Solar eclipse glasses also work well for LED viewing
Margery Conner - June 4, 2012
One of the occupational hazards of working with high-power LEDs and LED lights is the need/desire to look at or near the light source when it’s turned on. Dumb, yes, but curiosity can sometimes make me want to sneak a peek to see how an acrylic panel is side- lit, or how many LEDs are required for the indirect lighting source a manufacturer is touting.
So it was with pleasure I saw the promotional pair of sunglasses that came in the mail last month. Harvey Mudd College sent them out to alums* for safe viewing of the May 20 partial eclipse and the June 4 Transit of Venus.
These Solar Viewers, have black polymer eye pieces and are made by Thousand Oaks Optical, selling in bulk for less than $1/ea. When you put them on they seem to be completely opaque, but you can look through them at an eclipse and follow it safely (after first checking to make sure no pinholes have appeared.)
And, it turns out they also work well for looking at high-brightness LEDs, especially multi-emitter LEDs, such as the matrix, or chip-on-board, or ac LEDs. It’s interesting to be able to see the architecture of all the different types of LEDs. Here’s a blog post on the Bridgelux LED; I was looking at them through welding goggles, which turned the LEDs an annoying shade of green.
So, next time you have access to a pair of solar viewing glasses (or order them from Thousand Oaks Optical’s site; the lowest quantity is 25/$35), snag a pair for LED viewing.
*My husband, not me; I went to UC Irvine School of Engineering. Go Anteaters!