The Dispersion of LED Light Through Transparent Plastics

The purpose of this experiment was to determine what type of transparent plastic would disperse LED light most effectively, or disperse the most amount of light.  The dispersion of LED light through each material was measured by placing a plastic sheet in between an LED light and a lux meter, or a device that measures luminance (in a closed environment), and recording the average amount of lux in a 20 second time period.

The transparent plastics used in this experiment were Acrylic, Polystyrene, Polycarbonate, and Polyethylene Terephthalate.  In this experiment Acrylic and Polystyrene were tested twice with the first trial being a plain, un-textured sheet and the other being a textured sheet commonly found in celling lighting panels.  Both forms of Acrylic and Polystyrene were tested because they are readily available and are both used in lighting fixtures. All of these plastics were tested because they are highly transparent which allows for a large amount of light dispersion. 

During the experiment, it was observed that average amount of recorded lux for each material were not equal. Through descriptive and statistical analysis, it was determined that textured Polystyrene dispersed LED light most effectively.

The results from this research project can aid in the automotive industry and in lighting in general. These industries are continually trying to improve the reliability and the visibility of headlights and lights in general in order to increase the safety of their products and make them more cost effective. The results in this experiment can help these industries to use the best material in order to allow their lights to be more cost effective and efficient.

Research Conducted By:

Steven Pracius
Warren Mott High School

Benjamin Sikorski
Lake Shore High School