Light pipes, sometimes called waveguides, are optical elements that transfer, "pipe," or "guide" light from a source to a lighting task, primarily by the process of total internal reflection (TIR). They are found in all types of devices, in just about every industry. Light pipes are produced by the millions, for pennies apiece. While production is simple, designing a light pipe is a complex task.
This technical publication describes the general process for simulating light pipes in the Advanced Systems Analysis Program (ASAP®) from Breault Research Organization (BRO). A brief discussion on some of the important issues in modeling light pipes is included. A variety of light pipes and sources are used to illustrate how light pipes are modeled in ASAP.
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This document was reviewed for technical content, revised, and completely reformatted.