If ever there was a unique MENTOR product that everyone wants but few are aware of, the M-Tube has to be it! This unique tubular lighting concept can be exploited by imaginative electronics and lighting engineers from many diverse sectors.

Rather than attempt to contain light in the way of a conventional light guide, these rigid or flexible light guides (between 3mm and 10mm in diameter and up to 2.5M long) actively force light to emit through the walls of the tubing. The key to all this is homogeneity, which is MENTOR’s mantra. Despite being powered by just two LED light engines at either end of the tube, computer-designed reflective printing ensures even distribution of light throughout the entire length of the tubing.

As well as this technology’s effectiveness, the really big advantage is that the product does not require expensive tooling and can easily and cost effectively be utilised in many diverse applications. MENTOR has already made a multi-Euro investment in the core technology and generic tooling, which is adaptable for various applications without the need for re-tooling. There are many (mostly standard) variations available that meet the requirements of even the most imaginative of Design Engineers; even IP 68 versions are now available as a custom option. Thick, thin, rigid or flexible tubing, standard or high-brightness light engines, single colour or PWM-controlled RGB are all standard options; the possibilities and diverse applications are endless.

The world’s largest vending machine manufacturer utilises M-Tubes in several of their vey high-volume machines that are designed and manufactured both in the UK and the US. The very same product has been used by a small UK engineering company for a one-off customisation of a high-value sports car. In between these two extremes are a myriad of other uses.