14 January 2021

In February, Ushio Inc of Tokyo, Japan is releasing the SMBB850DS-1200 series of 850nm infrared LED packages. Intended for imaging and analysis under infrared (IR) illumination using surveillance cameras, automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) and other similar devices, the new product has achieved both narrow-angle irradiation (down to ±19°) and record power output for a 850nm infrared LEDs, of 4W per package in continuous-wave operation (three times that of conventional LEDs) and 19W per package in pulsed operation (about five times that of conventional LEDs).

Compared with conventional LEDs for use with surveillance cameras (i.e. Ushio’s existing SMBB850DS-1100), the SMBB850DS-1200 has achieved five times higher output per package, an irradiated area approximately four times wider, and about two times higher central illuminance, when used for long-distance irradiation.

The new product is the latest model in the SMBB family of high-power LED packages, which were initially developed by Ushio in 2013 and have been used for diverse applications including the quality inspection (sorting) of food and other products, medical devices, and defect inspection. At the wavelength of 850nm, the SMBB850DS-1200 realises both narrow-angle irradiation and record power output, which is effective for long-distance irradiation, so it permits long-distance imaging using a surveillance camera, ANPR, or similar device. Further, the high output power permits a reduction in the number of LED packages per system, enabling infrared irradiation equipment to achieve smaller dimensions and lower costs. Accordingly, the new product contributes to increased adoption of surveillance systems, and eventually to building a social environment with increased security and peace of mind, Ushio reckons.

Development background

Reflecting the growing awareness of safety and security among people in recent years, surveillance cameras have begun to be used not only in buildings but also outdoors, such as in areas around buildings, parking areas, and city streets. The application of ANPR has also been expanded to expressways and public highways. Amid this trend, the distances that infrared illumination for outdoor surveillance cameras are required to irradiate have increased (to distances ranging between one hundred and several hundred metres), demanding higher power.

In addition, while LED packages with lenses are used for the narrow-angle irradiation (which is necessary for long-distance irradiation using infrared rays), multiple packages need to be aligned in these units to provide a sufficient amount of light. This results in larger size, larger area required for installation, and higher cost of the irradiation equipment. Further, while there is technology for mounting multiple chips in a package to provide sufficient light, a large-sized outer lens must also be mounted on these packages to enable narrow-angle irradiation. This technical challenge had to be overcome to achieve further downsizing.

Increasing LED chip area and adapting package with a lens

In response, Ushio has developed the SMBB850DS-1200 series package with a lens, which is capable of emitting a narrow-angle beam (with a selection of lenses available with light distribution angles ranging from ±61° down to ±19°, according to the installation environment) using only one chip while significantly increasing the output power per package with a larger LED chip area. This enables a reduction in the number of packages mounted on the irradiation equipment for surveillance cameras or ANPR and removes the need for an outer lens, allowing systems to be miniaturized and their cost reduced.

The product can also realize an irradiation area four times wider and two times brighter in central illuminance than conventional products when used for long-distance irradiation (100 metres or longer).

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