Freeform optics allow the redistribution of a light bundle into any arbitrary radiation pattern. This offers unprecedented design opportunities to luminaire manufacturers and lighting planners to create optimal lighting conditions with maximal efficiency. The design and fabrication of freeform optics however are far for trivial. But, in recent years, significant progress in both domains has been made and novel technologies have appeared. A prerequisite for the accurate control of the targeted radiation pattern with freeform optics is a high source luminance. Laser diodes significantly outperform LEDs with respect to this characteristic. This is the main reason why first applications of laser based white light sources have already been realized. In this presentation an overview will be given of the state-of-the-art with respect to the design and fabrication of freeform optics. In addition, the reason why laser based white light sources are an optimal match with freeform optics will be elaborated, and some first research results of the Light & Lighting Lab in this domain, will be presented.
Youri Meuret, Laboratorium voor Lichttechnologie – KU Leuven, Technologiecampus Gent