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Monday, January 28, 2013

DOE releases cost model for manufacturing of LED packages

The DOE has developed a model that allows companies to assess the effect of changing different aspects of their LED manufacturing process flow, for example using different substrates or introducing new manufacturing equipment.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released a common cost model for the manufacturing of LED packages.
The Modular LED Cost Model (LEDCOM), which was developed by a DOE working group in response to feedback from previous DOE workshops and roundtables, provides a simplified method for analyzing the manufacturing costs of an LED package.

The model was introduced as part of the newly-revised SSL Manufacturing R&D Roadmap 2012.

The LEDCOM model focuses on the major cost elements of LED manufacturing and includes preliminary raw data and a basic manufacturing process flow. These provide a starting point and can be customized by the user to model different processes, materials, and equipment.

The tool is intended for those involved in the manufacturing of LED packages, from material and equipment suppliers, to epitaxy growers, to wafer processors, to chip manufacturers and packagers.

It will enable these parties to evaluate the relative impact on the final LED package cost of changes made at different points in the manufacturing process.

For example, the tool can be configured to evaluate the impact of changes to the substrate size and type, the fabrication process, raw materials costs, and the manufacturing equipment used.

It can also be used to help complete a cost-benefit analysis in order to quantify the value of a proposed R&D activity by analyzing the impact the anticipated improvements would have on the final LED package cost.

The LEDCOM tool can be downloaded from the DOE SSL website as a zip file that contains the LEDCOM model as an excel worksheet, the backend database, and an operating information document.

Philips' Van Duinen says LED lighting will be connected to the Internet of things

The keynote speaker at the Street & Area Lighting Conference in Miami discussed the vital importance of SSL relative to the global energy crisis, and predicted that smart lighting will ultimately be connected in ubiquitous networks.
Niels Van Duinen, global marketing director at Philips Lighting led off the Street & Area Lighting Conference on September 10 with a forward look at LED lighting and how smart-city projects will ultimately connect lighting on Internet Protocol (IP) networks. Van Duinen sees connected solid-state lighting (SSL) as a necessity given the growing energy concerns around the globe.

Van Duinen began with some astounding numbers saying that by 2050 close to 7 billion people, about the number on the planet today, will live in cities. He said that in developing countries, cities will expand to accommodate an additional one million residents every five days. And energy consumption will of course escalate. Van Duinen projected a 40% increase in energy consumption by 2030.

Saving energy in outdoor lighting is clearly important. Van Duinen said that LED-based lighting can offer 50-70% energy savings, but added "it's not enough to meet global sustainability targets." Adaptive controls can bring the savings to 80%, according to Van Duinen.

25 million lights
There are 25 million street lights in the US, and those lights account for 40% of cities' electricity usage, according to Van Duinen. Those lights are equivalent to 2.6 million cars in terms of carbon emissions.

Van Duinen said that after a decade focusing on LED lighting for energy savings that it's time to go to the next phase. Moreover, he noted that lighting won't have to break new ground to adapt IP network technology. As an example, he cited radio frequency identification (RFID) tags used to track things such as retail items or pallets of merchandise. He said there will be 4 billion RFID tags added in 2012. He went on to mention that mobile wireless service providers are adding Internet connectivity to devices (things) other than phones at twice the rate that they are for phones.

For municipalities that want to adapt smart-city technology, the answer is a unified network, according to Van Duinen. Cities are already connecting traffic signals and other assets. A unified network that includes street lights could both maximize energy saving and add other benefits.

Van Duinen cited an example of how a connected city could improve emergency response. He said cameras could detect and capture the occurrence of an auto accident and immediately alert responders. The network would control traffic signals ensuring that the responders have a clear path to the accident. And the network could command street lights to full output for best visibility.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cooper Lighting launches sleek line of outdoor luminaires

The Navion LED luminaire is offered in various lumen and optical packages to meet the output and light distribution of different street and area lighting applications.
Cooper Lighting has added the new Navion LED luminaire to its line of Lumark LED outdoor area, site and roadway lighting fixtures. The Navion luminaire's application-specific design allows lumen output and energy consumption to be configured to fit the lighting needs various applications, from single fixture to large office parking lots and roadway lighting. Energy savings is 30-70% over high-intensity discharge (HID) fixtures.
Cooper's Navion LED street/area luminaire.
The luminaire's size and construction is scaled to the specific lumen package in five configurations from 3600 to 22,000 lm, or HID equivalents from 70W HPS up to 400W MH. The Navion luminaire features a 4000K color temperature and CRI of 70, with an optional 6000K (70 CRI) and 3000K (80 CRI) available. Rated lifetime is 60,000 hours at 90% lumen maintenance (16 yr at 10 hr/day).
The luminaire uses Cooper Lighting’s AccuLED optics system to achieve optical efficiency as high as 95%, while eliminating uplight, glare, obtrusive spill light and overlit hot spots. The user selects from ten optical packages.

With its die-cast aluminum construction and durable powder-coat finish, the luminaire is designed to withstand harsh environments over an operating range of -40[deg]C to 40[deg]C (50[deg]C optional package). Other features include tool-less door entry and quick electrical disconnects. Installation is performed with simple tools. The fixture is 3G vibration rated and comes standard with 10kV dual-mode surge protection.

Ushio to sell Soraa MR16 LED lamp

As of November 1, Ushio will begin selling the Superline LED MR16 lamps based on Soraa’s GaN-on-GaN technology through Ushio’s subsidiaries in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Germany.
Ushio Inc., a global provider of high quality lighting products based in Tokyo, Japan, has announced that as of November 1, it will begin selling the Superline LED MR16 lamps based on technology from Soraa, a startup firm based in Fremont, CA. The Superline LED lamp is based on LED chips produced using Soraa’s gallium nitride (GaN)-on-GaN semiconductor process. Ushio will sell the MR16 LED lamps through its subsidiaries in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, and Germany.
Ushio/Soraa MR16 LED lamp
The GaN-on-GaN chips allows for LED lighting products that more closely match the black body curve that is produced by halogen and incandescent lamps than existing LED lamps. Unlike competing lamps, Soraa’s LED MR16 offers coverage over the entire spectral range and has no pronounced blue peak or violet and cyan dips. Having overcome the blue overshoot commonly associated with poor color quality, Soraa’s LED MR16 lamp are designed to deliver unparalleled performance in color quality and color rendering. For example, Soraa’s Vivid MR16 lamp featured a CRI of 95 and R9>90 at 3000K color temperature.

LED Engin multi-emitter LED targets challenging halogen-replacement applications

The LZ9 LuxiGen LED delivers up to 1600 lm and LED Engin is targeting the SSL device at directional retrofit lamps for retail and commercial applications.
LED Engin packs nine die in its new LZ9 LuxiGen packaged LED, and the device delivers 1600 lm in a 6500K cool white version and 1350 lm in a 3000K warm white version. The company says that the solid-state lighting (SSL) emitter is a good match for replacing halogen sources in directional lamps such as PAR20 and PAR30 applications.

LuxiGen LZ9 package and COB
Target applications such as retail demand both good beam control and excellent color rendering and LED Engin says that the new product delivers on both. Previously the company has offered LuxiGen devices with a CRI of 80, but the new LED family comes with the option of a 90 CRI.

The LZ9 family offers 2.5 times the lumen output of the prior generation LZ4 family, and LED Engin says that it also more than doubles the lux on target. LED Engin supplies secondary total internal reflection (TIR) optics that can produce spot, flood, and narrow flood beams.

Halogen target
"With the addition of the LZ9, LED Engin continues its focus on maximizing lux on target and lux efficacy at all power levels, giving our customers the freedom and flexibility to design for a range of applications," said Uwe Thomas, vice president of product management. "The LuxiGen LZ9 emitter fills a gap in our product offering in the often-demanded 1000-lm range for complete systems which are commonly used to replace 50W and 75W halogen sources."

Based on the Energy Star Integral Lamp Center Beam Intensity Benchmark Tool, LED Engin says that the LED enables SSL lamps that perform comparably to 75W PAR20 and PAR30 halogen lamps. The company will supply the LED as a component or mounted in a chip-on-board (COB) package that uses a metal core circuit board.

The LEDs are available at CCTs down to 2700K. The array is electrically configured as three parallel strings of three emitters connected in series. The multi-emitter approach allows LED Engin to control CCT to within a 3 MacAdam Ellipse range for lamp-to-lamp color consistency.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

3M announces novel approach to an LED retrofit lamp

A light guide provides omnidirectional light distribution in 3M's new LED-based lamp that is decidedly different from the typical SSL approach to the retrofit application.
Cutaway view of 3M's lamp
This Fall, materials specialist 3M will ship an LED-retrofit lamp that again proves that there is no limit to the number of different ways to apply solid-state lighting (SSL) technology to the problem of designing an omnidirectional bulb. The 60W-equivalent 3M LED Advanced Light uses a light guide that carries and distributes the beam uniformly with the LEDs mounted just above the Edison socket base.

The new lamps produce 800 lm and will be sold in a 3000K CCT version that the company calls soft-white light and a 5000K cool-white version. 3M says that the lamps will last 25 years based on a three-hour usage day and cost $1.63 per year to operate. Retailer Walmart will be the initial source for the $25 lamp with availability expected in September.

The lamp design is truly different from the many other approaches on the market. The approach greatly simplifies the driver design, as the nearby figure shows that the driver is located in the relatively spacious globe. Most other SSL retrofit lamps cram the driver into the base and/or neck of the lamp.

The design allows air to flow into lamp just above the base and exit through slots in the upper half of the globe – cooling both the LEDs and the driver. That thermal concept is again different from most lamps on the market.

LED light engine
The LEDs are mounted facing upwards around the circumference of the neck of the lamp as shown in the figure. The cool-white version uses 9 LEDs while the warm-white version uses 10 LEDs.

A number of 3M materials are used in the lamp including optically clear adhesives used on the globe. The design also uses 3M's Enhanced Specular Reflector material in the light engine. And the design uses 3M electrical connectors.


3M designed the light guide that forms the outer structure of the lamp and uses total internal reflection (TIR) technology to distribute light around the globe. The light-extraction elements are created with white paint on the inside of the light guide causing beams to reflect outside the lamp in an omnidirectional fashion.

The lamp appears similar to a frosted incandescent lamp and is primarily white in the off state. The cooling slots are apparent, but the look would not likely create the issue that say remote-phosphor designs do, with the non-white color in the off state, when lamps are used in fixtures that expose the bulb.

IWatt lowers BOM cost with digital dimmable LED driver ICs

New 12W and 25W LED driver ICs from iWatt work with triac and electronic dimmers and achieve power factor in excess of 0.95.
IWatt has introduced two new dimmable solid-state lighting (SSL) driver ICs, the 12W iW3616 and 25W iW3617, that are based on the company's digital-state machine approach to adapting to leading- and trailing-edge, phase-cut dimmers. The company says that the new LED driver ICs can reduce the overall driver bill of materials (BOM) by 10-20% relative to their prior offering while delivering power factor greater than 0.95 and total harmonic distortion (THD) under 10%.

IWatt's iW3616 targets retrofit lamps
The new driver ICs primarily target retrofit-lamp applications although they will also find usage in some SSL fixtures. The products were designed to meet the 85% or greater driver efficiency requirement that's prevalent in the SSL lamp segment.

IWatt has been on a very public campaign in the dimming area asserting that its products eliminate any LED flicker problems associated with dimming. The new designs can dim from 1% to 100% with +/-5% current regulation.

Dimmer compatibility
Scott Brown, iWatt vice president of marketing, said that the ICs are compatible with a broad array of dimmers with the company having tested the ICs with more than 100 commercially available products including triac-based products and electronic dimmers that produce a phase-cut signal. Brown said that the electronic dimmers are especially difficult. Such leading-edge dimmers don't cleanly cut the signal at the beginning of the each half sine wave of the AC input. Instead, the voltage begins to rise and then the dimmer cuts the signal for a period of time based on the set dim level. IWatt has accounted for such dimmers in its digital state machines that control dimming functionality.

The iWatt designs are two-stage converters with the first stage handling power factor correction (PFC) and the second stage the constant current supply. The PFC stage removes any source of flicker attributable to the AC line.

The promised BOM savings come in the area of the required discrete components. The new ICs can use lower-cost bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) on the output rather than field effect transistors (FETs). The new driver ICs can also use smaller, lower-cost electrolytic capacitors, and simpler protection and EMI filtering circuits

Brown said the BOM savings amount to around $0.09 and that seems like a relatively small amount. But about the retrofit lamp makers, Brown said "Once cent is significant for these guys and twenty cents is huge."