LED-infused metal fabric can turn any building façade into a work of art

February 02, 2008 |

Recent advancements in the architectural metal fabric industry have led to a novel solution for dressing up virtually any building façade. The approach marries LED lighting with traditional metal mesh systems, creating a lightweight, transparent cladding that can wash façades in spectrums of vibrant color, display animated graphics, and even broadcast video.

At least two major manufacturers of metal fabric systems, Cambridge Architectural and GKD Metal Fabrics, offer LED-integrated mesh systems in the U.S.

With Illumesh from GKD Metal Fabrics, round profiles are woven into metal fabric horizontally at intervals from 20 to 160 inches. LEDs are then inserted into the profiles and sealed into place. The system can display images ranging from simple graphics to animation. The supply of power and data to the LEDs is coordinated through concealed control units connected to central servers. Once installed, Illumesh displays may be operated via the Internet.

Similarly, Cambridge Architectural's Mesh/FX system involves weaving strips of LEDs into the continuous horizontal or vertical channels of metal fabric, which hold and protect the LEDs. The company also offers custom methods of LED integration, such as cutting openings in the mesh to create a receptor for panels of LEDs.

Cambridge Architectural Input No. 201 at BDCnetwork.com/quickResponse

GKD Metal Fabrics Input No. 202 at BDCnetwork.com/quickResponse

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