in history as the first commercial LED installation in Australia.
The images shown above were taken more than 8 years after installation, during which time none of the LEDs required replacing or servicing.
Like the hundreds of other clients who have experienced Digilin’s LED products over the past 20 years, Mall Music enjoyed their consistent and reliable performance.
“We have lots of different lights in this shop, and these are the only ones that have never given us any trouble… if only all the other lighting was LED,” stated Mall Music owners, Geoffrey and Amanda Bonouvrie.
While LED has come a long way since that installation, Digilin’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of the technology remains the same, ensuring that customers have the assurance of innovative, high performance, reliable lighting solutions.
Digilin’s success comes from continually developing their technical expertise, experimenting and testing the latest technologies from the best suppliers in the world, and seeking out the toughest lighting challenges.