The Birth of the Virtual LED
3M’s reflective film technology drives innovation across multiple industries. As we sought to create a breakthrough design to focus the spotlight on 3M’s technical prowess in optical physics, we asked: could a single LED illuminate a room?

Lightfalls for 3M

Collaborating closely with 3M’s optical physicists, we invented Lightfalls, an innovative system to showcase 3M’s technological capabilities and core differentiation in the lighting industry. We created Lightfalls, a “Virtual LED” that is powered by the laws of physics and distributes light from a single LED source over a nearly limitless distance. Each fixture passively steers light from one module to another through a mix of design and engineering, optical physics, and material science, creating the illusion of multiple LED sources when in fact there is only one. The result is energy and cost efficient on an unprecedented scale, highlighting 3M’s competitive advantage in the market. It’s a solution possible only with 3M materials, and an invention that captured the imagination of the industry.

Lightfalls owes its beauty not to aesthetics, but to a single-minded focus on 3M’s capabilities, culture, and passion for innovation. Lightfalls represents the marriage of 3M’s technical prowess with our design vision and market expertise.

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  • Product Design
  • Concept Design & Development
  • Prototyping & Manufacturing Support


  • NeoCon Innovation Award