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Optical Light Film


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- story by MaterialDistrict

3M Optical Lighting Film (OLF) is a thin, flexible film made of clear optical grade polycarbonate. OLF is used to transport and distribute light uniformly with extremely high efficiency: up to 99% of the light remains after each interaction with the film. The material is designed for commercial, architectural, consumer and OEM lighting applications. For OEM lighting applications, this prismatic film is installed into hollow straight light guides.

In some applications, light from a point source is distributed through a tube creating a linear light source. The material is simultaneously reflective or transmissive depending upon the angle at which a light ray strikes the surface of the film. Light rays striking the smooth surface of the film at angles up to about 27.6° of the axis of the prisms will be reflected, while those rays which strike the film at angles greater than 27.6° will be transmitted. The material is manufactured by a 3M Company micro replication process which forms very precise prisms on one side and a very smooth finish on the other. This prism structure creates the special optical properties.

Other applications create a uniform area light source from either a linear or a point light source. Some applications include:

  • Medium bay lighting
  • Explosion proof rooms
  • Clean rooms
  • Illuminated signs
  • Thin light boxes
  • Pole lights
  • Building highlighting

OLF is available in a 37½ inch (953 mm) width on rolls of either 100 feet (30.5 m) or 500 feet (152.4 m) in length. It can be cut to the desired size quite easy.

Material Properties