A novel approach for RGB semiconductor LED-based backlighting system is developed to satisfy the requirements of the Project LUMENTILE funded by the European Commission, whose scope is to develop a luminous electronic tile that is foreseen to be manufactured in millions of square meters each year. This unconventionally large-area surface of uniform, high-brightness illumination requires a specific optical design to keep a low production cost, while maintaining high optical extraction efficiency and a reduced thickness of the structure, as imposed by architectural design constraints. The proposed solution is based on a light-guiding layer to be illuminated by LEDs in edge configuration, or in a planar arrangement. The light guiding slab is finished with a reflective top interface and a diffusive or reflective bottom interface/layer. Patterning is used for both the top interface (punctual removal of reflection and generation of a light scattering centers) and for the bottom layer (using dark/bright printed pattern). Computer-based optimization algorithms based on ray-tracing are used to find optimal solutions in terms of uniformity of illumination of the top surface and overall light extraction efficiency. Through a closed-loop optimization process, that assesses the illumination uniformity of the top surface, the algorithm generates the desired optimized top and bottom patterns, depending on the number of LED sources used, their geometry, and the thickness of the guiding layer. Specific low-cost technologies to realize the patterning are discussed, with the goal of keeping the production cost of these very large-area luminaries below the value of 100$/sqm.
L. Carraro, A. Mäyrä, M. Simonetta, G. Benetti, A. Tramonte, M. Benedetti, E. M. Randone, A. Ylisaukko-Oja, K. Keränen, T. Facchinetti, and G. Giuliani, "Design of a backlighting structure for very large-area luminaries," Proc. SPIE 10126, Advances in Display Technologies VII, 1012603 (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 02, 2017; Published: 16 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251825.
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