This section provides an overview for light guides as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 17 light guide manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked light guide companies as of June, 2023: 1.Ecoptic, 2.LUMATEC.
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A light guide plate is an optical component that allows light sources, such as LEDs, to enter from the edge of the plate and emit light on the surface.
When the surface of the plate is smooth, the incident light repeatedly undergoes total reflection, and the light is emitted on the opposite side of the plate. By processing on this smooth surface to change the direction of light, it is possible to make the surface light-emitting.
Light guides are mainly installed on the back of "transmissive LCDs" and are often used in the "backlight method" to illuminate the LCDs, requiring light guides with a high degree of uniformity to illuminate the LCDs evenly.
In recent years, demand for products using "reflective LCDs," which consume less power and are lighter, has been increasing. Light guides used for reflective LCDs are installed in front of the LCDs in a "front light system," so light guides with a high degree of transparency are required. However, light guides with high transparency are extremely difficult to process, so the number of manufacturers who can produce them is limited.
The development cycle of electronic devices is expected to shorten further in the future, and Light guides must also be developed in a short period of time to ensure the superiority of new products.
Mainly used as lighting for "transmissive LCD products." They are used as lighting for products such as LCD TVs and smartphones, as well as for store signboards and poster panels. Demand for general lighting such as ceiling lights is also increasing.
This type of lighting is mainly used for "reflective LCD products." It is used for electronic paper, wearable devices, and digital signage (electronic signage). As a new application of the front light method, its use as lighting for "image processing inspection equipment" is attracting attention. By using highly transparent light guides, it is possible to provide a wide field of view to the workpiece while ensuring uniform illumination of the entire area.
Light guides can be manufactured by a variety of manufacturers, depending on the purpose of use and quantity.
This is a common method that has been used for a long time. For mass production, it is possible to manufacture at low cost. However, the mold must be repeatedly modified until the optimum optical pattern is produced.
Main applications: LCD meters, amusement products, smartphones
This is a surface emitting system that uses a laser processing machine to engrave "dots" or "grooves" on the surface of a plate. Many manufacturers are capable of processing, and since molds and plates are not required, manufacturing can be done at a low cost. It is often used for inexpensive products that do not require a high degree of uniformity.
Main applications: Backlight for store signboards, poster panels, shelves, ceiling lights
This system uses a printing plate to print "reflective dots" on the surface of a board for reflection. Although a plate is required, it is less expensive than a molding die. Because of the limited mesh size of the plate, it is often used for inexpensive products that do not require a high degree of uniformity.
Main applications; backlighting for store signboards, poster panels, shelves, ceiling lights
This is the newest method of light guide manufacturing. An inkjet printer is used to produce an "optical lens" on the surface of the plate. The diameter of the lens is extremely small, approximately 32 µm, enabling light distribution design with a high degree of uniformity. The greatest feature of this process is that the lenses themselves are transparent, making it possible to produce light guides with a high degree of transparency, which is difficult to achieve with other manufacturing methods. In addition, since inkjet printers are used and no molds or plates are needed, it is possible to respond to short delivery times and in small quantities. However, the number of manufacturers that can produce this product is limited, and it is not suitable for inexpensive product applications, such as backlighting for store signboards.
Since high-definition printing like that shown in the photo is possible, demand for stand-alone Light guides for use in-store displays is also increasing.
Main applications; for electronic readers, amusement products, image inspection and processing equipment, pre-production prototypes, store displays
While there are a variety of manufacturing methods for light guides, in many cases, the manufacturing method that best suits the purpose has not been selected. If you are having trouble selecting a light guide, a good way to start is to request a sample prototype from the manufacturer and make a comparative evaluation.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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Titan Tool Supply was founded in 1952 and operates out of Buffalo, New York. Titan Tool Supply is a supplier of optical instrumentation for research & development, quality control, and other professional industries. Titan Tool Supply’s product lines include borescopes, microscopes, illumination devices, and micro finishing. Titan Tool Supply also offers video systems and magnetics solutions. Titan Tool Supply offers customers a 10-day approval program that allows customers to trial products in their workplace to verify satisfaction before purchase.
Dymax Corporation was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Torrington, Connecticut. The company develops and manufactures rapid and light-curable materials and light-curing systems for the medical, consumer electronics, wearables, aerospace, and automotive electronics industries. The company’s product segments include Light Curable Materials, Light-Curing Equipment, and Dispensing Equipment. Light Curable Materials include masking, gasketing, and activators. Light-Curing Equipment includes conveyor systems, flood-curing systems, and radiometers. Dispensing Equipment includes dispense valves, syringe dispensers, and material reservoirs. The company also offers application engineering, equipment, and system integration services.
Ellsworth Adhesives was founded in 1974 and based in Germantown, Wisconsin. Ellsworth is a global distributor specializing in the supply of logistics of specialty chemicals and equipment. Industries that Ellsworth serves include battery, defense, general industry, medical, power, and transportation. Ellsworth provides services such as custom formulation, custom packaging, meter, mix, and dispensing equipment, as well as inventory solutions. Product categories include adhesives, conformal coatings, dispensing equipment supplies, encapsulates, sealants, and UV curing equipment.
Orr & Orr, Inc. has been offering wholesale distribution services since 1934 out of Bedford Park, IL. Orr & Orr emphasizes speed of order processing, shipping, and both customer and distributor satisfaction. Product categories that Orr & Orr offers include air conditioners, brake controls, cargo restraint equipment, door tracks, lighting equipment, fans, gas springs, heating equipment, hinges, plumbing supplies, seat belts, steps, toolboxes, hitch and towing products, various truck hardware, cables, battery products, safety equipment, and spring latches.
Ranking as of June 2023 in United States of AmericaDerivation Method
Ranking as of June 2023 GloballyDerivation Method
Derivation MethodThe ranking is calculated based on the click share within the light guide page as of June 2023. Click share is defined as the total number of clicks for all companies during the period divided by the number of clicks for each company.
Number of Employees
Newly Established Company
Company with a History