Fiber Optic Panels provide backlighting.

Press Release Summary:

Fiber Optic Panels are constructed of 1 to 8 layers assembled together with double-sided adhesive, with each layer increasing brightness (to 50 ft-L and more). Polyester reflector is laminated to back, clear vinyl top layer is added for durability, and semi-transparent diffusion layer is placed between top weave layer and clear vinyl layer. Panels are ideal for LCDs with active display area up to 1/4 VGA, or approximately 3 x 4 in. or 4 x 4 in.

Original Press Release:

Lumitex Offers Better Solution To LED Arrays For LCD Backlighting

Fiber optic panels from Lumitex Inc. can provide backlighting that requires fewer LEDs, uses less power, generates less heat, provides more uniform color, takes up less space and lasts longer than traditional LED arrays for a variety of LCD applications. These include digital controllers, test and measurement equipment and medical instrumentation.

"These panels are ideal for LCDs with an active display area up to 1/4 VGA, or approximately 3"x 4" (75 x 100 mm) or 4" x 4" (100 x 100 mm)," said Tom Fisher, Applications Engineer at Lumitex, who added that the number of LEDs required to backlight a display can be dramatically reduced, with virtually no heat generated and EMI eliminated. A single fiber optic panel can uniformly spread out the light from a single LED across an area measuring from 1" x 1," to 4" x 4" (25 x 25 mm to 100 x 100 mm).
For example, according to Fisher, Contrexe Motion Control Products (Maple Grove, MN) chose fiber optic backlighting to replace an LED array in its CX-1010 digital motion controller because the LED array that was being used (which consisted of 144 LEDs) consumed too much power and generated excessive heat. It also took up too much room. The CX-101O LCD is now backlit by a Lumitex fiber optic panel with a light source of 3 green LEDs running at @ 60mA total (or 20 mA each), compared to 144 LEDs using 500 mA (0.5 amps) total for the same size backlight in the controller's original display. The Lumitex fiber optic backlight was able to provide more uniform brightness with only 3 LEDs, eliminated almost all of the heat and improved the durability of the display, while taking up less space due to the panel's inherent thinness.

Fiber optic panels are extremely compact (as thin as .013", or 0.33 mm) and, since they require fewer LEDs for their remote light sources, they require much less current. Smaller power supplies can be used, and the use of transformers can be eliminated, reducing unnecessary component cost and space. The panels are unaffected by shock, vibration or extremes in temperature and humidity.

Lumitex fiber optic panels are constructed of from one to eight layers assembled together with double-sided adhesive, with each additional layer increasing brightness (to 50 Ft-L and more). A polyester reflector is laminated to the back, a clear vinyl top layer is added for extra durability, and a semi-transparent diffusion layer is placed between the top weave layer and the clear vinyl layer.

The optical fibers extend from the panel in cable form and are bundled into a brass ferrule that is connected to a remote light source, such as a single LED, a low-current incandescent lamp or a high-wattage halogen lamp.

By reducing the number of LEDs so dramatically, Lumitex fiber optic panels offer a particularly cost-effective solution for LCDs requiring white or blue light, where LEDs are especially expensive. Standard LED colors available from Lumitex as a remote light source include green, white, blue, red, amber and yellow-green.

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