Are LEDs ready for the crash testing market?

Luminys Systems Corp. Editorial for Crash Testing Technology magazine

LED history

For many years LEDs were those little specks of light peeking through small holes in panels to indicate the status of some sort of electronic function. The idea of them being used to replace a light bulb was difficult to imagine. Recently however Phillips won a US$10,000,000 prize for their new 10-watt LED, which provides the equivalent light of a standard 60-watt (tungsten) light bulb. LEDs are now popping up everywhere – street lights, traffic lights, and factory bays as well as automotive lighting to name just a few.

LED progress

LEDs for high-speed image capture are just beginning to show some promise. Early low wattage versions had either narrow concentrated beams which covered a limited area, with anything outside of the narrow beam left in total darkness, or they had very wide spread beams that lost intensity quickly as the distance from the light to the subject increased. Additionally, the color temperature and color quality was often not optimized for compatibility with modern image sensors. Thus there was some hesitation, and only a few early adopters. Today with the great variety of component choices available from a multitude of manufacturers, careful selection and testing can result in LED fixtures that are small, lightweight, extremely bright and have the proper color qualities for optimal images.

LEDs Today

On Board lighting for vehicle testing has been restricted for years by lights that were too large, too heavy and too dim to produce good images. Many on board lights were home made configurations with all of these limitations, plus some limits in reliability. Today professional state of the art on board lighting is possible with LED, without the compromises of the early days. Vary small packages with unimaginable intensity such as a 1,100 watt LED weighing only 2 pounds

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