Code 3’s TriCore is an LED-based optical lighting technology that is 2X brighter than other technology currently on the market using only 1/3 the power of conventional lighting systems, yielding higher watt-for-watt efficiency. The brightness and efficiency are achieved through a unique design that combines an LED chip with an optical-based lens system. The LED chip (die) system overcomes all limitations imposed by pre-packaged LEDs. Moreover, the optical-based lens system removes the inefficiencies within reflective-based lighting technology. These two technological advances competitively separate Tri- Core from any other lighting technology on the market today.

The TriCore light head is generally comprised of a heat sink, a circuit board in heat transfer communication with the heat sink, and an optical system. The circuit board has an electrically conductive pathway. A light emitting diode (LED) chip is mounted directly in contact with the circuit board such that heat generated by the chip when energized is transferred to the circuit board. The LED chip is electrically connected to the electrically conductive pathway of the circuit board. An optical collection component is mounted adjacent to the LED chip to capture light emitted by the LED when energized and to transmit the captured light as desired.

Other optical components may be coupled to the collection optic to further control the divergence of the emitted light. A transparent housing may be used to enclose a plurality of LED chips and optical components. A microprocessor-based controller is electrically connected to the pathway of the circuit board to energize and de-energize the LED chip in a manner consistent with the application requirement.

The TriCore technology has been initially deployed into the emergency lighting industry across the globe with a customer base that includes police and fire departments, U.S. government and military, and construction and warning endusers. TriCore’s 2X brighter light provides increased safety and visibility for these customers’ vehicles and provides better illumination for personnel on the road or in harm’s way.

Furthermore, the lightweight and low-heat TriCore design offers the designer exceptional control over the direction, brightness, focus, and color of the light. Optional enclosure designs also make the technology usable in almost any environment. Thus, with broad versatility in light control and enclosure design, applications of TriCore technology extend well beyond emergency lighting into lighting applications including: vehicular; construction, agricultural vehicles, and heavy equipment; marine (vessels, buoys, and platforms); underwater; aviation and aerospace; medical; tunnel and mines; work and tactical lights; and indoor, outdoor, street, and landscape lighting. This new technology offers high reliability with a MTBF ranging between 5,000-10,000 hours.

Code 3 invested 18-24 months developing the TriCore technology and its application to the emergency vehicle market. Some of the development challenges that had to be overcome included:

  • pioneering the projection of LED light through optical designs including a unique lens system;
  • the use of cutting-edge material science including plastic resins;
  • the development of diffuser technology to control light dispersement;
  • precision mold-injection technology to produce first-of-itskind optical lens components; and,
  • the development of a unique manufacturing process to deliver high quality and yield in a repeatable manner.

This technology, which is supported by 4 US patents and 2 European patents, is available for licensing. For more information, visit 

Lighting Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the July, 2012 issue of Lighting Technology Magazine.

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