These Colorful Felt Light Fixtures Can Improve Acoustics in Open Work Spaces

05/22/2019 By Adrian Thompson

Eaton Lighting just dropped its newest line of acoustic lighting products – Shaper Sense – in collaboration with FilzFelt, an acoustic and natural materials company. Revealed at LIGHTFAIR International 2019, held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, the fixtures are Eaton Lighting’s first solution available with FilzFelt and pair high visual performance with quality acoustic surrounds.

Shaper Sense arrives at a time when interiors, especially workplaces, are taking acoustics and noise levels into consideration like never before. So much so, that controlling noise level in work environments is expected to help drive the acoustic insulation market to $12 billion annually. Eaton Lighting is working to address these issues and meet the needs of these markets with its acoustic solutions.

The Shaper Sense acoustic LED lighting fixtures are currently the only products designed with FilzFelt materials, creating highly dense and effective acoustic surrounds to help reduce unwanted noise and distractions, which often lead to lower employee productivity and dissatisfaction of the work environment.

In its recent study, “What’s That Sound,”  commercial flooring company Interface found that the top noise offenders and distractions for workplaces across the globe include:

  • Conversations among employees (71%)
  • Phone conversations (67%)
  • Phones ringing (62%)
  • The sound of people walking around (54%)

Adding a Shaper Sense light to a work environment is a simple and unique way for employees to reduce the impact of these distractions. Shaper Sense utilizes FilzFelt’s 62 felt color choices, currently the largest number of color selections available in acoustic lighting products today. Owned by Knoll, FilzFelt products are comprised of German-milled, 100% wool and can be combined to create a variety of patterns and textures.

Specific FilzFelt patterns, like Ribsy and Index Dimensional, are handcrafted according to Sohana Arni, marketing manager for Eaton's Architectural Products Group.

“FilzFelt has an artist in New Mexico who hires art students from the university and they hand cut these pieces and apply them to a cork backer,” she explains. “So, all of this [patterning] is hand done. You don’t really see that in lighting very often, or at all.”

The Shaper Sense family allows designers to customize the fixture, even allowing the ability to select multiple colors on one product. The light engine is a square or round edge-lit acrylic panel that encompasses different shaped acoustic surrounds.

The fixtures allow natural daylight to filter through when off, and use daylight harvesting from wireless control systems to maintain uniform light levels.

“This is the first of many lighting solutions we’ve partnered with FilzFelt on, and we look forward to continue delivering the acoustically and aesthetically pleasing solutions that will inspire interior designers, architects, lighting designers and engineers who bring spaces to life,” says Ryan Rodau, general manager of the Architectural Products Group for Eaton Lighting, in a press release.  

Fixtures in the Sharper Sense series can also be broken down into several pieces to ship more easily and help reduce Eaton Lighting’s carbon footprint. The series will be available in summer 2019.

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