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405 nm LED,
505 nm LED,
Mounted LED used as a Light Source for a DIY Cerna® Microscope
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The MWWHL4 LED and COP1-A microscope collimation adapter used as a trans-illumination source for an Olympus microscope.
Click to Enlarge CP33 Cage Plate and Mounted with Ø6 mm Cage Rods
A mounted LED requires an LED driver to run; a collimation adapter (optional) collimates the diverging beam emitted by the LED. See the tables below to determine the appropriate LED driver. To determine the needed collimation adapter for a given LED, see the info icons () below.
Mounted LED Features
Each Thorlabs uncollimated, mounted LED consists of a single LED mounted to the end of a heat sink with 6 mm deep, SM1 (1.035"-40) internal threads. LEDs with Ø1.20" heat sinks have the same outer diameter as an SM1 Lens Tube, allowing them to fit inside a 30 mm Cage System. A selection of our LEDs are mounted to larger heat sinks, as they generate more heat during operation. These heat sinks are enclosed in Ø57.0 mm vented plastic housings and include four 4-40 tapped holes on the front for integration with 30 mm cage systems.
Every LED features an EEPROM chip which stores information about the LED (e.g., current limit, wavelength, forward voltage). When controlled by a Thorlabs DC2200, DC4100, or DC4104 LED driver, the data can be used to implement smart safety features.
These mounted LEDs possess good thermal stability properties, eliminating the issue of degradation of optical output power due to increased LED temperature. For more details, please see the Stability tab.
Please note that mounted LEDs are not intended for use in household illumination applications.
In addition, microscope collimation adapters are available that incorporate an AR-coated aspheric lens. These adapters mate to the epi-illumination ports on select Leica DMI, Nikon Eclipse Ti, Olympus IX/BX, or Zeiss Axioskop microscopes. Thorlabs also offers mounted LEDs with pre-attached microscope collimation adapters.
We offer suggestions for collimating most LEDs. Click on the info icon () for each LED below for details.
Thorlabs also offers integrated, user-configurable 4-Wavelength High-Power LED Sources.
The actual spectral output and total output power of any given LED will vary due to variations in the manufacturing process and operating parameters, such as temperature and current. Both a typical and minimum output power are specified to help you select an LED that suits your needs. Each mounted LED will provide at least the minimum specified output power at the maximum current. In order to provide a point of comparison for the relative powers of LEDs with different nominal wavelengths, the spectra in the plots below have been scaled to the minimum output power for each LED. This data is representative, not absolute. An Excel file with normalized and scaled spectra for all of the mounted LEDs can be downloaded here.
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Our 340 nm mounted LED has a typical lifetime of >3,000 hours. In this case, the unit under test continued to provide more than 90% of its initial power after 45 days.
LED Lifetime and Long-Term Power Stability
One characteristic of LEDs is that they naturally exhibit power degradation with time. Often this power degradation is slow, but there are also instances where large, rapid drops in power, or even complete LED failure, occur. LED lifetimes are defined as the time it takes a specified percentage of a type of LED to fall below some power level. The parameters for the lifetime measurement can be written using the notation BXX/LYY, where XX is the percentage of that type of LED that will provide less than YY percent of the specified output power after the lifetime has elapsed. Thorlabs defines the lifetime of our LEDs as B50/L50, meaning that 50% of the LEDs with a given item # will fall below 50% of the initial optical power at the end of the specified lifetime. For example, if a batch of 100 LEDs is rated for 150 mW of output power, 50 of these LEDs can be expected to produce an output power of ≤75 mW after the specified LED lifetime has elapsed.
The sample plot to the right shows example data from long-term stability testing over a 45 day period for a 340 nm mounted LED, which had a lifetime of >3,000 hours (~125 days). The small power drop experienced by the LED after it is turned on is typical behavior during the first few minutes of operation. It corresponds to the period of time required for the LED to warm up to the point where it is thermally stable. Please note that this graph represents the performance of a single LED; the performance of individual LEDs will vary within the stated specifcations.
Optimized Thermal Management
The thermal dissipation performance of these mounted LEDs has been optimized for stable power output. The heat sink is directly mounted to the LED mount so as to provide optimal thermal contact. By doing so, the degradation of optical output power that can be attributed to increased LED junction temperature is minimized (see the graph to the left).
Obtaining a Well-Collimated Beam
After installing the chosen collimation package on a mounted LED, the distance between the lens and the LED may need to be adjusted to ensure that the LED is properly collimated. A well-collimated beam has minimal divergence and will not converge at any point in the beam path (see images below for comparison). Be advised that, due to the high emitter surface area of the LED, the output beam cannot be perfectly collimated. Divergence data for select LEDs is provided in the below table as a reference; see the info icons ( ) below for the recommended collimating optic for each LED.
The table below provides examples of how the half viewing angle changes for select LEDs with the addition of a Ø1" aspheric condenser lens.
The divergence data was calculated using Zemax.
Pin Connection - Male
The diagram to the right shows the male connector of the mounted LED assembly. It is a standard M8 x 1 sensor circular connector. Pins 1 and 2 are the connection to the LED. Pin 3 and 4 are used for the internal EEPROM in these LEDs. If using an LED driver that was not purchased from Thorlabs, be careful that the appropriate connections are made to Pin 1 and Pin 2 and that you do not attempt to drive the LED through the EEPROM pins.
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Multi-LED Source Coupled to Microscope Illumination Port
Creating a Custom Multi-LED Source for Microscope Illumination
Thorlabs offers the items necessary to create your own custom multi-LED light source using two or three of the mounted LEDs offered below. As configured in the following example, the light source is intended to be used with the illumination port of a microscope. However, it may be integrated with other applications using Thorlabs' versatile SM1 Lens Tube and 30 mm Cage Systems. Thorlabs also offers integrated, user-configurable 4-Wavelength LED Sources.
Design & Construction
First, light will be collimated by lenses mounted in lens tubes. Dichroic mirrors mounted in kinematic cage cubes then combine the output from the multiple LEDs. The mounted LEDs may be driven by LEDD1B Compact T-Cube LED Drivers (power supplies are sold separately). The LEDD1B LED Drivers allow each LED's output to be independently modulated and can provide up to 1200 mA of current. Please take care not to drive the LED sources above their max current ratings.
When designing your custom source, select mounted LEDs from below along with dichroic mirror(s) that have cutoff wavelength(s) between the LED wavelengths. The appropriate dichroic mirror(s) will reflect light from side-mounted LEDs and transmit light along the optical axis. Please note that most of these dichroic mirrors are "longpass" filters, meaning they transmit the longer wavelengths and reflect the shorter wavelengths. To superimpose light from three or more LEDs, add each in series (as shown below), starting from the back with longer wavelength LEDs when using longpass filters. Shortpass filters may also used if the longer wavelength is reflected and the shorter wavelength is transmitted. Sample combinations of compatible dichroic mirrors and LEDs are offered in the three tables below.
It is also necessary to select an aspheric condenser lens for each source with AR coatings appropriate for the source. Before assembling the light source, collimate the light from each mounted LED as detailed in the Collimation tab. For mounting the aspheric lenses in the SM1V05 Lens Tubes using the included SM1RR retaining rings, we recommend the SPW801 Adjustable Spanner Wrench. A properly collimated LED source should have a resultant beam that is approximately homogenous and not highly divergent at a distance of approximately 2 feet (60 cm). An example of a well-collimated beam is shown on the Collimation tab.
After each LED source is collimated, thread the SM1V05 Lens Tubes at the end of each collimated LED assembly into their respective C4W Cage Cube ports using SM1T2 Lens Tube Couplers. Install each dichroic filter in an FFM1 Dichroic Filter Holder, and mount each filter holder onto a B4C Kinematic Cage Cube Platform. Each platform is then installed in the C4W Cage Cubes by partially threading the included screws into the bottom of the cube, and then inserting and rotating the B4C platform into place. Align the platform to the desired position and then firmly tighten the screws. To connect multiple cage cubes and the microscope adapter, use the remaining SM1T2 lens tube couplers along with an SM1L05 0.5" Lens Tube between adjacent cage cubes. Finally, adjust the rotation, tip, and tilt of each B4C platform to align the reflected and transmitted beams so they overlap as closely as possible.
If desired, a multi-LED source may be constructed that employs more than three LEDs. The limiting factors for the number of LEDs that can be practically used are the collimation of the light and the dichroic mirror efficiency over the specified range. Heavier multi-LED sources may be supported with our Ø1" or Ø1.5" Posts.
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Three-LED Source Using Components Mounted LEDs and Dichroic Mirrors
Detailed in Example Configuration 1
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Beam Profile of Source with 3 Mounted LEDs
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Two-LED source. This is the same as Example 1, but with the blue LED removed.
Ray data for Zemax is available for some of the bare LEDs incorporated into these high-powered light sources. This data is provided in a zipped folder that can be downloaded by clicking on the red document icons () next to the part numbers in the pricing tables below. Every zipped folder contains an information file and one or more ray files for use with Zemax:
For the LEDs marked with an superscript "a" in the table to the right, the following additional pieces of information are also included in the zipped folder:
The table to the right summarizes the ray files available for each LED and any other supporting documentation provided.
Using Mounted LEDs in Cerna® Microscope Systems
Mounted LEDs, which can have either narrowband or broadband spectra, are useful for a range of applications within Thorlabs' Cerna microscopy platform:
If you are interested in using a mounted LED with a Cerna modular microscopy system, the mounted LED can be attached by way of the single-cube epi-illuminator module (Item # WFA2001), which contains AR-coated optics optimized for the 350 - 700 nm wavelength range. The mounted LED and epi-illuminator module are connected together by an externally threaded coupler (Item # SM1T10, provided with the WFA2001), which includes two knurled locking rings (Item # SM1NT, also provided with the WFA2001) that are tightened by hand. The mounted LED is then powered by a driver, sold separately. Please see the LED Drivers tab to identify the appropriate driver for your mounted LED. If you wish to connect multiple mounted LEDs to the epi-illuminator module, contact Technical Support.
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An exploded view of the mounted LED and its connection with the WFA2001 epi-illuminator module.
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Attaching the mounted LED is possible before or after connecting the epi-illuminator module to the microscope.
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The mounted LED and epi-illuminator module attached to the Cerna microscope.
Certain mounted LEDs are also compatible with our illumination kits for trans-illumination. Please contact Technical Support if you wish to use an LED not currently offered as a component of these kits, as the collimating optics are optimized for certain beam characteristics.
Please note that our deep UV LEDs radiate intense UV light during operation. Precautions must be taken to prevent looking directly at the UV light, and UV light protective glasses must be worn to avoid eye damage. Exposure of the skin and other body parts to UV light should be avoided.
Please note that our UV LEDs radiate intense UV light during operation. Precautions must be taken to prevent looking directly at the UV light, and UV light protective glasses must be worn to avoid eye damage. Exposure of the skin and other body parts to the UV light should be avoided.
Please note that the 415 nm (violet) LEDs radiate intense UV light during operation. Precautions must be taken to prevent looking directly at the UV light, and UV light protective glasses must be worn to avoid eye damage. Exposure of the skin and other body parts to the UV light should be avoided.
Our dual-peak LED was designed for applications requiring illumination in both red and blue portions of the spectrum, such as horticulture. This purple LED features dual peaks at 455 nm and 640 nm, respectively, to stimulate photosynthesis (see graph to compare the absorption peaks of photosynthesis pigments with the LED spectrum). The LED was designed to maintain the red/blue ratio of the emission spectrum over its lifetime to provide high uniformity of plant growth.
Our warm, neutral, and cold white LEDs feature broad spectra that span several hundred nanometers. The difference in appearance among these LEDs can be described using the correlated color temperature, which indicates that the LEDs color appearance is similar to a black body radiator at that temperature. In general, warm white LEDs offer a spectrum similar to a tungsten source, while cold white LEDs have a stronger blue component to the spectrum; neutral white LEDs provide a more even illumination spectrum over the visible range than warm white or cold white LEDs. Cold white LEDs are more suited for fluorescence microscopy applications or cameras with white balancing, because of a higher intensity at most wavelengths compared to warm white LEDs. Neutral white LEDs are ideal for horticultural applications.
The MBB1L3 broadband LED has a relatively flat spectral emission over a wide wavelength range. Its 10 dB bandwidth ranges between 470 nm and 850 nm. The MBB2L1 and MBB2LP1 broadband LEDs feature a spectrum with peaks at approximately 770 nm, 860 nm, and 940 nm.
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SM2F Adapter Installed on a M365LP1 Mounted LED
These adapters allow Ø1" (Ø25 mm) or Ø2" (Ø50 mm) collimation optics to be integrated with the mounted LEDs sold above. The adapters can translate a Ø1" or Ø2" lens by up to 11 mm or 20 mm, respectively. They are offered in versions without a collimation optic or with a removable AR-coated aspheric condenser lens for 350 - 700 nm or 650 - 1050 nm. All of these adapters attach to the LED housing via external SM1 threads, allowing them to be used with both the Ø30.5 mm and Ø57.0 mm housings.
The collimation lens is mounted in an inner carriage that provides non-telescoping, rotating translation along the Z-axis by turning the knurled adjustment ring (engraved with the item # in the photos to the left) and is locked into position by turning the locking screw on the side of the adjustment ring with a 2 mm (5/64") hex key. Lines, spaced 2 mm apart, are engraved on the housing as a rough guide for how far the carriage has been translated. These collimation adapters use an extra-thick SM1-threaded or SM2-threaded retaining ring designed for holding aspheric condenser lenses. The retaining rings can be tightened or loosened using either an SPW602 (Ø1" versions) or SPW604 (Ø2" versions) spanner wrench.
The threading on the input and output apertures remain fixed during translation, allowing these adapters to be mounted between fixed lens tubes. These apertures are threaded for compatibility with various components; please see the table below for details.
Inserting or Removing Optics
Using a lens with a substrate or AR coating that does not transmit the wavelength of your LED is not recommended. Deep UV LEDs (wavelengths ≤ 340 nm) require a lens fabricated from UV Fused Silica, since many standard varieties of glass do not transmit below 350 nm. IR LEDs that emit at wavelengths ≥ 1050 nm can be collimated using an uncoated condenser lens, such as the Ø50 mm ACL50832U which has a wavelength range of 380 - 2100 nm.
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Installation of a collimation adapter to a mounted LED using the SM2T2 and SM1A2 thread adapters. The same setup can be used to attach the collimation adapter to the LEDs above that use a Ø57.0 mm housing.
Thorlabs offers collimation adapters with Ø50 mm AR-coated aspheric condenser lenses (EFL: 40 mm) for collimating the output from the mounted LEDs sold above. Two AR coating ranges (350 - 700 nm and 650 - 1050 nm) and four different collimator housings are available. Each housing is designed with a dovetail or bayonet mount to mate to the illumination port on selected Olympus*, Leica, Nikon, or Zeiss microscopes. Compatible microscopes are listed in the Collimation Adapter Selection Guide table below.
Using an adapter with a substrate or AR coating that does not transmit the wavelength of your LED is not recommended. Deep UV LEDs (M265L3, M280L3, and M340L3) require a lens fabricated from UV Fused Silica, since many standard varieties of glass do not transmit below 350 nm. IR LEDs that emit beyond 1050 nm (M1200L3, M1300L3, M1450L3, and M1550L3) can be collimated using an uncoated condenser lens; the ACL5040U is an uncoated version of the Ø50 mm lenses used in the collimation packages below that has a wavelength range of 380 - 2100 nm. See the Collimation Adapter tab in the info icons above for additional collimation options.
The LED sources described above can be fitted to the collimators by using an SM2T2 Coupler and SM1A2 Adapter (not included) as shown in the image at right. This assembly can be easily adapted to different LED sources by unscrewing the LED housing.
*Please note that due to the optical design of the transmitted lamphouse port of the BX and IX microscopes, it may be necessary to purchase a separate adapter, which is available from Olympus.
The CON8ML-4 connector can be used to mate mounted LEDs featured on this page to user-supplied power supplies. We also offer a male 4-Pin M8 connector cable (item # CAB-LEDD1).
CON8ML-4 Shown Connected to the 4-Pin M8 Plug of Mounted LED