LEDs Magazine focuses on Rambus’ MicroLens optics

This entry was posted on Monday, May 22nd, 2017.

LEDs Magazine editor in chief Maury Wright has penned an article about Rambus’ recent launch of its off-the-shelf LED light guides. As Wright notes, Rambus has been involved in the lighting industry for almost a decade, although the announcement earlier this month marks the first time that the company has offered optical light guides on the commercial market as a standard product for luminaire makers.

“The company entered the LED lighting industry in 2009 when it acquired the rights to light-guide technology developed by Global Lighting Technologies (GLT),” he explained. “Light guides from Rambus will enable luminaire manufacturers to develop planar fixtures such as those shown in this commercial SSL project [below].”

As Wright reports, GE Lighting (now Current, powered by GE) signed a license agreement with Rambus back in 2010 for the use of MicroLens technology for edge-lit planar luminaires. In addition, Cooper Lighting (now Eaton) licensed MicroLens technology in 2012. It should also be noted that one of Eaton’s WaveStream products that includes Rambus MicroLens technology in a custom light guide was recently featured in the April 2017 issue of Architectural SSL (see picture below).

“Eaton has perhaps the largest portfolio in the industry of products based on light guides with the debut of WaveStream technology coming at LightFair in 2013,” Wright stated. “Most recently, the company introduced its first [curved] light guides. Now competitors to Current and Eaton can more easily get planar products to market.”

According to John Langevin, general manager of lighting for Rambus, Rambus has a strong history partnering with its customers to produce light guides that have been designed and built to custom specifications for optimal quality and control of light.

“With the addition of standard products, we are able to leverage our expertise and technology to provide fixture designers access to our MicroLens technology without any custom tooling or non-recurring engineering. This reduces development time and cost, and accelerates time to market,” he told the publication. “Our main customer had exclusive access to our technology in North and South America. The exclusivity was lifted in January, which opened the door for us to sell to other luminaire companies in these regions, including the US. While many of these new customers will desire custom light guides, we expect that many will opt for our off-the-shelf light guides.”

As we’ve previously discussed, Rambus’ recently launched off-the-shelf optical light guides are used to create ultra-thin LED edge-lit luminaires for a broad range of lighting applications. The new products deliver the performance and efficiency benefits of Rambus’ MicroLens technology, which have shipped in over 6 million light guides and are used in fixtures around the world. The new LED light guides provide the time-to-market advantage of standard products.

“The LED light guides use MicroLens Optics with a constant density pattern that can be utilized in a variety of form factors and applications,” Langevin explained. “They are particularly well suited for recessed and suspended luminaires in offices, schools, hospitals and high-bay buildings. The products are cost effective, energy efficient and provide greater control and directionality of light. The standard light guides are manufactured in the United States.”

The initial launch includes three product families:

  • The S-Series employs specular optics to offer maximum ray angle control and lowest glare.
  • The DS-Series provides optimal glare control, as well as a wider downlight and uplight distribution.
  • The D-Series offers a uniform, lambertian distribution with a more diffuse appearance.

A variety of stock sizes are available for immediate shipment, or they can be cut to specific sizes.

“Until now, all of our light guides have been designed and built to custom specifications. With these new standard products, designers can have access to our MicroLens technology without tooling or non-recurring engineering fees, reducing development time and cost, as well as accelerating time to market,” Langevin added.

Rambus’ off-the-shelf optical light guides, which were announced and showcased at LIGHTFAIR 2017, were included in the “The Top 10 MUST SEE Products” list compiled by The Edison Report. Interested in learning more? You can check out our LED Light Guides product page on rambus.com here.