Frequently Asked Questions About NERLITE Machine Vision Lighting


What benefits can I expect from NERLITE lights and working with Microscan?
How do I know which light I need?
Why are many of your lights red?
What are the benefits of LED lighting?
Do you sell strobe lights?
Why are some of your lights so big?
What maintenance is required after installation?
Why isn't a ring light good enough for my application?


What benefits can I expect from NERLITE lights and working with Microscan?


Microscan is committed to designing cost-effective lighting for machine vision applications. Our experience with hundreds of applications in a variety of industries makes us a valuable resource. Often, we find people spending hours trying to solve applications that we have already solved using a standard off-the-shelf product. We will do our best to help you create the best image possible for your vision system while being professional and courteous.

How do I know what light I need?

Light selection is dependent upon the part size, surface features, part geometry and system needs. For help, contact one of our distributors or a sales engineer. Check out our Light Selector for more information.

Why are many of your lights red?

The red lights are using light emitting diodes (LEDs) as the source. LEDs are solid state components that when energized, emit light of a specific spectrum. LEDs are available in many wavelengths such as red, blue and white. Microscan can make customized lighting using just about any color. Red LEDs are the brightest and most readily available of all the spectrums. Since many machine vision applications are monochrome and most cameras are sensitive to the red wavelength, red LEDs provide very efficient lighting (see the next question).

What are the benefits of LED lighting?

As solid state components, LEDs provide a very stable, predictable light output. With few exceptions, they have a very long life expectancy, up to 100,000 hours (over 11 years) with minimal change in light output. There is no filament to break with LEDs so they can be mounted onto fast moving machinery that vibrate or exert high G-force.

Do you sell strobe lights?

Many of our LED lights may be strobed. Since they are solid state, they can be run intermittently at a very fast rate. Our strobe control module may be triggered using a TTL input.

Why are some of your lights so big?

Physics (geometry of light) dictates the direction the light must travel in order to achieve the desired effect. The size of the light is application dependent. Contact us or one of our distributors to discuss your application if the size of the light is important.

What maintenance is required after installation?


Post-installation maintenance is simple: keep the units clean and maintain environmental factors such as ambient air temperature and humidity as described in the product's specification sheet. Download our Care & Maintenance sheet for recommended procedures and cleaning supplies. For applications employing white LED lighting, it is recommended that a defined maintenance program for the periodic replacement of white LED printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) be put in place to assure application uptime.

Why isn't a ring light good enough for my application?

In many cases, a ring light will work just fine for a machine vision application. However, if the surface texture, reflectivity or geometry becomes complex, a ring light is no longer sufficient. The human eye is able to compensate for a variety of changes to a given scene. A machine vision system is not nearly as robust as the human eye; therefore, the lighting is critical to the image acquisition.