iQ-LED is an illumination technology developed and produced by Image Engineering. It allows us to create modern light sources that are unique in their capabilities and the possibilities that they offer.
After more than eight years of experience optimizing and using this technology, we currently offer the second version of iQ-LED in a wide variety of illumination devices. iQ-LED technology has enabled imaging labs to discard their existing tungsten or fluorescent light sources in favor of the more flexible and versatile iQ-LED light sources.
What is iQ-LED technology?
iQ-LED technology can generate custom spectra by the optical mixing of emitted radiation from spectrally different LEDs. Physically speaking, iQ-LED is a high-power SMD (surface mount device)-LED-based spectral broadband light source on a 10 x 10 cm light panel with 41 SMD LEDs separated in 20 color channels (see figure 1). These channels cover the visible spectrum from 380 nm to 820 nm and are controlled via 4000 steps per channel and 32 kHz PWM (1000 steps with 128 kHz also possible).
iQ-LED technology can also extend past the visible spectral range and into the IR region. With an IR illumination extension, the spectral range will expand to 380 nm – 1050 nm.
*Graphs are for visualization only; actual wavelengths may vary.
The iQ-LEDs have illumination stability of +/- 1%. They also have excellent long-term stability via temperature control. The device uses a warm-up period and automated stabilizations to ensure the temperature stays in a range that avoids variations in spectral emission. The temperature control also provides short-term stability, mid-term stability, and spectral stability. Long term stability is achieved by a self-calibration from a calibrated spectrometer that is found in every iQ-LED product.
iQ-LED vs. standard light sources
Compared to traditional light sources, such as fluorescent light, iQ-LED can almost perfectly reproduce different spectra. For example, when generating the D65 illuminant, the iQ-LED will very closely replicate the D65 wavelength. However, fluorescent light will see sharp changes in the wavelength, making the D65 reproduction much less accurate (see figure 3).
It’s also worth mentioning that many other light sources, including certain LED-based light sources, do not provide light energy in wavelength ranges above VIS where the differences in the IR cut filter are critical and cannot be observed when using simple light sources.
Practical use cases for iQ-LED technology
- Using a single light source to create a huge variety of standard light sources (e.g., A, D50, D65, etc.)
- Creating reference spectra for calibration and characterization on a production line
- Replicating natural light sources
- Create flickering light test sequences
iQ-LED illumination products
The LE7 is a uniform lightbox that uses iQ-LED technology to increase the effectiveness of image quality camera testing with transparent test charts. With five different product variations, the LE7 can generate an extensive range of light intensities for more comprehensive camera testing.
Powered by iQ-LED technology, the iQ-Flatlight uses ten iQ-LED elements to recreate almost any light source for test chart or scene illumination. This all-in-one light source greatly expands the capabilities of a test lab.
The iQ-Chart Box has a compact design with eight built-in iQ-LED elements and four fluorescent light sources for illuminating reflective test charts in size A460 and under. Each light is aligned and fixed to ensure test charts are always homogeneously illuminated.
The iQ-Multispectral is a multispectral illumination device based on iQ-LED technology to enhance digitalization and the preservation of documents, texts, or images.
Many image quality factors are best measured with test charts. However, a few, such as white balance, that are better analyzed using a real scene. The lightSTUDIO contains multiple objects of various colors and textures for an accurate visual analysis.
CAL product line
Our CAL products combine iQ-LED with integrating spheres to create flexible calibration and characterization light sources. Please see our production line technology page for an overview of the iQ-LED technology as it relates to the CAL light sources.
Want to learn more about how iQ-LED technology can benefit you?
Contact us to set up a training session with our engineers.