Vertical Integration Helps Set Lightheaded Lighting Apart

Our in-house CNC (Computer Numerical Control) equipment allows us to move quickly and efficiently from digital design idea to a precise, functioning prototype ready to be tested. This in-house capability also ensures that Lightheaded Lighting has complete quality control and a nimble response to changes. Whether it’s a reflector cone or a complex, removable, adjustable trim assembly, Lightheaded Lighting is able to cost-effectively produce multiple iterations.

With the advent of 3D modeling, the product design process has come a long way over the past 20 years. But only experience can translate engineering intent and design aesthetic into a manufacturable assembly of integrity and longevity. The machined aluminum part is the crux of Lightheaded Lighting’s product development process – particularly as it plays a crucial role in thermal management of LEDs and electronic drivers. Our engineering and product development teams use the latest SOLIDWORKS 3D design software, which allows us to create a concept and then fully examine the idea from every angle. This process invites input from the sales team and, often, from clients. Collaboration throughout the product development process stimulates improvements and efficiencies, and averts pitfalls. At the same time, collaboration maintains the integrity of the design intent through to the finished product.

Once complete, the SOLIDWORKS file translates to the working instructions for the CNC equipment. Lightheaded Lighting’s CNC milling machines and CNC lathes currently include the following capabilities:

Vertical CNC Milling Centers

  • High-precision 3 and 4 axis milling; controlling tolerances up to +/- 0.0001 inch
  • Up to 7500 RPM turning speeds
  • Up To 1000 IPM high-speed rapid movements
  • 40 by 20 by 25 inch inside machine capacity, with extended machining capacities that can exceed 65 inches

CNC Turning Centers

  • High-precision 2, 3 & 4 axis turning, controlling tolerances up to +/- 0.0001 inch
  • Turning capacities up to 15 inches diameter and 21 inches long
  • Up to 4000 RPM turning speeds
  • Up to 900 IPM high-speed rapid movements

A product or part may look great in SOLIDWORKS and come out of CNC milling as a prototype with great fit, form and function. But can it be manufactured practically and cost effectively? Our engineers have a collective century of experience designing and developing products, and still rely on Machine Shop Manager Joe Draves for his manufacturing insight.

As a manual machinist, CNC machinist, programmer and technician, Joe brings to Lightheaded Lighting more than 15 years of experience over a wide range of applications in both custom machining and production. Beyond his skillset, Joe’s consistent drive for accuracy and efficiency makes him a valuable team member who takes the lead on maximizing productivity.

Rapid advancements in LED technology make digital design and CNC prototyping crucial in staying abreast of design trends and technology implementation. But it is experience and a commitment to getting light right that maintain quality and product integrity, while reducing manufacturing costs. New products, custom products and a constant flow of mods provide avenues for valuable input from the field – keeping Lightheaded Lighting on the forefront of design.


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