Micro-optics promote use of LEDs in consumer goods

Module size and power limitations impose major challenges for the design of optics for portable consumer products. Diffractive micro-optics can play an important role in meeting these needs.

Improvements in the intensity and color output of LEDs has led to an explosion in their use for lighting applications in consumer products such as mobile phone cameras, LCD TVs and LED-based projectors. The requirement is for a compact, efficient light source that emits a well defined light distribution. This is achieved by using extra micro-optical elements for beam shaping and for enhancing the emission efficiency.

Since LEDs are basically broad-area wide-angle emitters, designing and realizing such micro-optics in a compact form is a challenge. The introduction of customized diffractive optical elements (DOEs), made possible by recent advances in design and fabrication technology, has resulted in a major advance in producing compact, functional and cost-effective LED lighting modules.

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