Orion products being manufactured using Marl's SMT Centre at our Ulverston base

For the past fifteen years, Marl has developed high brightness LED linear strip light products for signage and display illumination; the Orion range. In 2000, the original Orion was developed to work alongside flat panel technology. Throughout the years the product has continually evolved to produce creative and highly useful products to meet a variety of requirements, including museum lighting, architectural illumination, and now, in 2015, even to aid plant growth.

One product, the Gallery Orion, developed in 2004, provides high-quality lighting for art, artefacts and documents in galleries and museums worldwide. Today, applications include the illumination of historical artefacts in high-profile museums and exclusive archives worldwide.

Originally using 5mm through-hole LED technology, the manufacturing process of the Orion products has dramatically improved. Part of the evolutionary design process was to upgrade the subassembly from manual hand-placement to Surface Mount Technology using leading Citizen Surface Mount LEDs. This was achieved when Marl installed their first SMT line at their Ulverston base in 2011. Not only did this improve the efficiency of the manufacturing process, but it significantly increased the light output power capability of the Orion range. The new design also improved the colour over angle light distribution of the product and improved efficiency and performance.

The Orion product has been used in many architectural lighting applications. Here, an archway at The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland, is illuminated with a wash of colour using high-power royal blue Nichia LEDs

Capability for customisation gives the range of Orion products their flexibility. For example, a popular variation is for the light sources to be tuned to provide an attractive blend of coloured light, such as shades and tones of purple, pink and blue to enhance the illumination effect required and / or fit within a client's corporate colour scheme. In Ulverston, Cumbria, the Marl Hub office space has been installed with purple Orion's, accenting the white LED lighting of the offices with a striking purple hue to match the company branding.

Today, Orion products are expanding into applications that are a far-cry from the original intention for the product. Budmaster, a family run business that started back in January 2012, is now the UK's prime "LED Grow Light" supplier, utilising LED technology to aid plant growth.

After sourcing Marl as a potential supplier nearly 2 years ago, Budmaster conducted several visits to Marl which confirmed Marl's manufacturing capabilities and expertise with LED technology. The Orion product, alongside others, is now one of Budmaster's key products for aiding plant growth.

Paul Krasnowski, owner of Budmaster, said "The best parts of working with Marl are the rapid prototype facility which really helps with new design. Also, Marl keep us up to date with new technologies such as new LEDs to the market, and improved ways of dissipating heat."

This year, Budmaster will be assembling full products in the UK, with nearly all components being locally sourced. "This is really important for us as we control the quality, can have a really fast turnaround and have a much lower carbon footprint", continues Paul. "We can now build in the UK as cost effectively as buying in from the Far East."

Rob Woodhouse, Design Manager for Marl, has been with the company for 10 years and has seen much of the evolution of the Orion products. He said, "The Orion is such a versatile product that has a massive application potential since we can install any type of LED device we like into the unit and keep the high-quality extrusion and smoked or clear lens. We can colour the housing to any colour and have the option of a fully water sealed unit. The applications are endless!"

As our Design Manager, Rob, pointed out earlier, the applications really are endless; custom variants are available. Ask our Sales team what we can do for you.