Optical design

Visual Alarm Optics

Recent legislation across Europe and the USA has meant that Visual Alarm Devices, (VADs) are now required along with sounders for emergency evacuation of public areas if events like fire are detected. In Europe the relevant specification defining the optical output from Visual Alarm Devices is EN54-23, in the USA it is UL1971. Polymer Optics has designed both wall and ceiling optics for both specifications that allows manufacturers of VADs to produce just one LED PCB for all applications. POL optics for VADs have the same mounting interface across our whole range which means that is possible by changing optics to have the same product used for both EN54-23 and UL1971 installations.

VADs designed to meet the EN54 part 23 regulations are specified for coverage area rather than luminous intensity in the case of those meeting UL1971. As a consequence for VADs meeting EN54-23 requirements the ratio of light sent downwards to that sent outwards changes according to the range specified. Because of this our EN54-23 optics are available in both long and short range versions.

In a number of countries red is the preferred colour for fire alarm VADs and our optics are available as standard in both clear and red tints. Other colours such as amber are available by request.

Useful links

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Optical ServicesServices

Design and Development

The latest computer optical design and ray trace programs with optomechanical innovation are used to take full advantage of plastics materials. Complex optical surfaces combined with integral low cost assembly features.



SLA (Stereolithography), SLS (Selective Laser Sintering), Clear SLA, SLA to Vacuum Casting, Direct Machining and Tooling options.



Proven optical quality toolmakers are chosen and assisted by mould flow analysis to optimize the tool. Our specialist toolmakers are skilled in optical surface generation and polishing.


Global Manufacturing

Our moulders are trained in the art of optical moulding. Mould flow process analysis and thorough F.M.E.A. is controlled by the Project Manager to ensure quality and quantity.


Technical Development

Our integrated approach to design enables optical components to become part of the total solution, including how they interface with the other non-optical components.


Optical Coatings and Films

Plastics optical components can be coated in poly-siloxane and acrylate based resin blends to impart more robust properties.


Project Management

Every project has a dedicated Manager to ensure as tasks are actioned, the client is kept informed on progress at each stage. Timing plans are used to monitor progress against agreed milestones and they ensure full control through-out the design, tooling, sampling and production stages.


  • Design and Development
  • Prototyping
  • Tooling
  • Global Manufacturing
  • Technical Development
  • Optical Coatings and Films
  • Project Management