MENTOR has long been a leader in the art and science of controlling light. Right from the beginning, they were pioneers in designing and manufacturing what today we see as simple front panel indicator lights, infra-red transmitters/receivers and a myriad of innovative bargraph arrays. Many of these products, suitably enhanced, are still ordered in hundreds of thousands today. As LED capabilities increased exponentially, MENTOR’s focus moved to managing and controlling the powerful light that is available from modern LEDs, whilst addressing the associated challenges such as heat-management, white-tuning and colour degradation.
flowerMENTOR’s heritage of being at the leading-edge of light guide development has culminated in many spin-offs. In the early days, MENTOR’s big challenge was to make a light guide function in the same way as a hose pipe; 100% of water goes in one end and 100% comes out the other with no leakage through the hosepipe’s walls, the spray being controlled by a nozzle. This is what a good light guide should emulate, but with light rather than water. This cannot be achieved by simply moulding a piece of plastic!
MENTOR's Miniature Light Guides
MENTOR now has hundreds of millions of opto electonics components on the market to prove that they can consistently deliver such functionality. Even their latest miniature light guides, featuring closely-located Ø2mm elements, 20 wide and 4 deep, can display individually-coloured light without bleed. These miniature light guides are unique to MENTOR.

Find out more about MENTOR's standard opto components here.
MENTOR's Rim Lighting Light Guides
Having obsessed to achieve the holy grail of light retention, MENTOR’s next development was to “break all the rules” and wonder what would happen if they actually allowed some light to bleed along the walls of the light guide. Today, MENTOR “rim-lighting” light guides enhance the interiors of millions of automobiles, discretely illuminating door handles, cup holders etc and providing sophisticated night-time ambience in vehicles from high-volume models to the ultra-prestigious. This technology is also relevant to hundreds of other diverse applications.
Breaking the rules proved so successful that MENTOR threw away the rule book and started to experiment with what we now call M-Tubes, a patented product range unique to MENTOR. Rather than attempt to contain light, these rigid or flexible light guides (between 3mm and 10mm in diameter and up to 3.0M long) actively force light to emit through the walls of the tubing.
The key to all this is homogeneity, which is MENTOR’s mantra today. Despite being powered by just two LED light engines at either end of the tube, computer-designed reflective printing ensures even distribution of light throughout the entire length of the tubing. Find out more about M-Tubes here.
Vending machine featuring MENTOR M-Tubes
Coffee vending machine featuring MENTOR M-Tubes manufactured by Crane for Autobar.
From light guides and M-Tubes, MENTOR has more recently extended its opto capabilities to encompass highly sophisticated LED optics. Their ability to virtually design and then manufacture optics without the need to prototype has resulted solutions such as the Busch-Jaeger iceLight. Light can be emitted in five directions; nine different optics can be supplied to deliver various ambiences of light.
MENTOR have also made massive advances in the tuning of white light, as illustrated by this “M-LEDlight” luminaire module. It is a room light that simulates the real-time course of daylight, thus enhancing the ambience of windowless rooms and areas.
Differently controlled M-LEDlights in a room create flexible areas and scenes of light (for example conference halls with presentation and work areas) and facilitate an optical separation. The variable adjustable CCT supports concentrated work or promotes buying incentives in product presentations and retail lighting. Please contact Multitron for further information.
Despite all of this advanced opto technology for high-volume applications, smaller-volume customers have no need to be wary of approaching Multitron/MENTOR for opto advice. Such enquiries are our life-blood and help us to understand market needs. As detailed in this Blog Post, Multitron recently forwarded an enquiry from a customer who needed a low-cost solution for displaying a red “Stop” and green “Go” text in the same location on a small display. Read the post to discover MENTOR’s simple, elegant and cost-efficient solution. MENTOR even helpfully manufactured a demo box free of charge for this (low volume) customer.

In summary, if you have an opto requirement or design challenge, it is probably best not to try to re-invent the wheel. There is every chance that MENTOR will have a solution already developed, even if we are not currently marketing it.

It will cost you nothing to contact Multitron on +44 23 475 2600 or info@multitron.co.uk.


You can also find out more about MENTOR's many light guide innovations in our Blog.
Colour Temperature