How to Light

How to Light: What is the most efficient material for LED optics?

This question was answered by the technical team at Carclo Optics.

Silicone has found its way into the manufacture of the secondary optics for LED luminaires. With a much higher temperature and UV resistance than PMMA (polymethyl-methacrylate) and PC (polycarbonate), it’s the ideal material for use with the new generations of high-powered LEDs now coming to market.

The latest product range from Carclo Optics is the Silicone S1, which utilises the inherent properties of silicone while employing patent-pending technology to produce a single unit consisting of an over-moulded optic and base. Over-moulding is an injection-moulding process in which two materials are combined to produce a single component – typically, a rigid plastic mounting (the substrate) with the silicone lens (the over-moulding). This shortens assembly time and cuts down on the bill of materials, helping to reduce costs.

A universal design approach means that one model will fit all interconnects from a specific manufacturer, and the optics across the S1 range interconnect with a variety of manufacturers. The range was commended at this year’s Lux Awards.

Zhaga compatibility

Designed for manufacturers of high-power LED downlights, spotlights, large area floodlights and stadium projectors, the Silicone S1 offers Zhaga-compatible, interchangeable optics with beam angles ranging from the ultra-narrow through to wide beam, all compatible with high-power COBs. The ability to accurately focus high lux power from a long distance is a significant benefit.

The process is a simple one. The customer selects their preferred LED engine, then the associated Zhaga D50 interconnect is matched to the Carclo lens designed for that interconnect. The standardised footprint allows for hot swapping – particularly convenient in environments where the lighting is updated on a regular basis, such as retail and display lighting.

Carclo Optics has full in-house design and manufacturing capabilities to produce customised solutions. S1 optics have been tested with the industry’s leading LEDs – view the results here.

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