Light Pipe Homogenizing Rods

Light pipe homogenizing rods are specialized optics that use principles of TIR (total internal reflection) to transmit light, homogenizing radiation from very non uniform light sources. They are sometimes also known as integrator rods, homogenizing rods, light guides, light funnels,  or waveguides. 

The image below (Figure 1) shows how total internal reflection enables a light pipe homogenizing rod to transmit light. In Figure 2, it can be seen that smaller incident angles lead to more reflections than larger incident angles.

Figure 1. Total Internal Reflection (TIR) within a Light Pipe Homogenizing Rod
Figure 2. Smaller incident angles result in a greater number of reflections compared to larger incident angles

At Avantier, we produce custom light pipe homogenizing rods in both square and hexagonal configurations. While a square configuration is standard, a hexagonal configuration has the potential to provide 35% less light loss versus the comparable square configuration.  We can provide shorter pipes for homogenizing the output of high NA (numerical aperture) sources, or longer light pipes for use with low numerical aperture sources.  We also offer tapered light pipe homogenizing rods.

Applications of Light Pipe Homogenizing Rods

Light pipe homogenizing rods are found in aircraft instrumentation, biomedical devices, illumination equipment, and communication systems. They are easy to install and flexible and perform in a uniform, reliable way, making them a desirable option for many optical systems. 

We do not recommend using light pipes with collimated laser sources. If you have a collimated laser beam you need to homogenize, we can help you with custom microlens arrays or beam shapers.  

If you have a non laser application that requires homogenized light, a light pipe may be a good option. For instance, tapered light pipe homogenizing pipes are applications based on LED sources, and N-BK7 light pipes are a good choice when dealing with OEM illumination. UV fused silica light pipes are ideal for use with  UV light, and are also a go-to option for homogenizing many types of nonuniform light; for instance, the confluence of light from several light sources with different spectral characteristics.  

Light Pipe Homogenizing Rods at Avantier

Specializing in custom optics enables the team at Avantier to help you get the exact component that you need, just the way you need it. Light pipe homogenizing rods are no exception. Rather than design your optical system around parts that are almost right, we enable you to design an ideal system with the exact light pipes and other optical components that work best in your application. 

With six decades of experience in optical design, we have the expertise you’ve been needing. Not only can we provide you with precisely drawn plans of the physical optics you need, we can also help you hone in on the ideal substrate for your application and work with you to determine which coatings would be ideal. Our extensive manufacturing capabilities mean that almost any custom part can be produced in-house with state of the art machinery. We can also help you with custom mounts for simple integration into your optical systems. Let us know when you’re ready to schedule an initial consult or if you’d like to discuss how our team can partner with you. 


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