Kanvaslight Updates Illumination

Center Console BiminiCourtesy Guardtex

Manufacturer Guardtex supplies boatbuilders and canvas shops that integrate Kanvaslight fabric into awnings and biminis like the one on this center-console.

Kanvaslight promises to change how boaters light up decks and cockpits. Since the arrival of LEDs we have had to update our knowledge about lights and lighting solutions more frequently. Robust, waterproof, compact, lightweight, and cool to the touch are par for the course when we buy something as mundane as a flashlight or upgrade the running lights on a boat or a trailer. How about adding a source of light to the fabric of your cockpit bimini or awning? Guardtex, a company started in Brittany, in northwest France, and recently expanded to the U.S., promises exactly that: to upgrade the lighting in the cockpit with some suave illumination.

Light TransportationCourtesy Guardtex

The principle of light transportation: LED light passes through an optical coupler, which distributes the light to the optical fibers woven into the fabric.

The company’s product, called Kanvaslight, benefits from “light transportation,” using a so-called light injector, LEDs of 600 or 650 lumens, and an optical coupler. This light is injected into specially treated optical fibers woven into the fabric to allow “a smooth, nonaggressive, warm light to escape. No electricity is flowing through the fabric; it is just a matter of light transportation,” the company points out.

Kanvaslight FabricCourtesy Guardtex

Specially treated optical fibers that transmit LED light are woven into the soft Kanvaslight fabric, giving a smooth, warm, and nonaggressive illumination.

Guardtex offers two variations of two sizes: Kanvaslight is 43.3 x 8 (1,100mm x 203mm), 12VDC at 1.2 amps or 24VDC at 0.6 amp, power < 15 watts, and weighs 17.6 oz (499 g). Kanvaslight Mini is 17.7 x 4 (45mm x 102mm) and 5VDC, 0.33 amp or 0.6 amp, power < 2.5 watts, and weighs 2.8 oz (79 g). At either 600 or 650 lumens,  each size is warm white 3,000 K, and has a waterproof rating of IP X6. Wiring options vary, depending on the source of power, e.g., onboard DC system or a separate battery.

Kanvaslight is not competing with Sunbrella or other marine fabric manufacturers, the company notes. The two pattern sizes can be sewn or Velcroed onto any type fabric, and weigh about 2.38 oz/sq ft (80.7g/m²), not including wires, which can be tucked away under flaps and inside the frame.

Guardtex says it offers up to three years of warranty. Most current boatbuilding clients are based in Europe, but the company is preparing a broader introduction to the industry in the coming months, including at IBEX.

Guardtex Inc., 5046 W Linebaugh Ave., Tampa, FL 33624 USA, tel. 773–999–7834