In the last decade, LED Ring Lights have gained enormous popularity.
They are the predominant lighting method in use today by microscopists since they are low cost, energy efficient, long lasting, and simple and safe to use.
Advances in LED technology means some of the models can generate an impressive 100 lumens or more for each watt of energy consumed – a value that can easily exceed fiber optic systems by a factor of 50 or more!
Combined with 25,000 – 50,000 hour lifespan which eliminates the constant lamp changing, associated with older technologies LED Ring Lights, offer significant recurring cost savings.
There are no harmful materials present in LED Ring Lights such as mercury found in legacy technologies.
Selecting an LED Ring Light
Select for Size First the foremost, LED ring lights come in different sizes – designed to fit different lenses/objectives. Make sure you select a size that fits – a little too big is okay but too small is not.
Select for Spectrum
If you need special spectral content – such as infrared or ultraviolet light then that must be specified. [Illustration of the spectrum from UV through infrared]
Select for Working Distance
LED Ring lights are optimized for a certain range of working distances of viewing areas so use care to select one that works well with your microscope or lens. [Illustration of the typical led light pattern]
Do you need Off-Axis Light?
If you need off-axis light at times then make sure the LED ring you select has “quadrant” control which enables you to turn quadrants of light on and off independently. [Illustration of the button controls/segments]
Select for Lighting Pattern
Most LED ring lights are characterized as providing directed light but we also offer diffuse LED ring lighting solutions that function much the same way that fluorescent ring light do – bathing the subject in light from all angles. There are also darkfield LED ring lights that use the darkfield lighting principle to create images. [Illustration of Diffuse / Directed / Darkfield]
Select for Price Point
Finally, there is a typically a range of GOOD – BETTER – BEST in terms of the housing and optical power – decide which level of price/performance is best for you. If you need help selecting an LED ring – call us – we would be more than happy to assist you.
What Is Gained from Using a Polarizer/Analyzer Kit?
Certain applications will benefit from LED Ring lights outfitted with a polarizer/analyzer. Applications where the item being imagined is high reflective can cause undesirable glare when subjected to a standard LED Ring Light. However, by polarizing the emitted light and by cross-polarizing the reflected light it is possible to enhance the image and reduce glare. Common examples include stainless steel ball bearings and other such highly reflective parts with non-uniform geometry