Recycling of light allows the luminance (radiance) emitted by a light source to be increased at the cost of reducing the total luminous flux (radiant power). Recycling of light means returning part of the emitted light to the source, where part of it will escape absorption. An optical design that is suitable for multiple and controlled recycling is described. Carambola optics is named for its resemblance to star fruit. Several pairs of mirrors or prisms redirect light repeatedly onto the source, thus achieving multiple transits of the light through the source. This recycled light exits the carambola in the same phase space as light directly emitted and not recycled.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 18, 2005
Manuscript Accepted: November 16, 2006
Ralf Leutz, Ling Fu, and Harald Ries, "Carambola optics for recycling of light," Appl. Opt. 45, 2572-2575 (2006)