Light Valves For Centralized Lighting Systems

Light valves are an essential part of sophisticated lighting systems based on a central light source from which light is transported to the final emission point by light guides. Light guides can be fiberoptic bundles or monolithic transparent light pipes. Typical applications are forward lighting systems for vehicles, large displays and architectural lighting. Light valves are particularly desirable when the central light source is a high intensity arc lamp since this type of lamp does not respond well to rapid on/off cycling.

TIG located and evaluated a variety of basic approaches. Once the most promising were selected, prototypes were built and evaluated against the optical requirements and the extremes of heat and radiation expected in system use. One type which makes use of electrostatically controlled films is the subject of a Ford patent with TIG personnel as coinventors.

The process of transferring the technology and establishing production and testing facilities has been begun.