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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Toshiba invests in Bridgelux to develop GaN-on-silicon LEDs

Toshiba and Bridgelux plan to develop GaN-on-silicon LEDs on 8-inch wafers, making use of Toshiba’s capabilities in silicon-based device manufacturing.
Toshiba, the Japan-based industrial giant and lighting manufacturer, has made an equity investment in Bridgelux, the Livermore, California-based LED maker. The companies have also reported impressive results from GaN-based LEDs fabricated on 8-inch silicon wafers.
Toshiba said that the investment was made “with the intent to jointly pursue an innovative technology in the solid-state lighting space.” Specifically, the companies are planning to boost Bridgelux's GaN-on-silicon LED chip technology development efforts by making use of Toshiba's advanced silicon process and manufacturing technology capabilities.

Toshiba and Bridgelux engaged in a joint collaborative agreement earlier this year. Bill Watkins, CEO of Bridgelux, said: "Toshiba and Bridgelux have already been engaged in the development of the technology, and the equity investment brings both companies one step closer to a more strategic relationship and achieving our shared goal of driving down the cost of solid-state solutions for the general lighting market."

The companies also reported results of their joint development. GaN-based blue LED chips fabricated on 8-inch-diameter silicon wafers demonstrated an optical power of 614 mW with a forward voltage of 3.1V when driven at 350 mA. The chip size was 1.1x1.1 mm.

"We are pleased to achieve the best-reported 8-inch GaN-on-silicon LED performance through our joint development activities with Bridgelux. We will continue to pursue more advanced development targeting commercialization of the technology," said Makoto Hideshima, Executive VP of Semiconductor and Storage Products Company and Corporate VP of Toshiba.

Companies pursuing the development of GaN-on-silicon LEDs believe this technology could ultimately lead to a significant cost reduction for LED chips, due to the large size and low cost of silicon wafers. When reporting R&D results from GaN-on-Si LEDs in August 2011, Bridgelux said that this approach could ultimately yield a 75% improvement in cost for LED components.

Other companies including Osram Opto Semiconductors are also working on the GaN-on-silicon approach. In January 2012 this year, Osram showed optical power results of 634 mW at 3.15V for 1.0x1.0-mm chips at 350 mA. However, these chips were fabricated on 6-inch wafers (see Osram Opto unveils R&D results from GaN LEDs grown on silicon).

Toshiba is a major lighting manufacturer in Japan and has also introduced LED-based lamps and fixtures into the US and European markets. Some of Toshiba’s LED lamps already use the company’s own LEDs, and that the company plans to become more vertically integrated in the future. The amount received by Bridgelux from Toshiba was not specified, but in February 2012 the California-based company secured an investment of $25 million from Kaistar Lighting.

Lumenpulse introduces configurable line of linear LED luminaires

Lumenline configurable LED luminaires have been designed to match the performance of T5 fluorescent fixtures with a slim design, high efficacy and color rendering index.
Lumenpulse Inc., a manufacturer of LED-based architectural lighting systems based in Montreal, Quebec, has introduced the Lumenline LED luminaires for indoor environments.
Lumenline recessed LED fixture
Lumenline has been designed to match the performance of traditional T5 HO fluorescent systems in terms of system efficacy (68 lm/W), photometric distribution and color rendering (85 CRI), while offering long life of up to 100,000 hours. The line of luminaires is suitable for office and classroom environments.
“Converting to LED has never been this easy,” said Fran├žois-Xavier Souvay, founder, president and CEO of Lumenpulse. “Lumenline is a complete family toolbox in a slim, clean format that offers flexibility for general lighting applications. It is simple to specify, easy to integrate and offers myriad options.”

Lumenline is designed to be highly configurable and can be adapted to a variety of architectural and commercial building interiors. The system is available in pendant (shown), recessed (shown) and surface-mount formats, in single units (1, 2,... 8-ft in length) or continuous runs. The luminaires and can be configured with various color temperatures, accessories and optics to allow indirect and/or direct lighting.

Lumenline pendant LED luminaire
The Lumenline fixtures are compatible with Lumentalk – a digital control and monitoring method that was introduced by Lumenpulse last week. Using existing AC power lines, Lumentalk is a protocol-independent communications method that does not require any additional wiring. Lumenpulse is demonstrating Lumentalk at Lightfair this week.
Lumentalk enables LED fixtures from any manufacturer to be dimmed and controlled over existing power lines, and works with any control or dimming standard (triac, ELV, 0-10V, DALI, or DMX), AC voltage (100V AC - 277V AC), and operates within frequency bands allocated by worldwide regulations (FCC, CENELEC, ARIB).

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Synopsys acquires RSoft Design Group

Optical design software supplier Synopsys has acquired RSoft, which provides photonics design and simulation software.
Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS), which specializes in software and IP used in the design, verification and manufacture of electronic components and systems, has completed the acquisition of privately-held RSoft Design Group, Inc. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Headquartered in Ossining, New York, RSoft is a provider of photonics design and simulation software.
Mountain View, California-based Synopsys describes the acquisition as a “natural extension of its entry into the optics market.” This began in October 2010, when Synopsys acquired Optical Research Associates, a privately-held provider of optical design software and optical engineering services, including Code V and LightTools software products.

"Synopsys' strategy is two-fold: continued leadership in EDA while expanding our total addressable market into adjacent technologies, including optical design. The addition of RSoft's products expands Synopsys' solutions in both the optical and adjacent photonic markets," said Howard Ko, senior VP and general manager of Synopsys' Silicon Engineering Group.

Among many other applications, RSoft's software can be used to accurately model nano-scale optical structures that enhance the light-extraction efficiency of applications such as LED structures, displays and solar cells, as well as enable increased optical data storage capacity.

Philips Lighting and GE Lighting launch 100W LED retrofit lamps (Updated)

Lightfair will see a number of companies introduce SSL retrofit lamps that are equivalent of 100W incandescent bulbs and GE Lighting and Philips Lighting announced such products before the exhibits opened.
LED retrofit lamps now cover the full spectrum of incandescent lamps with GE Lighting and Philips Lighting each announcing a 100W-equivalent product headed into Lightfair in Las Vegas, NV where the exhibits open on Wednesday. Switch Lighting recently announced such a lamp and others are likely to announce 100W solid-state lighting (SSL) equivalents this week. Philips also rolled out new LED-based reflector lamps with a new thermal technology called Airflux leading up to the convention.

GE Lighting Energy Smart lamp
GE Lighting's Energy Smart LED lamp produces 1600 lm – the equivalent of a typical 100W incandescent. Yet the LED lamp consumes 27W and is rated for 25,000 hours of life. The lamp features a 3000K CCT and is dimmable.

Cooling is a primary challenge in a 100W retrofit lamp. GE addressed that issue using a SynJet active cooling device from Nuventix. GE invested in Nuventix last year, and licensed the Nuventix patent portfolio.

Jim Balthazar, CEO and president of Nuventix, said, "Once we came together last year, our teams wasted no time getting in the lab to build on the genius of GE's LED bulb design, and to incorporate a synthetic jet solution that enabled GE to leapfrog its competitors." GE said the Synjet was critical to cooling the lamps that maintained the standard A-19 size and shape.

GE introduced a 60W-equivalent lamp at Lightfair last year, and a 40W equivalent the year before. But the company leapfrogged the 75W space and caught up to Philips and others that had already begun shipping 75W-equivalent products.

Still, consumers will have to wait a bit to get their hands on LED-based 100W replacements. GE has said that it won't ship the product until the first half of 2013, and for now is not pricing the product.

Philips EnduraLED lamp

Philips Lighting diffused BR LED lamp
Philips said it will begin shipping a 100W-equivalent lamp in its EnduraLED line in the Q4 of this year. The new lamp looks virtually identical to the 60W and 75W EnduraLED retrofit lamps that are broadly available. The family uses remote phosphor technology and the lamps have an orange/yellow tint when not powered on, whereas the GE lamps look white. Both the Philips and GE products have cooling elements that extend up onto or into the globe making them easily distinguishable from incandescent bulbs.

The new Philips lamp uses only 23W and produces almost 1700 lm according to Philips. The 2700K lamps will have a CRI of 80 and will be dimmable. Philips has not priced the lamp as yet, but said that the lamps will save buyers $211 over a lifetime of 25,000 hours.

Philips also offers PAR and BR type lamps in its EnduraLED product line, and at Lightfair will introduce new models that include a technology called Airflux that eliminates the heat sinks that are typically prominent in LED-based PAR and BR retrofit lamps. Philips hasn't revealed the details of Airflux yet, but we expect to learn more about it at Lightfair later in the week.

Philips Lighting directional PAR LED lamp
The new lamps include a choice of three color temperatures and beam angles. Philips said the lamps save 75% in energy relative to PAR halogen lamps or BR incandescent lamps. The PAR retrofits are directional whereas the BR lamps provide diffused light with a new optical design.

"Airflux lamps blend into existing white track and recessed fixtures, and offer equal light quality to that of traditional light sources – attributes that lend themselves to a more pleasing environment in retail stores, hotels and restaurants," said Ed Crawford, general manager of lamps, lighting electronics and controls for Philips.

Moving back to the A-lamp space, expect more news in the 100W-equivalent area later this week. Osram Sylvania showed a prototype of a 100W-equivalent lamp at Lightfair last year. Switch Lighting launched their 100W equivalent two months ago. And Lighting Science Group is also a potential player at the 100W level.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cree announces LED downlights and new linear SSL fixture

Cree has added two new LED downlights and a new linear fixture to its portfolio, and has announced a new SSL module and an extension to its TEMPO testing service.
Leading into Lightfair, Cree made announcements in both its lighting division and its core LED business. Cree Lighting announced a high-end LED downlight that it says targets architectural-grade applications, and a mainstream downlight meant to match the price of compact-fluorescent (CFL)-based downlights. In addition, the company launched the CS series linear solid-state lighting (SSL) fixture rated for 75,000 hours of life. Cree's LED unit, meanwhile, has announced new LED modules and more comprehensive TEMPO testing services for its LED customers.

Cree's CS Series linear fixture
The new SR Series Architectural Downlight is available in a choice of 3000K, 3500K and 4000K CCTs with a CRI greater than 90. Cree joins a number of companies in using the word architectural to imply a higher-performing product, although that terminology can be confusing given that it's more widely used to describe outdoor lighting of buildings and structures.

David Elien, vice president at Cree Lighting, says the optical design of the SR products sets it apart. He said, "Many LED downlights have a gap between the light source and the reflector in the can." With the new downlight, Cree announced the Cree Light Source-Reflector Unity Optical system. What that means, according to Elien, is that the light is uniformly and evenly spread across the surface of the optics and the reflector.

"With the SR Series, the high-quality LED light you expect from Cree comes in a package that you would expect from an architectural-grade lighting manufacturer and at a price point consistent with the industry," said Leah Robinson, lighting designer at Affiliated Engineers, Inc. "Plus, its high efficacy and color consistency allows designers to put more thought into the details of their design and feel confident in the quality of their downlighting solutions."

Cree SR Series downlight
The SR Series delivers 2000 lm , efficacy of 80 lm/W, and a lifetime of 75,000 hours. The product is priced in the $200 range and Elien said that's commensurate with architectural-grade products based on legacy sources. That means, according to Elien, that payback is instant. He said, "The goal is no compromise for the user, but to drive payback."

Contractor-grade downlight
Cree classifies the second new downlight – the KR Series – as contractor grade, and the product will sell in the $150 range. Like the SR Series, the KR series uses Cree TrueWhite technology that mixes amber and red LEDs to produce a warmer light and higher CRI. Indeed, the KR series delivers better than 90 CRI in 2700K, 3000K and 3500K CCT options.

While the SR series is 0-10V dimmable, the KR series is dimmable via a triac to 5% of full output. Cree said the product is a direct replacement for 13W and 26W CFL downlights while offering 30% energy savings and superior efficacy at 54 lm/W.

The new Cree CS series linear fixtures, meanwhile, build on the successful CR series. The CS series does not include a lens but uses a new reflector design to achieve even distribution of light.

Cree already has a happy customer. "We researched the LED market extensively and only Cree offered a solution that delivered high-quality lighting and easy payback," said Jason D. Curtis, principal of Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, NC. "Since the new CS series is designed for 75,000 hours of life, Cardinal Gibbons High School can benefit from ongoing operational savings due to decreased maintenance and lower energy consumption compared to the linear fluorescents we replaced."

Cree KR Series downlight
The CS series can be suspended from the ceiling or flush mounted with an optional bracket. The luminaires come in 8- and 4-ft versions. The luminaires deliver efficacy of 120 lm/W and CRI above 90.

Cree module and TEMPO
Moving from finished lighting products to enabling technologies, Cree announced a new module designed to replace metal-halide (MH) lamps, and more extensive testing services in its TEMPO program. The new modules are extensions to the company's LMH2 family with output ranging from 2000-3000 lm. Cree has added a new lens system that delivers a hemispheric light pattern. The module enables 50-70W SSL replacements for MH lamps in applications such as spot and track lights.

In the testing area, Cree has added to its TEMPO (Thermal Electrical Mechanical Photometric Optical) program announced last fall. The new TEMPO 24 offering includes the testing of luminaires made by Cree's LED customers to the LM-79 standards. The National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) has accredited Cree's service. Overall, the TEMPO program also includes some thermal and electrical evaluations that go well beyond LM-79 requirements.

"In my experience, if I had to select a single document that’s had the greatest impact in selling LED light sources to customers, it would be the Cree TEMPO report," said Pierre van Helden, CEO of LED Lighting SA. "The service provided an independent and thorough review for our products and the results give us the confidence to sell our products with passion—giving our customers the assurance that our products are being designed and produced to the highest international standards."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

LED Industry News: LED Engin and CRS receive funding

LED Engin has closed its latest funding round and CRS has announced a private placement of shares.
LED Engin closes series E funding round
LED Engin, Inc., a San Jose, California-based LED company specializing in high-lumen-density LED lighting components and optics, has completed its series E financing round. The financing will be used to broaden the LED Engin product portfolio, increase manufacturing capacity and to expand its worldwide sales and marketing network.

The round was led by technology fund GVT Fund, joined by co-investor MSIVC, existing investors WK Technology Fund, Partech International, NGP Energy Technology Partners, and independent investor and chairman, Keh-Shew Lu. "The latest round of funding provides LED Engin with the financial resources it needs to accelerate growth" said David Tahmassebi, President and CEO of LED Engin. "The addition of GVT Fund to our existing funding partners brings increased and well- respected energy-focused funds with deep connections and experience in Asia markets."

At the recent Light+Building tradeshow, LED Engin demonstrated ViviLux, a high-efficiency, high-color-quality LED product that maximizes targeted intensity (lux-on-target performance), and LuxiTune, an intelligent single LED that emits a warmer white as it dims like a true halogen source.

CRS Electronics announces private placement

Canadian LED lighting manufacturer CRS Electronics Inc. (TSX Venture: LED) has entered into a binding agreement for a private placement of 30,400,548 common shares to CJL Holding Inc. At a share price of $0.2921, the placement is expected to generate aggregate proceeds of $8,880,000 for CRS.

CJL Holding Inc. is owned by Chang Jiang Wu, the chairman and CEO of NVC Lighting Technology Corporation. NVC is a leading Asian lighting manufacturer and its stock trades on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. As part of the transaction, Wu will also become the executive chairman of CRS.

When the private placement closes, CJL Holding Inc. will own approximately 42.7% of the issued and outstanding common shares of CRS. The company is not proceeding with previously-announced financing which was to have been led by Canaccord Genuity Corp., and will not be replacing its CEO as previously planned.

For the financial year ended December 31, 2011, CRS had sales of $2.14 million, down almost 30% on the previous year. The company’s net loss before income tax in 2011 was $3.29 million.

Toyoda Gosei to establish LED-chip joint venture with Showa Denko

Japan-based LED makers Toyoda Gosei and Showa Denko are forming a joint venture to address the market for high-end LED chip applications.
Two Japan-based LED makers, Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. and Showa Denko Electronics K.K. (SDK), have announced plans to form a joint venture in Japan to manufacture and market GaN-based LED chips.
Toyoda Gosei and Showa Denko signed a patent cross-licensing agreement in 2009.

The companies say that this new venture will enable them to “combine and maximize their technology to supply energy-saving, low-cost LED products, in order to contribute to worldwide environmental protection.”

The JV is expected to be established in December 2012, with the tentative name TS Opto Co., Ltd. Toyoda Gosei will have 70% ownership of the JV, with Showa Denko owning the remainder. The scheduled capitalization of the business is JPY 490 million ($6 million).

The joint venture will be established in the area of GaN-based LED chips being produced at SDK’s plant in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Showa Denko also manufactures AlGaInP-, GaAs and GaP-based LED chips, and will continue its independent operations in these areas.

By establishing a joint venture with Toyoda Gosei for the GaN LED business, SDK says that it will “further strengthen our relations with Toyoda Gosei and expand overall supply capacity. At the same time, we will aim to achieve synergistic effect in R&D, improving brightness and production efficiency.”

Strategies Unlimited ranked Toyoda Gosei ninth in its top-ten list of LED manufacturers (packaged high-brightness LEDs) for 2011.

Other joint ventures

In September 2010, Toyoda Gosei formed a joint venture with Epistar, the largest Taiwan-based LED chip manufacturer, after the two companies had signed a patent cross-licensing agreement. This business is named TE Opto.

Toyoda Gosei is also a part-owner of Lexedis, which is a joint venture with Austrian company Tridonic.

Friday, August 3, 2012

LED downlights perform well in DOE Caliper Report 14

The US Department of Energy has completed Series 14 of Caliper testing of LED downlight retrofit units. Beginning this year, every Caliper summary focuses on a single product type or application.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has completed Series 14 of testing solid-state lighting (SSL) products in its SSL Caliper program. A summary of the results is available for download on the DOE SSL website.
Test enclosure
Round 14 of testing focused on LED downlight retrofit units with a 6-inch round aperture that were purchased between June and November 2011. To simulate in-fixture testing, the units were tested “in situ” in a 6-inch insulated downlight housing that was mounted in a 24x24-inch insulated enclosure in accord with the Underwriters Laboratory Standard for Safety for Luminaires (UL1598). The report provides the photometric performance results and compares these results to similar products that use conventional light sources in addition to results from earlier Caliper testing.

Downlight results
In general, the eleven LED retrofit downlights performed substantially better than halogen or incandescent downlights. The LED light output ranged between 527 and 803 lm, making them comparable to 60 to 100W incandescent downlights or 13 to 32W CFL downlights. For most of the LED products tested, the efficacy was equal to or better than the system efficacy for a typical CFL downlight luminaire, with a range of 39 to 69 lm/W.

Ten of the eleven products met the Energy Star criteria for CRI and CCT. The measured CRIs were not quite as high as some previously tested LED downlight retrofit units, but would be acceptable for most applications according to the report.

The report concluded that the Series 14 LED downlight retrofit units are a viable option for specifiers of residential and commercial downlights, especially in retrofit situations. The products are best suited for use at normal ceiling‐height applications (8–10 ft). A future report on the Series 14 downlights will discuss differences between in-situ testing results and standalone testing results as well as make comparisons with manufacturer’s claims.

DOE application reports
Beginning in 2012, each Caliper summary report focuses on a single product type or application. With previous summary reports, typically a variety of product types were covered. For instance, Report 13 included test results from LED and benchmark high-bay luminaires, LED wallpack luminaires and LED and benchmark 2x2-foot troffers.

The DOE has selected particular products for testing with the intent of capturing the current state of the market, a cross section ranging from expected low- to high-performing products, with the bulk characterizing the average of the range.

Detailed test results for each downlight unit included in the Series 14 report will be available soon through the searchable online Caliper system.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Carnegie Mellon reports that DC power is cheaper for LED lighting

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have published a paper evaluating the cost of energy for lighting systems and concluded that a DC grid is far less expensive powering LED lighting.
The debate over AC or DC power grids will apparently continue into a third century as researchers have documented significant energy savings potential in commercial buildings when LED lighting is powered by a DC grid. Carnegie Mellon University researchers say DC power could save $24,000 a year in a 48,000-ft2 building lit by solid-state lighting (SSL).

The university team published the research in the scientific journal Energy Policy. A DC grid was not identified as an advantage for fluorescent lighting, but the advantage for SSL is clear. Moreover in a building equipped with solar cells that generate DC power, the savings escalate another $5000 per year.

The savings documented by the researchers is over and above the baseline energy savings attributable to LED-based lighting. The documented savings are purely attributable to the efficiency of the power grid and the power conversions needed to drive the lighting.

In reality, the report is hardly a surprise. Fluorescent lighting was designed for AC-powered applications. LEDs require an AC-DC conversion, and generally a second, constant-current DC conversion to operate from the AC line. Every conversion wastes energy and a DC grid eliminates a conversion stage. And in the case of the additional savings in a solar installation, those DC solar cells also minimize conversions.

DC grid activity
Indeed, the allure of DC power is already apparent in the SSL industry. We've covered the activities of the EMerge Alliance since its founding in 2009. EMerge is focused on standardization of a DC-power grid for commercial buildings. The initial target was lighting but now the alliance is also targeting DC power to the desktop.

In addition, lighting network specialist Redwood Systems is supplying DC power to SSL luminaires in its proprietary system. The Redwood lighting engine uses Cat-5/6, computer-network cables to carry DC power and control information.

There are a number of lighting vendors that have announced products that are compatible with the EMerge and/or Redwood Systems. Lunera Lighting, for example, announced Redwood-compatible planar lighting last September and had previously announced an EMerge-compliant model.

Seesmart installs LED T8s at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

The Manhattan-based hospital has commissioned Seesmart to retrofit 700 fixtures with LED tube lights, which should reduce energy cost by 57%.
LED lighting manufacturer Seesmart Technologies, Inc, based in Simi Valley, CA has announced the completion of an LED retrofit project involving the replacement of nearly 700 fixtures at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Parking garage before
By switching from fluorescent T8s and T12s to Seesmart T8s in the facility’s parking garage, the hospital’s energy cost has been reduced by an estimated 57%. Its energy consumption is expected to be 160,000 kWh less annually. Up-front cost for LED lighting was offset by a $22,000 rebate from energy provider Con Edison. The Center anticipates a full return on investment within two years.
“The return on investment for this project will come not just from the $2500 per month in energy savings but also from lower maintenance costs and less facility waste,” said Kenneth Ames, CEO of Seesmart Technologies.

Parking garage after
Following its work with Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Seesmart was commissioned by two neighboring organizations – one residential center and one medical center – to help transition from low-efficiency fluorescent lights to sustainable LED tube lights.
Last month, Seesmart announced a $2.3 million contract with Pasadena City College in Pasadena, CA to supply the school with more than 34,000 LED-based retrofit tubes for installed fluorescent linear fixtures. The project is expected to deliver $720,000 in annual energy savings and a reduction in carbon footprint by 5 million pounds.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Outdoor Lighting: Lumileds launches outdoor LED; Sunovia gets DLC; New projects

Philips Lumileds has announced the Luxeon R LED, designed for maximum lumen output for outdoor applications, while Sunovia announced it received DLC recognition, and Caltrans moves on a significant SSL roadway project.
Philips Lumileds has added the Luxeon R to its LED portfolio with devices that range in output from 160-200 lm, and target outdoor lighting. Sunovia Energy Technologies announced that the DesignLights Consortium has certified the EvoLucia cobrahead and shoebox outdoor solid-state lighting (SSL) fixtures. And the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) plans to deploy as many as 67,000 LED roadway lights in the next two years.

Luxeon R

Lumileds' Luxeon R LED
Lumileds says that the Luxeon R offers higher efficacy and more light output than the existing Luxeon Rebel and ES LEDs, while using a compatible footprint. The company sees those advantages as specifically important in applications such as roadway and parking-area lighting.

The new LEDs are available across a wide range of CCTs from 3000K to 6500K. The efficacy ranges from 105 lm/W at 3000K or warm white to 128 lm/W at 5000K and above. Note that the efficacy specs are based on 350 mA drive current while the lumen output specs are based on 700 mA of drive current, and efficacy will drop at the higher current level.

All of the Luxeon R LEDs are hot tested at 85°C and binned within a 5-MacAdam-ellipse range as part of Philips Freedom From Binning program. The complete line offers a minimum CRI of 70.

DLC certification
Meanwhile, DLC certification can be critical for luminaire vendors selling their products into municipal and utility markets because the certification is often used as a de facto approved vendor list. Sunovia expects the certification to open up business, especially with customers seeking rebates and incentives from government and utility energy-efficiency programs.

"The Design Light Consortium has established a set of performance requirements for luminaire manufacturers that are not covered by the Energy Star requirements," said David Martin, vice president of engineering at Sunovia. "This has led to higher-quality LED lighting products being created which demonstrate improved electrical performance, improved uniformity in photometric characteristics, and a more stringent definition of product lifetimes."

Caltrans' plans
According to the Caltrans website, the agency plans to retrofit 67,000 lights with SSL in 24 months – beginning this summer. The agency is counting on 50% energy savings and extended lifetime of 15-20 years from the products. Caltrans has said that it may opt for lights that include adaptive-control technology.

San Francisco Dumbarton Bridge
The New Streetlights website also reported on the development and said that the first phase would target 30,000-40,000 lights in the state highway system. The project will total $4-$5 million and will be paid for with existing Caltrans funding. The agency said it had not selected a vendor but will be issuing a specification for an RFP.

In a separate development, Leotek announced that Caltrans used the Leotek GreenCobra luminaires in a recent project retrofitting the Dumbarton Bridge over the San Francisco Bay. Caltrans replaced 400W high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights with 183W LED lights.

Light+Building features high-quality LED lighting, Zhaga modules, OLEDs and more

Huge crowds attended this year’s Light+Building trade fair in Germany, and LED lighting fixtures dominated the show floor.
A few years ago, visitors to the Light+Building trade fair had to search quite hard to find high-quality examples of LED lighting fixtures. But this year, LED lighting was everywhere, dominating the 240,000 sq.m (2.5 million sq.ft) event.
Some 196,000 visitors attended Light+Building, which took place on April 15-20 in Frankfurt, Germany. The organizers describe this as the “World’s Biggest Trade Fair for Lighting and Building Services Technology,” and said that attendance was up 7% over the last event in 2010. The proportion of international visitors (i.e. from outside Germany) was 44%. A total of 2352 manufacturers from 50 countries took part, representing the fields of lighting, electrical engineering, and home and building automation and software for the construction industry.

The exhibit halls containing lighting products were of most interest to LEDs Magazine, and as mentioned above LEDs were everywhere, ranging from packaged LEDs, connectors and chip-on-board arrays all the way through to retrofit lamps and LED floodlights for sports stadia and airports (see photos, below).

Among the noticeable themes was a shift in emphasis from energy efficiency to lighting quality, as lighting companies realize that end users require more than simply saving money through reduced energy consumption and maintenance savings.

One particularly impressive statement was made by UK-based Projection Lighting, who claimed that they would “guarantee the quality and quantity of light.” Specifically this guarantee states that luminaires will exhibit “no noticeable color shift and a maximum of 5% lumen loss across the installation after 5 years.” Projection is able to achieve this level of control with Xicato remote-phosphor modules, and (in some cases) lightweight passive cooling systems from FrigoDynamics.

As discussed below, other major themes at Light+Building included Zhaga modules and OLED technology. A much more extensive review of this year’s event will feature in the June issue of LEDs Magazine.

Zhaga modules
The Zhaga logo was seen widely at Light+Building, with at least 25 companies showing interchangeable LED modules that are compliant with Zhaga’s ever-growing series of specifications. Zhaga is a global consortium of over 180 companies, and its specifications for LED-module interfaces are intended to enable easy LED-module integration into luminaire designs and to reduce overall system-design cost.

However, some companies using the Zhaga logo claimed erroneously that their products were “Zhaga-qualified” while in fact the qualification procedures, including the relevant measurement labs, are not yet in place. Even so, Zhaga has already been widely adopted and this will doubtless increase over the next few years.

OLEDs and other technologies
OLEDs were easy to find, and both Osram and Philips used OLED luminaires to provide the centerpiece for their stands. LG Chemical had several rooms lit with OLEDs, and also exhibited the Revel and Kindred luminaires from Acuity’s Winona Lighting.

Verbatim showcased its color-tunable OLED technology, while Novaled exhibited a number of high-end OLED luminaires including its Victory desk lamps.

Other lighting technologies were also on show, including high-efficiency plasma from companies such as UK-based Ceravision, which is targeting the very-high-power applications.

But the most surprising inclusion was laser-based white lighting, exhibited by Toshiba alongside many examples of LEDs and OLEDs. Light from a source containing multiple blue laser diodes is emitted into an optical fiber, and phosphor downconversion takes place at the exit end. This approach allows downsizing of luminaires (since the source is remote) and improved design flexibility, says the company.

Next event
The next Light+Building will be held in Frankfurt am Main from 30 March to 4 April, 2014.

Samsung Zhaga module

LED airport apron floodlight from ewo

Novel LED lamp designs from LEDO

OLED chandelier on Philips' stand

Projection Lighting guarantee

Daintree and Cree partner on United Stationers LED installation

United Stationers hopes to realize 91% savings via Cree Lighting's SSL fixtures and Daintree Networks' ControlScope technology installed in a Sacramento, CA facility.
United Stationers, a wholesale distributor of business products, has installed LED lighting in office and break-room areas in its Sacramento, CA facility and hopes to achieve 91% energy savings via the combination of efficient solid-state lighting (SSL) and adaptive-control technology. The new system combines Cree Lighting's CR family of linear LED-based troffer fixtures, and Daintree's Wireless Area Controller gateways and ControlScope software.

Cree's CR troffer
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) also participated in the LED-lighting installation that was part of a SMUD research project on the combination of SSL and adaptive controls. Collins Electrical Company performed the installation.

Wireless controls
Each of the Cree fixtures are equipped with a Daintree ZigBee adaptor allowing for wireless communications with the Wireless Area Controllers over the ZigBee wireless mesh network. The installation includes occupancy and light sensors that allow the facility to dim or extinguish the lights as appropriate based on the presence of people, daylight, and schedule.

"We’re thrilled with the results of this advanced lighting project. Not only are our associates pleased with their improved lighting and personal control, but we’re already saving substantial energy," said Ted Pinnow, maintenance manager for the United Stationers Sacramento facility.

Indeed, the installation includes wireless remote controls for the workers allowing them to personalize their local lighting settings. The company has set the ControlScope software to generally dim the lights to 35% of full brightness nominally. United Stationers reports, however, than many of their workers set the lights at even lower levels.

"The United Stationers project is a perfect example of how integrating controls can dramatically improve the results of a comprehensive lighting retrofit," said Dallas Buchanan, vice president of sales and business development at Daintree Networks. "Through our work with fixture manufacturers like Cree, we are making it simple for commercial offices to benefit from the combination of efficient fixtures and advanced wireless controls."

Patrick O’Flaherty, product marketing manager at Cree, said "The seamless combination of advanced LED and standards-based wireless controls provides tremendous value to customers, both in energy savings and in improved occupant comfort."

Cree's troffers
Cree CR fixtures were designed as alternatives to traditional troffers that are based on linear fluorescent tubes. While LED-based retrofit tubes have found limited success in traditional troffers thus far, purpose-built, LED-based linear fixtures apparently perform very well in remodels or new installations. We noted the trend in one of our Lightfair reports last year as a number of lighting companies have launched such products.

The project did require that the aforementioned Daintree adapter had to be installed with each Cree fixture, but apparently the combination works seamlessly. United Staioners' Pinnow said, "The project came together quickly with painless installation, and I’ve been impressed by the seamless integration of Cree and Daintree Networks products."

Lightfair 2012, meanwhile, is on the near horizon in Las Vegas, NV in two weeks. One thing we will be looking for at the show is evidence that ZigBee-based capability is being designed directly into SSL fixtures.