Primary vs Secondary LED Optics

LEDs are equipped with unique designs to promote intense and even light distribution. Called optics, most cutting-edge LED units feature a primary and secondary component, depending on the light’s applications. Read on to understand how optics improve LED light performance.

Primary LED Optics

The first set of LED optics can be found on the diode. This primary component can be a compact dome, covering the chip and other internal components of the package. In LEDs, primary optics help improve intensity during use. However, most luminaries still need another set of optics to further increase the accurateness of the light beams.

It is also important to consider that LEDs provide directional illumination, usually at 180 degrees. By comparison, traditional lighting systems, such as incandescent lights, offer full, 360-degree illumination.

Secondary LED Optics (Reflectors)

In LEDs, secondary optics are components that help improve light distribution. Such features can be found in the outer part of the primary optics (but still inside the light). An example of secondary optics is the use of reflectors.

Reflectors are shiny coatings or materials surrounding the diodes or chips. Both components should be as close as possible to each other, in order to ensure robust performance. To decrease the risks of electrical damage, an insulating component should be applied between the board or set of diodes and the reflective material.

While primary optics are usually more common in LEDs, secondary lighting optics are frequently present in a wide variety of lights and bulbs, including metal halide lamps.

Lastly, the lens component on LED units may address other aspects of illumination. In addition to providing protection for the fixture, the lens also controls illumination. For instance, a frosted lens can reduce light glare. This type of lens is ideal for small spaces, roadside construction and illumination in public locations.

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