Constant LED developments show increasing levels of luminous flux and power densities. In particular, automotive and entertainment industries are requesting mechanically and optically stable light guides for their new mid to highest-power lighting solutions. The switch from polymer to glass optics comes with improved temperature resistance, higher optical performance and better longevity of the systems [1, 2]. Even highest-power LEDs can be driven at maximum current obtaining best light output. The option of directly implementing micro structures on the output aperture of glass light guides gives the opportunity to customize final color mixing and light scattering over a wide range. This reduces the amount of required components and subsequently the total system costs.
Today’s trends in illumination engineering clearly turn towards high power LED applications with a precisely controlled light output. The first requires glass optics which will withstand the increasing temperature load and lumen output of LEDs. The second requires tight control of production tolerances and defined surface structuring. Especially the surface structure – which can be realized for example as micro lens arrays – is of increasing importance. Using two different fabrication techniques we investigated the implementation of micro surface textures on glass optics. The first method uses directly molded glass from the liquid phase while the second is an imprint process. For both methods we determined the minimum replicable feature size and found current limits of only 50 μm for the imprint process.
In the past, the major part of transmissive LED optics was made from injection molded polymers like PMMA or PC. Recent LED developments now show constantly increasing levels of luminous flux and energy densities, which restrict the usability of such polymer optics due to their limitations in thermal stability. Thermal simulations have shown that light guiding/mixing structures (rods) made from polymer materials can easily reach temperatures above their melting point due to the absorption characteristics. However, there is a great demand for such light rods from the automotive and entertainment industry and thus glass is becoming increasingly important as an optical material. Glass has typical transformation temperatures of hundreds of degrees Celsius and therefore withstands the conditions seen with LED without any problems. Square-shaped glass light guides show temperature advantages over round light rods, which are known for being able to produce caustics inside the material causing absorption and temperature hot spots, respectively. This paper presents some comparative thermal simulations by means of the Finite Element Method for a light conductor as an example and gives corresponding assistance for an appropriate material and light guide shape selection for highpower LED optics.
Free-form reflectors are encountered in numerous illumination systems, especially in highly sophisticated applications. The construction of these kind of optics however remains a challenging task where only a few methods are available to derive the free-form shape. One such method is the multi-ellipse approach where a superposition of conic sections is utilized to create the desired illuminance or luminous intensity distribution. While it is useful in many areas one is not always interested in an illuminance or intensity distribution. Especially street lighting reflectors are often tailored towards a homogeneous luminance, taking into account the road's reflective properties, luminaire arrangement etc. While we used our implementation of the multi-ellipse method to design street lighting reflectors with a uniform illuminance before, we now extended this method to support the calculation of a roadway reflector with a homogeneous luminance. For a given roadway scenario we can quickly get an optimized reflector with a good performance compliant to roadway standards such as EN-13201 or IESNA-RP-8-00. Furthermore the optic can be quickly adapted to changing requirements.
For LED lighting applications, Fresnel lenses or TIR lenses are frequently made of optical plastics. Glass,
however, can offer a number of advantages, including higher resistance to heat, to UV light, and to chemicals
like solvents. In this work, several glass materials for transmission optics are compared. The transmittances
are evaluated, including Fresnel losses and absorption, as well as shifts of the chromaticity coordinates and of
the color rendering index. TIR lenses made of Suprax borosilicate glass and polycarbonate are compared
concerning their contour accuracies and their resulting photometric properties like luminous intensity
distributions, luminous fluxes, and chromaticity distributions.
The increasing market demand for LED illumination requires new design approaches for the replacement of
conventional recessed luminaries. In this paper we present a series of glass reflectors covering a broad range of beam
angles between 10° and 40°. The key feature of this development is the identical size of all reflectors making a modular
set-up possible complying to a Zhaga-standardized LED module. The reflector dimensions are comparable to halogen
MR16 lamps and allow an immediate use in existing downlight systems.
Here, we present light technical measurements of these reflectors and compare the performance to already existing
MR16 LED retrofit solutions.
The field of illumination optics has an increasing demand for free-form optics that produce arbitrary light distributions. In various applications an asymmetric, e.g. rectangular illumination can be beneficial, such as street lights, shop lights or architectural lighting. Yet there are only very few construction methods for free-form surfaces, especially using extended sources. One such method utilizes a manifold of conic sections to derive a source-target mapping for a particular source and target distribution. Although it relies on the assumption of a point source it can be adapted to work with real, extended sources. We implemented the algorithm to construct glass reflectors for almost arbitrary light distributions, either prescribed in the near- or far-field. Starting with a point source, an initial surface is optimized in a second process with a feedback loop to produce the desired result with the actual extended source. Our method is quite robust and was used to design for example an asymmetrical street light reflector. It was manufactured at Auer Lighting GmbH out of borosilicate glass. Measured target distributions are in excellent agreement with the simulations. These promising results show that this particular design method can be applied to real world applications. It is a powerful tool whenever a highly optimized reflector for a non-trivial illumination is required.