How Quality Optics Make A Performance Difference

When it comes to LED lighting fixtures, the secret sauce is finding the perfect balance between the LED, the electronics, mechanical and thermal design, and the optical components. Unfortunately, for  the past decade, the LED lighting industry hasn’t always nailed this, often overlooking the importance of top-notch optics or treating them as an afterthought.

At Sterling Lighting, we’re all about optics and the photonics of light! We believe optical performance and light quality are critical, and we extend this performance mindset to all three areas of the “equation,” striving for the best integrated system performance and end-user value.

Great optical design and manufacturing deliver high-quality, homogeneous light, consistent and correct color, controlled or directed light distribution (beam, angle, spot, wash, etc.), a higher light output ratio (less light loss), which enables a longer system/product lifecycle, and most importantly, a better design experience leading to more satisfied customers.

So, what does this really mean? Here are some simplified highlights:

Homogeneous light = smooth, consistent light output and distribution.

Correct color CCT (Correlated Color Temperature = visually appealing and consistent color temperature from fixtures individually and throughout the entire project.

Controlled or directed light distribution (beam, angle, spot, wash, etc.) = more applications because you place the light where and how you like. Aspects like “on-axis intensity,” stray light, glare, and light pattern aberrations are critical to the overall quality of lighting on a project.

Higher light output ratio (less light loss) = better optical efficiency, allowing the LED to work more effectively and efficiently. This improves lumen per watt performance, lowers temperatures, and reduces the system’s demand.

The bottom line, and perhaps the most crucial takeaway, is that optics enable us to place the light precisely where we want it and control where we don’t. This includes purposefully designing to prevent light from going where it’s not wanted.

Reducing system load requirements on thermal, mechanical, and electronic components means products last longer. At Sterling Lighting, we are committed to providing a better design experience, and we take optics as seriously as all the other components of our luminaires.

In future issues, we’ll dive deeper into each of these benefits and aim to bring a better understanding of the specific technical aspects, ranging from the laws and principles of science, design optimization, the impact of materials and manufacturing, applications of light distribution, and user experience.

Stay tuned for more illuminating insights from the Sterling Lighting team!


Written by: Sterling Lighting Product Development Team