OptoLED Light Source

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

Product Description

Optical feedback response time now down to 5 microseconds

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

Available Wavelengths

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.

OptoLED Available 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.

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Additional information


• Multi-wavelength fluorescence microscopy
• Visible/IR transmitted light microscopy
• Optogenetics using fibres or epi-illumination
• Macro fluorescence imaging/Optical Mapping
• Flash photolysis
• High speed Fura-2 calcium imaging
• New FuraLED coupling available

Key Benefits

• High intensity
• Optical feedback for near perfect intensity and wavelength stability
• Instantaneous vibration-free switching
• Long life (should never need replacing)
• Variable intensity – no need for ND filters
• Minimal unwanted infrared (heat) output
• Fully modular system accommodates an ever-expanding range of emitters

Full Specification

• Typical optical power at specimen available on request
• Fluorescence LED heads available at 340nm, 365nm, 385nm, 405nm, 440nm**, 455nm, 470nm, 490nm, 505nm, 525nm, 550nm**,
565nm, 590nm, 617nm, 627nm and white with
• Single,dual, triple and quad couplings available for Nikon, Olympus, Leica and Zeiss microscopes
• TTL-controlled digital switching and analogue voltage-controlled intensity modulation accessed via BNC connections
• Maximum output current 1A, 2A or 5A, selectable by internal jumper links
• Response time of optical feedback circuit <50μsec
• Optical switching times <100nsec
• Response time to change external analogue input <10μsec
• External analogue control voltage range 0 to+10V

**filtered high power white LED


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

Recent Publications


  • Octopaminergic neurons have multiple targets in Drosophila larval mushroom body calyx and regulate behavioral odor discrimination – Read here
  • The impact of bilateral ongoing activity
    on evoked responses in mouse cortex – Read here
  • Ion Condensation onto Ribozyme Is Site Specific and Fold Dependent – Read here 
  • Biphasic impact of prenatal inflammation and macrophage depletion on the wiring of neocortical inhibitory circuits – Read here
  • Inhibition of Nigrostriatal Dopamine Release by Striatal GABAA and GABAB Receptors – Read here
  • Opto nongenetics inhibition of neuronal firing – Read here

Pre 2019

1) Phosphodiesterase 2A as a therapeutic target to restore cardiac neurotransmission during sympathetic hyperactivity – Read Here
2) Opposite regulation of inhibition by adult-born granule cells during implicit versus explicit lfactory learning – Read Here
3) Voltage dependence of the Ca2+ transient in endocardial and epicardial myocytes from the left ventricle of Goto–Kakizaki type 2 diabetic rats – Read Here
4) Dynamic changes in carbonate chemistry in the microenvironment around single marine phytoplankton cells – Read Here
5) Temperature measurement techniques for gas and liquid flows using thermographic phosphor tracer particles – Read Here
6) Unveiling some FDA-approved drugs as inhibitors of the store-operated Ca2+ entry pathway – Read Here
7) Astrocyte mediated neuronal synchronisation properties revealed by false gliotransmitter release – Read Here
8) Blocking TNFα‐driven astrocyte purinergic signaling restores normal synaptic activity during epileptogenesis – Rea Here