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Patent Analysis of

Light guiding device

Updated Time 12 June 2019

Patent Registration Data

Publication Number

US10060594

Application Number

US15/228566

Application Date

04 August 2016

Publication Date

28 August 2018

Current Assignee

SMR PATENTS S.A.R.L.

Original Assignee (Applicant)

SMR PATENT S.A.R.L.

International Classification

F21V9/00,F21S43/14,F21V8/00,B60R1/12,B60Q1/52

Cooperative Classification

F21S43/239,B60Q1/2665,B60Q1/2696,B60Q1/525,B60R1/06

Inventor

KURSCHNER, NORBERT,FRITZ, DANIEL,MEIER, EUGEN,ERHART, VOLKER,LITTLE, ANDREW BRIAN,WELFARE, HARRY,EDNEY, STEPHEN

Patent Images

This patent contains figures and images illustrating the invention and its embodiment.

US10060594 Light guiding 1 US10060594 Light guiding 2 US10060594 Light guiding 3
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Abstract

A light guiding device for an illumination device, especially for a motor vehicle or an indicator device in a rearview device of a motor vehicle includes a light coupling side for incoupling light from a light source, a reflection side having a reflection layer; and a light outcoupling side, which is disposed generally opposite the reflection side. A clearance between the reflection side and the light outcoupling side generally decreases as the distance from the light incoupling side increases. The reflection side having the reflection layer is configured so that light arriving from the light incoupling side is deflected to the light outcoupling side. The reflection layer may be a paint or lacquer layer that is imprinted or evaporation-coated on the reflection side; and the having a white sheet on or next to the rejection side.

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Claims

1. An illumination device, especially for a motor vehicle or an indicator device in a rearview device of a motor vehicle, comprising:

a light source, a printed circuit board to which the light source is coupled, a light guiding device with a. a light incoupling side for incoupling light from the light source; b. a reflection side; and c. a light outcoupling side, which is disposed generally opposite the reflection side, wherein a clearance between the reflection side and the light outcoupling side generally decreases as the distance from the light incoupling side increases and the reflection side having the reflection layer configured so that light arriving from the light incoupling side is deflected to the light outcoupling side, a backing plate comprising: a. a first attachment means for the printed circuit board together with the light source on a rear side of the backing plate, and b. a second attachment means for an actuator of a mirror glass, with the mirror glass to be attached on a front side of the backing plate and the actuator to be attached on the rear side of the backing plate; and a white sheet next to or on the reflection side.

2. The illumination device according to claim 1, wherein

the backing plate comprises

a. the white sheet, b. a housing within which the light guiding device is mounted, and c. one of a wooden pulp filter, or a paint or lacquer layer that is imprinted or evaporation-coated on the reflection side.

3. The illumination device according to claim 2, wherein

the backing plate or the housing is at least partly molded from white material.

4. The illumination device according to claim 2, wherein

the wooden pulp filter comprises a piece of paper.

5. The illumination device according to claim 2, wherein

the wooden pulp filter is arranged either between the front side of the backing plate and the mirror glass or between the rear side of the backing plate and at least part of the light guiding device together with the printed circuit board.

6. The illumination device according to claim 5, wherein

the wooden pulp filter is secured to the backing plate in a second molding and/or a coating step.

7. A method for producing the illumination device according to claim 2 with the following steps:

a. placing the wooden pulp filter on the rear side of the backing plate, b. placing the printed circuit board on the rear side of the wooden pulp filter and c. placing a coat on the rear side of the printed circuit board and at least a part of the rear side of the backing plate surrounding the printed circuit board.

8. A method for producing the illumination device according to claim 2 with the following steps:

a. placing the wooden pulp filter on the front side of the backing plate and b. placing a coat on the front side of the wooden pulp filter and at least a part of the front side of the backing plate surrounding the wooden pulp filter.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein

the mirror glass is attached via the coat securing the wooden pulp filter on the backing plate.

10. The illumination device according to claim 1, wherein

the backing plate comprises at least one opening passing from the rear side of the backing plate to the front side thereof, and the white sheet is arranged at least partly within the opening or overlapping the opening.

11. The illumination device according to claim 10, wherein

the opening is formed as a logo pattern.

12. The illumination device according to claim 11, wherein

the backing plate is formed together with the logo pattern, the first attachment means and the second attachment means in a first molding step, in particular by a first injection molding step.

13. The illumination device according to claim 1, wherein

the light guiding device further includes a color layer wherein the color layer has a heat resistance of around −40° C. to +115° C.

14. The illumination device according to claim 1, wherein

the light incoupling side and the light outcoupling side of the light guiding device are configured flat and these surfaces are arranged essentially orthogonal to one another.

15. The illumination device according to claim 1, wherein

the light guiding device is embodied so that light being at least one of coupled into the light guiding device, reflected and outcoupled, experiences one of no change in color or a change in color.

16. The illumination device according to claim 15, wherein

the light experiences a change in color to substantially one of red, yellow, or green.

17. The illumination device according to claim 1, further comprising one or a plurality of color filters on at least one of the light incoupling side, the reflection side, the reflection layer, the light outcoupling side, and inside the light guiding device to achieve a change in color.

18. The illumination device according to claim 17, wherein

light from a light source, which emits white light, is outcoupled colored from the light guiding device in at least one of red, yellow or green.

19. A rearview device for a motor vehicle having a rearview reflection surface and the illumination device according to claim 1, especially for an indicator of a blind spot monitor, wherein the light guiding device, the light source and the rearview reflection surface are arranged together in such a way that the light guiding device deflects the light emitted by the light source to a side of the rearview reflection surface facing away from the driver of the vehicle or facing to the driver of the vehicle.

20. The rearview device according to claim 19, wherein one region of the rearview reflection surface comprises a non-reflecting or partially reflecting part, especially a pictogram, which is backlit by the light source and the light guiding device.

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Claim Tree

  • 1
    evice, especially for a motor vehicle or an indicator device in a rearview device of a motor vehicle, comprising: a light source, a
    • inted circuit board to which the light source is coupled, a light guiding device with a. a light incoupling side for incoupling light from the light source; b. a reflection si
    • ; and c. a light out
    • upling side, which is disposed generally opposite the reflection side, wherein a clearance between the reflection side and the light outcoupling side generally decreases as the distance from the light incoupling side increases and the reflection side having the reflection layer configured so that light arriving from the light incoupling side is deflected to the light outcoupling side, a backing plate comprising: a. a first attachment means for the printed circuit board together with the light source on a rear side of the backing plate, and b. a second attachment means for an actuator of a mirror glass, with the mirror glass to be attached on a front side of the backing plate and the actuator to be attached on the rear side of the backing plate; and a white sheet
    • xt to or on the reflection side. 2. The illumination
    • device according to claim 1, wherein the backing plate c
      • mprises a. the wh te sheet,
    • device according to claim 1, wherein the backing plate c
      • mprises at least ne openin
    • device according to claim 1, wherein the light g iding d
      • vice further includes a color layer wherein the color l yer has
    • ing to claim 1, wherein the light incoupling side and the
      • light outcoupling side of the light guiding device are configured flat and these surfaces are arranged essentially orthogonal to one another. 15. The illumination device accor
    • ing to claim 1, wherein the light guiding device s embod
      • ed so that light being at least one of coupled into the light guiding device, reflected and outcoupled, experiences one of no change in color or a change in color. 16. The illumination device accor
    • ing to claim 1, further comprising one or a plura ity of color filte
      • s on at least one of the light incoupling side, the reflection side, the reflection layer, the light outcoupling side, and inside the light guiding device to achieve a change in color. 18. The illumination device accor
  • 7
    ucing the illumination device according to claim 2 with the following steps: a. placing the wooden pulp filter on the rear side of the backing plate, b. placing the printed circuit board on the rear side of the wooden pulp filter and c. placing a coat on the rear side of the printed circuit board and at least a part of the rear side of the backing plate surrounding the printed circuit board. 8. A method for pro
  • 8
    ucing the illumination device according to claim 2 with the following steps: a. placing the wooden pulp filter on the front side of the backing plate and b. placing a coat on the front side of the wooden pulp filter and at least a part of the front side of the backing plate surrounding the wooden pulp filter. 9. The method of cl
    • im 8, wherein the mirror lass is
      • attached via the coat securing the wooden pulp filter on the backing plate. 10. The illuminatio
  • 19
    vehicle having a rearview reflection surf ce and
    • the illumination device according to claim 1, especially for an indicator of a blind spot monitor, wherein the light guiding device, the light source and the rearview reflection surface are arranged together in such a way that the light guiding device deflects the light emitted by the light source to a side of the rearview reflection surface facing away from the driver of the vehicle or facing to the driver of the vehicle. 20. The rearview device according
    • to claim 19, wherein one region of the rearvie reflec
      • ion surface comprises a non-reflecting or par ially ref
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Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a light guiding device for an illumination device, such as a backlight or interior or exterior lighting, wherein incident light is deflected by reflection. The light guiding device can particularly be used in an indicator of a motor vehicle, in connection with a blind spot monitor in an outside mirror for example. The invention also relates to an illumination device, an outside mirror having such a light guiding device and a method for producing such a light guiding device.

In known light guiding devices, it has proven disadvantageous that the light deflected by the light guiding device is outcoupled relatively inhomogeneously over a surface to be illuminated. This effect becomes ever more obvious, the larger the surface to be illuminated and the greater the distance between the surface to be illuminated and a light source. For example if a pictogram of small line width, 0.4 mm for example, of a blind spot monitor is backlit by a known light guiding device, the inhomogeneity can be negligible. As the line width of the pictogram increases, 1.0 mm for example, the inhomogeneity becomes quite visible and the user finds it disturbing. In the extreme case, a very non-uniform illumination of a pictogram can cause the user to misinterpret an indicator light as not illuminated.

WO 01/27529 A1 describes a light guide having an input edge surface, a back surface and an output surface, wherein a reflector is fastened directly to the back surface by gluing for example.

EP 2463157 A1 discloses a rearview mirror assembly having at least one mirror base, a mirror head covering which covers a mirror glass in the mirror head, and an optical indicator light that produces light in reaction to a sensor signal to inform an operator about hazardous information, wherein the light shines through the mirror glass. The mirror glass is mounted on a backing plate that has a mounting space for at least one LED and at least one beveled light guide.

EP 1167870 A2 discloses a lamp for vehicles, especially for motor vehicles, comprising a lamp housing that is bounded by a front disc in the emission direction, and at least one elongate light conduction element having a light exit surface on its front side, a reflection surface on its rear side facing away from the front side and a light input surface at one end which is coupled to a light source, wherein the light exit surface of the light conduction element is configured as part of the front disc.

DE 202012100398 U1 discloses an illumination apparatus having at least one illuminant that is arranged on a printed circuit board enabling it to be connected to a power supply, wherein the printed circuit board is at least partially imbedded in a transparent first casting compound that enables a selective light exit of the light generated by the illuminant over at least one light exit area. To this end the printed circuit board extends perpendicular to the light exit area, is arranged in and is at least partially surrounded by the first transparent casting compound, and at least one light influencing element having light-reflecting properties at least on one of its two main surfaces is arranged in the first casting compound.

EP 1970736 A1 relates to a rearview mirror for vehicles, especially motor vehicles, having a mirror glass mounted to a carrier plate and a indicator unit which is disposed behind the mirror glass and the carrier plate and generates a light beam by means of at least one illuminant, wherein the light beam is coupled into a light conductor, which is provided with decoupling optics by which the light beam is directed outward by at least one portion of the mirror glass that is at least partially reflection-free, wherein the light passing through the mirror glass is directed towards the driver.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The light guiding device has a light incoupling side for coupling light from a light source into the light guiding device, a reflection side having a reflection layer for reflecting the incoupled light and a light outcoupling side. The light outcoupling side is preferably disposed essentially opposite the reflection side. The clearance between the reflection side and the light outcoupling side preferably basically decreases as the distance from the light incoupling side increases. This decrease of the clearance can occur at least partially non-linear. In other words, the reflection side and/or the reflection layer can not only extend linearly inclined relative to the light outcoupling side, but can also extend arc-shaped or convex. The reflection side having the reflection layer, is embodied so that the light arriving at the light outcoupling side from the light incoupling side is deflected in order to thus produce a light distribution on the light outcoupling side that is more uniform or is as uniform as possible.

The light guiding device can comprise a light guide body upon which the light incoupling side, the light outcoupling side and the reflection side are formed.

The light guiding device can be used in an illumination device to produce an illumination result over a certain surface that is as homogenous as possible by means of one or a plurality of light sources having a relatively limited light distribution, LEDs for example. The light guide device can be used in an indicator device of a motor vehicle, for example. An example is an indicator device in a rearview device like a driver assistance system, such as a blind spot monitor. The light guiding device according to the invention can particularly be used for the most homogenous possible illumination or backlighting of a pictogram, such as a blind spot monitor for example.

The reflection layer is arranged on the reflection side. The reflection layer is a paint or lacquer layer that is imprinted or evaporation-coated on the reflection side.

In another embodiment, the reflection layer can be made of another material or of the same material as the rest of the light guiding device. Preferred materials are plastics, especially acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or plastics with similar material properties. For example, both the reflection layer and the rest of the light guiding device are made of PMMA. The light guiding device can also be a two-component plastic injection molded part, wherein the reflection layer is injected as an ABS plate, white or colored for example, and then the rest of the light guiding device is formed on the reflection layer with transparent or clear PMMA.

In an additional embodiment, the reflection layer can be made of a white sheet, such as a wooden pulp filter or piece of paper.

The reflection side and/or the reflection layer can be configured at least partially step-like and/or wave-like. The steps or waves are embodied so that the light arriving from the light incoupling side is deflected so that it exits from the light outcoupling side as uniformly as possible.

The light incoupling side and the light outcoupling side can be configured flat and these surfaces can be arranged essentially orthogonal or approximately orthogonal to one another. The surfaces of the light incoupling side and the light outcoupling side can form planes. The upper surface of the light incoupling side can be embodied or shaped in such a manner that light arriving from a light source is coupled into the light guiding device as completely as possible and preferably as parallel to the light outcoupling side as possible. To this end in particular the light incoupling side can demonstrate one or a plurality of optical systems and/or recesses, wherein light sources can be at least partially inserted into the recesses.

The light guiding device can be embodied so that light coupled into the light guiding device and/or reflected and/or outcoupled essentially experiences no change in color. To this end, the reflection layer can be made of a color-neutral material, which is silvery or white. A change in color can be obtained by arranging one or a plurality of color filters on the light incoupling side and/or the reflection side and/or the reflection layer and/or the light outcoupling side and/or inside the light guiding device. The light from a light source that emits white light can thereby be coupled out of the light guiding device colored, red or yellow or green for example. A color layer can have a heat resistance of around −40° C. to +115° C.

The light guiding device can furthermore demonstrate one or a plurality of holding devices to tightly or loosely fasten the light guiding device to a printed circuit board.

The invention furthermore relates to an illumination device having a light guiding device comprising at least one of the aforementioned features and a printed circuit board upon which at least one light source is arranged. The light source is arranged relative to the light guiding device so that the light emitted by the light source is at least partially incoupled on the light incoupling side of the light guiding device. The light is subsequently reflected from the reflection side and/or the reflection layer and outcoupled on the light outcoupling side. The illumination device can be used in a motor vehicle, such as in an indicator device of a rearview device of a motor vehicle.

Also described is a method for producing a light guiding device. To this end, the reflection layer can be arranged on the base body in a pad printing machine, wherein optional cover templates can be used.

In addition, the detailed description describes a rearview device for a motor vehicle comprising a rearview reflection surface, one or a plurality of illuminants and a light guiding device according to the invention, wherein the illuminant and the light guiding device can be an indicator of a blind spot monitor. To this end, the light guiding device, light source and rearview reflection surface can be arranged together in such a way that the light guiding device deflects the light emitted by the light source to a side of the rearview reflection surface facing away from the driver of the vehicle. Thus one area of the rearview reflection surface can be visibly illuminated for the driver to provide an indicator function, a blind spot monitor for example.

One region of the rearview reflection surface can comprise a recess or a partially reflecting part, such as a pictogram that the light source and the light guiding device visibly backlight for a driver.

Various aspects of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment, when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of a first embodiment example of the light guiding device;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the first embodiment example according to FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a reflection side or reflection layer having a step-like structure;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the embodiment example according to FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an illumination device having a light guiding device with focus on the light incoupling;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an illumination device having a light guiding device with focus on the light outcoupling; and

FIG. 7a is an exploded view of a rearview device having a light guiding device.

FIG. 7b is an exploded view of a rearview device having a light guiding device with a white sheet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 and 2 depict a top view of a light guiding device 2 having a light incoupling side 4, a reflection side 6, a reflection layer 8, and a light outcoupling side 10. In the top view of FIG. 1 the reflection side 6 is disposed under the light outcoupling side 10 and the reflection layer 8 is disposed under the reflection side 6. The light outcoupling side 10 is disposed opposite the reflection side 6 and therefore also opposite the reflection layer 8, so that reflected light reaches the light outcoupling side 10 as uniformly as possible. The clearance between the light outcoupling side 10 and the reflection side 6 and therefore also the reflection layer 8 decreases as the distance from the light incoupling side 4 increases. The light outcoupling side 10 and the reflection side 6 can thus converge continuously or form an edge 14 that can also have a reflection layer 8.

By way of example FIG. 1 moreover depicts two holding devices 12, which extend away from the light guiding device 2 in the plane of the light outcoupling side 10, wherein each holding device demonstrates a predetermined breaking point 15. Depending on the application of the light guiding device, in a right or a left rearview device of a motor vehicle for example, the unneeded holding device 12 can be separated, broken off for example.

FIG. 2 depicts a side view of the light guiding device of FIG. 1. Light can enter the light guiding device 2 through the light incoupling side 4, especially basically parallel to the light outcoupling side 10. The reflection side 6 and the reflection layer 8 then deflect the light in the direction of the light outcoupling side 10.

FIG. 3 depicts an enlarged representation of a reflection side 6 and/or reflection layer 8 configured in a step-like configuration. Such a step-like configuration, which can alternatively or additionally be wave-like, can improve the guidance of the light beam arriving from the light incoupling side 4 to the effect that the light outcoupling by the light outcoupling side 10 is distributed as homogeneously as possible and uniformly across the light outcoupling side 10.

FIG. 4 depicts the light guiding device 2 in a perspective representation. The light guiding device 2, which is optimized for three light sources 18, has a reflection side 6 and reflection layer 8 configured with three funnels. The longitudinal axis of these funnels extends along the principal direction of the incoupled light. The light guiding device 2 can be adapted for any other number of light sources 18, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or more.

FIG. 5 depicts an illumination device 16 having three light sources 18 which are arranged on a printed circuit board 20. The printed circuit board 20 having the LED light sources 18 is so arranged with respect to the light guiding device 2 that the light is emitted essentially parallel to the light outcoupling side 10, as illustrated by the arrows. To this end, the reflection side 6 and especially the reflection layer 8 deflect the light so that it leaves the light guiding device 2 via the light outcoupling side 10, as seen from the arrows in FIG. 6.

FIG. 7a depicts an exploded view of a rearview device 22 having a light guiding device 2, which can be arranged on a printed circuit board 20 or directly on a backing plate 32. Backing plate 32 can have a variety of attachment means to secure the printed circuit board, the light source, and/or the light guiding device. Such attachment means can include: glue, tape, snaps, quick connectors, clips, rivets, nails, screws, silicone, prongs as well as other connections and attachments known in the art. The rearview device 22 furthermore has a rearview reflection surface 24, such as mirrored glass, and a heating layer 26 thereunder, wherein the rearview reflection surface 24 has a pictogram 28, for a blind spot monitor indicator, which can be illuminated by the light guiding device 2 and by a recess 30 in the heating layer 26. The printed circuit board 20, light guiding device 2 and rearview reflection surface 24 having the heating layer 26, can be arranged on the backing plate 32. The backing plate 32 also has at least one opening 32a that passes from the rear side of the backing plate 32 to the front side of the backing plate 32. The opening 32a in the backing plate 32 can be formed in the shape of a logo pattern and form a housing within which the light guiding device is mounted.

In addition, the rearview device 22 can also be provided with an actuator attaching the rear side of the backing plate 32 to the rearview reflection surface 24, such that the rearview reflection surface 24 is attached on a front side of the backing plate 32. The attachment means for attaching the actuator to the backing plate 32 can include: glue, tape, snaps, quick connectors, clips, rivets, nails, screws, silicone, prongs as well as other connections and attachments known in the art. For the sake of clarity, the actuator, attachment means and remaining parts of the rearview device 22, like the housing for example, are not illustrated.

FIG. 7b depicts an explosion view of an alternate embodiment of the rearview device 22 shown in FIG. 7a and further comprising a white sheet 31. The white sheet 31 is provided in, around, or overlapping the backing plate opening 32a. The white sheet 31 can be comprised of a wooden pulp filter, such as, a piece of paper. Further, the white sheet 31 can be arranged either between the front side of the backing plate 32 and the reflection surface 24 or between the rear side of the backing plate 32 and at least part of the light guiding device 2 and printed circuit board 20. The white sheet 31 can also be next to or on the reflection side 6, forming the reflection layer 8 for example.

The illumination devices and embodiments described herein can be constructed in an exemplary manner as follows. The backing plate 32 can be formed together with the backing plate opening 32a in the shape of a logo, the attachment means for attaching the printed circuit board 20 with the light source 18, and the attachment means for attaching the actuator, by a first injection molding step. A white material can be used in the first injection molding step such that the backing plate is formed from said white material. Further, the white sheet 31 can then be place on the front or rear of the backing plate 32 and secured by a second molding and/or coating step. In addition, the coating securing the white sheet 31 in place can also be placed on the rear side of the printed circuit board 20 to secure the circuit board 20 to the rear side of the backing plate 32 and the white sheet 31. Optionally, the coating securing the white sheet 31 can also be used to attach the rearview reflection surface 24, such as mirror glass, to the backing plate 32.

The principle and mode of operation of this invention have been explained and illustrated in its preferred embodiment. However, it must be understood that this invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically explained and illustrated without departing from its spirit or scope.

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Citation

Patents Cited in This Cited by
Title Current Assignee Application Date Publication Date
Vehicle door mirror ICHIKOH INDUSTRIES, LTD. 09 August 2012 06 March 2013
Rear view mirror assembly with optical indicator SMR PATENTS S.À.R.L. 10 December 2010 13 June 2012
Light guiding device SMR PATENTS S.A.R.L. 19 January 2015 20 July 2016
Vehicle light HELLA KG HUECK & CO. 19 December 2000 02 January 2002
Lighting device for a motor vehicle's external mirror and motor vehicle external mirror with such a lighting device FLEXTRONICS AUTOMOTIVE GMBH & CO. KG 24 April 2013 29 October 2014
See full citation <>

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