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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cree demonstrates 170-lm/W LED retrofit lamp in lab


A concept LED retrofit lamp developed by Cree's R&D team achieves efficacy of 170 lm/W and the company will use that technology in its SSL luminaire family.
Using LEDs based on its third-generation silicon-carbide manufacturing platform, that Cree calls SC3, the company's engineers have designed and constructed a retrofit lamp that achieves 170-lm/W efficacy. Cree, at this point, isn't entering the lamp market but will channel the development work in LEDs, optics, drivers, and thermal management into its solid-state lighting (SSL) products.
Cree 170-lm/W concept lamp
To put the efficacy achievement in perspective, consider that the US Department of Energy (DOE) L Prize competition won by Philips only required efficacy above 90 lm/W. That said, the L Prize also required a warm color temperature, and that always comes with a penalty in efficacy. Cree didn't specify the color temperature of the concept lamp, but it's likely on the cool side.

This isn’t the first time that Cree has produced concept lamps. Back in January of last year, the company demonstrated a lamp design that at the time it said could meet Energy Star requirements for a 60W-equivalent design. That was before any such commercial products were on the market. The design used an inner remote-phosphor optic combined with an outer white diffuser. Later last year, Cree showed a concept lamp, similar in look to this latest development, that achieved 152 lm/W in efficacy.

The new concept lamp delivers 1250 lm, consuming 7.3W. To confirm the performance, Cree had independent lab OnSpeX test the product. The design uses Cree's TrueWhite technology to achieve 90 or better CRI.

"The technology embodied in the new 170-lm/W concept LED bulb is enabling us to develop higher-performance and lower-cost Cree LED luminaires," said Nick Medendorp, vice president of research and development at Cree Lighting. "By pushing the limits of what is possible, Cree continues to strive to develop new technology that uses less energy and provides unmatched light quality and value to our customers."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lighting Facts institutes QA testing, requires annual product updates


Beginning October 1, the LED Lighting Facts program will begin charging a fee for annual product listings. It has already begun quality assurance testing, which results in a green double-check mark on the label upon verification.
At the LED Show last week, Marci Sanders of D&R International, an environmental and energy efficiency consulting firm, presented an update of recent revisions to the Lighting Facts program aimed at further improving the integrity of products that carry the Lighting Facts label. The biggest change is that Lighting Facts will now require that manufacturers update the status of their listed products annually. Sanders explained, “As of October 1, 2012, any product that has been on the list for more than one year will have to be updated to assure whether it is available on the market and to give the opportunity to update performance changes that have taken place since the listing.”
Lighting Facts logo.
This change is designed to provide users better visibility into whether products containing the Lighting Facts label are commercially available, available through special order, or not available on the market.
Manufacturers will also need to pay an annual fee for its Lighting Facts listed products -- $100 for existing products or $150 for new products. This fee will be waived in the case of Energy Star qualified or products on the qualified product list of the DesignLights Consortium (DLC). The fee will also be waived for the first year if manufacturers volunteer to have their products quality assurance (QA) tested by Lighting Facts. Initially, only those products volunteered for testing by the manufacturers will be QA tested.

The new QA program involves testing of the product (LED lamp or luminaire) for the mandatory metrics listed on the Lighting Facts label as well as a variety of optional metrics. Lighting Facts will recommend a number of labs from which manufacturers can choose to have the testing done. Testing cost will be paid by the manufacturer. QA testing will be performed only by independent labs that are physically located in the US and are LED Lighting Facts Approved Lab Partners for IES LM-79 total flux and color testing as well as intensity distribution test procedures.

If a product tests within the tolerances of the metrics listed by the manufacturer on the label, the label will get a green double-check mark. “The green double-check designation is the first real way for manufacturers to differentiate products on the product list for Lighting Facts,” said Sanders. She added that if testing results in values different from those indicated by the manufacturer, the manufacturer will be given the opportunity to revise the values and still get the green double-check mark. Once the double-check mark is assigned, it will appear on that product for two years. A list of frequently asked questions and answers is available here.

Running tally of LED Lighting Facts partners.
Aside from providing fee waivers for Energy-Star and DLC qualified products, Lighting Facts is providing volume discounts to manufacturers who choose to list multiple products or to manufacturers that can provide full LM-79 data upon submission. In addition, QA tested products will also become part of the DOE’s Caliper database of benchmark tested products.
Sanders noted that 60 utilities in the US are Lighting Facts partners and provide information regarding product rebates on the Lighting Facts website. To date, over 5600 products from 406 manufacturers carry the Lighting Facts label, and partners include 75 energy efficiency program sponsors (EE sponsors), 265 retailers and distributors and 245 lighting professionals. Retailers, distributors, lighting professionals and EE sponsors do not need to pay any fees to participate in the Lighting Facts program.

In the coming weeks, Lighting Facts will hold a number of webinars to educate LED lighting manufacturers and users regarding the changes.

Monday, October 29, 2012

NTL Electronics announces one-year sales of 3 million LED retrofit lamps in India


NTL Electronics India Ltd has partnered with Lemnis Lighting to create the NTL Lemnis joint venture and push SSL deployment in India.
Typically replacing incandescent and compact-fluorescent lamps (CFLs), NTL Electronics India Ltd has revealed that it sold 3 million LED retrofit lamps between the beginning of July 2011 and the end of June 2012. NTL Electronics is a major Indian lighting vendor with the equivalent of more than $110 million in sales and that is pushing to expand its presence in the solid-state lighting (SSL) market.

NTL Electronics put its recent performance in perspective by noting that Strategies Unlimited (a sister business within PennWell Corp. to LEDs Magazine) estimated the global sales of retrofit lamps in 2011 to be just under 40 million. Clearly the time frames of the SU reported number and NTL's sales aren't identical, but the fact that NTL's results are close to 10% of the projection is impressive.

Back in April, NTL Electronics also formed a joint venture with Lemnis Lighting (The Netherlands) called NTL Lemnis. Lemnis has expertise in LED lamp design having sold LED retrofit lamps under its own name and through other partnerships. NTL Lemnis will seek to take advantage of what the partners see as growing demand in India.

"In our new company, NTL Lemnis, we have a renewed focus on LED lighting," said Arun Gupta, managing director of NTL Electronics India global CEO of NTL Lemnis. "Globally, LEDs are fast replacing any other form of lighting and we are convinced that it will be the same for India shortly.”

According to NTL Electronics, "The joint venture will look at producing the complete range of energy-efficient LED lighting products under the umbrella of the acclaimed Lemnis brand Pharox." The new feature will have a target focus on applications in retail, IT, hospitality, and healthcare.

Philips saves $1M/yr in energy cost with Ernst & Young NYC office lighting conversion


Philips Lighting has upgraded the Ernst & Young’s New York City headquarters building to LED lighting, saving $1 million annually in energy and maintenance costs, while reducing carbon emissions by 2 million pounds.
Ernst & Young LLP, a global consulting firm, has teamed with JAS consulting, Philips Lightolier Energy Services and lighting design firm One Lux Studio, to retrofit 32 floors of its US headquarters in New York City with LED lighting solutions from Philips Lighting. The new installation will save the company close to $1M per year in energy and maintenance costs, while reducing lighting energy use by 2.9 million kWh per year and reduce its CO2 emissions by approximately 2 million pounds annually.
Team room before and after
“Over the past few years we have been able to reduce our carbon footprint from energy. This new lighting system will add an even greater reduction,” said Brent Summers, director, Americas Enterprise Support Services, Ernst & Young. He added, “Five Times Square is seeking an Energy Star rating, and the lighting work will be a large part of our application.”
The office lighting system, which serves 5200 employees, formerly consumed 6.2 million kWh annually. The team of JAS consulting, Philips Lightolier Energy Service Group and One Lux Studio selected customized LED fixtures, assessed lighting control systems and coordinated with the local labor union to ensure a smooth installation of lighting systems throughout the building’s open office areas, private offices, conference rooms and common areas. The team also identified utility rebates that allowed Ernst & Young to lower its upfront costs by more than 13%.

Cubical area before and after
“Ernst & Young has looked at the return-on-investment for their new lighting system and has seen that it gives them better light quality, a lot more control over their energy usage and reduces maintenance, making good business sense,” said Zia Eftekhar, chairman of Philips Lighting North America. “More and more forward-thinking businesses are looking at the long term value of their lighting investment and realizing that LED technology can lower their environmental impact and their electricity usage.”
In total, the new lighting system will reduce Ernst & Young LLP’s lighting-related energy and maintenance costs by more than 50% a year and its annual lighting energy use by 54%.

Stephen Marguiles, president of One Lux Studio added “Luminaires that were commonly used when this project was originally designed were not necessarily very efficient. The new equipment optimized LED and fluorescent efficacies, as well as ensuring light levels were ‘right sized’ for each space type.”

LRC issues report on LED lighting for airfields


The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has published a report to help guide airports as they consider LED lighting for various needs around an airfield.
The new report, "Issues with use of LED airfield lighting: ACRP synthesis 35," published by the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, concludes that reduced maintenance cost is the primary benefit for airports considering a move to LED lighting in the airfield. Energy savings are secondary in part because airfield electrical systems are designed for incandescent loads.

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies published the LRC-authored report in conjunction with the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) which funded the study. The LRC has also long worked with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on ways to take advantage of solid-state lighting (SSL) technology on airfields.

John Bullough, senior research scientist and adjunct professor at the LRC, authored the report. "LED airfield lighting uses much less energy than incandescent, but airfield electrical systems are optimized for incandescent lamps, not LEDs," said Bullough. "Even more energy can be saved if electrical systems are designed with the reduced loads of LEDs in mind."

Other findings of the report include the fact that the visibility and performance of LED lighting on airfields is generally good. Early on in the development of LED lighting there were what the report called "compatibility problems" with SSL and airfields but those have been overcome.

The research was based on detailed surveys of 22 airports and aviation agencies. The report speculates that despite high upfront costs, the installation of LEDs will generally payback in "several years." An upgrade of the electrical infrastructure can increase energy efficiency and reliability of airfield lighting systems. According to the LRC, the FAA is now investigating new infrastructures for airfield lighting.

Osram solder pad design enables two different LED types to be accommodated on one board


A new uniform and flexible solder-pad design for LED boards enables customers to use two different LED types together, which simplifies second sourcing.
Osram Opto Semiconductors has developed a new solder pad design that enables two different LED types to be accommodated on a single circuit board.

The uniform solder pad design, which accommodates ceramic LED components such as Osram’s Oslon series, makes it easier for customers to use LEDs from different manufacturers. By facilitating second sourcing, this reduces the costs of storage and process modifications for the customer.
Christian Gärtner, Oslon Project Manager in Product Development, General Lighting at Osram Opto Semiconductors, summed up the benefits as follows: “The concept for a flexible solder pad design gives our customers the freedom to incorporate a second source for our high-power LED components without having to suffer restrictions due to mechanical parameters.”
Second sourcing is standard practice for LED components because of the greater security of supply, but LEDs from different manufacturers generally differ in terms of their dimensions and the shape of their solder pads. Generally, this means that two boards are needed for LEDs from two different manufacturers. This drives up costs for storing the boards and also for modifying the process for LED mounting.

With Osram Opto’s combined board design, the individual solder surfaces are divided into segments, some electrically connected and some electrically disconnected.

After attaching the first LED, a second LED with a different pad layout can be rotated by 90 degrees and then attached to the same board. As a result, the anodes and cathodes of the two LED components are connected to the same electrically-contacted segments.

The two LED types automatically align themselves to the edges of the solder surfaces during the reflow solder process. For both LED components, the luminous area is in the same lateral position on the board. If the LEDs have the same emission behavior the same secondary lenses and reflectors can be used. This means that neither the LED components nor the end application are changed in terms of their characteristics.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

NXP improves control of LED ambient lighting solutions for the car


The new UJA1018 from NXP simplifies the configuration of interior LED lighting, and offers car manufacturers and consumers great customization options.
Ambient LED lighting is becoming increasingly popular in the automotive industry, and car manufacturers are using it as a differentiator to enhance the driving experience. The use of LED technology enables OEMs to emphasize their car brand via the color and styling of the interior lighting, while car dealers can offer consumers the option of customizing the lighting settings.
Ambient lighting (photo courtesy of Hella)
NXP Semiconductors, the Eindhoven, Netherlands-based semiconductor company, has introduced a new compact integrated product that supports cost-efficient and flexible LED ambient lighting applications in vehicles.
The video at the bottom of this page explains the operation of a typical communication network within a vehicle and how it can control the various LED modules, enabling them to change color, dim or perform other functions.

The UJA1018 is designed for LIN networks (Local Interconnect Networks) and is the first ASSP (Application Specific Standard Product) for ambient lighting with Node Position Detection. This enables LIN addresses of LED modules to be individually programmed and configured after being installed in the car.

Currently, interior LED modules are programmed during the module manufacturing process. The approach enabled by NXP’s new product offers new levels of flexibility while drastically reducing manufacturing logistics and costs.

UJA1018 in compact HVSON package
Herbert Wambsganss, head of development at Hella Interior Lighting Systems commented: “The UJA1018 enables Hella to introduce a very compact LED ambient lighting solution that fits every interior location. The Node Position Detection by means of the integrated LIN switch allows configuration of each ambient lighting module once mounted in the car. Thus, all modules in the car can be kept the same, which allows a high level of reuse and greatly simplifies the logistics.”
UJA1018 details

The UJA1018 integrates all analog functions to create a compact ambient-lighting solution, including LIN transceiver, LIN switch for Node Position Detection, voltage regulator for microcontroller and drivers for 3-color LED. In addition, the compact HVSON package enables the creation of small form-factor modules. The UJA1018 fulfills the robustness requirements from the OEMs and also meets the SAE J2602 and LIN conformance.

“With the UJA1018 and its unique Node Position Detection technology based on LIN switch, NXP enables car OEMs to offer personalized ambient-lighting solutions to end consumers. At the same time it saves system costs and simplifies logistics for both OEMs and Tier1 suppliers”, says Toni Versluijs, general manager of In-Vehicle Networking, NXP Semiconductors. “This underpins our leadership position as the de-facto In-Vehicle Network solution provider and our commitment to connect the car in present and in future”.

Seoul city plans to install more LED lights


Korea’s capital intends to invest in more LED lighting for public areas and to encourage further installations in the private sector.
Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced plans to replace lighting in all public areas including subway stations, streets and city government offices with LED lighting by 2018.
According to an article in the Korea Herald, Seoul wants to increase the proportion of LED lighting in both public places and private properties to cut energy consumption and aid the “green” lighting industry.

Seoul city government also said that it will expand the project to the private sector by 2030. It expects that, by 2014, about 800,000 LED lights will be installed in the public sector.

A further 7 million LED lights will be installed in the private sector by 2014. According to Seoul city’s estimates, the changes will save 1100 gigawatts or 120 billion won ($105 million) a year.

The metropolitan government also plans to build a smart lighting grid by 2014, comprising of 1.32 million energy-efficient street lights.

To encourage installations in the private sector, the city will run a loan program offering up to 1 billion won ($0.87 million) with a 2.5 percent interest rate.

DOE Caliper Report verifies high-performing BR30 and R30 LED lamps


The latest Caliper report compares 13 LED-based BR30 and R30 lamps to incandescent and CFL products, noting that Energy Star criterion were met in most of the critical performance areas.
As part of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Solid-State Lighting Caliper program, the DOE has published its latest Caliper Report, Series 16, which involved the testing of LED-based BR30 and R30 lamps. These directional lamps were purchased in March 2012 and are typically used in residential applications.

The summary report, available for download at the DOE SSL website, indicates that the13 LED products tested could be effective replacements for the bulbs they were benchmarked against, one 65W incandescent BR30, one 15W CFL R30, and one 16W CFL BR30. In fact, most of the LED-based lamps met or exceeded Energy Star requirements for efficacy, light output, CRI, CCT, power factor and beam angle distribution. However, the report noted that cost still remains a critical barrier to LED replacement-lamp adoption.

The performance of the Series 16 products can be summarized as follows:

• The lumen output of many of the products was equivalent to 65W or 75W incandescent BR30/R30 lamps. All of the products emitted between 460 and 860 lm, which is within the typical range of conventional BR30 and R30 lamps.

• All of the Series 16 LED products exceeded 51 lm/W in efficacy, which is greater than the Energy Star criterion of 45 lm/W (Fig. 1). However, the two most efficacious products also had CCTs above 5000K.

• The Series 16 LED BR30/R30 lamps had luminous intensity distributions ranging from very narrow to very wide.

• Ten of the LED products had a nominal CCT of 2700K or 3000K, which matches typical incandescent and CFL BR30/R30 lamps.

• The power factor of the lamps was considerably better than previously tested LED BR30/R30 lamps, with 12 LED products exceeding the Energy Star minimum requirement of 0.70 at >5W.

In general, the results showed substantial improvement versus earlier Caliper testing of similar products. The report also indicates the need for a broader range of LED lamps within product families in terms of lumen output and distribution type. It also questions the adequacy of existing reflector lamp categories for LED products.

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 group designed to reflect the average of the range. Other recent Caliper Reports have benchmarked the performance of LED floodlights (Series 15) and LED downlights (Series 14) against conventional products.

Detailed test results for Series 16 will be available soon through the searchable online Caliper system.

Avnet opens LED test lab to support customer product development


Fully equipped LED-centric Avnet LightLab allows customers to characterize LEDs, modules, light engines, and SSL lamps and luminaires.
Avnet Electronics Marketing has opened a new 900-ft2 LED-centric test lab in Chandler, Arizona that it calls Avnet LightLab. The lab allows Avnet's customer to characterize LEDs and solid-state lighting (SSL) products in terms of optical, electrical, and thermal performance.

Among other equipment in the lab, Avnet installed two integrating spheres, a spectroradiometer, and a goniophotometer for optical tests. The integrating spheres can measure total luminous flux and spectral power distributions of light sources ranging from individual LEDs to SSL luminaires.

The goniophotometer can measure light intensity relative to beam angle of LEDs or modules/light engines. Moreover, it can be used to characterize the combination of an LED source and secondary optics. The spectroradiometer is used in conjunction with the other tools to capture spectral power distribution.

Thermal analysis in LightLab

George Kelly, Avnet technical specialist and LightLab manager, said that the lab "substantially reduces our customers’ design time and provides a means to weigh various design option -ultimately optimizing their end-products’ performance and extending their competitive edge."

Avnet said that it will perform "all photometric, radiometric and colorimetric testing" based on specifications prescribed by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE). Typical tests and characterizations will include color rendering index (CRI), optical efficiency, source and system efficacy, total flux output, and thermal analysis and mapping.

The new US-based LightLab is similarly equipped and focused as the LightLab that Avnet EBV Elektronik opened this past February near Munich, Germany.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Osram and LG receive initial judgment in LED patent case


The International Trade Commission has found that various LED products from LG infringe one of Osram’s patents.
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued an initial determination in the complaint filed by Osram GmbH against various LG group companies.
Osram filed the complaint against LG in June 2011, and also filed a separate complaint against Samsung. These ITC complaints were followed by several other lawsuits between Osram and LG, and between Osram and Samsung.

The judge’s initial determination said that LG’s accused products infringe the asserted claims 1,3,4, 6, 8, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 32, 33, and 34 of US patent no. 7,151,283. This patent relates to phosphor conversion for white LEDs.

However, LG’s accused products were found not to infringe various claims of Osram’s US patent no. 7,271,425, which relates to reducing the risk of thermomechanically-induced failures of LED components.

Also, there was no evidence to show that any of the asserted claims in the above mentioned patents are invalid.

The judge’s findings will be assessed by the full commission, according to a Bloomberg article, which quoted an LG spokesperson as saying the company would fight the infringement ruling.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Seoul Semiconductor claims 5x lumen density with non-polar LEDs (Updated)


Seoul Semiconductor has announced that it will introduce LEDs based on non-polar technology, which it claims will deliver over 5x the lumens per unit area of conventional LEDs.
Seoul Semiconductor, an LED manufacturer based in Seoul, Korea, has unveiled a new LED product based on non-polar gallium nitride (GaN) technology, which it states "will deliver 5x the brightness per unit area of die than conventional LEDs by driving the LEDs at higher current densities." At the same time, the University of California (UC) in Santa Barbara has received a $500,000 endowment from Seoul Optodevice Company and James Speck has been named the campus's first Seoul Optodevice Chair in Solid State Lighting.
Non-polar GaN

Conventional vs. nPola
Non-polar technology involves the utilization of the one of the non-polar planes in the GaN crystal, either the a-plane or m-plane, whereas traditional LEDs currently utilize the polar c-plane. Non-polar LEDs offer the potential of reduced electrical resistance, increased electrical efficiency, reduction in color shifting with varying operating current, and smaller device size.
Seoul Semiconductor’s patented nPola approach has been under development for over 10 years. According to the company, the lumen density of its LEDs has been dramatically improved by 5x over the conventional LED based on equivalent die surface area and it expects to further improve this margin to 10x with future implementations.

With this approach, Seoul Semiconductor claims that fewer LEDs are needed to achieve a given light output per replacement bulb. For example, in a 60W-equivalent LED lamp, generally 10-20 LED packages are used, but with the nPola product, the same light output could be achieved using 1-2 packages. Seoul also claims that while the luminous flux of a power chip LED in mass production is approximately 100 lm (warm white) today, this new product could produce 500 lm by driving the LED at higher current densities.

Seoul Semiconductor CEO, Chung Hoon Lee, expressed strong confidence in the new product by saying "I've worked very hard for the past 20 years in this industry and it is safe to say that this new product is the culmination of 20 years of core technologies development. It is a major milestone for the LED light source."

UC Santa Barbara receives $500,000 for Endowed Chair

UC Santa Barbara's Solid State Lighting & Energy Center (SSLEC), a provider of leading-edge research in energy-efficient lighting, power electronics, and solar energy technology, has received a $500,000 endowment from Seoul Optodevice Company to further its research on GaN for use in electronics and solid-state lighting (SSL).

James Speck, a professor of materials at UCSB, member of SSLEC's Executive Committee, and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Wide Band-Gap Semiconductors, has been named the campus's first Seoul Optodevice Chair in Solid State Lighting.

Jim Speck
"Mr. Chung Hoon Lee and the Seoul Optodevice Company are leaders in the field, and have been longstanding supporters of UC Santa Barbara's Solid State Lighting and Energy Center, which is advancing the frontiers of research in energy-efficient solid-state lighting, and helping to create a more sustainable future for us all," said Chancellor Henry Yang. "We are deeply grateful for their vision and generosity in establishing the Seoul Optodevice Chair in Solid State Lighting, and we are very proud that Professor Jim Speck will be the inaugural chair holder."
"This endowment by Seoul Optodevice Company is critically important because our research in gallium nitride semiconductors places the college at the forefront of energy efficiency technology," said Rod Alferness, dean of the College of Engineering. "Professor Speck is leading this charge and understands how our relationship with industry is a driving force behind discoveries in solid state lighting."

Speck's research focuses on the relationship between thin-film electronic materials growth, and microstructure, as well as the link between microstructure and physical properties. In 2010, he received the IEEE Photonics Society Aron Kressel Award for his work on nonpolar and semipolar GaN-based materials and devices.

White Sox ballpark swaps T12s for PolyBrite LED panel fixtures

US Cellular Field, the ballpark of the Chicago White Sox, has been updated with 2x2-ft LED panel fixtures.
US Cellular Field, owned by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority and home of the Chicago White Sox, has replaced outdated lighting fixtures with PolyBrite Borealis LED Panel Lights in concession stands and workstations throughout the ballpark. With up to 2.9 million fans passing through the hallways of ballpark annually, LED panel fixtures are designed to improve the appearance, safety and security of busy areas.

“These lights far surpassed my expectations as soon as they were installed in the first few stands,” said Don Esposito, senior director of purchasing and construction for the Chicago White Sox. “This will have quite an impact on our fans and employees, definitely enhancing the appearance of the concessions and increasing work productivity.”
PolyBrite replaced the T12 U-Bend fluorescent tubes, which consume 78W per fixture, with Borealis 2x2 LED Flat Panels, which consume 50W per fixture. Cool-white panels were used in the concourse areas, while warm-white panels were installed in back rooms and workstations.

Borealis LED panel lighting is designed to replace fluorescent and incandescent lights in standard drop ceiling and surface mount fixtures. A highly reflective diffusion lens produces a soft, consistent light, ensuring uniform light distribution without glare or pixilation. The panels are dimmable, meet NEMA codes, and include Lighting Facts verified product.

PolyBrite introduced its latest Borealis line of LED lamps at Lightfair International in May, which includes A19, B10, PAR38, PAR30, R20, MR16 lamps, T8 linear tube and flat-panel lighting fixtures.

Smithsonian installs more LED lamps with 16-month ROI


A DOE Gateway report covering an LED track-lighting retrofit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum has detailed lamp selection, technical challenges, overall savings, and return on investment.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has published the final evaluation report from a retrofit of track lighting at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. During the demonstration, LED PAR-30 and MR-16 lamps replaced all traditional incandescent lamps in one gallery and LED PAR-38 and MR-16 lamps partially replaced incandescent lamps in two other galleries.
This Gateway demonstration report, which describes the selection and testing process, technology challenges, perceptions, economics, and energy use, is available for download at www.ssl.energy.gov/gatewaydemos_results.html. The lighting designer presented mixed results of using LED replacement lamps in art galleries that housing national treasures.

Key findings from the study include:

The museum was able to achieve very satisfactory visual results in terms of both color and composition with LED lamps, despite some issues with equivalency, beam angles, and compatibility with the museum's low-voltage track heads and dimming control system. The museum's incandescent lamps could not be replaced one-for-one, but the variety of LED lamps available offered new opportunities to tailor the lighting effects for the specific art works.
Power use in the gallery completely re-lamped with LEDs decreased from 3.9 to 1.1 W/ft2, reducing electricity costs from $2984 to $816 per year and recovering the higher initial cost of the LEDs in 16 months of operation through energy savings alone.
The longer expected life of LEDs considerably reduces spot re-lamping frequency and cost. A 10-year life-cycle cost analysis including maintenance savings, at $0.14/kWh melded electric rate, found a total present value energy savings of $19,041, with a total present value life-cycle cost savings of $27,891.
Samples of three LED replacement lamp types used in one gallery were sent for baseline photometric testing and are scheduled for follow-up testing after 4000, 8000, and 12,000 hours of use. The PAR-30 lamps tested at 4000 hours remained very stable in terms of color and moderately stable in terms of light output, but the MR-16 LED lamps exhibited unacceptable change in terms of lumen output and color.
In addition to the technical details of the installation, the report includes the lighting designer's lessons learned and wish list for LED museum lighting.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cree applies latest LED technology, delivers XP-G2 in legacy footprint


Cree has rolled out the new XLamp XP-G2 LED family, which is directly compatible with the prior XP-G components, including optics designed for those components, and which is based on the company's third-generation manufacturing-technology platform.
Solid-state lighting (SSL) product developers have used the Cree XP-G in a wide variety of products ranging from street lights to flashlights, and now have the brighter more-efficient XLamp XP-G2 family that can drop into those designs. The XP-G2 is compatible with optics and reflectors designed for the prior family, yet is manufactured using Cree's third-generation silicon-carbide-based platform that it has branded SC3.


The benefits of the new products are easily summarized. Cree product marketing manager Paul Scheidt said, "It's 20% more lumens and lumens per watt." SSL manufacturers can substitute the new LEDs and get brighter products. Or, they can perform minor redesigns and reduce the number of LEDs required to produce equivalent lumen output.

"We have many designs using Cree’s XLamp XP-G LED," said William Weiss, partner and director of technology at MSi Solid State Lighting. "The new XP-G2 allows us to take full advantage of the benefits of Cree’s latest technology without any significant design changes, improving time to market."
Simpler Energy Star
Being a successor to the XP-G family, the new family does bring benefits in terms of LM-80 testing as well. The XP-G2 requires only 3000 hours of LM-80 data to meet Energy Star requirements, and that will also speed time to market.

In addition to updated specs, Cree made some other important changes. The XP-G2 is being specified both at 25°C and hot 85°C operating temperatures in terms of lumen and color output. In cool white at 350 mA of current, the XP-G2 delivers efficacy of 151 lm/W at 85°C and 165 lm/W at 25°C.

At the hot temperature, the family can deliver 139 lm in cool white and 114 lm in warm white, both at 350 mA. Currents up to 1.5A are supported and Cree will offer a broad range of CCT and CRI options.

Cree offered several examples of how the new family might be applied. A flashlight based on XP-G LEDs that delivered 320 lm could produce 385 lm with the same beam pattern using XP-G2 LEDs.

Brighter or cheaper?
Still, the SSL product makers will have to determine whether they use the new product to increase light output or to reduce power and cost. Cree's Scheidt used an existing XP-G-based PAR38 retrofit lamp as an example. The 7-LED design produces 925 lm at 59 lm/W with XP-G LEDs. Cree substituted XP-G2 components and measured 1270 lm at 79 lm/W. In Energy Star parlance, the former would be an 88W equivalent while the latter would be a 112W equivalent based on the Center Beam Candle Power (CBCP) tool available on the Energy Star website.

The brighter design mentioned above could be realized with little change or, according to Scheidt, the lamp maker could go from 7 LEDs to 3 and realize a product that delivers 969 lm at 62 lm/W and 90W equivalence. The drive current would need to be ramped to do so, but efficacy remains essentially unchanged. In such a redesign, the product developer could use the same individual total internal reflection (TIR) lenses developed for the earlier XP-G LEDs, although some mechanical and perhaps optical changes would be necessary.

Of course it's fair to ask how Cree positions the 3.45×3.45-mm XP-G2 LEDs relative to other similarly sized LEDs based on the SC3 platform. Scheidt said that the XT-E family at 3.45×3.45 mm and the XB-D family at 2.45×2.45 mm are still Cree's primary offering for maximizing lumens per dollar. Both were announced earlier this year.

With the XP-G2, Scheidt said the goal was to "make SC3 available in a form factor that's compatible with our older products." Apparently, the XT-E isn't compatible with existing XP-G optics due to some changes in the XT-E's chip structure and package that maximize light extraction. XP-G2 brings the main benefits of the latest platform with optic compatibility.

Soitec and Silian partner on HVPE LED template-wafer manufacturing


Soitec and Silian will jointly develop GaN LED template-wafer manufacturing technology using an HVPE process that the companies say can lower component costs and spur SSL deployment.
Soitec (Bernin, France) and Silian (Chongqing Silian Optoelectronics Science & Technology Co based in Chongqing, China) are partnering to use a hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) process to build gallium nitride (GaN) template wafers that the companies say will result in lower-cost LEDs, and help accelerate the adoption of solid-state lighting (SSL). Making the template wafers using a faster, lower-cost HVPE process will presumably free LED makers to focus their metal organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) tools on the LED layers that are optimized for light extraction.

The partnership aims to validate the template wafer capability using Silian's sapphire substrates and Soitec's HVPE technology, and deliver template wafers to customers later this year. The template wafers are partially processed and must be finished using traditional MOVPE tools.

"Our strategy was to use production-proven silicon epitaxy equipment features and add our innovative gallium source and delivery system to create a high-productivity HVPE equipment," said Chantal Arena, vice president and general manager of Soitec Phoenix Labs. "We then successfully developed high growth rate processes that, combined with our low cost precursor, leads to a more cost effective GaN template than the ones produced by metal organic vapor phase epitaxy."

Soitec president and CEO André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé beieves that delivering template wafers can free up 60% of MOVPE capacity for some LED makers. He added, "LED makers can now focus on improving the more custom-designed layers that make up the light-emitting part of an LED" using that free MOVPE capacity.

"Silian is excited to work with Soitec and adopt its HVPE technology," said David Reid, COO of Silian. "With our extensive sapphire substrate manufacturing expansion activities in China, we are very well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity and offer these high quality templates in a cost effective manner to our sapphire substrate customers."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cree provides LEDs for major municipal street-lighting project in China


A major lighting project in the Beibei district of Chongqing involves more than 20,000 LED street lights, 1.9 million Cree LEDs, and an intelligent lighting-control system.
An installation of more than 20,000 LED street lights was recently completed in the Beibei district of Chongqing, China. The installation includes nearly 16 miles of highway, with LED-based luminaires installed along 119 streets and one tunnel.

LED street lights were engineered by Chongqing Silian Optoelectronics Science and Technology Corporation (Silian), a leading LED lighting company in China. The luminaires contain a total of 1.9 million XLamp XP-E and XP-G LEDs from Cree (Nasdaq:CREE).
The project, which is described as China’s “largest municipal intelligent lighting control project,” began in July 2011. Officials estimate the installation will result in annual maintenance and electricity savings of more than RMB 19.5 million (approximately USD 3 million) and 17.6 million kWh.

Cree is no stranger to large street-lighting projects in China: In October 2011, the LED maker announced that it had supplied more than one million LEDs for over 10,000 street lights installed byKingsun Optoelectronic Co. Ltd. in Shenzhen.

The Municipal Bureau of the Beibei district initiated the project to improve the living environment for local citizens and to meet China’s stringent roadway lighting requirements for light efficacy, brightness, luminance, heat dissipation and service lifespan.

The new LED lighting replaced antiquated sodium-vapor street lighting along the Yuwu Highway, extending from Chongqing to Wusheng.
Silian developed and manufactured the intelligent lighting control system, which features an advanced wireless network management system that detects lighting issues with sensors and can adjust the brightness of the LED street lights in accordance with vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow.

“We are very pleased with the performance of Cree’s XLamp LEDs in our luminaire systems,” said David Reid, chief operating officer of Silian. “Cree LEDs emit high-quality light with low heat dissipation that meets China’s lighting standards while saving the municipality millions of Renmenbi.”

“Cree LEDs are perfect for large-scale lighting projects such as the Beibei District installation,” said Tang Guoqing, senior advisor, Cree Hong Kong Limited. “Designed to last more than 50,000 hours, Cree XLamp LEDs offer the high efficiency and easy integration with intelligent lighting systems needed to reduce overall costs while providing beautiful light.”

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cree and SemiLEDs end LED patent litigation


Cree has prevailed in its LED patent dispute with SemiLEDs, with the latter company agreeing to an injunction preventing sale of the offending LED products from October, as well as paying damages.
Two rival LED makers, Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) and SemiLEDs Corporation (Nasdaq:LEDS), have agreed to end their respective patent infringement litigation against each other.
Cree appears to have prevailed in the dispute. As part of the settlement, SemiLEDs has agreed to make a one-time payment to Cree for past damages.

SemiLEDs also agreed to an injunction, effective October 1, 2012, that prohibits the importation and sale of SemiLEDs' accused products in the United States.

The parties have agreed to withdraw the remaining claims. This is without prejudice to the right of both parties to assert their respective claims in the future.

“The resolution emphasizes the breadth and importance of Cree’s patent portfolio and its determination to ensure that Cree’s intellectual property rights are respected,” stated Julio Garceran, chief intellectual property counsel, Cree.

In April 2011, Cree filed a complaint against SemiLEDs in North Carolina. This claimed infringement of six US patents owned by Cree: no. 7,737,459, no. 7,211,833, no. 7,611,915, no. 6,657,236, no. 7,795,623, and no. 7,557,380.

Cree said that SemiLEDs has infringed each of the above patents by offering for sale, selling, using, and/or importing LED chips and LED components, including those under the product family name MvpLED.

In August 2011, SemiLEDs filed a complaint against Cree in Delaware. This alleged infringement by Cree of US patents no. 7,615,789, no. 7,646,033 and no. D580,888.

"The conclusion of the disputes between SemiLEDs and Cree will allow us to now focus our full resources on developing our business and serving our customers. We continue to innovate and are introducing to the market an exciting, new line of LED products," said Adam Lin, VP of Business Development and General Counsel of SemiLEDs Corporation.

Hella research says LED lighting can improve driving experience


Research conducted by Hella and Hamburg University has indicated that LED lighting designs can significantly affect the comfort level of driver and passengers.
Hella, a global supplier of automotive lighting and electronic systems based in Lippstadt, Germany, has announced that LED lighting will become a significant factor in the design of automobile interiors. Research conducted by Hella in conjunction with Hamburg University in Germany determined that different colors had a significant impact on both driver and passenger emotions and comfort levels.

"Ambient LED lighting will open an entirely new chapter in automotive interior design," said Herbert Wambsganss, director of engineering, Hella Interior Lighting Systems. "Drivers will see significant changes in automotive interior lighting within the next five years - changes that will improve comfort levels and enhance brand awareness."
Drivers spend an average of up to four hours a day in their cars or light trucks, while commercial-vehicle owners spend even more time on the road.

Today, lighting is not a significant factor in the design of most passenger-car and commercial-vehicle interiors, but Hella executives have predicted that the use of ambient LED lighting in North America will more than quadruple over the next five years. "LED lighting technology provides designers with another important way to add value and improve the overall driving experience," said Wambsganss.


Automakers are using single-color lighting to reinforce brand identity and multiple colors to customize and create mood lighting. Different colors have been found to provide a range of emotional responses from excitement to feelings of calm. RGB technology, which allows controlled blending to achieve a wide color spectrum, should prove to be popular in automotive interiors.

Hella's RGB/LIN technology achieves precise color and intensity control using proprietary LED module calibration. In addition to these products, the company offers fabric backlighting, LED overhead consoles and slim-line LED interior lighting (shown).

Africa could save $10 billion annually with LEDs; Philips installs solar street lights


A recent study by Philips estimates that Africa could save $10 billion in annual energy costs by converting to LED lighting, and new solar-powered LED street lights help address lighting needs when electricity is unreliable.
If Africa switched its incandescent lighting to LED lighting, the continent could save up to N1.63 trillion ($10 billion) in annual energy costs, more than 50 million tonnes of carbon and the equivalent output of 35 power stations. These were the key findings of a recent research study conducted by Royal Philips. The above figures reflect only on-grid lighting where electricity currently exists.

Nick Kelso, senior communications manager, Philips Lighting Africa, added that LED solutions, when combined with the latest innovations in battery and solar developments, can provide practical and sustainable light for some 600 million Africans who currently live without electricity according to the International Finance Corporation, a division of the World Bank. Beyond this critical population, many regions of Africa suffer from unreliable grid power.
“With this in mind, we see the need for new LED solutions in Africa, and the best place to begin is Nigeria, where we believe, there is a massive market waiting to be tapped,” said Kelso.

In fact, as part of Philips’ African road show, it has begun installing solar-powered LED street lamps in Ghana, Morocco and Nigeria using the company's Solar Gen2 lamps as well as a new entry-level range of cost-effective LED street lights with lumen packages of 1500 to 6000 lm. Both product lines allow up to 30% higher transfer of energy from the solar panel to the batteries than is offered by traditional change controllers according to Philips.

Eric Heutinck, general manager, Philips Lighting’s Maghreb and West African regions summarized ‘‘Quality LEDs offer part solutions to some of the key issues we face today, including energy crisis, climate change, resource scarcity, safety in our cities and an enhanced sense of health and wellbeing.’’

Philips predicts that in 2020 approximately 75% of the global lighting market will be LED based. The company estimates that full switch to LED lighting would provide up to 80% energy savings in many applications or an average of 40% for all lighting applications.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Germany increases focus on infrastructure, LED lighting


Germany has invested in SSL in automobiles and streetlights, and now broader investments are being encouraged to build a larger SSL manufacturing base.
Germany is calling for increased foreign investment in LED installations. The country’s LED lighting sector is expanding rapidly, with an expected double-digit annual growth through 2018 according to Frost & Sullivan, a market research company. The firm has also estmated the LED lamp industry in Germany will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 27% between 2008 and 2018. Solid-state lighting (SSL) companies are well positioned for the next growth phase within the lighting industry, say Germany Trade & Invest experts, who are attending this year's LED/OLED Expo in South Korea. The Expo opened today and runs through Friday.
"The energy revolution in Germany is enabling many infrastructural upgrades. Several German cities have already begun testing LEDs in street lamps and in buildings," stated Jonathan Schoo, electronics and microtechnology expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin. "The German automobile industry is also exploring the advantages of LEDs, which could draw in valuable investments," added Schoo.

"There is a call for foreign investment to support increasing LED installations. Germany provides an excellent infrastructure and a skilled workforce for international companies interested in taking advantage of the recent energy shift in the country," said Schoo.

Germany Trade & Invest is the foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. The organization advises foreign companies looking to expand business activities in Germany. Earlier this year, results of a survey that Ernst & Young performed, "Business Location Germany 2012," indicated that despite the euro crisis, Germany created 43% more jobs last year than in the previous year. In addition, 60% of 840 international managers polled expect Germany's attractiveness to further increase. In response to the global economic slowdown and continued euro crisis, 91% of international investors believe Germany will withstand the current challenges.

Philips and REI use LED spotlights in Manhattan store


Environmentally-conscious, outdoor-centric retailer REI now features Philips Lightolier accent lighting in its three-level store located in the SoHo area of Manhattan.
Accent lights in REI checkout

Philips Lightolier supplied the 15W Spot LED fixtures that are used throughout REI's new 35,000-ft2, three-level store located in the SoHo area of Manhattan (New York, NY). The first New York City REI location is in the Puck Building, which is listed in The National Registry of Historic Places, and the entire store design sought to preserve history and minimize the environmental footprint.

Solid-state lighting (SSL) was an integral part of the design scheme targeted at meeting REI's sustainability requirements. The retailer hosts a "Stewardship At REI" website that defines its core tenets including sustainable operations.

The retailer needed accent lighting that performed well and highlighted the merchandise. "Working with Lightolier’s product development and sales helped us achieve outstanding results for a retail experience," said Patti Civarra, architectural project manager, REI. "For instance, in using the 15W Spot LED, our customers will actually see more of the actual color of the gear and apparel we sell, and that’s a win-win for all."

The Lightolier 15W Spot LED delivers center-beam candle power of 24,431 cd with an efficacy of 65 lm/W. The CRI of 85 enables the improved color rendering noted above by Civarra.

According to Lightolier, the 15W Spot is ideal for replacing ceramic metal-halide (MH) lights that range from 20-70W. At the high-end of that range, the 15W Lightolier product would not offer comparable light output, but the high CRI could still deliver improved appearance of merchandise in retail applications.

Lighting over original steam-power flywheels

The lifetime of the SSL alternative is also important in retail applications. REI doesn't expect to replace the SSL lamps for 50,000 hours. Lightolier said the typical MH lamp would be replaced three or more times in that period, disrupting the retail business.

"The award-winning 15W Spot LED hit on all the points for REI, plus the added value of focusing more color on their product," said Deborah Witte, director of product marketing, Philips Lightolier. "The REI project was a great opportunity for us to demonstrate Philips Lightolier’s commitment to delivering sustainable solutions that reduce operating costs, create visual appeal and reduce carbon footprint."

Zemax describes the difficulty of using LED sources in Webcast


SSL product developers can learn about the difficulty of working with LED sources and about ray-tracing software in a recent LEDs Magazine Webcast.
On Thursday, June 21, Mark Nicholson, vice president of the Zemax Group at Radiant Zemax, presented a Webcast entitled "Speed product development with innovative illumination design software." The presentation included an excellent description of the obstacles solid-state lighting (SSL) product developers face when working with LED sources.

The Webcast, still available at the above link, also covered modeling software that uses ray-tracing technology that SSL developers can use to accurately predict product performance without building expensive prototypes. Radiant Zemax has an extensive set of precision models for readily-available packaged LEDs.

The early part of the presentation revealed that while LEDs seem like a relatively simple source, they are actually much more complex than legacy sources. Different LEDs provide vastly different light patterns.

Nicholson showed a photo of an LED in the on state, and the source looks like a fairly uniform one. In reality that's not typically the case and the irregularity can greatly impact end SSL products.

For example, Nicholson showed a close up, magnified image of a widely-used LED in the on state. The brightest areas were at the edges of the package as opposed to the center.

Nicholson also showed a photo of a multi-emitter RGBW (red, green, blue, and white) packaged LED array. The domed lens used in the package resulting in a distortion of the shape of the individual emitters – especially in the center of the array. You can see the distortion when the LED is in the off state, via a close-up photo looking into the dome. The distortion is evident in the projected light when the LED is turned on.

If you missed the Webcast, register and take a quick look at the archive. You will learn about the basics of light-modeling software, and you will learn quite a bit about LED sources.

Candidates welcome for NGL outdoor competition


The 2012 Next Generation Luminaires (NGL) Solid-State Lighting Outdoor Design Competition has been opened. Candidate luminaire submissions are due by August 3 and winners will be announced at Strategies in Light in February.
The outdoor competition portion of the Next Generation Luminaires (NGL) award program has officially been opened. Sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), the NGL competition began in 2008 with the intention to recognize and promote excellence in the design of energy-efficient LED commercial lighting luminaires. Its roots were based on the market's critical concerns about SSL product performance and quality.

The submission process will take place in two stages. Initial submissions to the competition website are due by August 3 and final submission forms are due August 31. Product samples are due by September 7.
The winners will be announced during Pennwell’s Strategies in Light event on February 12-14, 2013 in Santa Clara, CA. At that time, awards will be presented to all distinguished products and the results – including manufacturers’ identities, product descriptions, testing details and judging comments – will be published by NGL via print and web and publicized at industry events around the country. Past winners have received considerable press coverage.

NGL winning criteria

The idea behind NGL is to make it easier for lighting designers and specifiers to find LED lighting products that are worthy of specification. The judging panel selects multiple winning products that they deem worthy of specification. NGL entries are judged on lighting quality (including color, illuminance, light distribution, and glare), appearance, serviceability, efficacy, value, dimming, and rated lifetime.

Judges examine lighted samples in their intended applications as well as photometric analyses and other documentation. Application criteria such as mounting height, spacing, and uniformity are also specified to provide additional guidance. Products meeting the judges' diverse criteria are recognized, and from this group additional awards are given.

Indoor competition winners

The recognized products in the indoor competition were announced at Lightfair International on May 10. In addition to selecting 53 recognized products, the judging panel chose three Best in Class winners, Intense Lighting for its MBW2 LED Track accent lighting fixture, Albeo Technologies for its H-Series LED high-bay luminaire, and Lithonia Lighting for its ST Series LED utility/general purpose luminaire. These products stood out significantly above other products in their category.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Philips Lumileds announces small Luxeon Z color LEDs


Targeting entertainment and architectural lighting, the Lumileds Luxeon Z LEDs measure only 1.3×1.7 mm and can be densely packed in full-color arrays.
Philips Lumileds announced the Luxeon Z series of LEDs with models across the color space from 670-440 nm, and in phosphor-converted 4000K white. The 1.3×1.7-mm LEDs target maximum lumen density in entertainment- and architectural-lighting applications that luminaire designers achieve by closely packing the LEDs.


Indeed, the Luxeon Z chip and package design was optimized for dense arrays. Chad Stalker, regional marketing manager for Philips Lumileds, said that the die is just large enough for stability and reliable electrical and thermal interconnects.

Lumileds took a fundamentally different approach to color-lighting applications with the Luxeon Z. According to Stalker, most companies are packaging rectangular and linear arrays of emitters with specific color mixes. He said, "We focused on Luxeon Z as bringing out a building block." Product designers can elect the mix of colors needed, including the ability to mix white and amber LEDs into a design.

Theoretically, Lumileds said you could mount as many as 250 of the new LEDs in a 1-in2 space. Stalker admitted that there would be tough thermal and electrical challenges to doing so, but the point is that you can easily realize the mix of colors required in an application and the orientation in rectangular or linear arrays.
The LED design is also accommodating when it comes to adding the optics required for an application. Lumileds chose not to place a dome over the LEDs so that optics can be coupled directly to the LED surface.

As an example of how you might use optics with a custom configuration of the Luxeon Z LEDS, Stalker said you could employ a collimating optic or light pipe over an array of one of the LEDs that implement a color-changing element. He said that most packaged color arrays have lenses that prevent the use of such a collimating optic that is critical for zoom control.

Lattice Power, Plessey press forward with GaN-on-silicon LED production


Lattice Power says that it is in volume production of high-power gallium nitride LEDs grown on silicon substrates, while Plessey appears to be not far behind.
Lattice Power Corporation, a China-based company that is developing gallium nitride (GaN)-based LED chips manufactured on silicon substrates, says that it has started volume production of its new-generation, high-power GaN-on-Si LEDs. The company says this will “set the backdrop for a sharp reduction in the prices of energy-efficient LED light bulbs worldwide.”
In related news, UK-based Plessey Semiconductors has bought an MOCVD system from Aixtron so that it can grow GaN-on-Si materials on 150-mm-diameter wafers.

Lattice Power

Lattice Power claims to be “the first and only company in volume production of GaN-on-silicon LED chips, with products that are comparable to high-end chips that rely on conventional sapphire substrates.”

Several other companies, including Osram and Bridgelux, have unveiled promising results from their GaN-on-Si development work on large-diameter silicon wafers.

Lattice Power's GaN-on-Si LED series encompasses four different chip sizes: 28 x 28 mil, 35 x 35 mil, 45 x 45 mil, and 55 x 55 mil (approx 1.4 x 1.4 mm). The power ranges from 0.5 watts to 2 watts. At an operating current of 350mA, the 45-mil product has an output of 130 lm in cool white, with an efficiency of 120 lm/W.

One of the principal potential advantages of GaN-on-Si is cost reduction due to the lower price of silicon wafers compared with sapphire. Also, silicon substrates are readily available in larger diameters. Lattice Power says that it is actively working on 150-mm GaN-on-Si technology and is expecting to transfer its production to larger-diameter silicon substrates in 2013.

Lattice Power says that twenty strategic customers have received its LEDs and will incorporate them into indoor and outdoor lighting applications. The company has previously supplied smaller, lower-power GaN-on-Si LEDs for display and signage applications. Lattice Power has filed more than 200 innovative international and domestic patents in this field.

“Since its birth, Lattice Power has focused on high efficiency, low cost and high reliability LEDs on silicon. To get to where it is now, Lattice Power has faced lots of hurdles and challenges and overcome many obstacles and heart-breaks,” said Wang Min, the co-founder and CEO of Lattice Power. “But we have persevered and gained enormous traction with customers. Our silicon-based LED technology will finally open the door for LED bulbs to be used in millions of households.”

Plessey installs Aixtron reactor

Germany-based MOCVD system supplier Aixtron has announced that it will supply a CRIUS II-XL reactor to Plessey Semiconductors Ltd. The system will be used to grow GaN-on-Si materials in a 7 x 6-inch wafer configuration, and will be installed in Plessey’s facility in Plymouth, UK.

In February 2012, Plessey acquired CamGaN Limited, a University of Cambridge spin-off formed to commercialize the growth of GaN LEDs on large-area silicon substrates.

Barry Dennington, COO of Plessey Semiconductors, comments, “We are on schedule for the production of a world-class LED that will become the high-performance lighting LED at the price break-through the market has been waiting for. We will be in early prototype production before the end of Q3 2012 and in full production by Q2 2013.”

Monday, October 1, 2012

Largest US nuclear power plant upgrades lighting with Albeo LED fixtures


Part of the nation’s largest nuclear power plant has been upgraded with 130 LED fixtures from Albeo, ensuring reliable, continuous lighting that should pay for itself within two years.

Sections of the Arizona Palo Verde nuclear generating station have recently been upgraded using 130 LED fixtures from Albeo Technologies, a manufacturer of commercial and industrial LED fixtures based in Boulder, CO. The expected savings in energy consumption is expected to pay for the cost and installation of the 130 fixtures within two years.
The nation’s largest nuclear plant and power producer of any kind installed three types of LED fixtures including the award-winning NGL 2012 Best-in-class H-Series high-bay fixture (shown), S-Series sealed fixture and the C3-Series linear fixture. According to Albeo, this installation of the H-Series high bay fixtures represents the first 1:1 replacement of LED-equivalent 1000W metal-halide lamps.

“Albeo products are ideal for mission-critical environments like nuclear plants where quality and efficiency cannot be compromised,” said Jeff Bisberg, cofounder and CEO of Albeo Technologies.

The Palo Verde nuclear generating station is located in Tonopah, AZ, approximately 45 miles west of central Phoenix. The station's 4000-MW capacity serves over 4 million people throughout the Southwest. The plant is joint-owned by seven utilities in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.