Abstract

Light guides have been widely used for transforming line sources into planar illuminators for lighting and display applications. Solid light guides provide good uniformity but still have the issues of heavy weight and material absorption, especially for large applications. Hollow light guides solve the problem of weight, but the uniformity is relatively poor or efficiency could be sacrificed for enhancing uniformity. In this paper, a hollow light guide with edge-lit LED sources has been proposed to simultaneously resolve the issues of weight, uniformity, and efficiency. The major approach is to modulate the LED luminous intensity profile by a ring of parabolic surface with continuously varied focal length. The modulated light emitting profile directly makes up sufficient uniformity on the planar surface, and extra components are not required. The prototype is a circular planar illuminator with a diameter of 178 mm and a weight of 240 g. The experiment shows an overall efficiency of 82.37%, with a uniformity of 83.7%. The weight of the whole module is 40% lighter than that of a solid light guide with the same size.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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