Abstract

This study investigates the optical design of planar curved LED end-lit light bars using v cuts as light-diverting structures. The application of LEDs in automotive lighting has become popular, especially in signal lamps and daytime running lamps. Most designs adopt a direct back light using arrays of LEDs with diffusive coupling optics, which often causes problems such as low uniformity, glaring, and excessive LEDs. Edge-lit LED light guides in automotive applications share a similar principle with the light-guide plates in back-light models of LCD but with much more complicated geometry. However, related literature on the optical design of nonrectangular light-guide plates is very limited. This study addresses the design of planar curved LED end-lit light bars and the optimization scheme for illuminance uniformity. V cuts are used as the optical coupling features, and the lead angles of the v cuts are varied to achieve optimum axial luminous intensity. This study presents a solution to reduce the illuminance difference between the inner and the outer portions of curved light bars by introducing gradual taper v cuts across the curved section. A line graph with preselected anchor points is proposed to define the size distribution of evenly spaced v cuts along the light bar. A fuzzy optimization scheme is then applied to iterate the anchor size to achieve illuminance uniformity. The designs of a planar curve light bar with a rectangular cross section and a light-guide ring with a circular cross section are presented to illustrate the design scheme.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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