Jun 16, 2019

Designing solar panels, LEDs, and more where stray light is critical to operation

Category: Product News
Designing solar panels, LEDs, and more where stray light is critical to operation

In some cases, stray light is unwanted—but in others, it’s critical to the application’s operation. Some examples include solar panels, backlights, LEDs, or even plain old lightbulbs. All those applications involve rays that go in many directions, so they need to be designed in three-dimensional space. The same goes for complex prisms, corner cubes, and light pipes.

Non-sequential ray tracing in OpticStudio can help engineers perform the complex modeling required to figure out where all that light is going. What’s more, used in concert with OpticStudio, LensMechanix allows mechanical engineers to access the complete design data of optical systems designed in OpticStudio and start designing the mechanical envelope right away, then validate their mechanical designs and fix issues before building a physical prototype. This can add further cost and time savings to a project. 

Designing uniform lighting from real emissive sources
Light bulb filament or the emission region of an LED are examples of designs that are not well modeled by simple point sources. Both direct rays and those that get reflected by surrounding structures contribute to the overall illumination provided by the source. This can be particularly complicated when using so-called “white LEDs,” where the blue light is provided by the LED emission and the redder spectral components are provided by a much larger fluorescent re-emitter surrounding it. Both components are reflecting, refracting, and scattering in different ways. Balancing these to make uniform light requires consideration of non-sequential rays, especially if the application has tight specifications. Light pipe propagation is especially complex this way, because the “surface” of the optic is really a tube that can bend into a very complex shape, and light can bounce many times off the inside before it exits.

OpticStudio is the only software package in the industry that offers comprehensive optics and illumination design capabilities all in one package. These capabilities offer advantages in modeling complex components, stray light, optomechanics, and realistic sources. Watch our recorded webinar to learn how to use sequential and non-sequential modes together to model complex components in imaging and afocal systems as well as lighting and illumination.