Product Design Engineer’s Guide to Customized Light Guide Solutions
Developing a high-quality, efficient and effective custom light guide requires quite a bit of skill and knowhow. It’s something that the dozens of in-house engineers at Global Lighting Technologies specialize in. Here, let’s look at some of the key factors that a product design engineer should know about when getting started with customized light guide solutions.
One of the key design components that is sometimes overlooked but is crucial to keep in mind is the space requirements. Too often, a concept is developed without properly factoring in the physical dimensions. There needs to be enough space to accommodate the thickness of the actual light guide, but also to properly position the LEDs outside of the viewable area.
The power requirements have to be fully considered as well; and this affects space issues, too. As an example, how and where will the LEDs be connected to the power source? LEDs may be placed on an existing circuit, or connected with wires or a flex circuit.
The brightness that’s achieved is also a direct correlation of that power supply. However, there are other factors to consider too. For example, the efficiency that a light guide is able to achieve is based upon the design as well as its optical structure. Still, the power-to-brightness correlation will always be a near direct relationship within limits.
Also keep in mind the assembly of the entire system. Most light guide assemblies utilize molded plastic panels. These are beneficial for a variety of reasons, including that they can incorporate mechanical hooks and other features which will actually assist in final product assembly.
Finally, consider the following questions that should be asked when evaluating a potential customized light guide solution:
- What is the efficiency of the assembly?
- What are the power requirements to meet intended brightness levels?
- What is the uniformity that should be expected?
- What will the cost of the product be, including the volumes required, and any tooling or NRE that’s necessary?
- What’s the lead time for developing the product, as well as any required tooling?
Asking all of these questions should help confirm what’s possible, while determining which provider may be the best match to partner with for your upcoming project.
Global Lighting Technologies is the worldwide leader in innovative, cutting-edge customized light guide solutions. We serve multiple industries and can handle the demands of projects of all shapes and sizes. To learn more about our capabilities, contact us here or call 440-922-4584 to speak with a representative for more information.