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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lighting Science Group and Dixon Technologies will offer $15 60W-equivalent LED lamp

To be priced at less than $15, the Definity 60W-equivalent replacement lamp will be jointly manufactured by Lighting Science Group and electronics manufacturer Dixon Technologies, first targeting the LED lighting market in India beginning year-end 2011.

At a press conference held in India, Lighting Science Group (OTCBB:LSCG), a maker of LED lighting solutions based in Satellite Beach, FL, and Dixon Technologies India Pvt. Ltd, an electronics products manufacturer in Noida, India, unveiled a joint product: the Definity high-performance sub-$15 omnidirectional A19 LED bulb. The 60W-equivalent replacement lamp will be available in India by the end of the year and will be sold worldwide by Lighting Science Group (LSG) early next year.
Utilizing LSG's technical design, the bulb is the first in a series of products being jointly manufactured and distributed by the two companies. The full line of products will include street lights, outdoor and industrial light fixtures and replacement lamps that produce more light for less energy than similar products available in India.

The Indian market for LED lighting is expected to grow to $400 million by 2015 (53% per annum), making it one of the fastest-growing sectors of one of the fastest-growing economies. According to India's Ministry of Power, the country plans to build 80 new coal-fired power plants to keep up with rising electricity demand over the next 5 years, and the potential savings from simply changing light bulbs to the new LED technology can reduce they county's electricity demand by as much as 40%.

The Definity lamp uses 85% less electricity than incandescent bulbs and is designed to handle the variable quality of power in India and other emerging economies. Even compared with relatively efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), the new lamp uses 35% less electricity and, unlike all fluorescent lights, contains no mercury. At a retail price below $15, the payback from electricity savings versus incandescent light bulbs is 8 months and the LED bulb has an expected life of approximately 8 years.

"With 800 million incandescent light bulbs and 300 million CFLs sold in India each year, the market is ripe for these highly efficient, long lasting and nontoxic products," said Atul Lall, Deputy Managing Director of Dixon Technologies. "The economic and environmental implications of this partnership are significant: old-style light bulbs use 60 billion units of electricity each year, 7% of India's total, and our Lighting Science Group Definity lamps could save over 70% of that, equivalent to 32 coal-fired plants with 500MW capacity."

Earlier this year, LSG announced that it had sold over a million LED-based lamps in the first quarter of 2011.

Osraem's Next Dimension in LED Lamps: 30 Years Service Life, Omni-Directional - 340°, Over 1000 lumen

With its Parathom Pro Classic A75 Advanced, OSRAM is launching the first LED lamp capable of replacing a 75-watt incandescent lamp. Boasting a consumption of just 14 watts, the LED lamp uses over 80 percent less energy than its incandescent equivalent and has a service life of up to 30,000 hours. In other words, this lamp won't need changing for about 30 years. It will be available to consumers in specialist stores from early 2012.
Osram Parathom Pro Classic A75 Advanced in the new design, the LEDs are arranged all around the lamp and radiate in all directions

The new Parathom Pro Classic A75 Advanced is the attractive LED substitute for the ordinary 75-watt incandescent lamp. With a light output of 1055 lumens and a power consumption of just 14 watts, it easily surpasses the brightness of a 75-watt incandescent lamp and saves more than 80 percent energy in comparison at the same time. The light from the Classic A75 Advanced resembles that of an ordinary incandescent lamp. And as additional bonus, the new LED lamp is infinitely dimmable. "High luminous intensity, great durability and enormous energy efficiency – LED technology is the future of light and, as the market leader, we shape that future with our innovations and ongoing advanced developments. Following the substitutes for 40 and 60-watt incandescent lamps, the Parathom Pro Classic A75 Advanced we are now launching on the market is the first perfect LED alternative to the 75-watt incandescent lamp," says Christian Schraft, Head of Consumer Lighting at OSRAM.

New Design for Greater Efficiency:
The innovative design of the Parathom Pro Classic A75 is its most unusual feature, permitting an extremely high light radiation angle of 340°. The LEDs are arranged on surfaces all around the lamp and hence no longer radiate their light in just one direction, but offer all-round illumination. The lamps will be available in specialist stores from the start of 2012 for a recommended retail price of around 50 euros. Thanks to the electricity saved, the acquisition costs pay for themselves after just 3 years.

* Given an average service life of up to 1,000 hours (incandescent lamp) or 30,000 hours (LED lamp) and daily operation of approx. 2.7 hours.
** Given an average electricity price of 0.21 euros per kilowatt hour.

Ongoing Optimization of the LED Product Family
OSRAM is working continually to optimize its LED lamp range. For instance, series production of the new design is also imminently planned for LED lamps with lower wattages. The Parathom Classic A60 will be going on sale in its new look from the start of next year, and the Parathom Classic A40 is expected to follow around the middle of the year.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Street lighting market is $327 million and growing

The market for street lights is growing and dynamic, fueled by quality luminaires and a city’s ability to reduce operating costs. But all is not rosy in the street lighting market worldwide, as is documented in a new report from Strategies Unlimited

A new report entitled "LED Outdoor Area and Street Lighting: Market Analysis and Forecast" from Strategies Unlimited (San Jose, CA) states that the street and area lighting market in 2010 was $327 million. The market research firm expects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26% from 2010 to 2015 in unit growth. This includes street lights and tunnel lights; as well as area lights including parking lot lights, canopy lights, flood lights and wall packs.

Vrinda Bandarkar, Senior Analyst at Strategies Unlimited, a unit of PennWell Corporation, explained that the market today is primarily based in Europe, the US and China. “The US market has taken the lead in proving the viability of LED technology for outdoor applications. Through various programs within the DOE and the Design Lights Consortium, the US has educated the city officials and customers, regarding LED technology, the energy efficiency it can provide, lumen depreciation, and other issues,” she said.

As a result, there have been several large-scale street lighting projects in cities and municipalities in the US. More successful pilot programs are moving toward full-scale implementation as well. Likewise, Europe has very high quality standards and has also implemented a variety of pilot-line and full-scale street lighting programs. “The large cities that have implemented street lighting programs have done so because the utilities wanted to reduce operating cost – lower energy cost and reduced maintenance cost,” said Bandarkar. She adds that funding from various sources, including stimulus funds, have helped the projects move forward.
“The biggest challenge these cities have is raising the capital, especially in this difficult environment,” she added.

However, Bandarkar describes a very different situation right now with the street lighting market in China. “The government provided strong incentives to replace streetlights with LED-based streetlights, and they expected great savings in energy use. However, after installation, several streetlights prematurely failed.” Poor quality issues caused the Chinese government to respond by halting street lighting projects temporarily. In fact, the street lighting market in 2011 shrank to address these quality issues.

“Now, they are in the process of putting standards in place, because China realizes that without standards they cannot be assured that the LED luminaires they are installing have the required quality they need,” she said. The next step, once standards are established, will be to re-start street lighting installations in China. At that time, the top 10-15 street lighting luminaire suppliers will start bidding on projects again.

Bandarkar went on to talk about the enormous opportunity for worldwide implementation of street lights and area lights. She said the biggest opportunities exist where older, inefficient lighting technology is in place. “This starts with mercury vapor lamps, linear fluorescent lamps and incandescent lamps; these are no-brainer applications right now because they pay for themselves in energy savings alone.

High-pressure sodium lamps are another type of fixture that is ripe for replacement. “LEDs can provide superior light quality, directionality, uniformity of light with reduced lumens,” said Bandarkar.
Going forward, Strategies Unlimited expects LED luminaire prices to continue to drop, which helps accelerate the street and area lighting market. Though the market research firm is expecting a 26% CAGR in unit growth between 2010 and 2015, revenue growth will be more modest, at around 11% CAGR in the same period due to price reductions.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Osram files LED IP complaint against Samsung and LG in Korea, Samsung responds

The LED-centric patent fight between Osram and Korea-based LG and Samsung escalates with new complaints and counter moves.
Osram has filed a complaint against LG Innotek with the Korea Trade Commission (KTC) alleging that the LG subsidiary is infringing four Osram patents focused on LEDs that generate white light. Osram also filed nullity suits and infringement actions in Korea against both LG Group and Samsung. Samsung said it hadn't received the legal documents of the new actions, but again affirmed its belief that Osram is infringing on Samsung patents.
Osram instigated the first steps in this skirmish back in June when it targeted Samsung and LG with LED patent litigation in the US, Germany, and Japan. Samsung responded almost immediately with a counter suit against Osram filed in Korea. And subsequently LG filed a complaint against Osram in Korea and Samsung and Osram both took complaints to the US International Trade Commission.
In the latest action, Osram alleges that LG Innotek infringed on the white LED patents and has asked the KTC to issue an order banning the export of certain LG products such as LED-backlit TVs and computer monitors. Osram asserts that those products are being manufactured with what it calls "patented Osram core technology."
“We respect the property rights of other companies and expect the same from other market participants," said Aldo Kamper, CEO of Osram Opto Semiconductors. “That is why we are setting a clear signal with our actions in Korea, not least for our customers, for whom we are a reliable partner.”

Seoul Central District Court
The second set of Osram actions this week against LG Group and Samsung took place in the Seoul Central District Court. Osram again says that LG Group and Samsung companies have infringed on patents on white and surface-mountable LEDs in Korea.
LG and Samsung had asserted patent claims against Osram in the aforementioned actions earlier in the summer. Osram's latest nullity suit against the companies makes the claim that the patents asserted by LG Group and Samsung are null and void.
Osram is asking that the companies refrain from unauthorized use of Osram technology and is requesting damage compensation.
Clearly Osram's ultimate goal is a cross-licensing agreements and perhaps royalties. Kamper said, "Our most important competitors have acknowledged our patents by entering into cross-license agreements with us or paying royalties.”

Samsung's response
Samsung issued an immediate and strong response to the latest Osram action claiming that Osram was trying to delay Samsung's infringement action in Korea. Samsung's official statement said, "Samsung LED previously sued Osram in Korea and the United States to stop Osram from infringing Samsung LED patents and to invalidate Osram's patents. Osram's actions in South Korea are a typical and expected response to Samsung's legal actions and appear to be an attempt to delay Samsung LED's infringement action against Osram in Korea."
Samsun LED asserts that Osram has infringed on eight patents and the action includes a number of Osram's most popular LED product lines including Dragon and Oslon. Samsung's statement concluded, "Samsung LED intends to vigorously enforce its intellectual property rights, and these lawsuits reflect Samsung LED's commitment to that enforcement."
Stepping back, the real question is whether this will be a prolonged skirmish, or simply an instance where each company is trying to attains the most favorable terms in what will ultimately be cross-licensing agreements between Osram and the Korean companies.
William Mackie, senior analyst capital goods at Germany-based Berenberg Bank has followed the situation. Mackie said, "These actions and reactions are a normal part of the business in LEDs to protect patent portfolios. The current dispute is ongoing and will likely be settled in next 6 months."

Friday, August 26, 2011

LED Industry News: Rubicon, Relume, Aurora Lighting, DLP

Rubicon Technology has the capability to produce 8-inch sapphire wafers at all its facilities; Fourteen Relume outdoor products were recognized by IDA; Aurora Lighting purchased an integrated sphere from Pro-Lite and startup DLP raised over $1 million.
Rubicon Technology upgrades to 8-inch capable sapphire furnaces
Rubicon Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:RBCN), based in Bensenville, IL, has installed enhancements to its crystal growth furnaces throughout the company, updating all furnaces to Version ES2-XLG3.0.
Version ES2-XLG3.0 is the company’s latest proprietary furnace design for the production of large-diameter sapphire material. The ES2-XLG3 now operates in the company’s high-efficiency crystal growth facilities in Batavia and Bensenville, Illinois. Rubicon also made headlines in June, when its facility in Penang, Malaysia began volume production of 6-inch and 8-inch sapphire wafers.
To date, the company has shipped more than 100,000 six-inch sapphire wafers.
Relume outdoor products awarded “Fixture Seal of Approval” by IDA

The International Dark Association (IDA) has awarded Relume Technologies (Oxford, MI), a manufacturer of LED products and smart-grid control systems for outdoor lighting applications, with the “Fixture Seal of Approval” for fourteen of its outdoor LED lighting products.
The products include outdoor parking, roadway and service station and canopy fixtures. Approval was awarded after evaluation of Relume luminaires' photometric data to ensure that they minimize glare, reduce light trespass, and do not pollute the night sky.
“Relume is pleased to have more of its products recognized not only for their high efficiency and unparalleled long-life in solid state lighting but also for their sensitivity to the environment,” said Relume CEO Crawford Lipsey.
Recently, Relume was found to be compliant for the third year in a row, with zero non-conformances in its annual ISO 9001:2008 surveillance audit. In addition, eight of its outdoor pole/arm mounted area and roadway luminaires have been added to the Qualified Products List for the Design Lights Consortium, a bi-national list of qualified LED fixture qualifies.

Aurora Lighting purchases Pro-Lite spectroradiometer

Pro-Lite has supplied a two-meter integrating sphere to Aurora Lighting, a UK-based LED lighting manufacturer. Aurora will use the sphere to accurately measure the total light output of their LED light sources.
The two-meter-diameter integrating sphere contains a Labsphere spectroradiometer, allowing for performance data more precise than that of a traditional photometer. The system reports lumen output, color temperature, color rendering index, chromaticity and binning accuracy.
Pro-Lite, a supplier of instruments for measuring light and the optical properties of materials, acquired SphereOptics GmbH in April, 2011 in hopes of expanding its light measurement business in Eastern-European markets.

Design LED Products raises $1 million in funding

Braveheart Investment Group has closed a second funding round worth over $1 million (£639,000) for LCD backlighting specialist Design LED Products (DLP), based in Livingston, UK.
Braveheart raised cash from several of its clients, with the Scottish Co-investment Fund, Highland Venture Capital and Tweed Renaissance Investors Capital (TRI Cap) also contributing.
This follows a $1.8 million investment round in January 2010 in which Osram was one of the investors. January's investment round, the first since DLP's launch in 2006, was designed to fund application development and commercialize existing product lines. Stuart Bain, chief executive of DLP, said the latest funding round will now see it "aggressively pursuing market entry."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cree acquires lighting manufacturer Ruud and BetaLED subsidary

Cree has acquired Ruud Lighting, including its specialist LED brand BetaLED, for $525 million and plans to operate the acquisition as subsidiary of Cree Lighting.

Durham, NC-based Cree Inc acquired Ruud Lighting through a stock and cash transaction valued at approximately $525 million. The companes have a history of partnership in pushing the adoption of LED-based solid-state lighting (SSL), and Cree plans to operate Ruud and its BetaLED brand as a subsidiary of Cree Lighting.

Cree says that its motivation for the acquisition exactly matches the company's stated mission of accelerating the deployment and market acceptance of SSL. Chuck Swoboda, Cree's chairman and CEO said, "Cree is taking another bold step in leading the LED lighting revolution, creating a company that has an unrivaled focus and commitment to driving LED lighting adoption."
Cree and BetaLED have been close partners over a number of years, with the latter using many Cree LEDs in its fixtures. BetaLED will bring a greatly expanded sales channel for Cree Lighting's system products.

Ruud will continue to operate from its Racine, WI headquarters with more than 800 employees joining Cree. Alan Ruud has joined the Cree board of directors. The acquisition includes $372 million in cash, and stock valued at $211 million based on Wednesday's closing market price of $34.74.

Ruud joins Cree Lighting
Of course Cree is not new to the position of selling both packaged LEDs and lighting fixtures and systems that use the LEDs – presumably in competition with other customers of the component business. Cree entered the lighting systems business in early 2008 when it acquired LED Lighting Fixtures from former Cree Inc co-founder Neal Hunter, and made Hunter the president of Cree LED Lighting Solutions.

Still, Cree has insisted that its activity in the lighting space was ultimately focused on helping LED component customers knock down roadblocks to widespread SSL deployment. Indeed, major announcements this year of an Energy-Star-compliant retrofit lamp for 60W A Lamps, and an even more-efficient prototype that outputs 1330 lm both appear to be reference designs more so than products destined for sale under the Cree Lighting brand.

Impact on Cree LED customers
Now, however, Cree will operate a lighting business that is solely focused on winning in the fixture/systems game. BetaLED has primarily been focused on the outdoor-lighting market, and is clearly one of the market leaders in the lucrative LED street light space based on publicly-announced customers such as the City of Los Angeles. BetaLED has less of a presence in indoor applications, but without question, has been a major Cree customer.

BetaLED will certainly provide Cree with a ready outlet for the system products, including modules, that Cree Inc and Cree Lighting have introduced. The ready availability of that technology will enable BetaLED to quickly address applications beyond its outdoor-lighting base. Alan Ruud, chairman and chief executive officer of Ruud Lighting said, "Joining Cree was the right thing to do so Ruud Lighting can build on our leadership position; as leaders we create opportunities for everyone."

Surely Ruud's statement was meant to allay the concerns of other Cree LED customers while recognizing the value that a closer tie will bring to Ruud fixture customers. But that closer relationship will clearly worry other customers of Cree LEDs.

Cree stated that it would gain even more knowledge and expertise regarding what system and luminaire designers need in next-generation LEDs via the Ruud acquisition. There's surely some truth in that, but we will wait to see if it's enough to keep other LED customers from looking elsewhere for a supplier.

Vertical integration trend
Cree isn't the only LED vendor to have close ties to lighting companies. LED maker Philips Lumileds is a sister business to several Philips Lighting brands and the same is true for Osram Opto Semiconductor and Sylvania. Perhaps it's such vertical integration that's needed to drive SSL prices down and increase market penetration.

Vertical intregration may seem unusual, comparing the LED industry to the structure in today's broader semiconductor market. However, back in the 70's and 80's all of the IC vendors also made system products.

Food displays in 800 co-op stores get Nualight LED lighting

Nualight has signed a multi-million dollar deal to install LED lighting in the refrigerators and freezers of 800 co-operative food stores in the UK.

Nualight (Cork, Ireland), a specialist in LED lighting for the food retail sector, has secured a multi-million dollar deal to install its LED lighting in freezers and ice-cream cabinets throughout 800 UK-based stores owned by the Co-operative Group (Manchester, UK).
Nualight’s Porto lighting will be installed in the doors in low-temperature merchandising cabinets and its Alto canopy lighting will be installed in ice-cream display cabinets throughout the stores.
Porto and Alto have been designed specifically to reduce energy consumption, but also to make food displays look brighter, fresher and more colorful.

For instance, the low-wattage Porto 600 LED lamp is designed to be invisible from the customer’s point of view while still enabling brighter lighting of products.
LED’s niche in freezers and refrigerators
Food retailers in the UK has already transitioned to doors on frozen food displays as an energy saving measure and are beginning to apply the same measure to refrigerators (chillers). However, this has led to problems with dark spots across the face of food displays where the light cannot reach. Nualight’s Porto door lighting produces bright and uniform lighting for freezers and refrigerators with doors.

Liam Kelly, CEO of Nualight said, “Our lighting delivers significant energy savings of over 70% when compared with fluorescent technology and it is also maintenance-free. We’re delighted that our technology can play an important part in The Co-operative Group’s ambitious ethos of responsible retailing.”

For high-margin food displays such as ice cream and luxury desserts, it is vital that the lighting also brings out the richness of color in the packaging. Alto canopy lighting delivers high CRI, boosting color vibrancy in the products on display.
Co-operative’s sustainability agenda
“The motivation for introducing Nualight’s LED lighting solutions to our stores arose primarily from our unique commitment to sustainable retailing practices,” explained Alex Pitman, Energy and Carbon Manager at the Co-operative Group.

The Co-operative has over 3000 food stores and supermarkets around the UK. It focuses on quality with honest, ethically sourced products and has an ambitious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. A survey in 2008 found The Co-operative to be Britain’s greenest supermarket. The company has the toughest carbon reduction targets of any major business in the UK.
The Nualight transaction with The Co-operative follows a similar Nualight deal with Tesco in the UK last year as well as with the Fresh N Easy chain of stores in the US.

Other European retailers who are benefiting from Nualight’s LED technology include Morrisons, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Migros, Tengelmann and Coop Switzerland.

Nualight has the largest installed base of horizontal LED lighting globally and is successfully rolling out its products in 20 countries with major global retail players such as Tesco (Europe), Ahold (US) and Coles (Australia).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

DOE announces $12 million in 8th round funding of SSL R&D programs

With particular emphasis on meeting performance and cost targets of products for year 2020, two US DOE funding opportunities contain projects across the SSL spectrum – from LED substrate development to novel luminaire design to large-area OLEDs.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it will provide $12 million for the 8th round of funding to support the advanced research, development and market adoption of solid-state lighting (SSL) technology. The submission deadline is in early November.
The funding supports two existing DOE SSL R&D program areas – core technology research and product development. The projects are designed to meet the goals spelled out in the March 2011 Multiyear Program Plan.
In the area of core research, projects will focus on applied research that fills technology gaps or provides enabling knowledge in critical areas. Projects are invited in four target areas including:
• Emitter materials research
• Down-converters
• Novel OLED materials and structures
• LED light extraction approaches.
The second program is focused on product development, applying basic or applied research to develop commercial viable devices, materials or systems. The DOE emphasizes that selected projects will have fully defined price, efficacy and other performance parameters needed for a successful product. Projects are invited in four areas including:
• LED package architecture
• Novel LED luminaire systems
• Large-area OLEDs
• OLEDs panel outcoupling.
Full details of the funding announcement can be found on the DOE website, and the submission deadline for applications is November 3, 2011.
In addition, under the core technology opportunity, the cost share requirement is waived for projects in which the prime recipient is a federal research center or national laboratory.
In the 7th round of funding, the DOE awarded $4.3 million to core technology research, $3.6 million to product development and $6.9 million to manufacturing projects for a total of $14.8 million.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

LEDs & Health

LEDs & Health
How do LEDs have anything to do with health?
An interesting area of study has emerged in the last decade or so that has been studying the relationship that lighting has on the health of the human body.
Many common moods, feelings, and energy levels can be attributed to how much light exposure we receive during the day. S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a common problem many people face during the winter months when there is limited light exposure. People’s circadian rhythm is also disrupted when they travel to different time zones and experience jet lag.
A chemical process takes place in our brains that releases or suppresses important hormones that affect our mental and physical health. The reality is that most Americans are not exposed to enough light during their busy lives to balance out their circadian rhythm cycle. Also, we are exposed to light at odd and unnatural times which also affects are circadian cycle.
So what can be done? We all need more light, and LED lighting can assist in balancing light levels inside your home due to their high light outputs and opportunities for lighting control. In the near future people will be able to dial in their
desired light output and color with LEDs to be able to better mimic their natural lighting environments.
There are many avenues to ex
plore with lighting and health and we encourage anyone interested to research this fascinating area of study.
Check out a few articles that go into detail on Lighting and Health

Saturday, August 13, 2011

LED & Lighting Definitions

CRI: (Color Rendition Index) This rates how well colors are registered under lighting from 0-100 (70-100 most common). Blue colors look blue, reds are red, etc. Halogen and Incandescent lighting is usually thought of as having 100 CRI or close to it which means all your colors will look as they should although I question the CRI of your standard incandescent.
Lumens: A measurement of light perceived by the human eye. You will most often see this measurement on a light bulb packaging. For reference a 60W light bulb usually claims on avg to produce around 600 lumens of omni directional light
Lux: Another measurement of light in a given area using a lux light meter. The higher the lux measurement, the brighter the light. Most homes measure around 400-1000 Lux of visible light on any given day. For comparison, on a bright sunny day you are exposed to 80,000 Lux or more of light.

CCT: (Correlated Color Temperature) This is a measurement of the color of light. For LED lighting this range is usually in the 2500-6500 range. 2700K is called warm white and your traditional incandescent light is in this range. Lights in the 6500 range are very blue looking and are called cool light. The sun shows this quite well. Morning light is more blue (cool) while afternoon and evening light is more amber or (warm)
Omnidirectional: Light being thrown in every direction and angle which is what most incandescent and certain halogen bulbs are
A19: Your classic medium base light bulb
A15: Your smaller medium base bulb often called an appliance bulb
Candelabra: Your common chandelier, coach light, and ceiling fan bulb
Driver: A power supply that provides a constant voltage and current to LEDs and is required for most LEDs to operate. Some drivers are very small while higher wattage drivers can be large.
Phospor: A layer of a certain chemical mixture that is often used to turn blue LED light into white light
Color Mixing: A form of creating white light. Different colors of LEDs mix together to create white light (usually red & amber LEDs)

Remote Phosphor Technology: Another method of turning blue light into white light. A disk or cap is used away from the LED array. When the blue light passes through the phosphors, the light is changed to white
Beam Spread: Some bulbs will give their beam spread in degrees. A narrow spot of light for example would be a 25˚ beam spread, while a wide area of light would be 90˚ or larger.
Binning: When LEDs are manufactured in large quantities there are sometimes slight variations in color and brightness. Manufacturers try and group the LEDs together as closely as they can according to color and brightness. This is important only because some inexpensive bulbs may have low binning standards which means you may have 2 lights from the same manufacturer but they both put off a different color and brightness.

Educate Yourself with LED Lighting technology & the Quality LED Lighting products being sold in market today

The days of the classic incandescent light bulb are numbered
It was a good run. It has provided lighting for billions of people throughout the world for over a century now.
With energy costs increasing and recent congressional legislation (which will start phasing out the incandescent light bulb in 2012), how will people across the world now light their homes?
Some say the answer is fluorescent lighting, but the future of lighting is in LED technology. Lighting has become more complex and choosing a QUALITY LED product is not as easy as it may seem.
Here are some LED technology knowledge to educate you and inform you of quality LED lighting products being sold today.

What are LEDs and LED lighting?
Many of you may have recently purchased a car with LED daytime running lights and brake lights, or maybe you recently purchased a new slim HDTV that is LED backlit. Others may be reading this page right now on a computer monitor or mobile device that is backlit by LED lighting.
LEDs, which stand for Light Emitting Diodes, can be thought of as small semiconductor diodes that are mounted on an electronic circuit board. When electricity passes through the diodes, they light up. LEDs have many advantages over other light sources for the following reasons: low power consumption, minimal heat, small profile, and long lifespan if heat and current are controlled properly.

LEDs have been around for decades in electronics and other devices but only recently have engineers been able to develop white LED light through various methods and make it bright enough to replace the lighting in our homes. Most LED light sources will look different than what you are used to. This is due to the fact that most LED light sources are often built around a heat sink that keeps the LEDs cool and contributes to their long lifespan. LED lighting is the future of residential lighting and will become the standard light source in the next few years replacing incandescent and eventually fluorescent light sources.

How do you choose a good LED light source?
The market for LED lighting is changing every day. New products are showing up all the time and will only continue to show up as consumers gain interest and prices come down. The problem, however, is due to the complexity of what really makes a quality LED light, the average consumer may look only for incandescent wattage equivalency and later be disappointed on their purchase. If consumers have a bad LED experience, there is a risk that they will no longer trust the technology and assume that all LED products are created equal. This happened with many people who bought cheaply made CFL bulbs that quickly went out and they never bought any again.
Here are 3 things you need to remember and look for when purchasing or researching an LED lighting product.

Brightness- Is there any labeling on the box or description that states the claimed output (often in lumens)? Manufacturers often overstate their performance but if the model only lists the wattage equivalency you should be suspicious.
Here is a basic chart on approximate incandescent lumens to compare what you have currently in the house. (Keep in mind that this is in all directions and that some lights are directional and have a narrow beam spread which can change results dramatically)
25W - 185 Lumens
40W - 320 Lumens
60W - 610 Lumens
100W - 1100 Lumens
Color- Two Things to look for: something called Color Temperature and CRI. Color temperature for most residential use is usually in the 2700-3500K range (K means Kelvin). This color is the range most people currently have in their house with incandescent and halogen lights.
CRI is Color Rendition and the higher the number (0-100) the better. For reference most halogen lights are upper 90s to 100 which most people prefer. Fluorescents are usually in the low 80s which is one reason why many people dislike the color. See below for more definitions on Color Temperature and CRI
Manufacturer- Have you heard of them before? If you haven’t do not worry just yet. Many new companies have emerged from various industries to compete in the LED lighting market. Some of them are great competitors and are giving the big boys like Philips, GE, and Osram Sylvania a run for their money. There are however many fly by night companies bringing in poorly made Chinese products you want to stay away from. Some of these LED lighting manufacturers may not even be around to honor their 3-5 year warranty if something was to go wrong with your light. You do not want to skimp on quality due to price with LED lighting just as you usually shouldn't with most products and especially electronic devices.

The government has pushed for new labeling standards with what they call the Lighting Facts label (above) found on the package of the light source. These labels are helpful but can still be confusing to the average consumer and from what we have found, may still be misleading. If you see this on the packaging, it is a good thing, but you need to educate yourself on what the numbers mean and realize they many not be accurate.

Will LED prices come down? Should I buy now or wait?
These are great questions. Yes, the prices are likely to come down, but no one knows exactly how far they may drop. Due to their complexities I would not want them to be as cheap as an incandescent or halogen light bulb.
Many people may wait to buy which is a hit or miss conclusion. LEDs are a product that most people will start seeing a payback very soon. With the reduced electricity usage, no maintenance expenses (changing lights on 2-story ceilings), and no heat output (lower AC bill), LEDs start puting money back in your pocket after a short time.
Just like LCD televisions and cell phones, new LED products keep coming out that are better, cheaper, and offer more features, but if you keep waiting and waiting to buy, you never will.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cree announces blue LED and remote-phosphor licensing program

Royal Blue XLamp XT-E LED targets remote-phosphor SSL applications, and Cree is offering licenses for its remote phosphor-technology for ready usage by lamp and luminaire vendors.
Cree announced the new XLamp XT-E Royal Blue LED that delivers 525 mW of radiant flux, and targets remote-phosphor solid-state-lighting (SSL) applications. The company will match that LED with a remote-phosphor patent licensing program that will allow lamp and luminaire designers to accelerate the SSL design cycle.
Cree says that the new LED offers “category-leading brightness” along with 2.5-nm bins that it asserts are the industry’s tightest. Mike Watson, Cree senior director of marketing, LED components, said, “The new Cree XLamp XT-E Royal Blue LED outperforms the competition in both elements enabling our customers to design high-performance and low-cost systems.”

Cree royal-blue LED
The LED is based on Cree’s Direct Attach packaging technology that relies on bond pads on the bottom side of the emitter and what the company calls a “eutectic die-attach process” that eliminates bond wires and uses a chemical compound for the bond. That design yields the 525 mW of flux at 350-mA drive current and 85° C operating temperature.
CREE Royal-blue LED

Remote-phosphor technology
Remote-phosphor SSL designs typically utilize a blue emitter -- generally considered to be the color that delivers maximum efficacy. The phosphor that generates the white light is coated on a secondary optic or diffuser. Proponents believe such designs deliver better efficacy than do phosphor-converted LEDs. Phosphor-specialist Intematix, for one example, maintains that its remote-phosphor technology can deliver a 30% efficiency advantage.
There are certainly notable examples of remote-phosphor products that achieve superior efficacy. For example, the Philips lamp that was announced as the US Department of Energy (DOE) L Prize winner last week uses a remote phosphor.
Royal Blue XLamp XT-E LED side view

Patent licensing
Cree hopes to help design teams working on remote-phosphor lamps and systems via the patent licensing program. Cree says that a license will allow access to patents that are fundamental to the combination of a blue emitter and a phosphor-coated optical element.
Early this year, Cree announced what is essentially a reference design of a 60W-equivalent LED-based lamp that uses remote-phosphor technology and that according to Cree would meet Energy Star requirements. At the time of that announcement, Cree said that the design relied on patented remote-phosphor technology. It’s not clear if that same technology is included in the new licensing program.
CREE A-lamp Reference Design

Other royal-blue LEDs
Cree is not the first company to announce a royal-blue LED targeted at remote-phosphor lamps and luminaires. Philips made a similar announcement back in May of a royal-blue LED in the Luxeon ES family of components.
Coincidentally, or not, both the Cree and Philips announcements were lacking a measurement of light output in the more traditional units of lumens (lm). Cree chose to specify its product in the wattage unit that defines the radiometric power or radiant flux of the output.
Originally Philips simply provided a specification of wall plug efficiency for its LED. Subsequently the company has published a data sheet with a rating of 500 mW at 350 mA.

Cree Demonstrates 60 Watt Equivalent LED Light Bulb

Cree has demonstrated the brightest, most efficient, LED-based A-lamp that can meet ENERGY STAR® performance requirements for a 60 watt standard LED replacement bulb. This unprecedented level of performance is the result of Cree innovation, Cree barrier-breaking LED performance, Cree TrueWhite® Technology and patented Cree remote phosphor technology.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

LED modules bring new light to Boise YMCA aquatic center

Custom LED retrofits from SimplyLEDs and Bridgelux rejuvenated a Boise, Idaho aquatic center while reducing energy usage by 80 percent.
The YMCA in Boise, Idaho is open 20 hours a day. And up until several weeks ago, a midnight swim had begun to look like just that. Lighting levels had deteriorated. The metal-halide fixtures, designed to reflect light off a white ceiling, had burned out in several cases. Chlorine from the water had caused the ceiling to turn brown.
Pool area before LED retrofit
Finally, an elaborate truss system held the existing 66 lighting fixtures and tearing it out was cost-prohibitive. “If we had to replace all those fixtures it would not have been cost effective,” said Everett.
After weighing several options, including blanket replacement of the metal-halide luminaires and several different LED vendors, the YMCA decided to work with a provider of task-specific LED lighting, SimplyLEDs (Garden City, ID), and LED array provider Bridgelux (San Jose, CA). Together, they provided a drop-in replacement for each of the 66 fixtures, keeping the still functional and attractive truss system intact.

LED replacement modules
The replacement kit for each fixture consists of 4 Piazza Series LED modules and two power supplies, which consume 150W (see photo). This kit compares to two 400W metal-halide bulbs with ballasts, which consumed approximately 920W each. Energy savings is 770W per fixture or 80 percent.

The design team chose aluminum reflectors to direct the LED light to the pool level. They experimented with various reflector shapes, finally settling on a gull-wing type design for optimal lighting effect.
LED Module
A further design criterion involved adapting the LEDs to the caustic pool environment. High humidity and chlorine levels dictated that the LED modules be hermetically sealed. “We leveraged a technology from a company that makes LED marker lights for aircraft, AeroLEDs [Nampa, ID], described Deely. The LEDs are sealed in a water- and air-tight module. Epoxy adheres the polycarbonate lens to the LEDs and to the heat sink. The only wires (to the LEDs) exiting the heat sink are wrapped in heat-shrink tubing. The wires go through a silicon rubber grommet lined in silicone paste. The power supply is IP67 rated. Both the modules and power supply have a 5-year warranty.
The light output per fixture is now approximately 13,500 lm at 150W or 90 lm/W efficacy. Although the total lumen output is lower than with the metal-halide bulbs, SimplyLEDs was able to increase light output levels on the pool by 50 percent by taking advantage of the beam angle of the LEDs and the custom-designed reflector. A CCT of 5000K, very close to that of daylight (5500K), was chosen.
Light fixtures and reflectors
Beyond the savings in energy cost of approximately $20,000/yr, the removal of the metal-halide lamps also eliminated the fire hazard associated with these lights. In addition, whenever there was a power outage, the YMCA had to wait approximately 30 minutes until the metal-halide lamps cooled and could be restarted. This inconvenience no longer exists. Moreover, because the maintenance cost of the LEDs is nearly zero, Everett estimated a maintenance savings of $5000 per year.
Pool area after LED retrofit
Other advantages to the LED installation include increased lighting uniformity in the pool area and reduced glare off the water.
The strong drivers for adopting LEDs were really the terrific energy savings, fast installation and reasonable ROI. Also, they don’t have much tolerance for interruptions, since they’re open twenty hours a day, seven days a week. The willingness to work after hours and work quickly made a big difference on this project.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

DOE announces that Philips has won the 60W-replacement-lamp L Prize (Updated)

Philips Lighting North America has won the US Department of Energy (DOE) Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition in the 60W-replacement-lamp category with its remote-phosphor-based design. The Philips LED-based lamp has undergone 18 months of vigorous lab and field testing including having 1300 lamps installed around North America in real applications and Arun Majumdar, Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Director of Advance Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) at the DOE, today pronounced the solid-state-lighting (SSL) lamp the winner.

Philips will collect a $10 million prize for developing a 60W-replacement lamp that meets the stringent L Prize requirements including efficacy in excess of 90 lm/W.
The DOE launched the L Prize competition in 2008 to encourage the development of SSL products that can drastically reduce energy usage centric to lighting. The 60W-replacement category was a target for the program because that lamp is the most widely-used incandescent bulb in homes – 50% of the US incandescent market, says the DOE. According to the DOE and Philips, the US would annually save 35 TWh in electricity and $3.9 billion, and reduce greenhouse gas emission by 20 million metric tons if every 60W incandescent bulb was replaced with an LED lamp that meets the L Prize efficiency standard.

60W L Prize requirements

The DOE defined a tough set of requirements for potential contestants including more than 900 lm light output at less than 10W in power consumption. In contrast, typical 60W incandescent lamps output around 700 to 800 lm delivering maximum efficacy in the 13 lm/W range.
Other L Prize requirements include a 25,000 hour rated life, CRI of more than 90, and color temperature between 2700K and 3000K. The actual list of detailed requirements is quite a lot longer, including omnidirectional light distribution and robust thermal performance.
Philips just revealed the actual specifications of its L Prize lamp for the first time after winning the prize. The lamp outputs 910 lm at 9.7W delivering an efficacy of 93.4 lm/W, a CCD of 2727, and a CRI of 93.

L Prize entrants also had to present a manufacturing plan to the DOE that will lead to launch of a commercial product. The L Prize partners have suggested a $22 selling price for the lamp at introduction. At this point Philips hasn't addressed price and is only saying that it hopes to begin selling the lamp in early 2012. The DOE will award the cash prize based on the manufacturing plan as opposed to the actual launch of the product and commercial availability.

A unique lamp look

The Philips design is quite unique in that the LEDs are mounted radially in three optical segments that individually might look like a portion of an incandescent lamp except for the yellowish remote phosphor that’s apparent when the lamps are powered off. Air cooling channels separate the segments.
While Philips hasn’t yet offered the L Prize candidate lamp for sale, it does sell the similarly-designed EnduraLED 800-lm lamp at major retailers. That product was the first 60W-replacement LED lamp to win Energy Star certification.

L Prize next steps

There are two remaining elements to the L Prize competition. The DOE originally announced a competition focused on SSL replacement for PAR 38 Halogen lamps at the same time that it launched the 60W competition. The DOE put the PAR 38 competition on hold early this year citing the need to revise the program based on what it had learned in the 60W competition.
There had not been an entry in the PAR 38 competition at the time of the suspension. Presumably that PAR 38 competition will be reopened in the near future. The competition requirements document specified a $5 million prize for the PAR 38 winner.

The DOE has also said that it would later add a competition called the 21st Century Lamp category from an SSL product that delivers 150 lm/W. Details of that competition have never been revealed, nor has a date for the start of the competition.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Philips wins L Prize for 60W-replacement LED lamp

Philips Lighting North America has announced that it has won the US Department of Energy’s 60-watt replacement bulb category of the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition (view press release).

Samples of

the Philips 10-watt LED lamp were submitted in 2009 and have completed 18 months of field, lab and product testing. Performance requirements included an output in excess of 900 lm, and a useful lifetime of more than 25,000 hours.

Philips says that it will receive $10 million as a cash prize, and will also participate in L Prize partner programs and incentives.

Philips also says that the lamp “could arrive in stores as soon as early 2012.”

Outdoor Lighting: LED Roadway wins Edmonton project, Kingsun supplies Shenzhen

In a mix of new and retrofit applications, LED Roadway Lighting is supplying the city of Edmonton, Canada with 2580 Satellite series LED luminaires. Kingsun Optoelectronic has completed one of the first large-scale LED roadway lighting projects in China deploying solid-state lighting (SSL) along a 120-km highway. Las Vegas, Nevada has begun an LED retrofit project that could reach 50,000 street lights, and we have more details on the Bristol, UK project that utilizes Philips SpeedStar luminaires.

In Edmonton, the city projects that the SSL project will deliver $2.6 million in energy savings over the expected 20 year life of the luminaires. The projection is based on 51% savings over the high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures that are currently in use. The local electric utility Epcor Utilities worked with the city to specify the LED luminaires.

Over the 20 year period, the city projects a reduction of 12,880 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover the aggregate electricity savings total 16,000,000 kWh.

”This project represents one of our largest deployments in Canada, and reinforces our message that municipal and other users are interested in reliability and are serious about conducting a total life cycle cost evaluation,” said LED Roadway Lighting CEO Charles Cartmill. “We are very excited about the future, and for this current opportunity to supply our fixtures to the City of Edmonton.”

Kingsun supplies 10,000+ luminaires

In Shenzhen, China, Kingsun has supplied more than 10,000 SSL luminaires for a roadway lighting project along a 120-km highway with three traffic lanes and an emergency lane in each direction. The project include both pole-mounted roadway lights and tunnel lights.

The Shenzhen project was a new roadway lighting project rather than a retrofit. Kingsun supplied 239W LED lights for the roadway where it's likely that 400W HPS lights would have been required for the project. Kingsun said the LEDs will deliver 60% energy savings.

The roadway lighting is deployed in a median belt that isolates the opposing traffic lanes. Each pole includes arm mounted luminaires on each side. Kingsun says the average illumination is more than 20 lx.

Cree develops prototype LED lamp that delivers 152 lm/W

Cree has announced an LED-retrofit A-lamp that meets stringent performance goals, although the company has no immediate plans to market the product. The company has developed a prototype that delivers 1330 lm and consumes 8.7W, with an efficacy of 152 lm/W.

Cree says that the prototype “exceeds the performance goals” of the US Department of Energy (DOE) LPrize Competition in the 21st Century Lamp category. The DOE has yet to fully define the requirements of this third element of the L Prize competition, although it has said that 150 lm/W efficacy would be a requirement.

Non-traditional looks

The new lamp looks significantly different than most LED retrofit lamps and decidedly different from a traditional incandescent bulb. In a video, below, Gerry Negley, Cree's CTO and co-inventor of the bulb, said, “I don’t know what lighting will look like in the 21st century. I can tell you it will not be constrained with shapes and technology of the past. It will not look like a traditional light bulb.”

Indeed we have already seen a number of SSL lamps that depart from traditional looks. But Cree is taking liberties in suggesting that the prototype might meet the undefined 21st Century L Prize requirements (except in terms of efficacy), and the unusual shape of the lamp could be an issue.

The prototype appears to be cylindrical in terms of the lighting globe or diffuser, as shown in the photo. And a cylindrical heat sink, which is larger than the optical element, forms the base of the lamp. Such a design would not provide an omnidirectional distribution of light. No one knows for sure what requirements the DOE will define for the third L Prize category. But we do know that in the 60W category, an omnidirectional distribution is a requisite.

Cree won’t reveal any of the design details used in the prototype other than saying it uses Cree TrueWhite technology. TrueWhite is Cree’s approach to mixing red LEDs with phosphor-converted yellow LEDs to deliver warmer color temperatures with greater efficacy than is possible using white LEDs alone.

Third-party validation

Cree says that the prototype has a CCT of 2800K and a CRI of 91. Cree had the performance and color specifications verified by third-party testing lab OnSpeX.

A retrofit lamp in the 150 lm/W range could certainly have a big impact on energy usage. Cree co-founder Neal Hunter said, “We calculate that if fully deployed, LED lighting at 150 lm/W could bring a 16.5% reduction in US electrical-energy consumption, returning it to 1987 levels.” But Cree isn’t saying when such a lamp might be manufactured.

Back in January, Cree announced a prototype of a 60W-replacement lamp that it said was the first design that could meet Energy Star requirements. Since then Philips has achieved Energy Star compliance with its EnduraLED 60W-replacement lamp.

Cree has consistently said that its lighting systems business is primarily focused on helping customers of its LED components business solve design problems. Essentially Cree creates systems from which LED customers can borrow design elements. Cree does sell LED luminaires such as downlights and linear fluorescent replacement fixtures. To date the company has not sold LED retrofit lamps.