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Stories & Features

Semrock Introduces the BrightLine® Family of LED-based Light Engine Filter Sets

Aug 6, 2014 by IDEX Health & Science

Four ExcitersLED-based light engines are steadily replacing traditional mercury, metal-halide and xenon light sources in fluorescence microscopy.  As the spectral output of LED-based light sources differs from that of traditional sources, optical filter sets which were designed to take advantage of the peaks of the traditional sources, may now be sub-optimal for use with LED-based light engines.  Semrock is now offering fourteen sets in single-band, full Pinkel & Sedat multiband configurations designed to be spectrally aligned with the excitation output of the most popular LED light engines on the market today.

The LED-DA/FI/TR/Cy5-4X-A is a "Pinkel" quad-band set designed for imaging of a sample that is simultaneously labeled with DAPI, FITC, TRITC, and Cy5 (or other key fluorophores). This state-of-the-art set represents a break-through in quad-band performance, and has been optimized for popular LED-based light engines from manufacturers including Excelitas Technologies®, CoolLED, and lumencor®. This set has been designed to deliver significant fluorescence signal improvements for LED-based light engines compared with traditional sets designed for standard broadband light sources such as mercury or xenon arc lamps. The complete set is comprised of a quad-band beamsplitter and a quad-band emitter (these can be offered assembled in a microscope cube), plus four single-band exciters that are intended to be mounted in the LED-based light engine, or in an exciter filter wheel or slider.

The part numbering of these new filter sets follows the convention LED-Fluor1/Fluor2/Fluor3/.... and are  available in Single-Band as well as Full Multiband, Pinkel, and Sedat configurations. The full line-up of Semrock’s LED-based light engine filter sets can also be found on our product sheet.

Comparison of excitation and emission wavelengths, and dichroic edge positions by part number for a traditional light source set versus the LED-based light engine optimized filter set:



SearchLight modeling tool shows the LED-DA/FI/TR/Cy5-4X-A filter set optimized for LED-based light engines performs as good as or considerably better in all channels compared with our standard broadband illumination source “Pinkel” set, DA/FI/TR/Cy5-4X-B, and delivers a significant performance improvement specifically in the Cy5 channel, dependent on the specific LED light engine and LED configuration: 


Normalized to Lumencor Spectra X
Lumencor Spectra X

Signal Normalized to Semrock DA/FI/TR/Cy5-4X-B illuminated with Lumencor Spectra X.


Normalized to CoolLED pE-4000
CoolLED pE-4000*
Signal Normalized to Semrock DA/FI/TR/Cy5-4X-B illuminated with CoolLED pE-4000.
*CoolLED pE-4000 configured with 385, 470, 550 & 635 for LED-DA/FI/TR/Cy5-4X-A & with 660 substituted in Cy5 channel for DA/FI/TR/Cy5-4X-B


Normalized to Lumen Dynamics X-Cite® XLED1
Lumen Dynamics X-Cite® XLED1**
Signal Normalized to Semrock DA/FI/TR/Cy5-4X-B illuminated with Lumen Dynamics X-Cite® XLED1.
**Lumen Dynamics X-Cite® XLED1 configured with UVX, BDX, GYX & RLX for LED-DA/FI/TR/Cy5-4X-A & with RDX substituted in Cy5 channel for DA/FI/TR/Cy5-4X-B