News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Light Module and Corresponding Modular Light System", for Approval

February 12, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C. , VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Villeflose, Bastian ( Rennes , FR); Anton Rioja , Julien (Cesson-Sevigne, FR); Gailly, Alexandre (Acigne, FR), filed on July 19, 2013 , was made available online on January 30, 2014 . No assignee for this patent application has been made. News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Stage and scenic equipment is one of the keys to the success of a show. "Stage lighting, especially lighting effects, play a role in the creativity and enhancement of a show, a scene or an event through the light rendering and the atmosphere that it contributes to creating and reproducing. Light is at the heart of stage action and novel technologies are enabling its use with ever greater creativity. "In this field of stage and scenic lighting, there are numerous existing devices and systems, ranging from simple light bulbs to more complex systems using lenses and reflectors and even mobile projectors and video projectors. They are most often used together in combination to produce lighting effects permitting varying degrees of creativity. As a rule, a projector is characterized by the following elements: the power and type of light source used which determine certain of the intrinsic characteristics of the projector (such as colorimetry and luminous flux for example), the processing of the luminous flux. "This is what explains why there is such a great variety of projectors, each having a distinct light performance and use. "Available lighting sources comprise several classes: halogen lamps, discharge lamps, fluorescent lamps and, more recently, light-emitting diodes (or LEDS). "The advantages procured by light-emitting diodes include high luminous efficiency, long service life (up to 100 000 hours), low energy consumption, mechanical robustness, absence of ultraviolet radiation, relative ease of focusing of the luminous flux and the range of colors available. "However, it is still difficult to drive light-emitting diodes with a view to obtaining a fine, linear dimming curve. Besides, owing to the technology used, diodes constitute highly blinding sources of light, with a very marked hot point. "There also exist known ways of using display walls to contribute to the creativity and enhancement of a show, a scene and/or an event. These display walls generally take the form of one of more screens with dedicated (low-powered) light-emitting diodes. These screens are, for example, placed at the back of the stage. Such display walls are capable of rendering high-definition images on relative large surface areas. "However, in terms of lighting or illumination, these display walls emit only a low level of radiosity (in other words, they emit only weak, highly scattered light). They cannot be used as projectors to illuminate an object or a scene but only to display images. "In addition, the installation and dismantling of these display walls, as well as their transportation, remain relatively complex. "There also exist known ways of making walls of projectors but, in this type of installation, the amount of space required and shape of the assembled projectors (the projectors are mostly round) do not enable the display of images. "It is also a matter of usage, at a show and/or and event, to display a logo or a commercial, for example in the background, to identify the event or the sponsor. To this end, often flexible banners are used on which the desired visual message is imprinted. In this case, the space before the light source and before the banner must be free, failing which one of the two will be masked. "It is thus impossible at the present time to make a wall of projectors cohabit with a banner. "There also exist known ways of making light-projecting walls using light-emitting diodes of high power (typically greater than one watt). Now such walls are not capable of carrying out image displays, i.e. controlling the light intensity of the light-emitting diodes also at low levels (typically less than one milliwatt). No device presently offers the possibility of carrying out the light projector function, requiring 'high-level' control of the light intensity (of the order of one watt or about ten watts) and the display screen function requiring a 'low-level' control of the light intensity (of the order of one milliwatt or even one microwatt), together with the capability to pass constantly from one function to the other along a fine and linear dimming curve." As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "An exemplary embodiment of the invention thus pertains to a light module comprising a frame bearing a plurality of light sources disposed in a matrix arrangement and capable of forming a corresponding number of light points, said frame being such that it comprises means for assembly with at least one other frame of an identical module, so as to enable the juxtaposing and simultaneous driving of a predetermined set of light modules, the light sources being capable of being driven independently. "An embodiment of the present invention pertains to a modular light device comprising a set of light sources, organized in the form of a matrix, for example light-emitting diodes sized N.times.M (with N rows and M columns). "The light module of an embodiment of the invention is, in other words, a multiple-source module. "The matrix of light sources can be square (with the same number of rows and columns) or else rectangular, for example. "The modularity of such a light device enables assembly with a set of other identical devices, so as to produce visual effects and light at different scales perfectly adapted to the internal and external environment in view. "The installation, dismantling, storage and transportation of such light devices are optimized. "Besides, such light devices are relatively light-weight devices. "According to one advantageous characteristic, the light sources are light-emitting diodes (LEDs). "The use of light-emitting diodes offers uniform rendering. "In addition, such a light device with light-emitting diodes is simple and costs little to implement and/or put to use. Indeed, the implementation of light-emitting diodes ensures long service life for the device and minimizes maintenance costs, and enables substantial energy savings. In one particular embodiment of the invention, the light module comprises means for controlling the light intensity of said light sources capable of adjusting the level of light intensity of said light sources so that, on a first range of light intensity, said light module or modules form a lighting projector. "The light-emitting diodes are capable of producing a halo of light adjustable in intensity in such a way as to use one of more of the modular devices as a lighting projectors on a first range of light intensity of the diodes (the term used then is 'light beams') "The modularity of such a device using light-emitting diodes permits and enables the preparation, without technical limits, of predetermined light and/or lighting scenarios. "Besides, this modularity permits light renderings that are powerful and perfectly controlled, in terms of turning on and/or extinguishing the diodes used, level of intensity and possibilities of dimming or variation of this level of intensity or, again, in terms of possibility of acting on the turning on and/or extinguishing curves or possibility of acting in real time on the speeds of dimming of the diodes. "It can be understood that the size of the total beam from the projector obtained depends on the number of assembled light modules, the number of light-emitting diodes activated in the matrix and the level of light intensity imposed on said diodes. Means for driving the total light beam are therefore provided to control the geometrical shape of the light beam. "An embodiment of the invention therefore provides for the generation of light beams that have variable geometry and are parametrizable at will to produce original visual effects. "In one particular embodiment of the invention, the level of light intensity of said light-emitting diodes is furthermore adjustable so that, on a second range of light intensity, said module or modules form a display screen. "The light intensity of the light-emitting diodes can furthermore be adjusted finely (up to one microwatt) so as to use one or more of the modular devices as a video screen. "In other words, the lighting projector obtained by assembling several light modules is hybrid in that it can also be used as a screen or video surface thus enabling the display of still or moving images for example. "In other words, the light module comprises means for controlling the light intensity of said light sources capable of adjusting the level of light intensity of said light sources so that, on a first range of light intensity, said light module or modules form a lighting projector and, on a second range of light intensity, said light module or modules form a display screen. "Thus, once assembled, the light modules form columns and rows of diodes capable of forming a video image. In other words, each diode forms a pixel or image dot of a video screen, such an image being visible both by day and by night. "The modular aspect of the panels of diodes enables the formation of screens of all sizes, from a few square meters to several hundreds of square meters. "The implementing of diodes furthermore ensures improved visual quality, even in full daylight. "Such an assembling of several light modules can be used in shop decoration, discotheques, stage backgrounds or any other type of event. "According to one particularly advantageous characteristic, the light module comprises means for controlling light intensity of said light sources comprising dual-stage regulation means: a first voltage switch-mode regulation stage capable of regulating an operating voltage of said light sources, and a second linear regulation stage capable of linearly regulating an operating current of said light sources, said second stage comprising means of current feedback control. "Thus, through a coupling of two regulation stages of different natures, one carrying out a voltage switch-mode regulation and the other a linear current regulation, the light module according to an embodiment of the invention is capable of controlling the light intensity of the light sources over a much more extensive range than that offered by the prior-art devices. This enables it to play either the role of a lighting projector ('high-level' control of light intensity (of the order of one watt or of about ten watts)) or the role of a display screen ('low-level' control of the light intensity (of the order of one milliwatt or even one microwatt)) and to pass from one role to the other while at the same time preserving a same level of resolution. "This two-stage configuration thus enables the creation of a display screen having the capacity to project light. "In particular, the operating current is regulated by means of an automatic feedback control driven by a digital modulation signal. "According to one particular characteristic, the module further comprises optical means for forming light beams cooperating with said light sources. "This enables the formation of variable volumetric light graphics. The optical means can include a lens, a set of lenses or a reflector, for example, that cooperates with the LEDs. "Advantageously, said light module is capable of displaying still or moving images. "Advantageously, the pitch between two adjacent light-emitting diodes of said light module is constant. "The spacing between the light-emitting diodes, which is constant, makes it possible to define the resolution of the display screen obtain by the assembling of several light modules. "Preferably, said control means command the dimmer function (or dimming of light intensity) of said light-emitting diodes on at least 13 bits, and preferably on 14 bits, and even more preferably on 17 bits. "Thus a dimming or gradual variation of light intensity of the light-emitting diodes is planned on at least 13 bits. In the case of a control of variation on 17 bits, a factor (effective resolution) of 1 to 131 000 (or 1:131 000) is obtained whereas, on 12 bits classically, a factor of 1 to 4096 (or 1:4096) is obtained. In the case of a control of variation on 14 bits, a factor (effective resolution) of 1 to 16 000 (or 1:16 000) is obtained. "In other words, it is possible to vary the light intensity of the light-emitting diodes very gradually and use light modules as an illuminating projector or else as a video screen. "Advantageously, it comprises means for the independent driving and controlling each of said light-emitting diodes. "Thus it is possible to control the geometry of the light beam emitted by the module or modules by activating the desired light-emitting diodes of the matrix obtained by the assembling of modules. This makes it possible to obtain novel visual effects. "The light module further comprises means of temporal smoothing capable of carrying out a smoothing in time of the dimmer function for said light sources. "This reduces or even cancels out the phenomenon of sparkling of the light sources that is perceptible to the eye. This is a generally undesirable phenomenon that is present when a large number of light sources are assembled and driven simultaneously. This feature therefore improves the temporal resolution in addition to improving the amplitude resolution. "In one particular embodiment of the invention, the frame carries a patch placed in the axis of the beam of each of said light-emitting diodes and intended for masking the hot point of said corresponding light-emitting diode. "According to one particular embodiment of the invention, the frame bears a removable, decorative lining. "Depending on the nature of the material out of which it is made, such a lining increases the range of visual effects when the module or the modules that may be assembled are used as lighting projectors. "Advantageously, the frame has open-worked empty spaces between each row and column of the matrix of light-emitting diodes. "The frame is therefore partially transparent and enables original light effects to be obtained. "An embodiment of the invention also pertains to a modular light system comprising an assembling, without limits in terms of number and complexity, of at least two light modules as described here above in any one of its different embodiments. "Owing to its modularity, this system can be perfectly integrated into the internal or external environment in which it is assembled. "Preferably, the pitch between the adjacent light-emitting diodes of at least two adjacent light modules is constant. "Because of this, the assembling of several light modules makes it easy to use the modules as a video screen in regulating the light intensity of the diodes. The value of the distance between centers of the diodes defines the resolution of such a system. "According to one particular mode of implementation, the modular light system comprises at least two light modules assembled in at least two different axes of orientation. "This allows for greater possibilities of creation and enables the system to get integrated into the environment in which it is assembled. "Advantageously, the light system comprises means for the independent driving and control of each of said light modules. "The connections of such a system are therefore simplified. "Advantageously, the modular light system comprises means for processing a video information carrier signal and for distributing the processed signal between said light modules of the system. "According to an advantageous characteristic, the number of channels for driving light sources is smaller than the numbers of light sources present in the modular light system. "For example, the system comprises 12 channels for 225 controlled points. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS "Other features and advantages shall appear from the following description of an exemplary embodiment, given by way of a simple illustrative and non-exhaustive example and from the appended drawings, of which: "FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of the different technical components forming the light module according to an embodiment of the invention and enabling its implementation; "FIG. 2 is a view in perspective of a light module according to one embodiment of the invention; "FIGS. 3A to 3C show an example of a possibility of assembling of several light modules according to an embodiment of the invention; "FIG. 4 is a view in perspective of the carrier frame bearing several light modules according to an embodiment of the invention; "FIGS. 5a and 5b each illustrate an example of implementation of a decorative lining on the light module of an embodiment of the invention; "FIG. 6a is an functional diagram representing means for controlling the light intensity of the light-emitting diodes according to one particular embodiment of the invention; "FIG. 6b is a magnified view of the current regulation stage included in the control means illustrated in FIG. 6a." For additional information on this patent application, see: Villeflose, Bastian; Anton Rioja, Julien ; Gailly, Alexandre. Light Module and Corresponding Modular Light System. Filed July 19, 2013 and posted January 30, 2014 . Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3760&p=76&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140123.PD.&OS=PD/20140123&RS=PD/20140123 Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Electronics, Light-emitting Diode. Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel



Source: Electronics Newsweekly


Story Tools