Hybrid LED Collimator Lens

Light Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, have surpassed incandescent light sources in recent years for most applications. Benefits of the LED include compact size, high power efficiency, and a long lifespan [1]. LEDs also have undesirable qualities that optical engineers must address, such as the need for color mixing and collimation. In this example we look at a simple example of a hybrid collimator lens.


The FRED Model

LEDs emit light over a full hemisphere, but most lighting applications require directional control over light output. A simple positive lens is not fast enough to refract large angles into a collimated beam. To redirect all emitted light, a hybrid refractive/reflective lens can be designed. One example of a hybrid collimator is shown in Figure 1. The central portion consists of a positive axicon to refract rays with small emitted angles. The outer portion has sloped parabolic sides. This region utilizes total internal reflection to redirect rays with large emitted angles.

Hybrid lens raytrace

Figure 1. Schematic raytrace of a refractive/reflective collimator lens placed above a LUMILEDS Rebel Amber LED [2].

To evaluate collimating capability of the hybrid lens, intensity is evaluated on a detector plane located 1 m away from the LED. Intensity of +/-50° FWHM occurs without the collimator. After the collimator is added, intensity is reduced significantly to +/-6° FWHM (Figure 2).

Intensity Calculation without Hybrid Lens

Figure 2a. Intensity from LUMILEDS Rebel Amber LED without hybrid collimating lens.

Intensity Calculation with Hybrid Lens

Figure 2b. Intensity from LUMILEDS Rebel Amber LED with hybrid collimating lens.


[1] “New Report Explores the Global Industrial and Commercial LED Lighting Market to Be Propelled by Government Prohibition on the Use of Incandescent Lamps.” WhaTech. September 28, 2015. Accessed September 29, 2015. https://www.whatech.com/market-research/consumer/97505-global-industrial-and-commercial-led-lighting-market-to-be-propelled-by-government-prohibition-on-the-use-of-incandescent-lamps.

[2] “LUXEON Rebel and LUXEON Rebel ES Colors.” LUMILEDS. Accessed September 29, 2015. http://www.lumileds.com/products/color-leds/luxeon-rebel-color