Light Reading: April 2020

Lumencor COVID-19 Update to Our Resellers

Lumencor remains open and operational with safety measures in place to ensure the health and productivity of our deeply committed team of professionals. We are ready and able to serve, advancing research and development with high-performance lighting specifically and precisely tailored to the instrumentation employed by those engaged in our fight against COVID-19. As an industry leader, we understand the critical role our products serve in the fight against this virus, and the many and varied others we seek to better understand and thereby control. Lumencor remains committed to supplying the global demand as safely, efficiently, and expeditiously as possible. We sincerely value our relationships with you. We thank you for your patience and unwavering support of our brand during this uncertain time. We remain available through your existing Lumencor contacts so please call upon us as your needs dictate.

WELCOME: Robert King, Global Director of Sales

We are pleased to welcome Robert King to the Lumencor team as Global Director of Sales. With a degree in neuroscience from the University of Cambridge, British-born Robert comes to us with extensive experience in life sciences through various roles he has held in sales, applications support, product management, and commercial leadership. Prior to joining Lumencor, Robert spent 10 years in leadership roles at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Danaher, and Carl Zeiss where he led technical sales teams and designed and managed sustainable and scalable commercial business processes.

In his new role with Lumencor, Robert’s mission is to build sustainable growth for our light engine business, launching in new markets and supporting our customers in the microscopy, materials science, clinical, and industrial manufacturing sectors. Robert is based out of the North San Francisco Bay Area.

Epi-illuminators for CELESTA light engines in Super-Resolution Imaging

Super-resolution imaging of RNA transcripts using multiplex error robust fluorescence in situ hybridization (MERFISH) and related methods in combination with the CELESTA light engine [1] requires higher levels of irradiance (mW/mm²) than can be obtained from Koehler illumination.  To facilitate these applications, Lumencor has developed a series of critical epi-illuminators that provide uniform illumination over a smaller field of view but with much higher irradiance than Koehler illumination.  Critical epi-illuminators compatible with all major research microscope brands are available.

Uniform fluorescent glass imaged with a CELESTA light engine coupled by an 800 µm diameter optical fiber to a critical epi-illuminator for Nikon Ti/Ti2 microscope. Image capture using a Nikon 60X/1.4 NA Plan Apo objective and an Andor Zyla 5.5 (2560 x 2160 pixels) sCMOS camera.  The plot shows the gray level values recorded by the camera along the diagonal axis marked in red.   The inset in the upper right-hand corner shows the same sample imaged with a Nikon 10X/0.3 NA Plan Apo objective.


[1] MA Wheeler, IC Clark, FJ Quintana et al. Nature (2020) 578:593–599

Independent Intensity and Pulse Width Control for Stroboscopic Illumination

Evaluation of photo-stimulation intensity dependence is often a necessary part of the analysis of neuromodulation resulting from optogenetic stimulation [1].  For this purpose, the pulse width and frequency of stroboscopic illumination (generated by TTL triggering), must be completely independent of intensity (pulse amplitude) settings applied via serial

commands.  As shown in the adjacent figure, the required control independence is exemplified in pulsed light output produced by the SPECTRA X light engine.  SPECTRA III, CELESTA, AURA, and RETRA light engines deliver similar performance in these applications. Alternating cyan (485/25 nm, ~0.5 ms) and green (560/32 nm, ~3 ms) output pulses generated by TTL triggering of a SPECTRA X light engine. Two superimposed oscilloscope traces are shown in which the cyan intensity is adjusted from 100% to 55% via RS232 serial commands while the green intensity remains constant.  Separation of the cyan and green pulses is ~0.25 ms.


[1] S Kubota, W Sidikejiang, K Seki et al. J Physiol(2019) 597:5025–5040

Lumencor Technical Trainings

In an effort to strengthen our partnerships with our resellers, Lumencor is currently offering a series of three technical training sessions on the entire Lumencor Product Portfolio:

1. White light sources (features, operation, and performance)

2. Color selective light sources (features, operation, and performance)

3. Applications of Lumencor light engines

Each training session is limited to one hour and is conducted remotely in a WebEx online meeting.  To schedule a technical training e-mail technical support specialist, Jasmin, at

NOTE: To maintain qualified reseller status, resellers must sign up for the suite of technical trainings each calendar year.

Lumencor’s Earth Day Light Microscopy Imaging Competition

How did you celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year?

At Lumencor, the celebration didn’t end on April 22nd, 2020. It continues on through June 29th as Lumencor’s Earth Day Light Microscopy Imaging Competition is in full swing, offering the opportunity to win up to $10,000 worth of state-of-the-art, solid-state lighting! Help us celebrate and promote a brighter, greener planet through the use of mercury-free illumination by submitting your images, acquired using Lumencor light engines, today. 

To find out more about the competition, click here.

Download the PDF of Light Reading: April 2020

New LIDA Light Engine

LIDA 4-PANEL: Red, green and blue grayscale and composite RGB color images of mammalian pyloric stomach (LIDA light engine, Nikon Ti microscope, 10X objective)

LIDA 4-PANEL: Red, green and blue grayscale and composite RGB color images of mammalian pyloric stomach (LIDA light engine, Nikon Ti microscope, 10X objective)

Our new LIDA light engine® is designed from the ground up to work hand-in-hand with the latest monochrome cameras to generate RGB color transmitted light images with unprecedented sensitivity, spatial resolution, speed and color fidelity. Many capabilities and features are integrated into a small package mounted directly to the microscope’s transmitted light illumination port. TTL gating of LIDA’s three solid state light sources synchronized with camera exposure generates color transmitted light images in one electronically controlled, high-speed sequence. For more information on the LIDA light engine, please speak to your Lumencor sales representative or contact us at

Liquid Light Guides: Keeping Cool

Maximizing conversion of electrical current into light output, and efficiently dissipating any residual heat, are design hallmarks of Lumencor’s solid state illumination technology. This has significant consequences for the liquid light guides used to couple light output into microscopes and other bioanalytical instruments. Repeated heating and cooling of liquid light guides can eventually lead to deterioration and lower light throughput.

Thermal image of liquid light guide tips immediately after removal from white light source output ports following running for 30 minutes at 100% output. The temperature markings indicated by the red and blue crosses show the highest and lowest temperature locations in the image field.

Thermal imaging effectively demonstrates that a liquid light guide connected to a SOLA SE 365 light engine® undergoes minimal heating under normal operating conditions compared to a light guide coupled to an incandescent metal halide light source. So, not only does the SOLA light engine last longer, its liquid light guide does, too. Like other high-performance optical components, liquid light guides require careful handling. For extra protection against accidental damage, we have recently added a 3 mm-diameter liquid light guide with a stainless steel outer jacket (10-10589) to our range of light engine accessories.

Learn more about liquid light guides and other accessories.

It’s Payback Time!

Many microscopy core laboratory managers still spend more time than they would like to on the onerous task of replacing mercury bulbs. Furthermore, as shown in the table below, the time and material costs of frequent bulb replacements can make a sizable dent in the facility’s annual operating budget.

Replacing a mercury source with a SOLA SM light engine® will not only bring an end to bulb replacement chores, but in just over two years, the modest capital investment will have been recouped in saved operating costs. And the SOLA SM light engine will still have about 80% of its 20,000–hour design lifetime left to run. It’s an excellent investment in a brighter future.


Learn more about the SOLA SM light engine.

New Improved Liquid Light Guides


SPECTRA X: light engine delivered output delivered through original (10-10084A) and improved (10-10084B) 3mm diameter liquid light guides (LLG).

Liquid light guides (LLG) provide flexible and convenient conduits for light delivery to fluorescence microscopes and other bioanalytical instruments. In addition to isolating the microscope from any heat and vibration associated with the light source, passage through a light guide acts to randomize spatial inhomogeneity in the light source output.

One disadvantage, however is that up to 30% of the original source output can be lost in the process of coupling into, and transmission through, the light guide. We have recently modified the design of our liquid light guides to minimize these losses. The result is liquid light guides that deliver about 10% more output to the microscope than their predecessors.

Click here, for more technical information on Lumencor’s liquid light guides, optical fibers and microscope input collimators.

New Electronic Control Feature Specifications

One of the main benefits of Lumencor’s solid state illumination technology is its capacity for precise electronic control of light output intensity, color and timing. Take a look at our Performance page to view the NEW one-page summary of electronic control features for our entire light engine portfolio, as well as other Performance specifications, such as Lifetime and Power Stability, Quantitation and more.


Have specific lighting needs or questions? Make an appointment to talk with one of our talented representatives. Email us at

Download a PDF of Light Reading April 2016

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