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High Speed, High Current Pulsed LED Driver


Sandia’s LED Pulser drives high-power LEDs to generate light pulses with shorter duration, higher repetition frequency, and higher intensity than is possible with commercially available LED drivers. This technology utilizes specially designed electronic circuitry that allows it to create intense pulses as short as ten nanoseconds that can illuminate extremely fast processes, such as fuel injection. The LED Pulser can emit up to four colors, each with independent timing and from a nearly coincident source area. This enables a wider range of optical applications and could lead to new imaging techniques.


Sandia engineers have already used the LED Pulser for research projects that formerly required more expensive pulsed lasers for specific measurements. It proved valuable in several research studies aimed towards designing a more efficient and cleaner engine. When paired with a high speed camera, researchers were able to capture detailed, high resolution images of the fuel injection process, helping them improve engine efficiency.

The Sandia LED Pulser’s low cost, smaller size, and increased light intensity would allow for more widespread applications by engineers and designers seeking to predict important physical processes.


  • Smaller and less expensive than commercially available technologies
  • Capable of MHz repetition rates
  • High resolution images of high speed processes
  • Operates with significantly lower energy consumption
  • Light-pulse duration approximately 3 orders of magnitude less (~10 ns vs. ~10 ms)
  • No warm up necessary

Applications and Industries

  • High-speed machine vision
  • Ballistics
  • Semiconductor manufacturing
  • High-speed photography
  • High-speed scanning
  • Microscopy

Additional Information

Intellectual Property

ID Number
Patent Number
High speed, high current pulsed driver circuit 9,603,210 03/21/2017
Technology IDSD#13398Development StagePrototype - Sandia estimates this at a Technology Readiness Level of 4. Basic technological components are integrated to establish that the pieces will work together.AvailabilityAvailablePublished12/21/2015Last Updated04/14/2017