Light control thanks to optical microstructures
Since 2016, DBM Reflex has been working on the development of optical microstructures.
The goal is to control the scattering of light with optics designed on a microscopic scale in comparison to traditional optics.Those products are commonly call “light shaping diffuser” which could be translated by diffusers offering a controlled light emission. It is thus opposed to an uncontrolled light diffusion produced by microstructures of random shapes inherent in their manufacturing process. In these uncontrolled type diffusions, we find chemical or laser abrasion type processes.
What is TEXILIT ™?
Optical pseudo-random structure.
Generated by an algorithm, it takes into account optical performance, manufacturability and mouldability.
This technology has been around for several years and is used in various screens or displays, in linear or ceiling lighting products with uniform appearance, some applications with a laser source.
It allows, among other things, to homogenize a light diffusion while limiting losses.
It also makes it possible to obtain precise angular distributions such as circles, ellipses or even straight lines and this from a Lambertian type light emission source which is typical of LEDs. The products available on the market are micron thick range polymer films that can be cut into any desired shape and then assembled into the final product. It is therefore an additional optical component in a product with high added value.
There are only a handful of companies on the market that offer this type of film. This is a niche product.
How TEXILIT ™ works?
The TEXILIT ™ texture is calculated to diffuse light according to a specific beam angle.
Our texture homogenizes the light, eliminates hotspot while providing a high efficiency transmission.
Issues of the existing technology
This technology, which is very interesting from a functional point of view, nevertheless has shortcomings for distribution on a larger scale, particularly for the automotive industry and other mass industries, namely:
- Its overall cost between the film itself and its mechanical integration into the lighting system
- Increased optical losses because we add an interface which generates at least 8% loss
- A limitation in the form since we can only use films
- Not or difficult to simulate optically by customers who would like to evaluate its performance or its appearance
With and Without TEXILIT ™
Improve the technology
Since DBM is heavily involved with automotive OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) in the development of optical technology, in 2016 we launched a research program to find out how to improve certain aspects of this technology.
Criteria number 1 is to be able to integrate this technology directly into a molded part.
It simplifies assembly, reduce costs and offer shapes other than flat that better suit the stylists’ wishes.
Texilit ™ microstructures
By bringing together a multidisciplinary team that brings together the optical, plating machining, metrology and long hours of research and testing departments, we have succeeded in developing a technology called Texilit™ which allows us to offer optical parts molded via a high pressure plastic injection process directly integrating these controlled microstructures.
We could thus define the Texilit ™ technology as a succession of pseudo-random optical structures generated by an algorithm, which takes into account optical performance, manufacturability and moldability.
Low cost OLED
Kia Sportage 2017 position optical design
- Individual LED assembled boards with diffusing molded lens
- White reflector casing
- First diffusing filter with micro pillows and flutes
- Second diffusing filter with Fresnels and texture
Thanks to this technology we can now offer an alternative to existing technical solutions by filling some of their conatraints.
We can offer uniform lighting comparable to an excessively expensive technology such as the OLED already present on some high-end vehicle lamps but with much lower cost prices in terms of manufacture and components.
One can thus include in a molded lens of small thickness an optical function which currently requires up to 4 optical components to obtain a similar result of appearance. The multiplication of these components also necessarily affects the efficiency of the system by increasing the surfaces crossed (see taillamp of the kia sportage 2017).
Also it is possible for our customers to optically simulate the microstructures using BRDF files and validate future photometric results.
DBM has started incorporating this technology into some general lighting products, and tooling Development is underway for vehicles slated for release in 2021.
If you would like to know how to benefit from this technology, contact us via our online form.
It will be our pleasure to provide you with price estimates and study the best way to integrate our Texilit™ technology into your future lighting products.