iBex first introduced their LED slit lamps in 2006– an Indian manufactured instrument that, based on its specifications, hit the market well below average cost and is still sold/serviced today by Trevi Technology, a small outfit in Columbus, Ohio. Anytime we see a foreign device produced by a relatively unknown manufacturer we approach with some hesitancy; most Chinese devices are resemblant to garbage and domestic relabeled devices can have service/support concerns in the US. iBex although does have a strong presence in the United States, and from what we can tell is well supported and sold throughout the world– but what is it like to use? The first thing you’ll notice on either iBex (the 2-step or the 5-step) is the massiveness of the microscope and power table. It’s not that the iBex is crude, but it is bulky and immense in every way. Once you install an iBex onto an instrument stand and step some feet away you’ll immediately notice the substantial presence the microscope commands- starting from the illumination source (it’s thick), down to the oculars (they’re bulky), down to the frame (it’s girthy), and then finally to the power supply table which is made to seem even more massive thanks to a two-tone white/black color combination decision. The size of the microscope doesn’t exactly increase the footprint of your slit lamp (on the instrument stand), and thus you probably won’t be put-off by the size of a slit lamp, however operating the slit lamp does take some getting used to– kind of like driving a large truck for the first time. Turning on the iBex for the first time you’ll then notice that the LED illumination is bright- like brighter than most slit lamps when on full power. iBex leads with both the brightness as well as the color index of their LED bulbs claiming this sets them apart, however we’re not sure the 4300K index is any different from other LED slit lamps, and we’re comfortable speculating that 1,086,000 (lux) is a bit excessive in any exam situation. In terms of optics and observation experience, we agree that the iBex is a good value when compared to other similar LED slit lamps. Despite deep ‘eye cups’, the oculars are crisp and the entire microscope is maneuvered quite smoothly. The system is seemingly robust, sleek and modern and we definitely approve of the joystick feel within the hand. Another point worth noting, the iBex is quite easy to install and can be easily broken down for easy transport– something most (Haag-Style) slit lamps are not good at.
OUR TAKE: A chunky slit lamp that lends a very bright (white) illumination for not a lot of money.
IBEX’s (Slit Lamp) 4300K color temperature LED delivers new and high-contrast, homogeneous white light for substantial gains in slit lamp observation. These gains were once difficult, if not impossible to carry out with conventional illumination: increased tissue fluorescence, enhanced tissue differentiation, increased depth of field, shadow reduction, less temperature and second to none illumination intensity. It’s a leap beyond conventional tungsten and halogen illumination.
Simply stated, IBEX’s LED driven 4300K color temperature breaks the barriers of conventional slit lamp observation. The homogeneous radiant white light delivers a host of observation gains including enhanced tissue fluorescence, better tissue differentiation, increased depth of field and shadow reduction – the latter is especially useful during increasingly popular indirect illumination.
IBEX’s 5-Step Galilean optical design incorporates a conventional design that includes three sets of lenses within a small turret and a rotating drum that places five magnifications at your fingertips. Thereafter, the new optical design is anything but conventional.
A sophisticated integration of wide-field eye pieces, prisms, lenses and light-enhancing coatings deliver pure light transmission, stunning clarity and large ,industry first 43mm field of view. Overall, it’s the convergence of modern advances in optics applied to a proven optical design.
The helicoid style eyepieces twist up and down for diopter adjustment and operate independent of the eyecups. This allows them to be left at proper position for your vision. Additionally, telescoping eye cups at the front of the oculars provide 18mm of eye relief, enabling users with or without eye glasses to experience the maximum field of view. How it works: Users wearing eye glasses push the cups in while users without eye glasses extend the cups outward. Both maximize the optical system to view the full image.
The single element LED is an evolution in slit lamp engineering. With high-contrast color temperature, impressive color rendering and exceptional illumination range of 24,420 lux to more than 1,000,000 lux, the IBEX LED is exceptional during direct, indirect and diffuse illumination.
With excellent ventilation and the latest heat managing materials, the IBEX LED will operate with consistency for 10,000-20,000 hours, virtually eliminating downtime due to spent illumination sources.
Further, to help improve patient comfort and safety during higher intensity observation, IBEX LED slit lamps minimize beam temperature and radiant energy with 80%-90% less heat to the patient’s eye, as compared to tungsten and halogen illumination.
IBEX’s tower illumination design provides 5-20 degrees vertical tilt towards the patient to move the slit below horizontal. This helps reduce shadowing during indirect illumination and illuminates the oblique muscle during gonioscopy. Additionally, a control knob conveniently located at the bottom of the tower enables quick left or right slit decentration (+/- 5 degrees), narrowly offsetting the tower to illuminate the sclera.
Loosening the slit centering control knob on the lower portion of the illumination tower allows the illumination light to be moved left or right as much as 5° from the center of the visual field for indirect retro- illumination. Tightening the knob brings the illumination light back to the center.
The 5-Step offers 6x, 10x, 16x, 25x, 40x magnification.
The 2-Step offers: 10x, 15x, 16x, 24x magnifications.
*these powers can be increased or decreased by installing custom oculars.
The iBex employs a bulb that should last at least 10,000 hours. That equates to about 6,024 days of normal use (considering an estimate of 5-days per week at 20 patient per day). You should not need to replace a iBex LED for its lifetime.
The iBex Slit Lamp’s utilize Galilean-style parallel optics.
The Marco Ultra G series utilizes converging optics to produce a 6 ̊ converging binocular view.
In general, converging optics display a view produced from two oculars intersecting to produce the same image in each.
Parallel optics display a different image in each optic, operating in a mutually exclusive way.