Prism light guides
Whitehead, Lorne A. Structured Surface Physics Laboratory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
- Introduction to hollow light guides
- Technical challenges associated with piping light
- Advantages of the prism light guide
- Important physical concepts: TIR and enhanced effective refractive index
- Design of a prism light guide
- Light extraction
- Current prism light-guide applications
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
In the field of illuminating engineering, there are advantages to piping light. These advantages include the economies of scale arising from applications associated with using larger, more efficient light sources and separation of the light sources and their associated electrical connections from the illuminated space. This separation is advantageous for a wide range of applications, including tunnel lighting, high ceiling areas, and architectural highlights on buildings. In addition, there is considerable interest in guiding sunlight from the outdoors to the interior spaces of buildings to reduce the electrical energy required for lighting, while also improving the quality of illumination in the space. Piping light efficiently has proven to be a technical challenge, and the prism light guide, a light guidance structure based on total internal reflection (TIR) in prismatic microstructures, offers a practical solution for numerous illuminating engineering applications.
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