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Innovative bifunctional aircraft window for lighting control to enhance passenger comfort

Comfort plays an increasingly important role in the interior design of airplanes. Comfort comprises many aspects including temperature and lighting in the cabin. In this context, the overall objective of the IN-LIGHT project is to contribute to the improvement of the passengers’ comfort through the development of a new concept of bifunctional aircraft window combining the following technologies: Electrochromism and Transparent OLED lighting (TOLED).

Electrochromic technology will allow the passenger to control the amount of heat and sun-light coming through the window, switching from a transparent colourless state to a deeply coloured transparent state. Additionally, a TOLED lighting system, also controllable by the passenger, will be integrated in the window offering a very innovative type of interior ambient lighting in the cabin with novel aesthetic effects. The technologies to be used will introduce significant breakthroughs compared to the existing smart shading systems, such as a low manufacturing cost, compatibility with plastic substrates, low power consumption and improved performance, in terms of switching speed and cyclability / lifetime.

The new smart aircraft window, intended to be developed within the IN-LIGHT project, adds significant value to conventional windows and will contribute to the passenger’s comfort enabling a tailored cabin environment in terms of heat and light transmittance, as well as ambient lighting based on individual preferences.

The work will be performed by a highly complementary, well-balanced consortium of 10 partners from 6 EU member states and one partner from Canada, representing the entire value chain. Starting from November 2012, the IN-LIGHT project is expected to be completed by October 2015.