OptoLED Light Source

• High intensity
• Near perfect stability
• Instantaneous vibration-free switching

Product Description

LED light source
The OptoLED is our flagship system for LED illumination.

Recent developments in Light Emitting Diode [LED] technology have yielded devices that are both brighter and capable of operating at more different wavelengths than their predecessors.

Combining these devices with closed-loop feedback control from our OptoLED has key advantages in live-cell recordings where short and long term intensity variations can be a problem with alternative light sources. The ultra-high stability and “instantaneous” (sub-microsecond) vibration-free switching and intensity modulation are valuable in a wide range of applications such as combined imaging and electrophysiology, voltage sensitive dye studies and high-speed tracking. The facility to “gate” the light source directly from the camera and thus only expose the specimen whilst the camera is integrating helps to reduce photo-bleaching / photo-damage and also prevents bleedthrough during frame readout or rolling shutter artefacts. Ultraviolet and white LEDs are also available for uncaging applications and brightfield illumination. The rapid modulation and ability to accurately define independent illumination areas for different wavelengths makes the OptoLED the ideal source for Optogenetics. The power supply allows devices to be transiently overdriven to 5A to give increased optical intensity whilst fully protecting the LED from damage.

Independent analysis and internet blog

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Wavelength Options

The range of wavelengths available from ultra-bright LEDs covers the absorbance peaks of most fluorescence indicators and Optogenetic tools. The table below shows the standard range, however we can also source more specialist devices on request.

Depending on the combination of wavelengths required we can combine two or more devices using dichroic mirrors. Please contact Cairn for recommendations on the best LEDs and filters for your experiments.

LEDs are available in 340nm, 365nm, 385nm, 405nm, 440nm (white LED), 455nm, 470nm, 490nm, 505nm, 525nm, 550nm (white LED), 565nm, 590nm, 617nm, 627nm wavelengths.


LED Head Upgrade

With LED technology constantly improving we would like to remind existing customers that we are able to upgrade your current LED heads for a small charge of £100.

The way in which our LED heads are designed means they are readily interchangeable so if returned to us we can upgrade in a very short period of time.

Download Data Sheet Manuals video support Back to LED Light Sources

Additional Information


• Multi-wavelength fluorescence microscopy
• Visible/IR transmitted light microscopy
• Optogenetics using fibres or epi-illumination
• Flash photolysis
• High speed Fura2 calcium imaging

Key Benefits

• High intensity with transient overload
• Maximum Current output 5A
• Near perfect stability
• Instantaneous vibration-free switching
• Long life (should never need replacing)
• Variable intensity – no need for ND filters
• Current display
• Minimal unwanted infrared (heat) output
• Modular system accommodates an ever-expanding range of LED emitters

Dual digital shuttering for software and camera modulation https://www.cairn-research.co.uk/support/technical-notes/#

Full Specification

• Maximum Current output 5A
• Fluorescence LED heads available at 340nm, 365nm, 385nm, 405nm, 440nm, 455nm, 470nm, 505nm, 525nm, 550nm, 590nm, 617nm, 627nm 660nm, 850nm and white


Our need was to stimulate an isolated photoreceptor cell with sufficient light intensity to isomerize nearly all the photopigment molecules, and do so with the shortest flash duration possible: this would synchronize all such events, summate their electrical effects to maximize detectabililty, and avoid overlap with the photocurrent that is elicited only a few milliseconds later. Even the fastest electromechanical shutters proved inadequate for this task, while discharge flash lamps produced unacceptable electrical interference. We were pleased that the OptoFlash (OptoLED) could pump enough photons within a sub-millisecond flash to even saturate rhodopsin, maintaining an excellent intensity control and defined time course.
Enrico Nasi – Cellular dynamics, Woods Hole, MBL