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2015-01-29
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Editorial: The Significance of the LED Lighting Industry
 
... A big motivation (or frustration) factor in most people's lives is significance. When we feel we we're making an impact, not only do we feel better about ourselves, we feel better about pretty much everyone. We we don't think we're making a difference, things will typically start to fall...
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Commentary...
The Significance of the LED Lighting Industry

 
... A big motivation (or frustration) factor in most people's lives is significance. When we feel we we're making an impact, not only do we feel better about ourselves, we feel better about pretty much everyone. We we don't think we're making a difference, things will typically start to fall...

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

Flip Chip Opto Debuts Three-pad LED flip Chips
LIGHTimes News Staff

January 29, 2015...Flip Chip Opto of Fremont, California USA,, announced its new P Series of LED Chip-on-Board (COB) products. The lighting modules are comprised of the company's patented 3-Pad LED flip chips with what the company calls a Pillar Metal Core Printed Circuit Board (P-MCPCB) to significantly reduce junction temperatures, thermal decay and light emitting surface (LES).

According to the company, the innovation allows designers to improve “Lumen-per-Dollar” performance by enabling the driving of the modules at substantially higher currents, thereby reducing LED chip counts, heatsinks and optics.

The P-Series chips measure 45x45 mils and feature high flux density in small LES ranging from 9~30mm, supporting 24 to 244 watt power ranges (with customized CCT/CRI available upon request). The high "lumen-per-dollar" and low thermal resistance (0.02°C/W to 0.11°C/W) reportedly make the P-Series COB solutions perfect for high power luminaires, including spotlights, high bays, down lights, street lights, and automotive lighting. The company designed the modules to fit existing and inexpensive mechanical holders, optics, drivers, and thermal components for integration into existing packages.

The P25-12S3P (19mm LES / 122 Watt COB) is available for under $10.00 (US) in OEM quantities. Evaluation quantities are available for immediate delivery with standard lead times of 4 weeks. Flip Chip Opto will demonstrate its products at Strategies in Light 2015, February 24th and 26th, 2015 in Las Vegas.

Netherlands Health Council Advises More Research into LED Lighting Health Effects
LIGHTimes News Staff

January 29, 2015...The Netherlands Health Council warns that blue LED light can cause health issues, according to an article in NLTimes. LEDs are increasingly common for backlighting of smartphones and tablets, and they are being more widely used in new LED-based lighting. The Health Council released an investigatory and advisory report which stated that a person's biological clock “controls numerous physiological and behavioral processes”. The report notes that this biological clock “…operates autonomously, but may be affected due to external factors. One of the most important factors is light.”

The researchers discovered that that people are interfering with their melatonin (sleep hormone) production and thus reversing their biological clocks through exposure to bluish LED light in the evenings. Other recent studies have had similar findings.

The report notes that the short term effects of evening exposure to blue wavelengths of light is a shorter period of sleep, reduced attention, and an increased risk of accidents.

The report, which seems to make egregious leaps in medical supposition, says that potential long-term effects of blue LED light exposure (presumably related to the reduced melatonin production, and sleep deprivation) could include the development of cardiovascular disease, obesity, mental disorders, and cancer.

The council contends that consumers must be warned about these risks. The council calls for research and development into products that emit less blue light and further research into the health effects of LED light.

Phoseon Technology Introduces New LED Area Curing Solution for Electronics Manufacturing
LIGHTimes News Staff

January 29, 2015...Phoseon Technology of Hillsboro, Oregon USA, has launched the FireJet™ FJ800 area UV curing solution for electronics manufacturing. Phoseon optimized the new air-cooled solution for production lines with large area applications such as micro speakers, camera modules, and flat panel displays. Phoseon says that its modular products, which start from a base curing area of 100mm x 100mm, can scale in all directions and deliver contiguous and uniform UV output. The FJ800 light sources come in 365nm and 395nm wavelengths and have a separate controller that employs an intuitive graphical interface.

“The FJ800 light sources scale in all directions providing the ideal solution for large area curing of electronics,” stated John North, vice president of Worldwide Sales. “These light sources provide 2-3 times the output power with greater than 90% uniformity, offering higher performance than competing solutions. The ability to drive six light sources with a single controller is also an economic advantage.”

Urban Barns Announces Update on LED Research and Development at McGill University
LIGHTimes News Staff

January 29, 2015...Urban Barns Foods Inc., a Montreal, Canada-based food producer dedicated to growing fresh vegetables year-round, has updated shareholders on its research and development activities at McGill University. The Biomass Production Laboratory at McGill University, with support from Urban Barns, is paving the way for research in urban agriculture. Recent innovations with LEDs has brought about this new area of research of using LED lighting as a plant energy source. LED lighting systems can control wavelengths emitted. This allows for research on the impact of different spectral wavelength combinations on plant growth and development. Compared to conventional lighting techniques when growing tomatoes, an arrangement of lights with red and blue wavelengths has significantly increased growth, improved morphology, and suppressed plant pathogens.

Last February, Dr. Lefsrud with support from an industry partner, Urban Barns, was awarded a NSERC research grant to develop improved LED lighting systems for their indoor Cubic Farming facility. The Cubic Farming method rotates troughs on which various species are grown while controlling temperature, humidity, irrigation, and lighting.

According to Dr. Lefsrud, results reveal significantly faster growth with LEDs than with conventional lighting systems. "Once implemented at a large scale, this project has the potential to provide high yields of nutritious, sustainable, fresh and locally grown food year-round, regardless of regional climate," Dr. Lefsrud stated.

Researchers at McGill University's Macdonald Campus's Bioresource Engineering Department have published numerous scientific papers about the effects of LED lighting. The research examined the concentration of β-carotene and other phytochemicals in plant's growth cycles, and they determined how plant production of these antioxidants may be increased using LEDs. Specifically, the research focused on the impact of red, blue and amber LEDs to increase production and nutritional values.

Dr Lefsrud noted, "We have been very surprised by the increase in anthocyanin levels in lettuce with small changes in the ratio of red, blue and amber LEDs." However as Dr Lefsrud explains, "Not all plants exhibit the same response to these LED wavelengths and research is continuing in the laboratory."

Urban Barns facility located in Mirabel, Quebec opened in June 2014, after benefiting from Biomass Production Laboratory expertise. Urban Barns subsequently began selling pesticide and GMO-free lettuce to clients in Quebec and Ontario. A Cubic Farming research unit has been assembled on the McGill University's MacDonald campus help measure the photosynthetic efficiency of horticultural plants and further develop LED technology to maximize growth and plant production.

COB LED Market to Nearly Triple from 2014 through 2020, According to Strategies Unlimited
LIGHTimes News Staff

January 27, 2015...Strategies Unlimited latest report about the COB LED market predicts that the market for COB LEDs will grow from $1.54 billion in 2014 to 4.35 billion in 2020. The research firm also predicts that the COB LED market will grow by 40 percent in 2015 compared to 2014.

The company contends that the long term growth in the COB LED market is mainly due to the increased penetration of COB luminaires and lamps into some specific lighting applications, such as spotlights and downlights.

Martin Shih, annalist at Strategies Unlimited noted,"With better light distribution and design flexibility, we expect a significant growth for COB, especially in directional lighting applications."

Shih points out that COB LEDs are wide-area emitters, making them perfect for applications such as high bays, downlights, spotlights, and street lights.

Shih says that in certain applications, heat management and government regulations are the primary impediments to driving demand. One such initiative that could slow the penetration rate is the “Dark-Sky Movement,” which seeks to reduce light pollution.

While LED lighting is known to be the main driver of the COB LED market growth, the company says that LED packagers must catch the growth of the COB market by application and by region to explore the market opportunities. Because the market for COBs is poised to see growth, the company forecasts that the markets for some specific applications will have 11%~28% CAGRs from 2015 to 2020. According Strategies Unlimited, COBs will eventually dominate the market in some lighting applications.

China LED Chip Production to Soon Exceed Taiwan's for First Time

January 27, 2015...China's production value of LED chips is expected to exceed Taiwan's for the first time in 2015 or 2016, according to a Digitimes article that cited Taiwan industry sources. The article noted that while some China-based LED chipmakers withdrew from the market, larger ones including HC SemiTek, San'an Optoelectronics, Aucksun, and Suzhou Nanojoin Photonics used government subsidies to expand production capacities.

The subsidies specifically went into adding MOCVD systems in 2014. About 155 to 170 MOCVD systems were added for additional LED production in China in 2014. In total China currently has 1172 MOCVD systems. More than 250 MOCVD systems are expected to be added for LED production in 2015. Most will go into producing 4-inch LED epitaxial wafers.

With the addition of 155-170 MOCVD sets in 2014, there are 1,172 sets in total in China currently, according to the article. In 2015, more than 250 MOCVD sets, mostly for making 4-inch LED epitaxial wafers, are expected to be added, the industry sources noted.

China-based LED chip makers including subsidiaries established by Taiwan-based LED chip producers reportedly boosted LED chip production by about 40% in 2014 to about US$1.95-2.24 billion. The total production value of LED chips from china is expected to grow by 35% in 2015.

Cree Lays Off 319 Contract Workers
SSL Design News Staff

January 27, 2015...Recruiting firm, Green Resources of Raleigh, North Carolina USA, reported last week to the State Department of Commerce that the company is laying off 319 contract workers who worked for its client Cree Inc. Mikio Anderson, the company's vice president of human resources indicated in an article in News Observer that the employee reduction at Cree was due to an a product that has become obsolete, and the new version of the product will be produced outside of the United States. The employees who are effected work at Cree's facility on S. Alston Avenue which makes LED bulb products. Cree stated that its "contract workforce historically fluted to match our business needs. Our Cree employee base remains solid and continues to grow."

Hubbell Lighting Introduces LED Fixtures for Horticulture
LIGHTimes News Staff

January 27, 2015...Hubbell Lighting of Greenville, South Carolina, launched an LED fixture specifically designed to deliver nearly 100% usable light for plant growth with virtually no wasted energy. The product from the company's Industrial Lighting division is called NutriLED. The company says that NutriLED provides spectrally tuned light to optimize growth and germination for virtually any indoor horticulture application.

Hubbell points to recent studies showing increased growth rates and yields from growers utilizing LED lighting. According to Hubbell, plants only absorb the blue wavelength and red wavelength portions of light, not utilizing any of the other wavelengths. NutriLED reportedly creates an ideal blend of red and blue wavelengths and light intensities for chlorophyll absorption. Hubbell says that this ideal light combination means virtually no wasted goes into producing spectrums of light that don't benefit plant growth. According to the company, NutriLED provides up to 88% energy savings compared to non-LED grow lights and delivers enormous maintenance savings and greatly minimizes waste.

An additional benefit of the NutriLED lighting is the tremendous reduction in radiant heat from conventional lighting, which can lead to a 50% reduction in water usage and can also lead to a complete elimination of supplemental HVAC cooling loads for some applications.

The NutriLED allows for multiple mounting configurations running linearly or parallel and to light plants from virtually any angle. Additionally, the NutriLED’s unique optical design offers controlled, uniform illumination with a 60-degree beam spread that yields a 1:1 spacing ratio.

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Commentary & Perspective...

The Significance of the LED Lighting Industry
SSLDesign/LIGHTimes Editorial Team

January 4, 2015...A big motivation (or frustration) factor in most people's lives is significance. When we feel we we're making an impact, not only do we feel better about ourselves, we feel better about pretty much everyone. We we don't think we're making a difference, things will typically start to fall off the rails. Apathy being the mild symptom, and tragedy being the extreme. As we kick of 2015, we'd like to stake out our position concerning LED technology and LED lighting: The industry has huge significance, and anyone supplying, applying or producing should be proud of their contribution.

We can't say that the rest of the world will point at folks in the industry as rock stars any time soon. While not as behind the scenes as the folks that really pioneered the Internet, for instance, we also won't be seen in the same light as the gang that launched the first astronauts or crossed the ocean nonstop. What people will recognize, in the not too distant future, is that LED lighting has made their world better. Better light, better health, better efficiency, and probably most recognizably, enabling us to better connect with the spaces we occupy.

All this is coming as a parallel of two elements: 1) The capabilities of LEDs to allow us to unlock the "secrets" of light; and 2) The coming real smart lighting revolution.

The secrets of light... Light is one of those elemental things, and we could easily lump it together with food and water as simply something we need. But saying that would be pretty much the same as saying all food is the same, and has the same effect on us. We know that's not true, although arguably, if we compare the total food to the nutritious food consumed by a teenage boy, we might have one datapoint to the contrary. For the rest of us humans though, junk food begets junk health. Guess what...? We're figuring out as well that junk light begets junk health as well. Whether we end up messing up our melatonin/melanopsin cycle by soaking in too much computer, TV or iWhatever time at bed time, or simply working night shifts because light allows us too, we're figuring out that there is an effect. Philips is investing a lot in doing studies in hospitals that combine natural lighting with providing a more desirable collection of visual elements in the patient's view, and correlating that to healing time. Children's wards are being equipped with more controllable lighting to allow kids to "paint" their spaces (hopefully too much cold-bluish isn't on the palette for bedtime...). The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at RPI has been turning out great information for a number of years, and the output is accelerating as their tools continue to grow. A visit to their research program overviews (here) as well as the list of publications (here) can provide a good sense of the scope of what we're starting to learn.

Work is being done by a number of researchers to help us better understand what and how both our visual and non-visual photoreceptors really work, and what other effects they may have on our biological systems. Horticulture and such things as poultry farms are giving us some pretty good hints at what is to come as we experiment, both rigorously and "on the job", and see real results from changes in our approach to lighting. (A good browse can be found at Once Innovations Agricultural Lighting site (the Science section), which has a good mix of data and studies that can set thought processes in motion). Who needs genetically modified crops when we can simply deliver light that gives the plants what they want, and maybe even curtails the pests, all in one?

The real smart lighting revolution... We have smart TVs that are smart because they connect to the Internet. We have smart phones because the connect, and have apps. We have smart snacks because they don't have "unnatural" ingredients. (High fructose corn syrup and natural flavors are natural too... maybe not the best criteria). Take a light, add a microprocessor so do something, and you can call it "smart", but like that snack food, that's just marketing. Real smart lighting will be connective, adaptive and aware. We've mentioned before that integrated controls are going to be as basic a requirement for lighting as a touch screen is to a smartphone. What's going to distinguish real smart lighting is that it's going to not only include connected controls and sensors, but it's going to know what to do with that data. That includes the local decision making directly related to the amount and type of lighting from any given luminaire, as well as knowing what to aggregate and pass along to the higher level systems as part of it's membership in the Internet of Things. If the temperature in the room is supposed to be between 72 and 74 F, does the building management system need to know it's still 73 now? And now? And still now? Or does it simply need to know when the temp strays below 72 or above 74. "All is well" gets a bit cumbersome every few seconds, especially if you're involved with anything that uses batteries or other energy harvesting. Save your breath, remote device...

And that brings us to the result of this real smart lighting. Yes, there will be better, more granular, information about the space below the light (Check into some of what's up, especially with sensors, at the Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center (ERC) for what's going on beyond just how much light, and what's the temp. Cool stuff includes time of flight info that can use light travel times to tell you how many people are in a room, where they are moving, and whether they are sitting or standing). And yes, there will be better control of the light. Pick your color, pick your style, pick your cycle. But what's really most impactful is that the light will know your color, your style and your cycle. The light won't just be connected to the IoT, it will be connected to you. Which means connecting the person and the space. In it's own significant way, the light will acknowledge your significance. Your cause and effect relationship with the space, and by implication, the bigger world.

Trust us, the fruit of our collective efforts, for health, well being and the higher level of "connectedness" that lighting will impart, will be become obvious to all, very soon.

If you have questions about the solid state lighting and compound semiconductor industries or have
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