Machine vision lighting is an essential component of successful imaging. Unlike other forms of industrial sensors, machine vision systems aren’t analyzing a part itself, they’re analyzing the light that’s reflected off of the part. In this sense, ensuring the lighting equipment is well-suited to your application is critical.
Understanding the different types of machine vision lighting systems and what they’re typically use for, as well as how the various elements of your application influence this, can help you determine the best lighting equipment for the job.
Different Types of Machine Vision Lighting
There are many sources of illumination in machine vision, including fluorescent, quartz halogen, metal halide, xenon and LED lighting. Each has their particular tradeoffs, depending on the application, but in recent years the many advantages of LED lighting has made it a popular choice.
While LED light sources may have a long life expectancy and outstanding application flexibility, they lack the output intensity of Xenon and the large area capabilities of fluorescent systems. Metal halide is mostly used in microscopy, as it’s wavelength structure supports filters in fluorescence studies, and isn’t often used in machine vision. Fluorescent, quartz halogen and LED light sources are most common in machine vision applications.
Environmental Considerations for Finding the Right Machine Vision Lighting System
The environmental conditions of your application are just as impactful as the illumination source. Finding the right machine vision lighting system requires a thorough understanding of the parameters of your own application.
Is the surface of your part highly reflective? Will a coaxial ring light create hotspot glare? Is there ambient lighting conditions to compete with? Understanding exactly the geometry of the part and camera, the type of light being projected on the camera, and whether the camera needs a filter or polarized sensor, are all things you need to know to understand which type of lighting source is best.
To determine the best machine vision lighting system for your application, you have to first understand the pros and cons of different lighting systems and how this relates to the environmental factors in your application.
Machine vision lighting is an essential part of any vision application. Finding the right one for you is critical to your success.
To learn more about lighting, browse machine vision lighting equipment from the world’s leading manufacturers at Phase 1 Technology.