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Litepipes for PCB surface-mounted LEDs

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article image Capable of blending colours.

VCC's new LPX Series litepipes, available from Switches Plus Components , are designed to provide a method of transmitting the light from a circuit board surface mounted LED to a display panel.

In addition, the litepipe is capable of blending the colours of the new multi-colour LEDs. Litepipes are available with three display lens shapes and produce up to 160° viewing angle.

Recent technological advances by the LED manufacturers of surface mount LEDs include multi-chips, increased brightness and lower power usage. Due to their new super small package size, designed to meet the requirements of pick-and-place assembly equipment, these LEDs are not suitable for front panel dispalys.

Present methods of transmitting the light of a PCB surface mount LED to a front panel are less than acceptable aesthetically and physically.

When used, a litepipe is typically attached to the circuit board by means of moulded plastic pegs. These plastic pegs are quite fragile and, being attached to the PCB prior to final chassis assembly, great care must be exercised to prevent damage. Alignment of the litepipe to the panel cutout during final assembly also causes difficulties.

With the fixed length and centre line of today's litepipes the designer is restricted in the positioning of his circuit board within the chassis. The output surface of a litepipe, whether it is flat, concave or convex, also projects little or no sidelight. All of these methods result in serious assembly problems and less than satisfactory panel displays.

VCC's new LPX Series 4mm litepipes are designed for use with both vertical and horizontal surface mount LEDs while their physical attachment is made directly to the display panel. Combining the physical attachment advantage with the fact that the litepipe is available in eighty one lengths, the designer now has complete freedom in the positioning of the circuit board within the chassis. These features allow for easy board insertion in final assembly or removal for inspection and repair.

The display lens of the litepipe is designed as low profile with fresnel rings in three different styles, round, square and rectangular. The litepipe lens will disperse the light up to 160°. The light receiving end of the litepipe has a concave surface designed to be positioned in front of the horizontal surface mounted LED or directly over the top of the vertical surface mounted LED.

This concave surface maximises the gathering of the LED light output, increasing the efficiency of the litepipe display. The litepipe mixes and blends the LED multi-colours into a single colour as the light passes through the uniquely designed litepipe surfaces.

These litepipes are tubular in shape, moulded from an optical grade of acrylic plastic for clarity with highly polished surfaces for optimum light refraction and transmission. The LPX is secured directly to the display panel by means of a retaining clip or grommet.

Litepipes, in eighty one lengths, range in size from .200" up to 2.00" in increments of .020". LPX litepipes are available from stock to two weeks.

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