by Anthony Williams on February 16, 2021 | Location: USA
Have you ever turned on a flashlight that has a ridiculously high luminosity rating, like 1,000 lumens or higher, and been floored with disappointment at the actual light output? Even if you disregard the fact that manufacturers sometimes misrepresent the actual light output of flashlights, the fact remains that some don’t live up to their representations.
This is an issue not only in handheld lighting but also with automotive LED lights. In the latter scenario it is a rather disappointing one because LEDs not only make big promises but they are fairly expensive. They’re supposed to provide better light quality, last longer, and be much more durable than incandescent bulbs and halogen alternatives. They do, provided they use the right optical technology.
When you switch on a set of automotive LED lights and are underwhelmed at the apparent brightness, the issue may not be one of luminosity rating but of poor optical performance. The LED chip produces light at a given brightness, but it is up to the optical design of a reflector to focus and deliver that “brightness” where you want it.
Many LEDs are remarkably bright, but don’t seem apparently to be as bright as they advertise. This may be because many manufacturers of LEDs have historically used a cupped reflector to direct and focus the light. The cupped reflector is like a shiny bowl that surrounds the chip inside of the light’s housing. The idea is that the light output will bounce around inside off of the interior of the reflector and then be directed forward. It works, up to a point. The issue is that cupped reflectors are not precise and lose a lot of light to scattering and glare.
Some manufacturers tried to solve this problem with the innovation of a “deeper” cupped reflector. The idea behind this was that the light scatters at imprecise angles over the lip of the reflector and this is not well focused. By deepening the well of the reflector, the angle at which reflector rays of light can escape the reflector is diminished. That should produce a sharper, better focused light. Again, it does, but only up to a point.
Deeper reflectors are better than shallower reflectors, but Diode Dynamics’ Total Internal Reflection (TIR) optics are far superior to either of these. The difference lies in the fact that Diode Dynamics has actually engineered their TIR optics to direct and focus all of the light output to exactly where you need it. Using precise calculations addressing the reflectivity of the material they use. This enables the output of a focused beam of light that appears both sharper and brighter.
If you want to learn more about Diode Dynamics’ TIR optical technology or more about their automotive LED bulbs in general, visit their website. They offer a huge collection of super bright LED lighting and bulbs, including fog lights, tail lights, turn signals, interior lights, accent lights and a huge assortment of auxiliary lighting as well.