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Multi-port light sources are no bargin!

When I started working the fiber optics field I was meeting with Microscope dealers to learn the market and get first-hand feedback. Several dealers really wanted us to develop a multiport light source…they thought it could help them more-than-double their sale of units. Their argument made sense to me, so I brought the idea back to the President of FOSTEC, my employer at the time. Rolf listened intently, then began a review of the technology. Here’s the synopsis:

Putting a number of light sources in a common enclosure offers no gain in input power efficiency… the same total power is still required, as is the same physical footprint for the power suppl(ies)*, ports, dimmers. controllers, etc…. the more power needed, the larger the power supply required. And there is more risk…. If multiple power supplies are included in one box, a failure of one power supply could destroy good supplies and/or shut down most or all lamps.

There is no change in the amount of heat management required…. air movement or other heat management strategies would still be required, commensurate with total heat generated.

Manufacturing cost would be higher… Some part volumes would be cut in half. Testing and review for safety would not change (cost or labor), and furthermore, it’s possible that the effort/technology required to control EMI would be more difficult.

While the project could be undertaken…I would not recommend it…. The cost would most likely be more than purchasing 2 stand-alone units.

*Note: it’s possible to reduce the overall footprint to some degree, perhaps as much as 8%- this is the only real advantage I could envision….but as you could surmise from above, the added cost and risk are probably not worth it.

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