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Editorial: The Next Big Push for LED Lighting -- Ease of Use
... Granted, a light has historically been as simple as 'on' and 'off'. Fancy ones had 'dim'. If you're a luminaire manufacture that has been technologically stumped by the last one, it's a fair bet the rest of what's coming is going to be a bit confusing. Fortunately, the other...
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The Next Big Push for LED Lighting -- Ease of Use

... Granted, a light has historically been as simple as 'on' and 'off'. Fancy ones had 'dim'. If you're a luminaire manufacture that has been technologically stumped by the last one, it's a fair bet the rest of what's coming is going to be a bit confusing. Fortunately, the other...

View the full story at the bottom of the current news page, or if this is a back issue, go here...

Plessey Adds LED Assembly Line to Plymouth, UK Facility
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 25, 2014...Plessey announced plans to add an LED assembly line to its Plymouth, UK facility. Plessy asserts that the assembly line will enable it to focus on its high brightness LED growth plans based upon Plessey’s solid-state lighting and sensing business.

The company plans to use assembly line facility as an innovation center for developing next generation LED packages and help the company take new products from concept to production in less time. The custom assembly line utilizes a laser saw process and ends with an automatic test for PLCC (Plastic, Leadless Chip Carrier) packages. The line includes die attach, singulation, encapsulation, phosphor mixing and wire bonding. It also includes all the other standard, supporting equipment and processes. Plessey designed the production line specifically around speed and flexibility to provide customers with engineering samples for evaluation and pilot builds before starting full production.

Mike Snaith, Plessey's operations director stated, "The industrialization of GaN-on-Silicon LED technology does not end at producing wafers - it also requires as much attention to the back-end processing to ensure that all the benefits we make at wafer level are fully realized in the final product. This is the best way to provide customers with the LED products they need."

Plessey's Plymouth facility has already built working samples of complete in-house filament prototypes for the new market of LED filament replacement bulbs. The filament prototypes use a dedicated die and assembly, which the company designs and manufacture within the facility.

Plessey's MaGIC™ (Manufactured on GaN-on-Si I/C) High Brightness LED (HBLED) technology reportedly allows the uses of standard silicon manufacturing techniques to cut the cost of LED lighting. The company plans to establish new LED packaging standards to match the benefits made at wafer level.

Plessey's products for lighting applications will be showcased at LuxLive, ExCel London, 19-20 November, Stand D31.

Princeton Researchers Develop Nanotech Method of Increasing Brightness and Efficiency of LEDs
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 25, 2014...Princeton Researchers have developed a novel method to increase the brightness, efficiency, and clarity of LEDs. Electrical engineering professor Stephen Chou led the team of researchers improved the efficiency and brightness of LEDs made on organic (flexible carbon-based) sheets.

Using a novel nanoscale structure, the researchers, led by electrical engineering professor Stephen Chou, increased the brightness and efficiency of LEDs by 57 percent. The researchers assert that their method should yield similar improvements in LEDs made in inorganic (silicon-based) materials.

According to the researchers, the method improves the picture clarity of LED displays by 400 percent, compared the clarity of LED displays with conventional LEDs. The researchers describe how they manipulated light on a smaller scale than a single wavelength in an article published online August 19 in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

The researchers point out one drawback of LEDs that only a small amount of light generated inside an LED escapes. Chou realized that a device that could absorb light outside well could also be good at radiating light generated internally. Therefore it could offer an efficient solution for both light extraction and the reduction of light reflection.

"From a view point of physics, a good light absorber, which we had for the solar cells, should also be a good light radiator," he said. "We wanted to experimentally demonstrate this is true in visible light range, and then use it to solve the key challenges in LEDs and displays."

The PlaCSH structure consists of a layer of light-emitting material about 100 nanometers thick that is placed inside a cavity with one surface made of a thin metal film. The other cavity surface is made of a metal mesh with incredibly small dimensions: it is 15 nanometers thick; and each wire is about 20 nanometers in width and 200 nanometers apart from center to center. (a nanometer is one hundred-thousandth the width of a human hair.)

The PlaCSH structure guides the light out of the LED. The system also can replace the traditional brittle transparent electrode, with something more flexible than most current displays.

San’an Optoelectronics Places Large Order for Aixtron MOCVD Systems
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 25, 2014...Aixtron reports that San’an Optoelectronics has ordered 50 of its Next Generation Showerhead® MOCVD systems. The order is reportedly one of the largest that Aixtron has ever received. Aixtron says that San’an order is part of growing evidence that LED makers are starting to expand production capacity. Delivery of the equipment is scheduled for Q4/2014. An Aixtron service team will install all systems at San’an’s Chinese production facility. San’an reportedly plans to use the systems to expand the company’s capacity for producing gallium-nitride (GaN)-based ultra-high brightness LED chips.

University of Michigan Researchers Improve Blue PHOLED Lifetime 10X
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 25, 2014...University of Michigan researchers in the university’s Optoelectronic Components and Materials Group have reportedly created a 10-fold increase in the lifetime of blue PHOLEDs (which currently only last a few hundred hours. The researchers found that triplet polaron annihilation (TPA) causes the rapid degradation in blue OLED brightness (lifetime). They found that if they graded the emitter concentration in the host, the exciton formation zone is extended. So, the exciton density is decreased

They also “tuned the emissive layer energetics so that both the host and the emissive dopant participate in charge transport.” Both of these measures decreased TPA and enabled the blue OLED to remain brighter longer.

OLED Inventors Could Get Nobel Prize in Chemistry
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 25, 2014...Two scientists are up for the nobel prize in chemistry for inventing the OLED which has become common in cell phone displays and high definition TVs. Steven Van Slyke of Silicon Valley start-up Kateeva Inc. and Ching Tang of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology may win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the invention of OLEDs, according to the Intellectual Property & Science unit of Thomson Reuters.

Philips Lumileds Launches Matrix Platform
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 23, 2014...Philips Lumileds reported the launch of its new Matrix Platform solutions. The Matrix Platform consists of turnkey LED solutions using Luxeon LEDs as well as components and optics assembled on a wide selection of board types. The company launched the platform with two product lines—the Luxeon XR on rigid substrates and Luxeon XF on flexible substrates.

“More than ever, luminaire manufacturers need robust solutions that meet their specific design requirements. That need, together with today’s time-to-market pressures, inspired our Matrix Platform,” said Viral Hazari, Product Line Director for the Matrix Platform. Based on customer requirements, Philips Lumileds can provide Luxeon XR and Luxeon XF solutions designed with any Luxeon LEDs. Additionally, there are both “off-the-shelf” and “built-to-spec” options.

The company says that luminaire makers/designers with Matrix Platform solutions benefit from simplified supply chain, access to Luxeon performance, and faster time-to-market.

“Philips Lumileds sees manufacturers quickly moving toward boards and modules to meet their time-to-market goals and indeed we have been working with select customers for some time to understand and enhance the value we could provide with these solutions,” said Hazari. The company’s production line in Penang, Malaysia dedicates 12,000 square feet of capacity to Matrix Platform solutions. “We can rapidly turn around new designs -- in many cases within two weeks of design approval.”

The company says that the Luxeon XR-3535L for troffer applications, its first rigid substrate module product, provides uniform, distributed light. The 80 CRI product comes in color temperatures of 3000K, 3500K or 4000K and achieves an output of 1320 to 1515 lumens and an efficacy as high as 160 lm/W. The Luxeon XF-3535L offers 1100 to 5070 lumens at an efficacy as high as 160 lm/W on a flexible substrate.

DOE Awards Pixelligent Technologies and Partner OLEDWorks $1.5 Million for OLED Lighting Development
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 23, 2014...Pixelligent Technologies of Baltimore, Maryland, reported that the United States Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the company and its partner OLEDworks to receive $1.25 to support the continued development of the OLED lighting application. The details of the award can be viewed on the DOE SSL website. The company along with its partner OLEDworks will be awarded one of just nine grants of $1.25 million that the Department of Energy is giving out for the development of OLED lighting.

"This is the second OLED lighting award we have received from the DOE in partnership with OLEDWorks, which clearly demonstrates our leadership position in developing the next generation materials required to accelerate the commercialization of OLED lighting," said Craig Bandes, President & CEO of Pixelligent Technologies.

"We are proud to have been selected by the DOE for this highly competitive grant that, when combined with our internal investments, will provide the resources required to optimize our OLED lighting application," said Gregory Cooper PhD, founder & CTO of Pixelligent Technologies.

The project is targeting a 200 percent improvement in light extraction efficiency with a novel internal light extraction design. The project aims to improve efficiency without negatively impacting the device voltage, efficacy, or angular color dependence.

"This federal grant reflects the type of common sense investments we should be making to help our economy rebound by boosting U.S. manufacturing and high-tech innovation," said Congressman Ruppersberger of Maryland's Second District. "The fact that one of Baltimore's own companies was selected and will be bringing jobs back to the city is icing on the cake. Pixelligent is an impressive and growing company, and I am proud that they have chosen the Second District to call home."

Osram Showcases Latest Automotive Lighting at Automechanika
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 23, 2014...Osram presented its latest automotive lighting including LED-based lighting at Automechanika from September 16-20 in Frankfurt, Germany. The company displayed automotive lighting in all lighting technologies. Among the automotive lighting products, the company showcased a xenon/LED headlight, LED DRL and fog lights, and a laser module, which the BMW i8 and other selected vehicles will use.

"With our new products we are providing an important boost to the automobile market. As the world market leader in automotive lighting we are once again strengthening our pioneering role in this sector," said Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO Specialty Lighting at Osram. Automechanika will take place from September 16 to 20 in Frankfurt. Osram can be found in Hall 3.0, Booth D15.

Osram developed and produced the LEDriving Xenarc Headlight for the Audi A4 with a combination of xenon and LED technologies. The company claims that so far it is the only manufacturer to offer a legal upgrade to xenon light without the need for major reconstruction of the front of the vehicle. Osram boasts that the LEDriving Xenarc Headlight provides significantly more light than halogen headlights from renowned car manufacturers and also offers daytime running light functionality using LEDs.

According to Osram, the new LEDriving LG daytime running light provides better visibility during the day for improved road safety. An intelligent control box ensures that the light is fully automatic. LEDriving LG is compatible with hybrid cars and vehicles with stop/start systems. Osram notes that all the necessary certificates for use on European roads are in place.

The LEDriving range also includes F1 model fog light with a life of up to 5000 hours (99.99 € RRP) and a color temperature of 6000 K that the company claims can replace virtually all current fog lights.

Osram also debuted a new series of LEDsBIKE lamps for bicycles. The portfolio includes three front lights with different luminous intensities of 10 to 70 lux (costing between 29.90 € and 124.90 € RRP) and a tail light for 9.99 € RRP. The premium model (FX70), which can be recharged via a USB interface, delivers light in a 180-degree distribution for up to seven hours. The bicycle lamps come with a two-year Osram guarantee.

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Commentary & Perspective...

The Next Big Push for LED Lighting -- Ease of Use
Commentary Staff

September 29, 2014...Granted, a light has historically been as simple as 'on' and 'off'. Fancy ones had 'dim'. If you're a luminaire manufacture that has been technologically stumped by the last one, it's a fair bet the rest of what's coming is going to be a bit confusing. Fortunately, the other 99% of the industry will get. (Please, Lord, let it be 99%... although if it's lower, that could explain a lot). So far, LED lighting really hasn't extended the frontiers much beyond 'dim' in terms of functionality, but if you keep sailing towards the horizon, eventually you'll actually get there, and LED lighting promises so much more, it's about to get complicated. When it comes to Ease of Use, we naturally need to address that in terms of the user, but also from the component side looking towards the luminaire manufacturers (and yes, even towards the 1%).

The User Experience

Credit is still due Philips for jumping right to that first horizon with the Hue product family. On, off, dim, hue (get it?), networked and apps. Our set here at HQ is still chugging along, happy as a clam. One update introduced a bit of a delay glitch (choose a scene, nothing, choose another, nothing... then scene 1 and then scene 2). A little whining to the right person at a Strategies in Light, and shortly thereafter an update showed up, and all was happy again. (We'll pretend we can take full credit). The beauty of the Hue implementation, and the initial partnering with the Apple stores, was that it had to be Apple-like, and simply make sense in how it ran. We can discipline ourselves, or have someone else do it for us. Either way, we're disciplined and the result should be good.

The next horizon will unleash a whole new set of variables that will prove very interesting. Sensors, as one component, will be watching the space and allowing the luminaires and bulbs to make decisions about what to do. Who is that? What do they typically do with the light? What other systems within the home network or across the building management system do they interact with? What other environmental factors affect what the user wants? (Sound a little like Nest's learning thermostat?). Switches? Who needs switches. Shouldn't I be able to wave my hand in some sensible fashion, or even talk to the lights to tell them what I want? (Hand waving... Nest smoke alarm... think maybe Google was on to something when they bought them up?). If you can talk to your phone, and have it answer, "I live to serve," when you say thank you, is talking to your lights so very far fetched? Apps on the smartphone will be the obvious first step, but direct 'interfacing' will not be far behind. We want our lives to be simple, so we expect our technology to do complex things for us so we can move on from the mundane stuff to the deeply impactful stuff (like TV and video games!). The user experience will need to work. Correctly. No customer integration required.

The Luminaire Manufacturer Experience

For an industry that has been spent the last 100+ years bending pretty metal into interesting shapes, inserting some sockets, connecting a matching ballast and working out some nice optics (credit where credit is due), the concept of simply networking the luminaires has been expectedly slow in coming. The heavy lifting in the fluorescent (and CMH) worlds really fell more to the ballast folks, since they were really the only ones that had any useful data or control (brighter/dimmer, more/less energy consumed). And it really doesn't appear many of them really cared to get up from the couch to lift anything, much less something heavy. Dimming ballasts had remained both relatively rare, and pricey, well past the point that 'everyone' would have seemed to want them if they were priced right. With the advent of SSL, we all ran out of excuses not to employ dimmable, communicative lighting, at least into the commercial space. The challenge, of course, is that no one was doing much of that kind of thing, so it's a rather new frontier. Building a system that needed electrical engineers (like, with microprocessors and stuff) is old hat to the toy or car industries, but still pretty darn new to most all of the luminaire folks. New lighting entrants, such as Cree, came in equipped with the needed EE's, the answer for the Philips, Cooper, Acuity and GE folks was "staff up with smart folks", or buy someone who already had them. But plenty of the Tier II and Tier III folks that make up the other 60% of the market are looking for easy to use solutions, not staff.

While plenty of manufacturers did add the requisite EE in order to save a few bucks by directly buying LEDs instead of a module or light engine, things are about to get a lot trickier when the design spec includes things like mesh networking, Kelvin-tuning, daylight compensation and connectivity to IoT sensor hubs. A haves vs. have nots sort of tech war is coming, and whenever that kind of dynamic shapes up, solution's providers emerge. Keep an eye on the folks that provide modules and light engines, backed by the semiconductor makers, to begin to step up and stand in the gap to add a manufacturer user-experience. A new world of connected, intelligent and dynamic lighting cometh...

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