How are Horizontal PCB Mounted Light Guides Used?

Horizontal PCB mounted light guides / light pipes from MENTOR are used in electronic products that call for light to be emitted from a panel that is positioned at right angles to the circuit board. They are fitted to the circuit board by using push-fit lugs.


MENTOR offers a wide assortment of horizontal light guides. As well as single versions, multiple horizontal light guides are available in variations of one, two, three and four-rows high and up to 10 columns wide to provide up to 40-way displays. In addition to classic round designs with Ø3mm elements or rectangular bar graph indicators with 2mm x 5 mm elements, various miniaturised designs are also available. The newest versions are the miniaturised horizontal light guides with square display heads. All designs are offered with a choice of several standard lengths while custom lengths are also easily achievable.


Light guides form a key function in the human interface with a product, so their appearance and optical quality have a huge influence on aesthetics and overall perceptions. The options of horizontal light guides with square, round or rectangular displays provide design engineers with ultimate flexibility. MENTOR light guides are visibly superior, are precision optics and the excellence of their design and manufacture is immediately obvious when they are in use.


Today’s sophisticated users of modern machines and devices demand high functionality as a basic requirement. It is the area of aesthetic design that colours the users’ perceptions of a product. In order to give designers even more options in differentiating their products from the mundane, MENTOR have introduced ranges of square-format light guides to complement our existing round and rectangular versions.

The new PCB-mounted horizontal square light guides are available in one and three-row versions; all having miniaturised radiating surfaces of 1.4 x 1.4mm. Designers can select from variants ranging from a single-light guide to multiple-array light guides with up to 30 displays. Square front panel light guides have also recently been introduced.


Despite the breadth of options in the standard MENTOR light guide offering, there will inevitably be instances when a custom solution is called for. Often, only a dimensional modification (normally Length A) is required and this can usually be delivered with little or no tooling cost and with a very modest MOQ. Other modifications such as different head shapes, dimensions or self-colouring are all possible. More information on the diverse possibilities of customised horizontal light guide design is provided here.