This tutorial demonstrates importing an LED with integrated optics and designing a collimator lens around it, utilizing both the reflector and lens design tools. It is a good idea to complete the beginner tutorials before attempting this advanced tutorial, since many of the more basic functions and concepts are not explained in this tutorial.
The collimator design parameters for this tutorial will be the following: a 10 degree full beam angle (+/- 1°),a 20mm maximum height, and a 20mm maximum diameter. We will use the Lumileds Rebel as the source and acrylic as the lens material.
The general concept of this collimator is a lens that captures all the light emitting from the LED in a Lambertian distribution and redirects it into a narrow beam. The image below illustrates the typical collimator style. Light from the LED enters the collimator through a hemispherical entrance, which has virtually no effect on the light direction since the surface is perpendicular to the light direction. Light that is directed at lower angles is redirected using a central convex lens exit, positioned by a shaft from the collimator exit surface. As a side note, this shaft also helps minimize the amount of material used in the mold. Light from the LED that is directed at higher angles is redirected using an outer TIR (total internal reflection) surface. Since the light hits this surface at relatively high angles, it totally internally reflects rather than transmitting through the outer surface. We can shape the TIR surface as we would a reflector to redirect the high angle light into a narrow beam.
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