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Lightguides

Mentor Components

Lightguides made by specialists

Modern light guides are used for the transportation of light signals from a circuit-board-mounted LED via a particular route to a defined light-emitting surface, with minimal loss and blurring effect. They offer the electronics developer cost-effective, space-saving and easy-to-mount solutions with high ESD protection. The MENTOR range of high quality standard light guides for assembly on front panels or circuit boards includes several hundred articles, which can be supplied from stock with low minimum quantities and short delivery times. Thus it is undoubtedly among the largest product ranges of light guides in the world.

Efficient precision optics

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Quality light guides from MENTOR are efficient precision optical products. As a specialist for opto-electronics, sophisticated lighting modules and innovative light control systems, we develop and produce light guides of the highest quality. Our lighting specialists set standards with their expertise and state-of-the-art development and simulation procedures. Easy-to-mount, solutions without blooming effect, with very high luminous efficiency and perfectly homogeneous lighting are made from long-life, high-performance plastics on state-of-the art injection moulding machines.

Extensive product range

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MENTOR offers you an extensive range of light guides with a large number of versions for very varied applications. It comprises front panel-mountable solutions, as well as vertical or horizontal circuit board-mountable versions, single or multiple light guides, bar graph displays, different head shapes, a variety of sizes – including also miniaturised versions and flexible light guide systems.

A variety of options

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MENTOR offers a wide range of very varied front panel light guides. Single light guides and multiple light guides are available. As well as classic diameters, 5.2 or 5.0 mm and 3.2 mm, miniaturised versions with Ø2.2 mm can be purchased. In the normal version or IP68 rated. All versions are available in a wide variety of different lengths.

Assembly

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Different product options offer extensive degrees of freedom to assemble. Light guides for front assembly are standard and deliverable in a great variety of versions. They are available as options with straight or diagonal inject face surface and thus enable horizontal or vertical assembly. The benefits of the versions for assembly from the rear of the front panel are the homogeneous light pattern and the flush-fitting installation.

Design

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Since light guides always work outwards from the interface, they influence the design of the devices. Here the light guides with round beam surfaces and spherical, planar or counterbore head offer many aesthetically pleasing options, as does the version with a square head. An excellent light pattern always ensures high-quality visualisation here.

Customised solutions are our strong point

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The MENTOR range of high-quality standard light guides offers a wide spectrum of very varied solutions. It comprises front panel-mountable solutions, as well as vertical or horizontal circuit board-mountable versions, individual and multiple light guides, bar graph displays, different head shapes, a variety of sizes, including also miniaturised versions and flexible light guide systems.

Despite this abundance of standard products, in certain situations, the customised solution of a light guide represents the best solution. For example, this is the case if a very individual radiation effect is required, or if a particularly large amount of time and effort is required to adjust the circuit board or front of the devices to a standard light guide.

We know from many years’ experience that individual adjustment of the length is frequently required to adapt a standard light guide to individual requirements. An intelligent tool strategy enables us to implement these solutions for our customers at no or minimal tooling costs, and with low minimum order quantities.

We have designated light guides with which a customised length can be implemented within the stated length variations (Size A) at no or minimum tooling costs, with the symbol C+. The plus here stands for the particular cost-effectiveness of these solutions. We designate solutions where this possibility does not exist but which have a great variety of tool-dependent special versions, with the symbol C.

Light guide versions

Light guides for front panels and housing fronts are always the correct solution for developing electronic devices when the light guide cannot or should not be fixed on the circuit board. Pressing the light guide in a fitting front panel borehole, makes it hover over or in front of the SMD LED without touching it. This type of assembly creates many great possibilities for the electronics developer.

 

Horizontal circuit board-mountable light guides (horizontal light guides) from MENTOR are used in professional electronic developments if the radiating surface on the front panel is to be positioned at right angles to the circuit board. As a rule, it is fixed to the circuit board with press-fit lugs.

Horizontal light guides with round head

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The classic models among light guides are those designed with a round head. MENTOR offers a range of horizontal light guides with single row to quadruple row versions. These are available with a head size of Ø3 mm in grid size 5.08 and as miniaturised versions with a head size of Ø2 mm in grid size 2.54.

Horizontal light guides with square head

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Square light guides extend the spectrum for designing modern display systems and offer the possibility of designing products individually and differentiating them from products of competitors. The range of horizontal square light guides includes single row and triple row versions as single or multiple guides with a display area of 1.4 x 1.4 mm.

Horizontal light guides with rectangular head (bar graphs)

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Light guides with a rectangular head (bar graph displays) have a radiating surface of 2 x 5 mm or 1.7 x 3 mm in the miniaturised version. They are all available as individual or multiple light guides of different lengths.

Vertical circuit board-mountable light guides (vertical light guides) from MENTOR are used in professional electronic developments if the beam surface on the front panel is to be positioned parallel to the circuit board. As a rule, it is fixed to the circuit board with press-fit lugs.

Round                            Rectangular

Vertical light guides for mounting on circuit boards with round head

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MENTOR’s range of vertical light guides with round head offers single row to quadruple row versions. These are available with a head size of Ø3 mm in grid size 5.08 and as miniaturised versions with a head size of Ø2 mm in grid size 2.54 and 2.54/5.08 mm.

Vertical light guides for mounting on circuit boards with rectangular head (bar graphs)

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The MENTOR range of vertical light guides with rectangular head (bar graphs) offers individual or multiple light guides with up to ten displays. Two head sizes, 2 x 5 mm and 2 x 3 mm, are available, as are solutions for the grid size 5.08 mm and 2.54 mm.

Flexible light guide systems from MENTOR are elegant, cost-effective solutions for many opto-electronic design challenges that present themselves when a product is given a new design in mid-lifecycle, for example. MENTOR offers flexible solutions for SMD and THT LEDs with 1,000 μm, 2,000 μm and 3,000 μm fibres and transparent, but also coloured lenses. The flexible light guides are fixed on the circuit board over a TOPLED by means of push-fit pegs; the lenses are fixed in the front panel.

Flexible light guide systems for SMD LEDs

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The range of flexible light guide solutions includes light guides and light guide switches for use with SMD LEDs. The casings are held in the printed circuit board by using two press-fit lugs. The light guides are used in combination with TOPLEDs or CHIPLEDs, depending on the version. The casing, light guide and lenses are supplied unassembled.

Flexible light guide systems for THT LEDs

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The casing is designed for light guide photographs of Ø2mm, which means that 2,000μm fibres and on request, 1,000μm fibres, with a black coating, are used. The casing can be used vertically or horizontally. The light guide fibres to the front panel are provided with a lens The lens is held in place in the front panel by press fit. The light guide is used in combination with THT LEDs. The casing, light guide and lens are supplied unassembled.

Accessories for flexible light guide systems

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Angle-holder for stress-free assembly. The light guides can be precisely redirected by 90° within a very small space where this is necessary on customised grounds.

Adapter to connect to existing light guide elements with Ø3mm.

Socket for three light guide bars for use in combination with SMD LEDs.

Customised solutions

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In addition to the programme of standard articles, MENTOR also offers a variety of possibilities for customised solutions in the field of flexible light guides. In particular, a special length (Size A) can in many cases be implemented simply and at no or minimal tooling cost. Other lens forms and sizes or coloured light guides are also possible.

As well as high functionality, aesthetic aspects are becoming more and more important in the design of modern machines and devices. In order to offer designers and device developers even greater creative opportunities, the MENTOR product range now offers not only round and rectangular light guides, but also guides with a square beam surface.

For front panel assembly

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In the field of the frequently used front panel light guides, the MENTOR range offers a version with a square beam surface of 3.2 x 3.2 mm. Three different lengths of this type are available from stock, and other lengths can be supplied as customised versions.

Horizontal square light guides

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The horizontal square light guides are available as single and triple-row versions, both with miniaturised beam surfaces of 1.4 x 1.4 mm. The spectrum of options that can be supplied ranges from the single light guide to the multiple light guide with 30 light areas.

Implement individual light guide solutions quickly, simply and cost-effectively, even with quite low quantities – that is the basic idea of the new M-CUT light guide system. This new light guide system is based on precisely processed, homogeneous PMMA boards, which depending on the version are fully transparent or equipped with diffuser particles that as a rule are used under a diffuse membrane or a membrane keypad. Here the long-standing experience of our lighting experts ensure excellent light results.

Three types of light guides: Surface – bar graph – beam

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Three different basic types provide the structure of M-CUT: the area, bar graph and solid strip light guides. The area light guide allows high quality customised background lighting for logos, graphics or info surfaces to be implemented. The bar graph light guide enables individual multiple displays and the solid strip display provides homogeneous back lighting for lines and writing.

No tooling costs. Low minimum order quantities.

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The production process used to manufacture the light guides in the M-CUT series deliberately avoids the use of classic injection moulding tools. Thus no tooling costs arise for our customers. At the same time, the process enables customised light guide solutions to be implemented with low minimum quantities. Depending on the complexity of the required solution, these are 300 items, as a rule.

High variability. Infinite possibilities.

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The new light guide system enables customised design for two of the three dimensions of the light guide. This 2-dimensional variability offers unlimited opportunities. Contour-following light guides, for example under a curved casing cover, are possible, as are up to 100 bar graph displays or area light guides with customised free-form contours. Our lighting experts can make a recommendation regarding the LED design and position for your solution.

Circuit board-mounting

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All three M-CUT light guide types are assembled simply by pressing the fixing pins into the circuit board. As a rule, alternative methods of assembly, such as clamping or screwing, are also possible.

Wide-ranging. Quick. Cost-effective.

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M-CUT represents a new light guide system that offers a variety of useful benefits for the development of electronics. The high variability of the system offers very great scope for individual device design and the tool-less production process enables simple and quick implementation without initial investment in tools.

Area light guide

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The M-CUT surface light guide is based on a transparent PMMA board with diffuser particles and is intended to be used for SIDELEDs which are coupled to the side of the light guide. The area light guide allows high quality customised background lighting for logos, graphics or info areas to be implemented. It is assembled by simply pressing the fixing pins into the printed circuit board. Sizes C and E can be adapted to the customer’s specific requirements. Individual 2D free-form geometrical forms are also possible.

Bar graph light guide

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The M-CUT bar graph light guide is based on a transparent, deliberately interrupted PMMA board and is intended for use with MiniTOPLEDs. It is assembled by simply pressing the positioning pins into the printed circuit board. The bar graph light guide is constructed in a 2.54 mm grid and is supplied with a 10-way display as standard. The number of displays and the grid dimensions, as well as Sizes B, D and E can be adapted to the customer’s specific requirements.

Solid strip light guide

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The M-CUT solid strip light guide developed by MENTOR consists of a transparent PMMA board and is intended for use with LEDs of type 0603 or smaller. It provides homogeneous back lighting for lines and writing. It is assembled by simply pressing the positioning pins into the printed circuit board. Sizes B, D and E can be adapted to the customer’s specific requirements. Individual 2D free-form geometrical forms are also possible.

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