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2014-04-17
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Editorial: Having Some Fun: Smart Lighting is going to be messy
 
... Don't let the headline worry you... 'smart' lighting is going to be great, and it will work well, but it is most assuredly going to be a somewhat messy process to go from today's versions of controllable lighting, to tomorrow's actual smart lighting. In terms of impact players, Philips...
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Commentary...
Having Some Fun: Smart Lighting is going to be messy

 
... Don't let the headline worry you... 'smart' lighting is going to be great, and it will work well, but it is most assuredly going to be a somewhat messy process to go from today's versions of controllable lighting, to tomorrow's actual smart lighting. In terms of impact players, Philips...

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

Osram Supplies LED-based Front Lighting for 2015 Ford F-150
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 17, 2014...The 2015 Ford F-150 will be the first pickup on the market with full LED-based forward lighting. Osram will supply LED modules for the headlamps on the Ford F-150. In cooperation with US headlight maker Flex-N-Gate, Osram has given the front of the 2015 F-150 a new look. Osram Opto Semiconductors, Osram's subsidiary supplies the LED modules for the pickup's front lights. Osram assembles the completely LED-based lighting solution at its Hillsboro plant in New Hampshire.

The highly robust and durable LED lighting is extremely resistant to shocks and vibrations. Additionally, the LED headlamps consume far less energy than conventional automotive lighting technologies, and their light color is reportedly very similar to that of natural daylight.

"We are proud to be supplying the LED module for the world's first LED headlamps on the Ford F-150 as standard, once more underlining our leading position on the automotive lighting market," said Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO of the Specialty Lighting Division at Osram. The lighting system includes high beam, dipped beam, turn indicators, parking light, and a control module.

Innovations in Optics Debuts LumiBright UV LED Boards
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 17, 2014...Innovations in Optics, Inc. of Woburn, Massachusetts USA, has introduced the LumiBright™ UV Boards for high power UV LED applications such as UV curing, maskless lithography, 3D printing, fluorescence excitation in life science or machine vision, and photodynamic therapy. LumiBright claims that its UV Boards offer maximized heat and current spreading for an open platform with high UV optical power and superior thermal management.

LumiBright UV Boards employ chip-on-board LED technology with metallic core PCB substrates. The packaged LEDs have a large emitting area using a closely packed array of UV LED chips. Standard center wavelengths include 365 nm, 385 nm, 395 nm and 405 nm. The 1.1 mm square LED die can be PCB mounted as a single chip or in arrays up to 4 by 4. The chips have 19.4 mm2 of emitting area. Each die can be driven to emit near 2W/mm2. So, a 16-die array can deliver nearly 40 Watts of UV optical power.

LumiBright UV Boards emit directly and have no epoxy or lens encapsulation. Light extraction is maximized to create a Lambertian far-field distribution pattern. Multiple and customizable configurations are available to facilitate integration into OEM systems. With a large surface area, allows liquid light guides to be installed upon LumiBright UV Board for spot-curing applications.

LumiBright UV Boards boasts an extremely low thermal resistance and therefore allows high current density while maintaining a low junction temperature. For this reason, the UV LEDs can be driven at high power levels while maintaining long lifetime. An on-board thermistor enables real-time temperature measurement for closed-loop control or active monitoring of the cooling system. The lifetime of the LumiBright UV Board can exceed 10,000 hours. LumiBright UV Board accessories include driver/controllers, thermal management devices, and wire harnesseses.

Daktronics Improves Cubs Park Experience
LIGHTImes News Staff

April 17, 2014...New LED video displays were visible at Cubs Park in Mesa, Arizona where the Chicago cubs play spring training games. Daktronics of Brookings, South Dakota, designed, manufactured, and installed the new LED displays. The main LED display features a 15HD pixel layout and measures about 17 feet high by 53 feet wide. The main display can show one large image or be divided into separate windows for graphics, animations, statistics, scoring information, and sponsor advertisements. The clear, high contrast main display allows wide angle visibility and has multiple levels of protection from the elements.

The installation also includes a ribbon display measuring about 3.5 feet high by 60 feet wide with 20 millimeter line spacing. The ribbon display can showcase sponsors or show statistics and game information. A Daktronics fixed-digit scoreboard provides stats such as at-bat, ball, strike, out, hit/error, runs and inning scores. A small-scale, two-sided monochrome marquee display was installed to mimic the iconic red marquee outside of the Cubs home, Wrigley Field. Fans can stand next to it and take pictures as well as program their own text onto the displays.

"We're excited to provide these displays to Cubs Park," said Brady Jacobsen, Daktronics sales representative. "We understand that spring training has become a larger part of baseball's year-round fan experience and we're confident this installation will cater to fan expectations at such events."

The Cubs also received a bank of hours for the creation of digital content to be produced and delivered by Daktronics Creative Services at the request of the team.

HELLA'S LED Matrix Lighting Wins Award
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 17, 2014...HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co., of Plymouth, Michigan, a supplier of automotive lighting, has won the 2014 Automotive News PACE award for its adaptive LED Matrix Beam technology. Individually controlled LEDs in HELLA's “glare-free high-beam” headlights adjust automatically to real-time traffic conditions to reduce glare for other drivers. While these adaptive headlights are available in Europe, United States regulations prevent their incorporation into automobiles.

In the Matrix Beam system, a front camera and high-performance software continuously monitor both following cars and oncoming traffic and adjust the light output accordingly. The system automatically adjusts a car's headlamps to provide ”glare free” illumination, switching on and off, or dimming based on traffic conditions. Individually controlled LEDs also create up to 8 dark zones with “light in-between,” allowing continuous use of a vehicle's high-beams to maximize visibility.

Uniquely, HELLA's system utilizes 25 individually controlled LEDs arranged in a matrix to create an almost unlimited variety of lighting patterns. The solution does not depend on mechanical parts and is more durable than conventional lighting systems.

Philips Lumileds Launches CoB 1202 Arrays Targeted Towards Spotlights and PAR38 Replacement Lamps

April 15, 2014...Philips Lumileds has debuted its chip-on-board (CoB) arrays for PAR38 equivalent lamps, the Luxeon CoB 1202. According to the company, the array is ideal for spotlights, delivers 115 lm/W, which it claims gives it a 10% or greater efficacy edge over most competing solutions. The 115 lm/W is the nominal rating, with specific performance ranging from 95-130 lm/W depending on the array's color temperature and CRI.

“The high efficacy, combined with our lineup of compatible reflectors and drivers, enables the most affordable PAR38 and spotlight designs to date,” said Eric Senders, Product Line Director, Philips Lumileds.

The 9mm Light-Emitting Surface (LES)device is mechanically and optically compatible with the company's 1203 devices, and can tap into the same component ecosystem. The 1202's available CCTs rangs from 2700 to 5700K and CRIs of 70, 80 or >90. The typical output for a 3000K warm white, 80 CRI version is 800 lm when driven at 200mA. The warm white arrays allow drive current up to 400mA and can achieve a flux of 1500 lumens. The high CRI (>90) versions provide an R9 of >80 for higher color rendering applications such as retail downlights and spotlights.

Nichia Files New Patent Lawsuit Against Everlight Electronics and Distributor Tachibana Electech
LIGHTimes Staff

April 15, 2014...On April 10, 2014, Nichia Corporation filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Tokyo District Court seeking to enjoin Tachibana Eletech Co., Ltd., and E&E Japan Co., Ltd., from infringing Nichia’s patent (No. 3786114 and No. 3972943) and to seek damages for the infringing LED products. Nichia alleges that product number 1254 series purchased from Tachibana infringes the patents. Everlight Electronics Co. Ltd. is a Taiwanese manufacturer of LEDs and light engines. Tachibana and E&E reportedly import and sell the allegedly infringing products.

On April 8, Tachibana had announced the filing of a lawsuit against Nichia alleging that Nichia made false and slanderous claims about Tachibana and that these allegedly slanderous claims constituted unfair competition. Nichia asserts that the Tokyo District Court dismissed similar claims from an Everlight lawsuit against Nichia in 2011, which alleged at the time that Nichia's posting of Everlight's press release was an act of unfair competition. Nichia also notes that in the decision the Tokyo District Court ruled that Nichia’s bringing of the suit against Everlight “was done based on a reasonable basis”, and that Nichia's posting of the Everlight press release did not constitute an act of unfair competition or tort.

Osram Selects Altatech’s Inspection and Metrology System
LIGHTimes Staff

April 15, 2014...Altatech, a subsidiary of Soitec, of Montbonnot, France, reported that Osram Opto Semiconductors ordered its Orion LedMax wafer inspection and metrology system. Altatech says that Osram will use the tool to improve the yield, performance, and cost efficiency of its LED-processing. The Orion LedMax inspection system is for both R&D and volume manufacturing applications. Osram will use the system to perform production control and new product qualification of its epitaxial wafers used in fabricating LEDs

The Orion system can inspect wafers from four inches to eight inches in diameter and combines the capabilities of 2D inspection, defect height measurement and dark-field inspection in one platform. According to Altatech, this solution outperforms more expensive systems by generating more information than only diffracted light signature. The system reportedly identifies potentially critical defects amid noisy backgrounds and delivers superior matching performance, while reducing system maintenance costs. Orion can perform incoming wafer qualification, process development, and line monitoring. Proprietary Orion modules can detect, count and classify defects on patterned and unpatterned wafers for front side and back side surface inspection, edge inspection, bump and through-silicon-via (TSV) metrology.

“After a very extensive evaluation of available options, Osram’s selection of our Orion system confirms both the performance and the cost efficiency of our solution,” said Jean-Luc Delcarri, general manager of Soitec’s Altatech subsidiary. “The integrated functions of our holistic inspection systems are unique and unmatched in any other suppliers’ production tools.”

Yole Development Predicts New Wave of MOCVD Equipment Purchases with Big-Three Dominance Continuing
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 10, 2014...Yole Development forecasts a new wave of investment in MOCVD equipment for LED fabrication in 2014 through 2016. The market for LEDs for general lighting will drive this wave of investment, according to Yole. Unlike the overly optimistic run of MOCVD investment in the business in 2010 to 2011, based upon expectations of the LCD display market, improvement in equipment throughput and yields as well as increased competition and industry consolidation will limit the impact of the latest investment cycle.

Three companies will continue to monopolize the market. Aixtron, Veeco, and Tayo Nippon Sanso had about 97 percent market share among them in 2013. Yole predicts that the equipment market will peak at about $580 million in 2015 with MOCVD reactors representing more than 80 percent of the total. Yole indicated that Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers are purchasing the bulk of these MOCVD reactors as they switch to 4" systems.

Yole notes that LED epitaxy requires dedicated tools supplied by companies that have much knowledge about fabricating LEDs. According to Yole, more than 20 entrants (mostly from Asia) into the MOCVD reactor business since 2010 have attained little success. Their total market contribution rose from 2 percent in 2010 to just 3 percent in 2013.

Yole cites two reasons for these company's unsuccessful entrance into the market. First, the new entrants have missed the first two LED growth cycles (small display and large display applications) that have allowed the main three to build expertise and their networks (sales offices, training centers, etc.). Even big names, such as Applied Materials, was not able to access these markets. Secondly, revenue from the 2010 to 2011 investment cycle, which included a total of more than $2 billion for MOCVD reactors, have allowed Aixtron and Veeco to slash prices and start a price war with which others can not compete.

Decreasing the cost of ownership is the main strategy that new entrants into the MOCVD market are adopting, Yole says. MOCVD Equipment makers can reduce the cost of ownership with innovations such as a new heating system, new gas flow design, and increased automation. Yole does not expect new entrants to have a substantial increase in future market share as the expertise and capital of Aixtron and Veeco (the Big Two) far surpass their competitors.

In the short term, Yole anticipates only two types of MOCVD equipment suppliers (outside of the Big three) will survive. These are suppliers that collaborate with some big LED manufacturers and Chinese suppliers that can scrape together pieces of the huge local market.

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Commentary & Perspective...

Having Some Fun: Smart Lighting is going to be messy
Tom Griffiths - Publisher

April 3, 2014...Don't let the headline worry you... 'smart' lighting is going to be great, and it will work well, but it is most assuredly going to be a somewhat messy process to go from today's versions of controllable lighting, to tomorrow's actual smart lighting. In terms of impact players, Philips made the first notable 'shot across the bow' with the introduction of the app-driven Hue system aimed at making color-controllable lighting fun for consumers. Cree came along next with its SmartCast self-configuring daylight-compensating system aimed at commercial/office spaces. At Light+Building this week, Osram-Sylvania announced its own app-controllable system, named Lightify, that it states is aimed at both consumer and "professional" markets.

While Philips kept its Hue plans quiet until the actual roll-out in conjunction with the Apple stores, Osram appears to be making a "here it comes" sort of pre-announcement. Hopefully the actual roll-out will be a bit more tangible than the announcement here, which has a sort of "Feel-good lets get into the experience" sort of air to it. The news release is actually humorous enough (to me, at least) that some excerpts just beg to be shared. Note here that I think this was probably written more in German, for Europe, so this is really more about poking some fun at the chosen words, and not at the intention behind it. Osram is a serious company, and I expect a serious product, but the news release, well, see for yourself.. The lead-in is pretty good, as we find out that...

With Lightify, Osram for the first time presents a lighting system at Light+Building 2014 that enables users to exploit a wide range of lighting possibilities using an app on a smartphone or tablet. Lightify simply integrates into existing WLAN networks, and users are able to set a wide diversity of light atmospheres. "... With Lightify we have transformed an idea into an innovation that contains almost everything that light is able to do today" said Peter Laier, Osram's Chief Technology Officer..." Lightify will be available from the start of the coming lighting season in Germany and other European markets.

Coo-ool... An idea transformed into innovation that will do (almost) everything that light is able to do today! (Spit out photons of various color? Be controlled? Blind me in the middle of the night?). The folks in Europe will be the big winners there at the start of the next "lighting season". I actually had to look that one up on Google, so it appears that "lighting season" is either when we turn on all our Christmas/holiday lights, when we can legally use spotlights to hunt coyotes or other "varmints", or when we make the fall time change and it suddenly gets dark in the mid-afternoon (or so it often seems). We'll assume the latter, so about I'm thinking about 6 months from now. Maybe saying "Fall" could have been an option? Continuing...

Lightify enables living rooms and workrooms as well as balconies and gardens to be bathed in a wide variety of light atmospheres using a smartphone or tablet. The scenes can be freely configured and also controlled while on the move. In addition, the app also provides programmed light scenes such as a realistic sunrise for example, and selection can also be based on photos. Lightify is not only able to design rooms in light differently each day, the light itself can also be useful for the sense of well-being. The right scene helps people to get out of bed better in the morning and to sleep more easily in the evening.

One assumes there are luminaires involved, as opposed to simply using the smartphone or tablet, which would need to have a really bright RGB-CW-WW LED on it to get that job done. It will be for rooms, workrooms and balconies (plus the gardens). That's good. Most folks forget about their balconies, which is naturally where a realistic sunrise should be coming from. Unless it faces west, in which case it should be a sunset. One wonders if anyone has done any research to tie together the magnetic compass points and the effect of sunrise/sunset transitions. Wouldn't surprise me if one of the periodic magnetic pole reversals was the actual cause behind the dinosaur die-off. You expect sunsets to be in the West, poles reverse, suddenly it sets in your magnetic East and boom, no more sense of romance and your species dies off. Clearly this whole controllable light thing might be playing with forces way beyond our understanding. Some advanced civilization may have already walked this path, with their first attempts at creating "red-green" or "blue-yellow" colors (potentially undetectable color mixes in our tri-chromatic visual system) perhaps creating the galaxy's black holes... See where we might be heading?

The complete Lightify range of LED lamps and luminaires can be controlled independent of the location, whether this is for corridors or living rooms, terraces and gardens or professional lighting in offices. Osram with its Lightify system is following an integrative approach and provides corresponding products from a single source. Installed lighting systems and products from other manufacturers that support the common ZigBee Light Link standard or Home Automation standard can also be simply integrated into the system. In addition, the Lightify system offers an interface for the so called DALI standard. DALI is widely used in professional applications in Europe. Lightify should be available from the coming light season onwards in a version for end consumers and a second version for professional users, and the starter kit for end customers consists of the gateway and a lamp.

I thought there would be more than just smartphones! So... sounds to me like Hue and Friends of Hue, but from Osram, and splitting the middle between both consumer and office spaces. So what's really new here? Maybe a bit more open architecture, including the ability to play with "so called" DALI (which is a so-called digital addressable lighting standard for so-called luminaires, in case you missed the so-called news back in 2001). Overall, not really all that much is new. But that's a good thing, in the sense that it took more than one smart(ish) phone from more than one big player to create the momentum towards good, competitive, feature-filled smartphones that all play on the same cellular network.

So the messy part... Quite simply, there are a lot of moving parts that will make up the thing we'll call smart lighting. Networking between lamps and/or luminaires, some of which will be TCP/IP (a few billion new IP addresses anyone?) some ZigBee or Z-Wave or derivatives, or Bluetooth, or BLE, or visible light networking, or proprietary; to bridges that connect to wireless LANs or wired ones, or maybe cellular ones to the home network, or the office network, or the building management system that's itself open or proprietary, or maybe both. The connected luminaires will be controlled by their own apps that are open architecture, or closed, and secure, or not. Oh, and then comes those sensors, that will be sending over blips of data for the luminaire for ambient light, or color, or gesture recognition; or instead of blips it may be rafts (tons, or "tonnes" for out British friends) of data for grouped decision engines or the BMS to make use of. And we'll detect the users, and tap other networks to retrieve their preferences from standard or non-standard database apps. And a few big guys that are late to the party will be criticizing the "non-traditional" or "non-standard" controls or networking or protocols. And there will certainly be what seem like some really good ideas that turn out to be bad ones (think "rapid-recharge circadian adjustment bars" next to the frozen sushi and the flavored oxygen bars there at the international airport) or bad-seeming ideas that turn out to work really well. Things will break (one of my original Hue lamps has stopped responding to anything, and I can't find a reset nor have I any clue how to determine if it's hardware or software) and don't be surprised when someone's Google glass will accidentally tap into the neighbor's lighting system, starting it flashing to the Euro-pop beat they're running a visualizer for. Or better yet, household lighting systems start dropping Amazon.com's delivery drones from the sky...

Opportunity, technology and competitive innovation will meet, there will be a revolution, we'll (mostly) all survive it undamaged, and there will be some new words created (how about photo-chaos or photobiointegration) and most of all, we'll see the world in a new light. Have fun on the ride!

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