The use of primary optics in LED applications basically concerns the control, shape or spread of the light from the center of a given diode (or ‘chip’). ‘Spatial distribution’ is what manufacturers use typically to describe the light generated and distributed by a primary optic.
To clarify a bit more on it, here’s a small explanation on it to get you aligned quickly:
LEDs face in one direction, so imagine a line running straight down from the center of the diode. Spatial distribution is measured in degrees from this center point. Along the center axis, the LED emits 100% of its relative luminous intensity and will lose intensity the farther away you move from the center.
At, for example, 30 degrees from center, the output of the LED drops to 125 Lumens. Going down the distribution curve at 40 degrees, the output reaches only 111 Lumens. This continues to drop until at 57.5 degrees you are only getting about half the lumen output at 70.
Considering the above example well, it is obvious that, when you are losing this much light output over the spectrum, the use of a secondary optics are needed to intensify that light and use the brightness and efficiency of the light-emitting surface to its full capacity.
Rapid Prototyping Primary Optics
3D Printing primary optics is one of the core topics in research areas at Luximprint. The precision of digital fabrication, most notably the material placement and shape control, open up interesting scenarios as an alternative for todays’ manufacturing approaches that mainly exist of doming application (placement on the LED chip directly) or having a separated dome added over the LED.
Temperature, adhesion, sort of material, formfactor, along with many more topics define whether the optical print resin can withstand the demanding requirement for operation close to, over or at the light emitting surface of the die.
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