Consistent performance and reliability are essential requirements for microscope illuminators in quality control and testing applications. Arc lamps and incandescent bulbs do not meet these requirements. Bulbs have limited operating lifetimes, requiring replacement and re-alignment every 200–2000 hours. Furthermore, there may be significant variance in output power from one bulb to another, and capacity for computer-controlled operation is very limited. Lumencor’s solid-state illumination technologies eliminate these limitations and add innovative new high-performance capabilities. Solid-state light engines incorporate arrays of light sources that can be populated to provide any required spectral distribution. That distribution can be further refined by computer-controlled adjustment of source intensity. Lumencor’s third-generation illumination systems are sophisticated Light Engines that incorporate on-board microprocessors providing calibrated light outputs and real-time performance monitoring.