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LIGHT MODULE, LIGHT MULTIPLE MODULE
AND USE OF A LIGHT MODULE OR LIGHT MULTIPLE MODULE FOR ILLUMINATION OR BACKLIGHTING
 The patent application claims the priority of German Patent Application 10 2006 004 581.5 filed Feb. 1, 2006, the disclosure content of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The invention relates both to a light module and to a light multiple module having at least two light modules. The invention furthermore relates to a use of the light module or of the light multiple module.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 U.S. Pat. No. 6,299,337 discloses a flexible LED multiple module suitable for incorporation into luminaire housings, in particular for motor vehicles. The LED multiple module has a plurality of LEDs integrated into a circuit. In accordance with one embodiment, optical elements for beam guiding and/or focusing are placed in front of the light exit area of the LEDs. Furthermore, the LED multiple module can be inserted into a luminaire housing with a transparent front face containing a multiplicity of lenses for focusing the light emitted by the LEDs.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 It is one object of the present invention to provide a light module whose emission properties can be realized or set in a simple manner.
 It is another object of the present invention to provide a light multiple module whose emission properties can be realized or set in a simple manner.
 These and other objects are attained in accordance with one aspect of the present invention directed to a light module comprising a plurality of radiation-emitting semiconductor components, each of which is assigned an emission angle, wherein at least one of the components has an optical element that enlarges the emission angle. Furthermore the light module comprises a common optical device for focusing the radiation, wherein the radiation is intermixed by means of the optical element.
 It is advantageous that, by means of an intermixing of the radiation, particularly in the case of large areas to be illuminated, it is possible to prevent the occurrence of distinctly visible color differences on the areas to be illuminated on account of manufacturing tolerances with regard to the color location of the individual components.
 In accordance with one preferred embodiment, the radiation is intermixed in such a way that a uniform color location is assigned to a predetermined area illuminated by means of the light module. As a result, areas can advantageously be chromatically homogeneously illuminated.
 In accordance with a further embodiment, the radiation is focused by means of the optical device in such a way that the predetermined area is illuminated by means
of the light module with a uniform luminous intensity. This has the advantage that areas can be illuminated with a uniform luminous intensity.
 Overall, the homogeneity of the color location and/or of the luminous intensity contributes to the light module being suitable for qualitatively demanding illumination or backlighting purposes.
 In one advantageous development, each component has an optical element for enlarging the emission angle. As a result, the radiation emitted by the components can be intermixed at a comparatively small distance from the plane, where the components are arranged.
 An optical element that enlarges the emission angle may have a radiation exit area comprising a concavely curved partial region and a convexly curved partial region, which at least partly surrounds the concavely curved partial region at a distance from an optical axis, wherein the optical axis runs through the concavely curved partial region.
 Such a shaping of the radiation exit area enables a radiation power that is coupled out from the optical element at a comparatively large angle with respect to the optical axis to be increased compared with the coupled-out radiation power of the component without said optical element. In particular the convexly curved partial region may contribute to this, said convexly curved partial region increasing the radiation component that is coupled out from the optical element at large angles with respect to the optical axis. The component comprising an optical element of this type is accordingly particularly suitable for the homogeneous illumination of a comparatively large, in particular planar, area even in area regions offset laterally with respect to the optical axis.
 The light module having components of this type is preferably suitable for general lighting and for backlighting, for example of a display device, for instance of an LCD (liquid crystal display).
 The components are preferably arranged on a carrier. Said carrier serves, on the one hand, for fixing the components. On the other hand, the carrier may have, for the interconnection of the components, conductor track structures and electrical connections which are connected to a power supply. Furthermore, the carrier, which is embodied in particular as a metal core substrate, for instance in the form of a metal core circuit board, may contain a heat sink or material having comparatively good thermal conductivity. As a result, particularly in the case of high-power applications, a comparatively stable operation of the light module with an advantageous degradation behavior can preferably be achieved.
 The optical device provided for focusing the radiation generated by the components may be a reflective element. By means of the optical device, it is possible to advantageously influence a main emission direction of the light module, on the one hand, and an emission angle of the light module, on the other hand.
 Furthermore, any optical unit which enables beam shaping and/or beam control is suitable as optical device in the context of the invention. The optical device may also be a refractive or diffractive element or a combination of said elements.
 If the optical device is a reflective element, then this may be formed by means of reflective side walls connected to the carrier. In accordance with one preferred embodiment, the carrier is a carrier plate with a planar main area to which are fitted two reflective side walls set up in wing-like fashion.
 Proceeding from the main area of, the carrier, the side walls, viewed in cross-section, form an angle of inclination of 0°<a=90° with the main area of the carrier. The angle a of inclination is adapted to the emission properties of the components and the desired emission characteristic of the light module. In the present case, the angle of inclination is preferably a=65°.
 Both a V cross-sectional form and a U crosssectional form are suitable for an arrangement comprising the carrier and the optical device. Furthermore, a non-plane shape of the side walls is suitable, which then have for example a curved, for instance a parabolic, cross-sectional form. In particular, a well form or channel form is suitable for the arrangement comprising the carrier and the optical device.
 Of the components which the light module comprises, in accordance with one preferred configuration, at least two components generate radiation of different colors. This has the advantage that the light module can emit mixed-colored light, in particular white light. Any desired color locations can be set by means of a suitable combination or driving of varicolored components.
 By way of example, the light module may have a first component emitting red light, a second component emitting green light and a third component emitting blue light.
 In accordance with a further preferred configuration, a first component generates red light, a second component generates green light, a third component generates blue light and a fourth component generates white light. An improved color rendering index can be obtained by means of such a combination of varicolored components. Furthermore, the illuminant of the component emitting white light can be shifted as desired by means of an admixture of red, green or blue light.
 In particular, the light module may be assigned different color locations by means of a change in the current supply. This is because the use of components which emit red, green and blue light and whose light is correspondingly mixed proportionately makes it possible, in principle, to achieve any color location in the color space.
 Furthermore, the light module may have at least two components which generate radiation of the same color. This advantageously enables the radiation power of the light module to be increased.
 The components that generate radiation of the same color are preferably connected up in series. This advantageously facilitates a color location setting, in particular an illuminant setting, of the light module since the components can be driven jointly for setting purposes. The light module has a microprocessor, for example, which controls or else regulates the power supply to different groups of components connected up in series. The color location required for the desired color location or illuminant is stored for each
group in said microprocessor. The current supply is correspondingly adapted to the color location.
 In accordance with one preferred embodiment, the components are arranged in row-like fashion. The light module then has the form of a light string. Further light modules of this type can advantageously be strung together in order to lengthen the light string. Furthermore, it is possible to arrange a plurality of light modules of this type areally alongside one another.
 Components which are surface-mountable are suitable for the light module. Components of this type permit simple mounting thereof and therefore contribute to reducing the production outlay for the light module.
 Typically, each component has a housing body in which a radiation-emitting semiconductor body is arranged. In particular, the semiconductor body is a light-emitting diode.
 A component that is suitable in the context of the invention is disclosed in published US application no. 2004/ 0075100, the content of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
 The light module can be produced by a metal layer containing copper, for example, being vapor-deposited on a plastic carrier and subsequently being structured, for example by means of laser action, into conductor tracks and electrical connection pads for the components. Reflective side walls are fitted to the main area of the carrier. The components are arranged on the main area of the carrier between the side walls.
 In accordance with one preferred configuration, a light multiple module has at least two light modules which may be formed according to the embodiments already mentioned. The radiation intensity of the light multiple module can advantageously be increased relative to the light module by means of the number of light modules.
 As already mentioned, the light modules may be arranged in row-like fashion or in matrix-like fashion.
 In accordance with a further preferred configuration, the light modules are connected up in parallel. This advantageously enables the color locations of the light modules to be shifted simultaneously.
 Particularly preferably, a predetermined area illuminated by means of the light modules is assigned in each case the same color location.
 In a manner corresponding to the light module, the light multiple module may have a microprocessor that provides for an adjustment of the color locations of the individual light modules.
 The light module described is suitable for illumination, in particular for indirect illumination. This advantageously enables energy-saving, comparatively ageing-stable general lighting. By means of the light module, a defined area can be chromatically homogeneously illuminated with homogeneous illuminance even when the light module is at a relatively small distance.
 The light module can advantageously be used in a suitable manner for backlighting. In a manner corresponding to the light module, the light multiple module can be used for