Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Illumination made to measure

14.05.2008
Light-emitting diodes save energy. In terms of their light output, however, they have so far been unable to compete with light bulbs. A new, low-priced optical component is set to change that situation: It concentrates the light and directs it precisely to where it is needed.

Light-emitting diodes are unbeatable in terms of energy efficiency. A one-watt LED delivers roughly the same optical output as a hundred-watt light bulb. If a high light output is required, however, the tiny light sources are not the preferred means of illumination. A novel optical component is set to change that situation.

It directs the light to the exact spot where it is needed. In the case of a desk lamp, for instance, the light can be concentrated in such a way that only a DIN-A4-sized surface in the middle of the table is brightly lit. The LED evenly illuminates the required area, while everything else stays in the dark.

“A light-emitting diode is a single-point light source that emits light in a large, uncontrolled area,” says Dr. Christian Wenzel, head of department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen. “We use special lenses to direct all of the light to the place where it is needed, thus increasing the efficiency of the LEDs. The spot of light created by the light source does not therefore fade out at the edges, but has a sharply defined edge.”

This channeling of light is based on a free-form system of optics – a plastic lens whose geometry can be shaped in any way desired. “The lenses are cast using an injection-molding technique. The two halves of the tool that serve as a mold have to be aligned with extreme precision just once – they have an accuracy of a few microns, or less than a tenth of the diameter of a hair. Once the tools have been tared, the lens can be manufactured in large batches at low cost,” says Dr. Wenzel. The researchers at the IPT have optimized the entire process chain: from planning and manufacturing the lens systems to checking their accuracy. “There’s nothing like it anywhere else in Europe,” the expert claims. There is just one challenge that had to be mastered: The plastic, which is inserted into the mold when hot, shrinks as it cools – the finished lenses are therefore slightly smaller than dictated by the mold. The researchers take this effect into account by repeated, gradual improvement – to an accuracy of a few microns.

When the lenses are finished, the scientists check them. To do this, they project a pattern of stripes onto the lens. The distortion of the stripes reveals the curvature, inclination and shape of the lens.

The researchers will demonstrate the entire process chain along with optical systems for practical application at the Optatec trade fair in Frankfurt from June 17 to 20 (Hall 3, Stand D53).

Dr.-Ing. Christian Wenzel | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Further information:
http://www.ipt.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics
23.03.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht TU Graz researchers show that enzyme function inhibits battery ageing
21.03.2017 | Technische Universität Graz

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>