Light BYTES – December 2020: Introducing the newly updated family of SOLA light engines®

Updated SOLA light engines for 2021 and Beyond

You asked and we delivered! Lumencor is proud to introduce the newly updated family of SOLA light engines that will continue to set the standards for performance and reliability in white light illumination. This product line now includes 4 standard models that are differentiated by the number of sources and spectral output: SOLA, SOLA FISH, SOLA U-nIR and SOLA V-nIR light engines. The SOLA light engine provides white light output for excitation of DAPI, GFP/FITC, YFP, Cy3, mCherry, Cy5 and spectrally similar fluorophores. In the SOLA FISH light engine, output in the 475–600 nm region is red-shifted to provide optimal excitation for SpectrumGreenTM, SpectrumRedTM and other fluorophores commonly used for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis in cytogenetic testing laboratories. The SOLA V-nIR and U-nIR light engines offer the broadest spectral coverage, including near infrared (nIR) output for excitation of fluorophores such as Cy7 and ICG, and for other applications that benefit from the enhanced tissue penetration of nIR light.

All SOLA light engine models now include:

  • USB and electronic shutter control connections
  • Linearized intensity control
  • Active output stabilization
  • Long operational lifetimes
  • 24-month warranty

The 3 mm liquid light guide required for delivering the SOLA light engine output to microscopes or other bioanalytical instruments is now automatically included with all purchases. To request a sales quotation for any (or all) of the four new SOLA light engine models, please submit our online quote request form today!


Download the PDF of Lumencor lightBYTES: December 2020

Parallel Light Engine Performance monitoring Using the Onboard Control GUI

Parallel Light Engine Performance monitoring Using the Onboard Control GUI

AURA, CELESTA, RETRA, SPECTRA, and ZIVA Light Engines incorporate a control GUI accessed through a web browser via an ethernet connection.  Image acquisition applications used to control the light engine though connection of either the USB or RS232 serial ports can be run in parallel with ethernet-connected control GUI to aid in trouble-shooting.  As shown in Figure 1, this allows the light engine to be controlled by the image acquisition software, while the GUI serves as a passive monitor of the light engine status.

Figure 1.  Screenshots of parallel operation of image acquisition software (NIS Elements, left) and CELESTA Light Engine Control GUI (right).  A. NIS Elements command to turn on red light output at 21.7% is inoperative.  Examination of the GUI display reveals that this is due to an open interlock condition (e.g. no optical fiber connected to the light engine output port).  B. After closing the interlock, the same NIS Elements command results in light output, indicated by the filled red channel radio button and non-zero output power reading in the GUI.

The control GUI displays many types of information pertinent to the performance of the light engine that are not accessible in current releases of most image acquisition software packages.   These include:

  • Real-time light output power readouts
  • Standby mode status
  • Light engine operating software error messages
  • Humidity/dew point data
  • Serial port configuration
  • TTL port configuration
  • Cumulative run time data

In cases where the PC being used for image acquisition control has a single ethernet port that is dedicated to internet access, a USB-to-ethernet adapter (Figure 2) can be used for connection to the light engine control GUI.  USB-to-ethernet adapters are readily available from online vendors for less than $20.

Figure 2. USB-to-ethernet adapter

 

 

 

 

 

Lumencor, Inc., Named Makers & Manufacturers Honoree in Portland Business journal Product Innovation Awards, 2020

Lumencor, Inc. has been named 2020 Product Innovation of the Year honoree by the Portland Business Journal for our next generation SOLA light engine®. Each year, the PBJ honors the region’s top manufacturing companies who drive the economy with innovation, excellence and productivity. The new generation SOLA features increased power, longevity, stability and robustness over the projected 15 year life time with no replacement parts. Lumencor’s SOLA light engine is used in fluorescence microscopy for life science and materials science applications… Read Press Release

Find out more about the Innovation Award

 

Recommended Operating Conditions for CELESTA, SPECTRA and ZIVA Light Engines®

Recommended Operating Conditions for CELESTA, SPECTRA and ZIVA Light Engines®

 

To support the long-term stability of the laser light sources in CELESTA, SPECTRA and ZIVA light engines it is recommended that they should be operated only in environments where the dew point is below 15ºC. For reference, at a typical room temperature of 24ºC, a dew point of 15ºC corresponds to 57% humidity. The current dew point inside the light engine, calculated from onboard temperature and humidity sensors, is displayed on the settings page of the onboard control GUI.

Standby Mode, previously described in the October 2019 issue of Light Reading, is another control system designed to support the long-term stability of the laser light sources. Consequently, users writing their own light engine control software are strongly advised to NOT programmatically disable standby mode.

 

 

If operational situations arise where it is necessary to avoid the onset of standby mode during a data acquisition process, please contact techsupport@lumencor.com. We will be happy to work with you and our software engineering team to devise appropriate solutions.

 

Download the PDF of Lumencor Light Reading: July 2020

CELESTA and SPECTRA Standby Mode

CELESTA® and SPECTRA light engines® with operating software version 2.1.19 and above have a standby mode to conserve power during periods when no active light output generation is required. The light engine automatically switches into standby mode after a set latency period (i.e. after the last light output = OFF command was issued). The default latency period is 300 seconds (5 minutes), however this can be temporarily reset by the user. The characteristics of standby mode registered by the onboard control GUI are shown in the adjacent screenshot. Standby mode is also marked by an automatic shut-off of the main cooling fan. Standby mode automatically terminates when the next light output = ON command is issued.

CELESTA light engine® Control GUI in standby mode:

  1. Light output = OFF in all channels (all radio buttons unfilled).
  2. Status indicator (STS) = red.
  3. Standby mode indicator. In the latency period after the last light output = OFF command, this display reads “Standby in # seconds” where # is between zero and 300 (default) seconds. When light output is active, this display reads “Active”.
  4. Operating software version number.
  5. Portal to command line interface (for resetting the latency period from its default value of 300 seconds).

Packaging Guidance for Shipping Light Engines

Occasionally it will be necessary to ship a light engine back to our factory in Beaverton for service. On these occasions, you will receive an e-mail containing a return material authorization (RMA) and shipping instructions from our technical support department. Among those instructions are “Please ensure that the light engine is securely packaged for shipment, if possible in the original transit box in which it was delivered”. Secure and effective packaging is important in order to avoid additional costs in time and money for repairing damage incurred during transit. Here we offer some more detailed guidance on packaging light engines for shipment.

It is recommended to follow Lumencor’s packaging for new light engine shipments as closely as possible. The performance of this packaging has been proven in the course of thousands of shipments all over the world. An example is shown in the adjacent photo. Particularly important are the rigid expanded foam inserts. These prevent movement of the light engine within the box during transit. Bubble wrap, air pillows or loose packing material such as styrofoam “peanuts” are NOT effective substitutes and should NOT be used. Other important packaging tips include:

  • Detach the liquid light guide from the light engine and from its collimating adapter. Coil it loosely in the mylar pouch that it came in, or in a 2-gallon (33 x 38 cm) “ziploc” bag. Place the bag containing the light guide above the light engine in the shipping box, separated by a layer of packing material.
  • Do NOT use fibrous packing material that is liable to disintegrate during transit. Small pieces of packing material debris may end up deposited on the internal electronics and optics of the light engine.
  • Disconnect the DC power supply from the light engine and pack it separately inside the shipping box.

For additional guidance in preparing light engine shipments, please e-mail your questions to techsupport@lumencor.com.

lumencor
14940 NW Greenbrier Parkway | Beaverton, OR 97006 USA | 503.213.4269 | info@lumencor.com