Free Form Optics
It was very soon after the introduction of the first commercial 1W LED that the TIR optic became the optic of choice for area illumination. Parabolic mirrors have also been used but mostly with the larger source size LEDs and the number used are small in comparison with TIR optics. The reason for the success of the TIR optic has been its good efficiency, robust design and relative cheapness. However for wide area illumination in particular, the circular nature of their output is far from ideal because rooms, roads and car parks are seldom circular.
Polymer Optics has developed Free-Form surface design and mould tool manufacturing techniques that allow the creation of optical surfaces which can direct light from an LED source into non-circular or elliptical beams with a controlled distribution of light within those areas. This technology allows luminaire manufacturers to significantly increase the efficiency and quality with which their products can illuminate wide areas compared with products based on TIR optics or reflectors. Free-Form optics are most commonly found in street lighting, but since the first designs completed by POL in March 2010, they have been used in a wide range of applications, such as beacons and emergency lighting.
In addition TIR optics, unlike reflectors are limited to Full Width Beam divergences of 60° which isn’t enough to completely illuminate wide areas from a single luminaire. Free-Form optics are a relatively recent development which offer a step change in the way wide areas are illuminated by LEDs. There is no universally accepted definition of what a Free-Form optic is but the most common definition is; “an optical component which has one or more optical surfaces that cannot be formed by rotating a 2D curve about an axis.” Typical Free-Form surface can be seen on the optics below:
The picture below shows a false colour intensity image of the rectangular beam generated by the POL 290 Free-Form Optic which is typically used for emergency corridor illumination:Polymer Optics offers a custom design and manufacturing service to customers for any application that may benefit from the light control and efficiency that Free-Form optics give. To find out if this exciting new technology can help you please contact us for details.
Polymer Optics offers a custom design and manufacturing service to customers for any application that may benefit from the light control and efficiency that Free-Form optics give. To find out if this exciting new technology can help you please contact us for details.
POL Standard Ceiling and Wall Mounted EN54-23 Fire Beacon Applications