Are standard optics or custom optics better for a lighting application with an LED light…
A Brief History of DBM and LED Lighting
Over the past 20 years, LED source lighting technologies have grown exponentially and adapting optics has become essential. Optical performance and energy efficiency are necessities for many lighting systems. Whether general lighting, medical lighting, automotive lighting, security lighting, horticultural lighting, or street lighting, a quality optical design is essential for luminaire certification and especially for commercial success.
DBM has over 50 years of experience in the lighting industry. We excel in manufacturing optical inserts, and also have recognized experience in designing custom lenses.
DBM got its start manufacturing retro-reflective inserts and grew into a one-stop shop for optical components. The optical design, prototyping, production mold manufacturing and molding of optics is entirely carried out and controlled under one roof, which has many advantages for our customers.
Thanks to our opticians’ know-how and to our powerful Simoptic ™ optical simulation software, a personalized lens can be designed and simulated to show its performance before manufacturing. Confidence in our designs and extensive knowledge of the constraints of tooling manufacturing and optical components molding allow us to guarantee future photometry from the design phase. Constraints include machining radii, molding radii, draft angles, machining finishes, sink mark risks, mechanical elements and location and dimensions of injection thresholds related to injection parameters. All of these elements have a significant impact on the photometry of optics and failure to give them proper consideration often results in discrepancies between simulation results and real parts.
Our expertise and know-how instill confidence in our customers and allow them to create, personalize and validate their future optical component very early in the project.
Obviously, we are able to design lenses adapted to the various norms and standards of the fields in which our customers market products.
There are a multitude of prototyping technologies, but few allow the optical design to be validated, as this will ultimately be done with production tools.
For a few thousand dollars, DBM offers an optical prototype service, which makes it possible to obtain identical samples in terms of process and materials for future production parts 99% of the time. This allows photometric validation tests to be launched more quickly and, if necessary, certification tests to be submitted to authorized bodies (UL, Intertech) even before production tools are manufactured.
This service also makes it possible to launch pre-productions because several thousand production-quality samples can be made before investing in a mass production tool.
Manufacturing of molds and production inserts
Molding technologies have evolved over the years, as has DBM Optix, the group’s molding division. DBM’s expertise in mold design ensures that our custom lenses will function as expected according to our initial optical study.
We have the capacity to manufacture in-house molds and complex optical inserts. We have state-of-the-art machine tools and software:
- Three-axis diamond machining
- Very high speed machining
- Rheological analysis software
- In-house programming software
All these tools allow us to carry out complex optical geometries with the surface finishes desired by the optician.
molding of optical components
This is another area where great expertise is required to achieve the desired result. An excellent optical design or a perfectly made mold is not always enough to obtain the desired outcome.
Over the years DBM has developed its optical molding knowledge. Multi-layer, multi-colour injection, thick lenses, light guide, optical silicone, compression injection, variotherm, laser cutting of gates, camera-assisted visual parts inspection, pad printing: with more than 35 injection machines ranging from 100T to 650T, we can meet a very wide range of our customers’ needs.
We evolved into a “one-stop shop” not only because it is the best solution for our customers’ success, but also as a way to build on our decades of experience in manufacturing complex optical components.