GMN’s Light Lab for display and design testing

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By Tyler Burrington | Jun 07, 2021
A display being tested in the Light Lab

When it comes to product development, testing the materials and technologies used in a design under different lighting conditions is a critical step in the development process. External lighting plays a crucial role in how a part looks and functions, so the component must meet project requirements in all intended settings.

Whether testing for display readability, color matching, backlighting diffusion, or anything else, GMN has a state-of-the-art Light Lab to precisely control lighting to allow accurate testing for several variables. But how exactly does GMN’s Light Lab accomplish this?

What’s inside GMN’s Light Lab?

GMN’s Light Lab is a large, dark room outfitted with different lighting and testing equipment. Keeping the room as dark as possible is critical to getting accurate lighting values, so the walls are painted jet black. Even the brightness of the monitors used with the equipment is cautiously controlled, as any additional light can cause readings to be off. 

There are two main specialized lighting sources used for illumination and testing within GMN’s Light Lab – 

  • Specular contrast source - It contains a bright quartz lamp in a specially-coated housing. The housing reflects and diffuses the light from the lamp, allowing it to disseminate to mimic different indirect and ambient lighting conditions. 
  • Direct light source - It focuses a powerful beam of light directly onto the testing surface. 

These two light sources are frequently used in conjunction with each other to replicate outdoor environments, where there would be both direct and diffused lighting.

Across from the light sources is a five-axis motion system that contains an orthogonal goniometer, which holds the device under test. The goniometer can achieve a complete ±90° vertical and horizontal viewing angle, accommodating almost any angle for testing. Custom fixtures designed for each part or device are attached to the goniometer to ensure that they’re held in place while the platform rotates. Optical testing instruments, such as cameras and a spectroradiometer, sit next to the light sources on a separate moveable fixture.  

While we’ve spoken previously about our vast display testing capabilities, GMN’s Light Lab is also used for overcoming tough backlighting and color matching challenges. For highly regulated industries such as the medical or aerospace field, overlays, labels, and placards may need to meet precise color specifications in specific lighting scenarios. Likewise, keypads or displays with backlighting may need to meet color or luminance specifications while in use. Our Light Lab is equipped with multiple cameras and a spectroradiometer to verify color values, luminance values, and color matching. 

GMN can help design custom testing programs to your specifications, saving valuable time in the development process while maintaining product quality and consistency. To learn more about our in-house testing capabilities or discuss your project needs, visit our website or schedule a consultation with our experts.