Look at any recent model car, SUV or truck and you’ll notice a lot has changed in the world of automotive lighting. LED taillights are gaining momentum, and many taillight designers are wisely choosing to diffuse hotspots to create a homogenized LED taillight signature that is almost pleasant to be stuck behind in traffic. However, automotive optics is experiencing a renaissance beyond exterior lights. Windshield head up displays, LiDAR, time of flight, facial recognition and other driver assistance technologies are growth areas in the automotive market, and it won’t be long before even moderately-priced cars come equipped with such advanced features.
Luminit’s been around the block when it comes to automotive optics. In fact, our Light Shaping Diffuser technology is designed into vehicles you see on the road today. However, resting on laurels has never been a motto for our engineers and scientists, and we continue to develop high-performance optical microstructures within Luminit and within a new company, Luminit Automotive Technologies (LAT).
Driving Automotive Optics with Microstructures
Luminit Light Shaping Diffuser microstructures offer numerous benefits for automotive lighting engineers. These microstructures precisely shape, control and homogenize light sources and are a highly efficient method of eliminating LED hotpots and uneven light distribution. Our microstructure-based technology also provides uniform illumination and precise beam-shaping for critical applications such as LiDAR and time of flight. Remarkably efficient (> 90%), pseudo-random, non-periodic structures manipulate light by changing the direction of its energy. The microstructures can distribute light into specific cone angles within a degree of accuracy and can shape light in both circular and elliptical formats.
Custom Microoptics Designs
Luminit scientists have also developed custom Light Shaping Microoptics (LSM) for use in LiDAR, branding projection, facial recognition, and Time of Flight for autonomous vehicles. Our in-house direct-writing of masters brings custom microoptics designs from conception to high volume production, while greyscale photolithography and advanced microscopy tools allow the creation of refractive and diffractive optics with feature sizes down to 1 micron. Components can be manufactured by injection molding, roll-to-roll embossed, or sheet-by-sheet embossed, depending on thickness, temperature, and volume requirements.
Curved Injection Molded Light Shaping Diffusers
Another development from Luminit is an innovative recording and transfer technique that allows these highly efficient microstructures to be used on a free-form 3D surface, which is ideal for automotive rear light lens design and manufacturing. The final form factor of a monolithic large format three-dimensional free-form lens is compatible with rear light lens assembly design and conforms to all automotive standards.
Computer Generated Holograms for Automotive Lighting
Luminit Computer Generated Holograms allow viewers to see clear, crisp, and bright holographic images without the need of glasses or other special eyewear. With Luminit three-dimensional computer-generated holography, a predetermined image (e.g., a company logo) or illumination pattern can be encoded into a plastic substrate. When the thin plastic film is exposed to a light source such as a laser or LED, it can be projected on a wall, the ground, or any other surface. Because the computer-generated hologram can be affordably mass produced, they offer benefits across a wide spectrum of industries, including automotive.
The next generation of automotive lighting is Luminit Automotive Technologies with:
Light Shaping Diffusers®, prismatics and other microstructures
Light Shaping Microoptics (LSM)
Computer Generated Holograms (CGHs)