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2014-09-17
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Editorial: What We Can and What We Still Cannot Do with LEDs
 
... In recent years, the LED makers have raised the bar on performance of their LED chips and modules. One of the biggest changes has been in lumens per dollar. In both the high-power and mid-power LED chips and modules. Cree, Osram, and Philips have been at the forefront of...
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Commentary...
What We Can and What We Still Cannot Do with LEDs

 
... In recent years, the LED makers have raised the bar on performance of their LED chips and modules. One of the biggest changes has been in lumens per dollar. In both the high-power and mid-power LED chips and modules. Cree, Osram, and Philips have been at the forefront of...

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

DOE Publishes Latest Energy Savings Forecast of Solid-State Lighting
SSL Design News Staff

September 16, 2014...The United Stated Department of Energy (DOE) has published a new report predicting the energy savings of LED-based white-light sources compared with conventional white-lighting. The sixth version of the Energy Savings Forecast of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications compares the lighting energy consumed annually in the U.S. with and without further adoption of LED lighting.

The report projects that by 2030, LEDs lighting will save an estimated 40% compared to conventional light sources. At the current market adoption trajectory, LED lighting is projected to reach 48 percent of the lumen-hour sales of the general illumination market by 2020, and 84 percent by 2030.

By 2030 savings from LED lighting is expected to total 3.0 quads (261 TWh) in that year alone, for more than $26 billion at today's energy prices. The report points out that is equivalent to the total energy consumed by almost 24 million U.S. homes today.

If the DOE reaches its ambitious goals for LED price and efficacy, LED lighting will attain about 68 percent of market share in lumen-hour sales in 2020 and over 90% in 2030. The report forecasts that attaining these goals would create additional energy savings of 20 percent in 2030 alone for a 60 percent total decrease in lighting energy consumption compared to the LED lighting penetration at its current levels.

Cree Announces New High Power LEDs with Lowest System Cost
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 16, 2014...Cree, Inc. has reexamined the formula for calculating the costs of LED modules and LED lighting. The company noted that while previously, an LED was the most expensive piece of the lighting puzzle, the LED currently makes up only about 30 percent of the total cost. Cree pointed out recently that other components such as the heat sink, the driver, and optics are also high in proportion of total cost, and modules that reduce these costs can save money.

Based upon these ideas of cost savings without compromising performance, the company has introduced the XLamp® MH-B LED, a new generation of high power LEDs. Cree claims that the XLamp MH-B delivers better performance and a more effective way to achieve low-cost systems than mid-power (MP) LEDs. According to Cree this reduction comes from the reduction in the heat sink size and cost as well as a reduction in the required number of LEDs and the size and number of optics.

The MH-B LED employs Cree’s high reliability ceramic package technology, the enables it to operate at higher temperatures than mid-power LEDs with no reduction in rated lifetime. Cree says that the ability to operate at higher temperatures enables a 60 percent reduction in heat sink size and cost. Also, because each LED is brighter and smaller, an LED module can use up to 26 times fewer LED chips than MP LEDs to achieve the same level of performance. Cree reportedly optimized the XLamp MH-B to simplify LED system designs for applications currently using multiple mid-power LEDs.

“Cree has once again invented a lighting-optimized solution that can lower my costs and decrease manufacturing times,” said Frank Chen, technical director, Zhejiang Shenghui Lighting Co., Ltd. and Sengled Optoelectronics Co., Ltd. “While chip-on-board LEDs are an attractive alternative to MP LEDs in terms of reliability and cost, they aren’t compatible with my automated manufacturing processes. The new XLamp® MH-B LED finally gives me a more reliable alternative to mid-power LEDs – I no longer have to compromise my brand and reputation to achieve a lower system cost.”

The XLamp MH-B has a small 5-mm by 5-mm light emitting surface and features Cree’s EasyWhite® technology. Cree points out that the XLamp MH-B offers simpler optics, tighter beam angles, easier color consistency, and a more traditional appearance. As a single LED, the XLamp MH-B LED provides up to 830 lumens at 175 mA and 37 Volts This translates to efficacy of about 118 lm/W. It can also be used in arrays for higher lumen applications such as downlights, high bays, and outdoor area lights.

“The new XLamp® MH-B LED combines the reliability and manufacturability of Cree’s high power LEDs with the simplicity and performance of our CXA LED arrays,” said Paul Thieken, director of marketing, LED components. “MH-B introduces a new technology platform that gives customers the best of both technologies, while avoiding the limitations of mid-power LEDs.”

The XLamp MH-B LED comes in correlated color temperatures of 2700K – 6500K with high color rendering index options. Product samples are available now and production quantities are available with standard lead times.

Massive Attack Tours with XL Video LED Displays
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 16, 2014...XL Video supplied LED screens and d3 media servers for Massive Attack’s recent festival tour. The tour featured a video concept co-designed by UVA and Icarus Wilson-Wright. Massive Attack is well known for their use of video to reinforce their music’s message and immerse audience members in its visceral live shows.

For over a decade, the band has been developing their own distinctive text-based style of video content since they first incorporated it into their show. The group can translate the text into the local language/s for each show.

Phil Mercer and Steve Ackein managed the project. The initial brief for the tour’s video design specified that it should be flexible and have high impact for a mix of festivals and own show headliners. The band wanted the screen to be semi-transparent and through-lit from behind.

Wilson Wright explained that they decided to use XL’s new Radiant MC-7T black-face 7mm resolution for its good resolution, light weight and the fact that it is very dark when off.

The display stays lurking in the shadows. Each screen measures 4.2 meters wide by 1.2 meters high, offering 560 x 160 pixels. The XL designed the system to be configured in a standard 6-screen format on two levels and be expandable up to nine screens on three levels. The screens were designed to independently rotate louvre style to produce different architecture and shapes behind the band during the performance. The media server controlled the rotation.

XL devised a series of stepper motors that powered an axle-based system. The d3 media server controlled the motors which allowed 180 degrees of travel.

Two pins attached each axle to the screen support structures, and two different sets of support structures were toured for maximum flexibility depending on the venue or gig. One support structure was based on a scissor mechanism and an aluminum option which utilized motors to lift the louvers.

Wilson-Wright ran the d3 server from FOH. They took in timecode there and sent the signal down a DVI fibre link to the screen processors onstage, and via a MOXA box, data was distributed to the screens. The show’s video content was newly commissioned by UVA, with Wilson-Wright looking after re-editing some of the ‘heritage’ items from the band’s extensive digital archive and also creating some new material. All the time he worked in close collaboration with Lighting Designer Tim Oliver to optimize the different live show looks with lighting and the screen louvers as they moved into different positions.

UVA created a custom grid software module for the d3, upon which text and graphics can be placed and then scaled and sized to maintain complete pixel integrity without aliasing or blurring. Massive Attack’s show video allows multi-lingual text translations including Cyrillic and Chinese characters. With bi and tri-lingual shows the norm, current local and world events and issues can be fully integrated and communicated to the audience in the performance’s context.

Natural Light at Offices Improves Sleep Quality of Workers at Night
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 16, 2014...A new study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwester Medicine found that office workers with more sunlight exposure at the office had longer sleep duration, better sleep quality. Additionally, they had higher levels of physical activity and an overall better quality of life in terms of vitality and health compared to office workers with less natural light exposure in the workplace.

Employees with windows in their offices received 173 percent more white light exposure during work hours. They reported sleeping an average of 46 minutes more per night than employees who were not exposed to natural light at the office. Workers in offices with windows also tended to report more physical activity than those without windows.

In the study, workers without windows reported poorer scores on quality of life measures that relate to vitality and physical problems in addition to poorer outcomes in terms of overall sleep quality and sleep disturbances. The study was detailed in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine in June.

“There is increasing evidence that exposure to light, during the day --particularly in the morning -- is beneficial to your health via its effects on mood, alertness and metabolism,” said the study’s lead author, Phyllis Zee, M.D., a Northwestern Medicine neurologist and sleep specialist. “Workers are a group at risk because they are typically indoors often without access to natural or even artificial bright light for the entire day. The study results confirm that light [exposure] during the natural daylight hours has powerful effects on health.”

“Architects need to be aware of the importance of natural light not only in terms of their potential energy savings but also in terms of affecting occupants’ health,” said co-lead author Mohamed Boubekri, an associate professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Boubekri noted that one simple design solution could help make sure that workstations are within 20 to 25 feet of the peripheral walls containing windows. ”Daylight from side windows almost vanishes after 20 to 25 feet from the windows,” he said.

The study included 49 day-shift office workers; 27 of which were in windowless workplaces, and 22 were in workplaces with windows. Study participants filled out form reporting on their quality of life and sleep quality. The researchers evaluated the forms with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Actigraphy measured sleep, light exposure and activity in a representative subset of 21 participants including 10 in windowless workplaces and 11 in workplaces with windows.

Actigraphy is a device worn on the wrist that measures light exposure as well as activity and sleep and keeps a record of it. The researchers used the motion to determine activity levels while awake and to calculate sleep time. The researchers also determined luminance as a measure of light exposure during the workday.

Osram Presents First OLED Application for Car Interiors
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 16, 2014...Osram has launched an OLED-based reading lamp for car interiors, reportedly the first OLED product ever for car interiors. The OLED Reading Light from Osram with matt aluminum housing provides a warm and uniform light. "With the launch of the Osram OLED Reading Light in the fall we are once again providing evidence of our technological leadership and powers of innovation in the automotive lighting sector," said Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO of the Osram Specialty Lighting Business Unit.

Osram notes that an OLED’s homogeneous light neither casts shadows nor dazzles (blinds a person temporarily), making OLED technology ideal for applications requiring eye focus for a long time. The OLED’s color temperature of 3300 kelvin is very warm, and it has continuously variable brightness. According to Osram, the OLED Reading Light has been optimized for use in a car and can be recharged via a USB cable. An indicator at the USB port shows the status of the battery charge. A clip allows it to be easily attached to the sun visor for example.

The OLED reading light comes with a five-year guarantee and will be available from fall 2014 in a limited edition at www.shopyourlight.com, among other places.

Leti and Luciom Focus on High-data-rate LiFi Applications
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 11, 2014...Luciom, which develops visible-light communication using LEDs, and CEA-Leti of Grenoble, France have launched a project to develop high-data-rate LiFi transceivers. In mid-2015, Luciom plans to begin offering the first high-data-rate bidirectional light-fidelity (LiFi) products that can work with different LED lighting sources, and can work on various mobile devices.

Luciom notes that Visible Light Communications (VLC) has gained significant momentum in recent years, primarily because LEDs are expected to become predominant. Luciom goes so far as to suggest that eventually LiFi will be more efficient and economical compared to wireless RF communications do to rapid market penetration and reduced production costs.

LEDs can be modulated at very high frequencies. High-speed oscillations are invisible to humans allow very high data rates of information transmission. Earlier in 2014, Leti demonstrated a new prototype for wireless high-data-rate Li-Fi transmission that uses LED engines in commercial lighting. Leti says that the technology achieves throughputs of up to 10Mb/s at a range of three meters. At this data rate, the company says it would be suitable for HD video streaming or Internet browsing, using direct or even indirect LED lighting with a luminous flux of under 1,000 lumens. Luciom says that the technology will be adapted to meet the needs its transceivers.

Luciom claims that its technology allows any LED lighting source to act as a high-speed data transmitter that is both secure and environmentally -friendly. The technology, which uses integrated circuits and transceivers, turns LED light sources into positioning beacons, which transmit signals that indicate the location of the specific luminaire. The technology so far only allows one way communication from the light source to the

Smartphones and tablets can become LiFi receivers using their camera as a receiver. When combined with WiFi or Bluetooth in a 3.5mm audio jack Bluetooth dongle, a LiFi application launched from a smartphone can transmit to a server. The companies hope to go a step further than what can be done now to offer a receiver and transmitter (transceiver) that can be connected to a smartphone via an audio dongle.

Luciom says its technology can be combined with the use of gyro-sensors in smartphones and tablets to predict movement between two LiFi beacons and calculate a very accurate position of the user.

Indoors, when GPS technology does not work, communication between phones and smart indoor LED lighting can be used, Locium says that the localization application can provide additional personalized services or information to customers as well as information to the infrastructure manager.

The company is targeting high-data-rate video transfer via LiFi in future products and apps. The project between Leti and Luciom builds on their previous collaboration in which Leti developed an optical over-the-air data link for the company that allows the transmission of true HD video from a lamp to a handheld receiver.

"Our indoor geo-localization could guide shoppers through the maze of large shopping malls to the stores they are seeking, and LED lighting in museums could be used to guide visitors through an enriched tour of the displays and exhibits," said Michel Germe, CEO of Luciom. "Working again with Leti, we will be able to bring new, bidirectional transceivers that enable these applications to market in 2015."

"Luciom was one of the first companies to see that LEDs and LiFi can offer a powerful, secure and highly energy-efficient communications alternative to WiFi," said Leti CEO Laurent Malier. "With Leti's first proof of concept developed earlier this year and its expertise in RF communications, we expect data-transmission rates in excess of 100Mb/s with traditional lighting based on LED lamps."

Intematix and SABIC Collaborate on Remote Phosphor Lighting
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 11, 2014...Intematix Corporation, a maker of phosphor solutions for LED lighting, has collaborated with SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business to create the ChromaLit Linear. The ChromaLit Linear uses Intematix's remote phosphor technology and SABIC’s LEXAN™ LUX resins. According to Intematix, the ChromaLit Linear has increased optical efficiency and better light uniformity than conventional LED luminaires.

“SABIC is excited to have worked with Intematix to design a solution that successfully addresses a historic challenge with LED lighting used in commercial applications. In addition to being more efficient, the new LED system can be both extruded and injection molded,” said Venugopal Koka, director of electrical industrial and lighting marketing for SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business. “Our collaboration and combined expertise in both material and LED technology has enabled the development of this solution that brings uniform lighting and potential system cost savings to an expanded set of LED applications.”

The system uses remote phosphor (phosphor that is not directly on an LED) and a blue LED energy source. The blue light excites the independently positioned phosphor to emit white light. Intematix contends that when the phosphor has been separated from the energy source it results in better lighting uniformity and consistency. Intematix selected SABIC’s LUX transparent, diffusion and reflective grades of Lexan plastic for their ChromaLit Linear remote phosphor product.

The LEXAN LUX base material provides a UL94 flame rating of V0. The ChromaLit Linear product delivers naturally uniform, high-quality light with conversion efficacy of up to 215 lumens per radiant watt or up to 163 lumens per system watt when used with the most efficient blue LEDs available.

“We are excited about continuing our close relationship with SABIC,” said Mark Swoboda, CEO for Intematix. “We expect a whole new set of valuable remote phosphor solutions emerging as we draw upon SABIC’s world-class expertise in advanced thermoplastics. Our experience has demonstrated that bringing our two companies’ innovations together results in ground-breaking products that accelerate market adoption of LED-based lighting systems.”

SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business and Intematix plan to continue collaborating to develop new technology to help enable lighting OEMs to take advantage of expanded remote phosphor solutions for solid-state lighting (SSL). Intematix says that its continued collaboration with SABIC will further combine their complementary expertise.

Everlight Adds High CRI LEDs for Natural Light Technology Campaign
LIGHTimes News Staff

September 11, 2014...Everlight of Shulin, Taiwan, reports that it is supplementing its LED Lighting product portfolio, which currently features a CRI of >80Ra, with higher CRI versions. The new Natural Light LED models will have a CRI >95Ra, averaging 98Ra. The company is ultimately targeting 100 CRI. Everlight's first LED series to implement the Natural Light Technology is the new 3-50W Ceramic COBs (JU Series) and Metal PCB COBs (XUAN Series). All other LEDs will have Natural Light versions in Q4of 2014.

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Commentary & Perspective...

What We Can and What We Still Cannot Do with LEDs
Scott McMahan - SSLDesign News Editor

September 11, 2014...In recent years, the LED makers have raised the bar on performance of their LED chips and modules. One of the biggest changes has been in lumens per dollar. In both the high-power and mid-power LED chips and modules. Cree, Osram, and Philips have been at the forefront of this trend. It has always been possible to put more LEDs together to get more lumens total output. Constraints of production cost have made adding lots of LED chips somewhat prohibitive in many applications. In certain applications such as spotlights, the form factor desired makes having a single LED chip the best solution.

The industry has convincingly produced LED-based replacements for most incandescent bulbs that offer a valuable return on investment. Some of these even have high CRI of more than 90.

Companies have also begun making single LEDs and multi-chip LED modules with tighter beam angles. Cree has taken the lead in this realm. Cree went so far as to suggest its own metric called Optical Control Factor. (See Guest Editorial).

Optical Control Factor (OCF) is a suggested metric created by Cree that goes beyond lumen density to include the number of lumens over the total light emitting area of multiple chips (minus a certain control factor for overlap). According to Paul Scheidt at Cree, “OCF can be simply described as the ratio of lumens over a scaled area, measured in square millimeters:

For a chip-on-board array, scaled area means the area of the light emitting surface (i.e., pi x radius-squared for a circle).

For a discrete LED, such as Cree’s recent high-density XLamp® XP-L LED, scaled area means adding 0.5 mm to each side of the package and then calculating the area.”

Scheidt points out that in a recent DOE CALiPER report, only one LED-based MR16 lamp was equivalent to its halogen equivalent in terms of lumens output, light distribution and CRI. Only 10 percent of MR16 had the required 90+ CRI.

Scheidt further notes that LEDs are even further from being able to comparatively replace 50W directional ceramic metal halide-based MR16 lamps because the 50W metal halide MR16s have even better performance than 50 Watt halogens.

Scheidt said, “... 100 percent adoption of LED technology isn’t going to happen for indoor directional lighting until we, as an industry, can crack the code on controlling beams of LED light as well as halogen or CMH lights can.”

Cree came out with its new replacement for 50 Watt halogen MR16 lamps. However, this lamp is still not truly equivalent to the higher lumen 50 CMH MR16 lamps (See article). You can bet that Cree and others are working on it. Osram and Philips have also been making inroads in this area with the release of LED light engines designed for higher CRI and spot lights. While, LED lighting has come a long way in its capabilities, it still has some way to go to replace all conventional lighting applications including high CRI and directional luminaires.

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