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LED Light Sources from Retrodiode LLC—Attractive Solutions for Upgrading Vintage Microscopes

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A LED kit from Retrodiode LLC, USA, based on a Cree LED, 10 Watt, 800 Lumen, 4500 K, was rigorously tested in practice by use of Leitz SM-Lux microscopes. The original light source of this microscope consists of a bulb mounted on the top of a column- or rod-shaped carrier, which has to be shifted into the microscope's stand. This carrier has been re-built by Retrodiode and fitted with a LED. Thus, the original light source can be replaced by the LED whenever needed—without destroying or manipulating any components of the original microscope. The LED is connected with a dimmer so that the intensity of light can be regulated in tiny steps. A special high speed dimmer (Pulse Width Modulator, PWM, 21 KHz) is available for video clips or life microscopy on a screen. According to our practical tests, the LED is properly centered, and even great fields are illuminated homogenously. The brightness can be approximately compared with a 50 Watt halogen bulb. Colors and structures appear well differentiated. The LED tested out can be combined with any sort of filter (colorized glass plates, interference filters, monochromatic narrow band filters, RGB intensifiers, polarizing filters). Up-till now, Retrodiode has designed a great number of various LED kits designed for many different types of popular vintage microscopes. In our point of view, the solutions offered by this manufacturer can be warmly recommended for each user of a vintage microscope who is interested in upgrading the original light source without damaging any original components of his historical instrument.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • Journal of Advanced Microscopy Research (JAMR) provides a forum for rapid dissemination of important developments in high-resolution microscopy techniques to image, characterize and analyze man-made and natural samples; to study physicochemical phenomena such as abrasion, adhesion, corrosion and friction; to perform micro and nanofabrication, lithography, patterning, micro and nanomanipulation; theory and modeling, as well as their applications in all areas of science, engineering, and medicine.
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