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MULTIPLE LASER DIODE FIBER OPTIC LIGHTING

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244878D
Publication Date: 2016-Jan-25

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Fiber optic lighting technology allows manufacturers to put lighting in new and unexpected locations with minimal space requirements. However, such lighting is generally limited as to color and intensity because, typically, only a single light source directs light into the optical fiber. Therefore, it is desirable to have more color and intensity options to allow for a greater array of applications. Thus, the purpose of the present research is to describe various methods of directing light into an optical fiber. More specifically, the present research is directed to directing multiple light sources into a single optical fiber and, more specifically, to the use of multiple laser diodes to direct light into a single optical fiber, allowing users to experience near infinite color combinations and intensities. In one example, circular reflective laser diodes are presented. To focus the light emitted from the diodes into a single optical fiber an ellipsoidal reflector is arranged to reflect and converge the light rays emitted by the diodes. In another example, circular refractive diodes are presented as an alternative to circular reflective laser diodes. To focus the light emitted from the diodes in the refractive case, the light rays are directed into a collimation lens. The collimation lens focuses the light rays into parallel beams. A convex collection lens then focuses and directs the light into the optical fiber.

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MULTIPLE LASER DIODE FIBER OPTIC LIGHTING

ABSTRACT

    Fiber optic lighting technology allows manufacturers to put lighting in new and unexpected locations with minimal space requirements. However, such lighting is generally limited as to color and intensity because, typically, only a single light source directs light into the optical fiber. Therefore, it is desirable to have more color and intensity options to allow for a greater array of applications. Thus, the purpose of the present research is to describe various methods of directing light into an optical fiber. More specifically, the present research is directed to directing multiple light sources into a single optical fiber and, more specifically, to the use of multiple laser diodes to direct light into a single optical fiber, allowing users to experience near infinite color combinations and intensities. In one example, circular reflective laser diodes are presented. To focus the light emitted from the diodes into a single optical fiber an ellipsoidal reflector is arranged to reflect and converge the light rays emitted by the diodes. In another example, circular refractive diodes are presented as an alternative to circular reflective laser diodes. To focus the light emitted from the diodes in the refractive case, the light rays are directed into a collimation lens. The collimation lens focuses the light rays into parallel beams. A convex collection lens then focuses and directs the light into the optical fiber.

BACKGROUND &SUMMARY

    There are many methods used to direct light into an optical fiber. Some applications utilize bulk direct illumination with halogen lamps for large diameter plastic multi-mode fiber. These larger devices are generally for illumination and decoration purposes. In other applications, lasers are coupled to small diameter single mode communication fibers. However, these previous applications leave much to be desired. Specifically, these applications are limited


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to having only one light source, which limits the colors and intensities of light able to be emitted from the optical fiber. As such, along with the development of light diffusing fiber (LDF), a demonstrated need exists for an economical way to couple multiple sources to one fiber.

    It is noted that laser diodes are manufactured in a wide variety of power outputs. Further, optical fiber parameters can range from diameters of 50um-200┬Ám with numerical apertures (NA) of 0.17-0.53. This small size requires a small, spatially coherent, illumination source for efficiency; laser diodes are best suited to this. For many of the practical applications, diode power of 50 mW or more are desired.

    As such, directing light from multiple laser diodes into a single optical fiber is described herein. For example, having three sources (red, green, and blue) enables a near infinite number of combinations. However, different colors is not the only possible application, it may be desirable to have multip...