Spotlighting is one illumination field where the application of light emitting diodes (LED) creates many advantages. Commonly, the system for spot lights consists of a LED light engine and collimating secondary optics. Through angular or spatial separated emitted light from the source and imaging optical elements, a non uniform far field appears with colored rings, dots or patterns. Many feasible combinations result in very different spatial color distributions. Several combinations of three multi-chip light sources and secondary optical elements like reflectors and TIR lenses with additional facets or scattering elements were analyzed mainly regarding the color uniformity. They are assessed by the merit function Usl which was derived from human factor experiments and describes the color uniformity based on the visual perception of humans. Furthermore, the optical systems are compared concerning efficiency, peak candela and aspect ratio. Both types of optics differ in the relation between the color uniformity level and other properties. A plain reflector with a slightly color mixing light source performs adequate. The results for the TIR lenses indicate that they need additional elements for good color mixing or blended light source. The most convenient system depends on the requirements of the application.
The scope of the present paper is the derivation of a merit function which predicts the visual perception of LED spot lights. The color uniformity level Usl is described by a linear regression function of the spatial color distribution in the far field. Hereby, the function is derived from four basic functions. They describe the color uniformity of spot lights through different features. The result is a reliable prediction for the perceived color uniformity in spot lights. A human factor experiment was performed to evaluate the visual preferences for colors and patterns. A perceived rank order was derived from the subjects’ answers and compared with the four basic functions. The correlation between the perceived rank order and the basic functions was calculated resulting in the definition of the merit function Usl. The application of this function is shown by a comparison of visual evaluations and measurements of LED retrofit spot lamps. The results enable a prediction of color uniformity levels of simulations and measurements concerning the visual perception. The function provides a possibility to evaluate the far field of spot lights without individual subjective judgment.