What Hath Our IoT Lighting Doth Wrought?
... Last time around, "News Staff" offered some tie-together insights on why we might expect lighting to find itself at as the eyes and ears of the IoT. Makes sense. It has a good view of the space, constant electricity (and if not, it's a pretty correctable decision), and we're...
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Lighting Science and Global Good to Develop LED-Based Alternatives to Pesticides
LIGHTimes News Staff
March 4, 2015...Lighting Science Group Corporation and Intellectual Ventures’ Global
Good of Melbourne, Australia, have agreed to collaborate on the development of
light technologies for pest control. The joint development effort will combine
Global Good’s photonic fence invention and Lighting Science’s
light-control technology to produce field-ready prototypes that reportedly
provide an environmentally-responsible alternative to chemical pesticides.
Lighting Science plans to leverage this development effort to create a new
company specializing in efficient and effective pest control products for
residential, commercial, and health.
The photonic fence device employs low-cost sensors and laser technology and
uses software to identify, track, and eliminate insects. Intellectual Ventures
first invented the photonic fence device to address the spread of malaria in
developing countries. In addition to its potential for helping global health
organizations fighting vector-borne diseases, the photonic fence technology
also presents significant applications for agriculture.
“What began by putting the world’s deadliest animal, the
mosquito, in our sights with a laser, has opened up new advances in the way we
can use light to protect communities and crops from a range of disease-bearing
insects,” said Maurizio Vecchione, senior vice president for Global
Good and Research at Intellectual Ventures. “For example, the export
potential of high-value crops could increase dramatically if a light-based
perimeter was available to both monitor and eliminate pests, instead of
possibly unsafe or ineffective insecticides.”
Under the research agreement, Global Good will license its photonic fence
technology to Lighting Science to manage product development in both vector
control for malaria and derivative inventions in agricultural systems. Lighting
Science's goal for the collaboration is to commercialize vector control and
derivative innovations for agriculture in world markets.
Lighting Science CEO Ed Bednarcik says, “This collaborative
product development could drive significant new advances in the intersection of
biology and light.” Lighting Science founder and chief technology
officer Fred Maxik added, “The transformation of light into a digital
technology that can be precisely controlled offers great promise in a number of
fields – especially human health and agriculture. Our experience working
with NASA and other agencies has shown us that we can improve agricultural
output without the use of harmful chemicals.”
Craig Cogut, chairman of Lighting Science and founder and managing partner
of Pegasus Capital Advisors stated, “We believe that new applications
of LED technology can democratize light, revolutionize incumbent industries,
and improve the lives of billions. Collaborating with Global Good will help us
to overcome global challenges and ensure that the environmental, health, and
agricultural benefits of this transformation are shared globally."
SemiLEDs Releases Phosphor Converted (PC) LED Chip Series with ReadyWhite Phosphor Technology
LIGHTimes News Staff
March 4, 2015...SemiLEDs Corporation reports that its Phosphor Converted or PC LED chip
series is available for sampling and volume orders. The series includes with PC
Red, PC Green, and PC Amber in a 40mil (1mm x 1mm) chip. The PC LEDs employ the
company's proprietary ReadyWhite phosphor technology to minimize blue pass
through. The ReadyWhite technology boasts higher efficiency, luminous flux, and
lumen maintenance over time and temperature compared to monochromatic LED
PC Amber and PC Red use InGaN-based materials to deliver better forward
voltage matching in RGBA applications. The better forward voltage matching
improves efficiency. SemiLEDs says that its PC Amber and PC Red LEDs offer
greater color stability over input currents and changes in junction
temperatures. The PC Green LED offers a broader spectrum for a rich, beautiful
green color in applications such as traffic lights, projection and
Mark Tuttle, general manager of SemiLEDs Optoelectronics commented,
“With our well established InGaN and ReadyWhite Technology,
SemiLEDs’ color portfolio is no longer limited to blue, white and UV
regions. The new PC amber, PC red, and PC green LED chips will allow more
options for our customers in these color ranges.”
The PC series of LED chips is RoHS compliant.
Playhouse Square Theater District Gets Outdoor Advertising Kiosks and LED Displays from Barco
LIGHTimes News Staff
March 5, 2015...Barco, a supplier of video display systems, worked with design firm The
Barncyz Group to produce an unique advertising display for the historic theater
district. Barco leveraged its outdoor LED displays and LCD advertising kiosks
to bring the magic of live Broadway shows and entertainment
In Playhouse Square, Barco installed a series of its advertising kiosks to
promote Broadway's entertainment line-up. Playhouse Square, United States'
biggest performing arts center outside of New York City, has recently undergone
an architectural transformation. Sponsors breathed new life into the theater
district to attract young and old alike to the live performance area.
Danny Barnycz was hired to conceptualize a design that translated the light
and airy atmosphere of the renovated auditoriums into outdoor signage. Barnycz
recommended Barco LCD kiosks and LED displays He sited their brilliant,
high-impact color reproduction, flexibility and reliability.
“Recognizing the vast amount of entertainment programming by
Playhouse Square and the need to quickly update signage with fresh, timely
messages, the Barco advertising kiosks were the natural choice,”
commented Barnycz. “They give Playhouse Square marketers the
flexibility to promote all of their shows, adapting messaging and taking
advantage of social media apps to promote real-time interaction. Plus,
Barco’s hallmark all-weather durability, 24/7 reliability and sleek,
low-profile footprint are essential for this challenging
Uniquely, the kiosks can interact via mobile phones, creating a more
one-to-one relationship with people on the street.
“The kiosks enable us to communicate in an intimate way with current
and potential customers, engaging them with more meaningful content,”
said Tim Birch, VP of retail sales, sponsorship sales & technologies.
“We’ve already seen a lot of interest from advertisers and
sponsors who want to capitalize on the value of this up-close opportunity to
connect with the theater crowd and beyond.” The displays can
integrate with the latest smartphones and tablets through the broadcasting of
twitter feeds and spontaneous advertiser promotions for a rich and personalized
This Playhouse Square project comprises seven double-sided, 72-inch LED
backlit LCD video display advertising kiosks that provide 2,000 nits
brightness. The LCD72ox display is fully configurable and offers changeable
skins to reflect the brand image of each customer. Advertisers can deliver
unique content that enables audience interaction with devices to maximize
The Barco C8 display, is a small, lightweight outdoor video tile that
provides 5,000-nits-brightness. The C8 tiles comprise the four giant marquee
screens (with eight display faces total) and also create a majestic 30-foot
tall, linear video screen featuring event promotions, information, advertising,
and other digital art. A ticker-style screen on the Idea Center building and a
ribbon screen on the Hanna Building complete the C8 installation.
“We are happy to be part of this monumental architainment project,
which leverages the most innovative qualities of our advertising kiosks to the
fullest,” comments Carl Rijsbrack, Chief Marketing Office of Barco
Retail & Advertising. “The opportunity to play an instrumental
role in fulfilling Danny’s vision for Playhouse Square is both an honor
and a welcome challenge, and we are thrilled with the results!”
Samsung Electronics Acquires LED Display and Sign Company YESCO Electronics
LIGHTimes News Staff
March 4, 2015...Korean company Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. reported that its has acquired
of U.S.-based LED display maker YESCO Electronics. The Logan, Utah-based
company produces LED sign and displays boasting more than 2,000 installations
across the U.S. and abroad.
The acquisition effectively extends Samsung's technology reach beyond the
large format displays employing LCD panels into LED displays and signs for
applications in education, retail, hospitality, corporate, and transportation
environments. YESCO Electronics was a subsidiary of the Young Electric Sign
Company (YESCO), a privately-owned custom sign manufacturer.
YESCO produces LED displays (not including LED backlit or edge lit) that
offer energy efficiency and enhanced picture quality. Samsung plans to work
with YESCO Electronics to provide durable, reliable, and long-lasting displays
targeting varied and extreme conditions.
“By combining the extensive expertise of YESCO Electronics in LED
displays with our global network, business experience and world-class R&D
team, we further validate our leading position and the value that we bring to
our customers as a total solutions provider in digital display,”
said Seog-Gi Kim, senior vice president, Visual Display Business, Samsung
“The solid relationship between Samsung and YESCO will strengthen
YESCO’s position in the marketplace,” said John Williams, CEO
of YESCO Electronics. “This acquisition expands the presence of our
services and systems across Samsung’s vast global network, allowing a
wider range of businesses to offer their customers a more impressive,
eye-catching visual experience. YESCO Electronics will offer a broader range of
world-class products to the customers as part of the Samsung
USPTO Scraps Sensitive Application Warning System in Favor of Public Scrutiny
LIGHTimes News Staff
March 3, 2015...The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has ended a secret
program that they had operated for twenty years that aimed to "alert leadership
when a patent might issue on a sensitive matter." The USPTO only recently
acknowledged the program's existence.
For the past 20 years the program known as the Sensitive Application Warning
System placed a small percentage of patent applications (about .04 percent)
into an indefinite legal limbo that critics claim effectively stalled patents
from being approved. In the high stakes game of patent rights, having to wait
indefinitely to see if a patent is approved could cause a loss of funding and
Those applications that the SAWS program chose through the use of a vague
and over-encompassing list of criteria were twice as likely to be rejected,
according to a Yahoo news article.
The USPTO pointed out on their website that, "today, unlike when the
SAWS program was created, most applications are published eighteen months after
submission, exposing them to public scrutiny and the potential for third-party
submissions of prior art."
Following an internal review of the USPTO's SAWS program the USPTO said in a
statement on their website, "Upon careful consideration, the USPTO has
concluded that the SAWS program has only been marginally utilized and provides
minimal benefit." After completing the review, the USPTO decided to retire the
SAWS program stating, " Any applications currently in this program will now
proceed through prosecution absent any additional SAWS-related processing."
In the statement the USPTO said, "the Agency will seek public input as
part of its ongoing Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative on whether there were
any quality-enhancing features of the SAWs program that are not already
captured through the typical examination and prosecution process."
Law firm, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, representing several high
tech companies including Google and Apple, Twitter, and Oracle filed a Freedom
of Information request to get information about the criteria of the SAWS
The information that they got was 50 pages of criteria that included
everything from inventions that received unwanted publicity to inventions that
pertained to biological warfare.
Among the most perplexing of the criteria outlined over about 50
pages are "applications that are pioneering in scope."
The USPTO seems to be saying in their statement that now that most patents
applications are open to public scrutiny after about 18 months, much of the
SAWS program is not necessary. The USPTO hopes that the public will come
forward as part of its Enhanced
Patent Quality Initiative to suggest parts of the SAWS program that at are
not already captured through the typical examination and prosecution
What this means to the LED and LED lighting industry is unclear, but if it
means less time for patent approval or rejection while maintaining the quality of the patent system is probably a good thing.
Sharp Eyes Closing LED Production Factory as Part of Restructuring
March 3, 2015...Sharp Electronics Inc. has suffered stiff competition in the electronics
market. Severe losses have plagued the company especially in its LCD display
and solar panel businesses. As a key part of its restructuring plan, Sharp
electronics reportedly plans to reorganize electronic component manufacturing,
according to an article
Among the planned business changes, Sharp intends to close the Mihara plant
that makes LEDs. While the decision to close the LED production facility is not
final, such a shut down would be the company's first closing of a major factory
Other businesses such as LCD displays and solar panels, have faced stiff
competition. Other potential restructuring measures could include exiting or
selling the company's solar panel business, and closing four electronic
component plants in Fukuyama.
Everlight Electronics Reportedly to Merge with Edison Opto
March 3, 2015...Everlight Electronics aims to compete with China-based LED packaging
companies. Everlight reportedly plans to merge with LED packaging specialist
company Edison Opto of Taiwan, according to a Digitimes article, which
cited industry sources. The merger is to rapidly increase its LED packaging
capacity to compete with China-based LED packaging firms. Less than 20% of
Everlight's consolidated revenues come from LED lighting. For this reason,
Edison Opto's product lines are complimentary.
Philips Moves Forward with Plans to Sell Combined Lumileds and Automotive Lighting Businesses and Split Company
LIGHTimes News Staff
February 27, 2015...Philips is reportedly moving ahead with plans to Sell Combined Lumileds and
Automotive Lighting Businesses, according to a recent earnings
conference call. The company also gave an update on the progress of the
sale and the plans to split the company into one business that focuses on
health technology and another that focuses on lighting solutions.
During Koninklijke Philips NV (Philips) recent earnings conference call,
Frans van Houten, the company's CEO said that the LED lighting business
continues to grow. He stated, "In Lighting, we saw continued strong
double-digit growth and improving gross margins in our LED-based portfolio,
especially in LED lamps, despite the strong price erosion."
He noted that the company's 20% revenue increase in LED lighting partially
offset the company's 14% decline in conventional lighting.
Frans van Houten said that the company's Professional Lighting Solutions
business was not as profitable as the company had hoped.He said, "As you
know, we had expected the turnaround of our Professional Lighting Solutions
business in North America to deliver profitable growth in the fourth quarter on
the back of good order book coverage. However, despite sequential improvement
in quoting and pipeline activity across segments, we were not yet able to
return to sustainable growth in Q4 yet, as a number of projects shifted out
He reiterated the company's previously announced plans to sell the combined
Lumileds and Automotive Lighting businesses saying, "We are actively
discussing the sale of the combined Lumileds and Automotive Lighting businesses
with potential buyers. We received a number of non-binding bids in December,
and expect to receive binding bids before the end of Q1. As such, we are
confident that we will complete a transaction in the first half of 2015.
He also explained the direction that the company was taking in the future,
and he reemphasized the company's plans to separate into two business
entities."We are determined in our plan to separate Philips into two
standalone companies, each one better positioned to capitalize on the
highly-attractive opportunities in both HealthTech and Lighting Solutions
markets. As indicated already, the separation process is expected to take
approximately 12 to 18 months. We have now informed that we currently estimate
total separation cost in 2015 to be in the range of EUR300 million to EUR400
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