No assignee for this patent application has been made.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The invention relates to a light module for an exterior light, a cover for a light module and an exterior light having at least one light module.
"Light modules for exterior lights and corresponding exterior lights are known. for example, from EP 0 874 964 A. They are used to at least partially illuminate outdoor areas. For this purpose the individual light modules for exterior lights are provided with illuminants which are able to emit light through a transparent cover which is permeable to light. In order to focus, concentrate or guide the light produced by the illuminants, in particular the light produced by LEDs, in a desired manner, optical systems, frequently in the form of lens systems, are provided in known light modules. In this case, in order to be able to efficiently concentrate and focus the entire quantity of light for each individual illuminant, for example, in the case of a plurality of individual LEDs, its own optical system can be used for each individual illuminant. Thus, for example, in the case of LEDs a lens system can be placed on each LED. Alternatively to this, as disclosed in EP 0 874 964 A, it is possible that the transparent cover itself is a single optical system for all illuminants. A disadvantage with a single optical system for all illuminants is the lack of influence on the focusing of the light of the individual illuminants. The disadvantage of a plurality of individual optical systems is the high degree of complexity and the associated high assembly expenditure."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The embodiments are based on the object of to at least partially eliminate the previously described disadvantages of known light modules. In particular, it is the object of the embodiments to provide a light module, a cover for a light module and an exterior light having at least one light module which provide the manufacture and assembly of plurality of optical systems for all illuminants in an inexpensive and simple manner. In particular, a particularly cleaning-friendly design should be provided.
"In an embodiment, a light module for an exterior light comprises a circuit board holder and at least one circuit board disposed in the circuit board holder comprising a plurality of illuminants. The illuminants in particular comprise LEDs, so-called light emitting diodes. Furthermore, a cover is provided, which covers the circuit board holder and the circuit board disposed therein, and comprises a transparent cover which is permeable to light in order to transmit the light produced by the illuminants. In other words, the cover is configured in a transparent manner at least in a certain region as transparent cover. Preferably a plastic is provided as material for the cover, so that the entire cover can be produced by injection moulding.
"In another embodiment, a light module is characterized in that on the inner side of the transparent cover an optical system for influencing the beam path through the transparent cover is provided for each illuminant. In other words, the optical system for each illuminant is in particular restricted to the inner side of the transparent cover. The outer side is unimpaired so that the outer side of the transparent cover can be shaped substantially freely. The free shapability of the outer side of the transparent cover brings with it freer design possibilities for the optical shaping of the transparent cover. In particular it is possible in this way to print parts of the outer side of the transparent cover or configure them to be completely flat. Thus, additional design features and also an improved scope for cleaning the entire light module can be provided. Dirt particles adhere less easily to a freely designable outer side of the transparent cover, in particular to a smooth outer side.
"Furthermore, an improved light distribution is possible as a result of forming the optical system on the inner side. In particular, respectively one optical system is provided for respectively one illuminant. In this way, it is possible to provide a plurality of optical systems for a plurality of illuminants which are all integrated in a single component, i.e. the cover disk of the cover. Thus, the complexity of the entire system of the light module is reduced many times. As a result of the assembly of the transparent cover, the assembly of the optical systems is also accomplished automatically so that a plurality of assembly steps are eliminated. Furthermore, manufacture is simplified since a single component in the form of the transparent cover has all the optical systems for all the illuminants.
"In another embodiment, the optical systems are provided on the inner side, preferably only on the inner side of the transparent cover. The optical systems are thus protected from being influenced from outside. In particular, mechanical adverse effects due to solid particles such as, for example, hailstones are kept away from the optical system in this way so that a mechanical protection exists. A mechanical influencing, in particular a mechanical destruction of the optical systems is thereby eliminated or a corresponding danger is reduced. A further advantage of a light module is, that the optical systems and the transparent cover are a single component. Accordingly, light coming from each illuminant must only traverse this single component. Accordingly, the loss is reduced significantly so that an increased optical efficiency of, in particular, greater than 90% is achievable. Therefore in turn illuminants which are smaller and more cost-effective because they are weaker can be used.
"In a further embodiment, an optical system comprises at least one central optical element, which is preferably disposed directly above the illuminant or the LED. Adjoining the central optical element are two outer optical regions on the opposite sides of the central optical element. The central optical element arid the outer optical regions are laterally enclosed by a second optical element. Finally a third optical element which runs parallel to a longitudinal side of the second optical element is preferably provided.
"It can be advantageous if the outer side of the transparent cover is configured to be planar in a light module. Preferably, in a light module the optical systems are formed integrally, most preferably monolithically with the transparent cover. Due to the planar configuration, the outer side of the optical system is even easier to clean. Furthermore, a cleaning interval of greater duration can be provided since contaminants can adhere less easily to a planar plane. Planar outer surface is to be understood here as substantially a flat surface, in particular a flat surface. This means that curvatures or distortions are not present and in particular an optical influencing of the outer side is eliminated. In addition, with a planar outer side of the transparent cover, it is possible to print this or stick with film. This enables light filters to be provided in the outer side of the transparent cover particularly cost-effectively and simply. The provision of lettering which is reproduced in the light image on the base of the illuminated area can also be implemented easily in this way. The integral, in particular monolithic configuration produces a simplification with regard to the manufacturing process. Thus transparent cover and optical system can be produced in a single step, for example, by an injection moulding process. Furthermore, the expenditure for the installation is even smaller and the installation itself is speeded up. Naturally even despite the integral, in particular monolithic manner of formation, different materials, for example, by a two-component injection moulding, are feasible.
"It is a further advantage if in a light module the optical systems are configured for an asymmetric distribution of the light. In particular, all the systems in this case are configured to be identical or substantially identical to one another. This significantly simplifies the manufacture and the development of such an optical system. As a result of the asymmetric distribution of the light, complex illumination shapes can also be achieved. In particular, it is possible to go over from simple round illumination areas to rectangular illumination shapes. Furthermore, as a result of the asymmetric distribution of the light it is possible to achieve a substantially constant illumination over the entire light area even with complex illumination areas. Also edge zones which otherwise tend to become blurred with the surroundings can be substantially completely illuminated in this way. In other words, the light-dark boundary between the Illuminated area and the dark area can be indicated more sharply in this way.
"Furthermore, at least one optical system may be formed by a recess on the inner side of the transparent cover. This recess is preferably designed in such a manner that it can accommodate the LEDs, i.e. the illuminants, in this recess. Furthermore, the recess can be configured in such a manner that the maximum extension of the transparent cover in the thickness comes in contact with the circuit board holder and/or the circuit board. In other words, it can be advantageous if the transparent cover clamps the circuit board between itself and the circuit board holder. Thus each individual illuminant is accommodated in such a recess and so to speak encased by it. A design is thereby achieved such as could only be achieved hitherto by a plurality of individual optical systems, i.e. by placement of individual lens systems on each single illuminant. As a result of the arrangement, such individual optical systems are provided for each individual illuminant but due to the formation in the transparent cover, a simple assembly of all the optical systems can be achieved at the same time with complete encasing. In addition to this advantage, a particularly flat design of the entire light module is possible. The manufacture and also the assembly and furthermore the transport or the required installation space for such a light module is overall optimized.
"The optical systems may be configured as a recess or as an elevation on the inner side. In this way, optically active surfaces are formed which result in an influencing of the beam path by the transparent cover in a desired manner. In this embodiment the optical systems are preferably lens systems and/or reflector systems which are used for different refraction/reflection of light.
"Preferably, in a light module each optical system has a first cross-section in a first cross-sectional plane and a second cross-section in a second cross-sectional plane perpendicular to the first cross-sectional plane, wherein the first cross-section and the second cross-section are formed differently. This means that an asymmetric configuration profile is provided for the individual cross-sections, overall therefore for the optical system. This applies in particular if the optical system comprises a recess on the inner side of the transparent cover. The asymmetric configuration with regard to the individual cross-sections supports an advantageous asymmetric illumination in the light area of the light module.
"In a further embodiment, the central optical element has at least one concave section in the first cross-section.
"It is furthermore advantageous if the two outer optical regions are configured to be convex in the first cross-section.
"In a further advantageous embodiment, preferably one connecting section is provided between the central optical element and the two outer optical regions. Particularly preferably this connecting section runs parallel to the beam path from the LED. Consequently light in the beam path from the LED is not influenced by the connecting section. Preferably a broadening of the entire optical system is thereby possible without light being lost and at the same time a broadening of the influence of the beam path produced from the illuminant becomes possible. Furthermore, the individual optically active regions or elements can be arranged freely with respect to one another without the light alignment being influenced by additional optically active surfaces.
"Particularly preferably the second optical element has convex sides in the first cross-section. It is further preferred if the second optical element has convex sides in the second cross-section and at least one concave side. By this means an overlap of the beam path after leaving the transparent cover is produced. This overlap produces variously strong focussings which are reflected in particular in an increased quantity of light in the edge zone of the illuminated area. The edge zone is thereby illuminated more strongly so that an improved edge illumination and therefore a large range can be achieved. Naturally a plurality of concave sections can also follow the central convex section. Preferably the concave section inter alia form a nose-shaped continuation. An almost complete encasing of the illuminant is made possible by this continuation of the concave design. Thus, a large proportion of the light generated by the respective illuminant can be received and used by an optically active surface, i.e. by the convex and concave sections. This also serves to use weaker-light and therefore more cost-effective illuminants since the light produced can be used almost completely for the desired illumination. The 'surrounding' can be accomplished in this case both directly and indirectly. In particular in this way, individual optically active surfaces can be connected by optically inactive or less active surfaces, in particular flat surfaces.
"It is preferred if the third optical element (75) has convex sides in the second cross-section.
"It is also advantageous if in a light module the illuminants are disposed outside the centre of the respective optical system. It should be understood by this that the centre in relation to at least two directions of symmetry, i.e. in relation to at least two cross-sectional plane perpendicular to one another is to be understood as the central alignment of the optical system. The illuminant is provided outside this centre so that an asymmetric alignment of the light distribution can be achieved even more easily.
"A further embodiment is a cover for a light module or an exterior light having the features of a light module, further comprising a transparent cover having an optical system for influencing the beam path through the transparent cover disposed on the inner side thereof for each illuminant. A cover is used for a light module and is configured accordingly so that the same advantages come into consideration for this such as have been explained in detail with reference to a light module.
"Another embodiment is an exterior light having at least one light module. Accordingly the same advantages also apply here as have been explained in detail with reference to a light module.
"Features and details which have been described in connection with the embodiments of a light module, may also apply to the cover and/or the exterior light and conversely in each case so that reference is made or can always be made alternately with regard to the disclosure on the individual aspects of the various embodiments.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"In the following, the invention will be described by way of example, without limitation of the general inventive concept, on examples of embodiment and with reference to the drawings.
"FIG. 1 shows a first embodiment of an exterior light.
"FIG. 2 shows components of a light module.
"FIG. 3 shows further components of a light module.
"FIG. 4 shows an optical system in a first view.
"FIG. 5 shows an optical system in a second view.
"FIG. 6 shows an optical system in a side view.
"FIG. 7 shows an optical system in a plan view.
"FIG. 8 shows an embodiment of an optical system in a first cross-section.
"FIG. 9 shows the embodiment of the preceding figure in a second cross-section.
"FIG. 10 shows beam paths in a first cross-section.
"FIG. 11 shows beam paths in a second cross-section.
"While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof are shown by way of example in the drawings and will herein be described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the drawings and detailed description thereto are not intended to limit the invention to the particular form disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims."
For additional information on this patent application, see:
Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Electronics, Circuit Board.
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