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Martin Architectural

Exterior 200 LED

Issue 42 Apr / May 2008

David Morgan puts Martin Archectural's Exterior 200 LED luminaire through its paces.

Martin Architectural is the architectural lighting division of the entertainment lighting company Martin Professional based in Åarhus in northern Denmark.

Martin was founded in 1987 by Peter Johansen as a manufacturer of smoke machines and is now the largest manufacturer of intelligent (computer controlled) lighting equipment for the entertainment industry with a growing presence in the architectural, retail and promotional lighting markets.

The Martin Exterior 200 LED luminaire is derived from the Martin Exterior 200 150W metal halide colour changing luminaire, originally introduced in 2001. The LED version was introduced in February 2008 and is designed to be used in a wide variety of short to medium throw exterior lighting applications typically from 6 to 20 ft. All models in the 200 series were designed by the Martin in-house development team.

The primary advantages of the LED version over the CDM metal halide version include the physically-smaller, more compact, luminaire size, the much longer lamp life – 50,000 hours against 15,000 hours – thus reducing lamp changing costs and also the higher efficiency when producing some of the saturated colours.

Producing saturated colours, including blue and green, from LED sources is actually more efficient than using metal halide light sources. The Exterior 200 luminaire uses subtractive colour mixing dichroic filters to achieve these colours from a MH white light source whereas the LED version produces colours directly from the LED sources without filtration.

Unusually, colour changing in the Exterior 200 LED is achieved by mixing red, green, blue with amber and white LEDs. The addition of white and amber LEDs enables the luminaire to produce more subtle pastel shades than can be achieved with basic RGB systems and also to produce variable colour temperature white light.

The current version of the Exterior 200 LED incorporates 44 Luxeon K2 LEDs drawing 130 watts and gives 1,400 lumens total output of white light at 5600°K.

The 200 Metal Halide version by comparison uses a 150W MH CDM lamp and produces approx 5000 lumens of white light depending on the beam angle of the optical system.

Beam control for the LED version is achieved with the use of optical film which keeps the depth of the luminaire as slim as possible but also probably limits the amount of control. The three distributions only range from 21° as a narrow beam, 27° medium beam and 32° as a wide beam.

These beam control films can be changed on site and it is understood that the degree of colour mixing achieved with these films is less liable to colour break up when used to illuminate specular materials – metal structures etc than more basic RGB systems.

By comparison the MH version has a much wider range of optical controllers ranging from 10° to 54°. To achieve the very narrow distributions, the luminaire becomes significantly longer than the medium to wide beam versions.

From an appearance and mechanical design stand point the general appearance of the Exterior 200 LED is functional, well detailed and gives a high perceived value.

Many of the original Exterior 200 housing components have been adapted to create the new LED luminaire. As the original design was based on a series of aluminium extrusions it has been possible to reduce the length of these to create the shorter LED version. This has maintained the range identity which works well for this family of products.

A separate enclosure for the electronic drivers, controllers and power supplies is connected to a large die cast heat sink forming the back of the LED enclosure. A fan is incorporated into the electronics enclosure to maintain a more constant internal temperature for sensitive electronic components. A temperature feedback system ensures that the LEDs are not overdriven in applications where there is a high ambient temperature by reducing light output.

The only small design feature that detracts from the high quality of product detailing is the way the gaskets sealing the ends of the body extrusions to the end caps are exposed. It is always a tricky detail to conceal gaskets particularly when the end caps are machined rather than die cast but perhaps in future versions it might be worth investigating this. The Exterior 200 series is rated at IP65.

Setting up the colour changing sequences is implemented via the Martin MUM software. Based on an initial investigation the software seems comprehensive and easy to use. Each Exterior 200 LED contains its own clock and photocell so that it can run in stand alone mode starting operation at a certain time or light level. Each luminiare can also work in a master / slave configuration or under direct DMX control from a central computer desk. The system also boasts a flexible 0 – 100 % dimming function.

Based on an initial investigation the Exterior 200 LED is an impressive piece of kit and a valuable tool for any architects or lighting designers wanting a precision colour changing luminaire for the illumination of facades, external structures, water features and monuments especially for situations where access is restricted and lamp-changing costs will therefore be high.


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