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2014-08-01
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Editorial: LEDs Opening New Doors for the Science of Light
 
... It's really incredible to realize that light has been a subject of intense scientific curiosity for hundreds of years, but we still don't know many of it's secrets. Not that it's all that surprising, in the sense that we had sand for millions of years, and only learned how...
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Commentary...
LEDs Opening New Doors for the Science of Light

 
... It's really incredible to realize that light has been a subject of intense scientific curiosity for hundreds of years, but we still don't know many of it's secrets. Not that it's all that surprising, in the sense that we had sand for millions of years, and only learned how...

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

Chinese LED Manufacturer Selects Veeco MOCVD Systems for Expansion into GaN LED Market
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 31, 2014...Veeco Instruments Inc. announced that Xiamen Changelight Co., Ltd.(Changelight) has chosen Veeco to be its main equipment provider as it begins to produce gallium nitride (GaN)-based blue/green high brightness LEDs for general lighting and displays. Changelight purchased multiple TurboDisc® MaxBright® M™ GaN Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) systems during the second quarter of 2014. Changelight also bought a TurboDisc K475™ MOCVD system to expand its manufacturing of red, orange, and yellow (ROY) LEDs.

“In the past we have used competitive MOCVD equipment for the majority of our production of ROY LEDs,” said Professor Wang Xiangwu, general manager of Changelight. “As we make this important move into the GaN-based lighting market, we decided to switch to Veeco’s MaxBright M MOCVD system, which we believe will offer the best throughput and cost of ownership to help enable our success and growth in the general illumination market.”

According to Veeco, the MaxBright M has a compact, modular design for improved serviceability, and compared to the standard MaxBright MOCVD system it has up to 15% increased footprint efficiency. The system reportedly has more layout configuration options, which allow it to fit various fab spacing requirements. Veeco says its sub-floor storage enables more wafer starts per square foot for a lower cost of ownership.

“Changelight’s decision to purchase Veeco’s MOCVD platform for its GaN LED production reflects our ability to develop innovative manufacturing solutions with the best performance,” said Jim Jenson, senior vice president and general manager of Veeco MOCVD. “We have seen Changelight dominate the ROY market in China for some time and believe that, with our technology and its knowledge of the industry, Changelight is well positioned to successfully expand into the backlighting and general illumination market.”

Seoul Semiconductor Launches New Acrich-based Module for Omnidirectional Lamps
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 31, 2014...Seoul Semiconductor has released a new Acrich module, which incorporates the Acrich MJT 2525 series LED with the company's latest Acrich 3 driver IC and a reflector optic that the company designed specifically for omnidirectional lamps. Seoul Semiconductor says that the new module is optimized for use in omnidirectional lamps that meet ENERGY STAR® requirements. According to the company, the Acrich 3 driver IC solution works with most existing TRIAC or phase-controlled dimmers

The Acrich MJT 2525 series LED measures 2.5mm x 2.5mm and features a wide a beam angle that has the has superior lumen density of 15lm/mm2. The module incorporates Seoul Semiconductor's proprietary Acrich Multi-Junction chip Technology in the high voltage LED package. The Acrich 3 IC can reportedly operate directly from the AC mains. The company asserts that it designed the module to operate with existing TRIAC or phase-controlled dimmers without compromising power quality or efficiency, and that the module enables lower cost driver solutions. All LEDs and the driver IC, are incorporated on one single, 38mm diameter board, making the light engine ideal for an A19 form factor. The light engine also comes with a reflector solution that Seoul Semiconductor optimized for an omnidirectional of light pattern. An optional heat bridge can improve thermal dissipation of the light engine.

Seoul Semiconductor Executive Vice President of Lighting sales, Jay Kim said, "The new Acrich A19 module is optimized for the performance, and cost requirements of the retrofit lamp market.” He added, “This new module combines the light source, driver, optics and primary thermal management in a single, compact system, simplifying designs and lowering costs for lighting manufacturers."

Universal Display Corporation's UniversalPHOLED Technology Assessement Agreement with Philips Expanded into Commercial Material Supply Agreement
LIGHTimes

July 31, 2014...Universal Display Corporation, which enables energy-efficient displays and lighting with its UniversalPHOLED technology and materials, announced that it has extended its relationship with Philips to be a material supply agreement. The new agreement expands upon Universal Display's previous agreement with Philips, which was to supply the UniversalPHOLED technology for assessment. Under the new agreement Universal Display will supply its Universal PHOLED materials and proprietary technology for use in Philips commercial OLED lighting products.

Steven V. Abramson, president and CEO of Universal Display said, "This is an important next step for UDC, from the earlier evaluation agreement we announced in November 2013. It demonstrates the continued acceptance of UDC's phosphorescent OLED technology and materials by the emerging OLED lighting industry for high performance, energy-efficient solid-state lighting."

According to Universal Display, its patented PHOLED technology delivers up to four times the efficiency of conventional OLED technology. Furthermore, UDC says its OLED technology and materials enable UDC OLED lighting to have excellent color quality.

NanoMarkets predicts that the market for OLED lighting panels could reach $ 1.4 billion in 2019. NanoMarkets also pointed out the ultra-thin shape of OLEDs gives them design flexibility to create free form luminous objects and truly integrate lighting elements into the architecture.

Osram Continues Restructing with Planned 7,800 Layoffs Due to Traditional Lighting Business Decline
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 31, 2014...Osram's substantial gains with LED-based products in the third quarter of the fiscal year 2014, nearly offset the considerable shrinkage of its traditional general illumination business. The company's revenue dropped somewhat by one percent year-on-year to about €1.2 billion. Osram's LED-based products business, posted a revenue increase of 21 percent in the third quarter for 38 percent of consolidated group revenue.

The company announced measures to improve the competitiveness of its operating units. Osram says it plans on eliminating 7,800 positions globally over the next three fiscal years. The staff elimination will reportedly include about 1,700 domestic positions and around 6,100 international positions. As part of the previously announced second phase of the OSRAM effort, the company now plans to begin further process improvements and adjust the company business structure after consulting employee representatives.

Osram began the first stage its restructuring in 2012. The company says that all measures for the first stage of its restructuring are being implemented or have been completed. At the end of the third quarter, the cumulated gross savings from these efforts totaled to aproximately €760 million, including €118 million from the recent quarter.

During the second stage of the restructuring Osram indicated that it will greatly reduce the production capacities of traditional lighting products and will reduce its staff accordingly. In total, the company intends the measures to lead to a permanent cost reduction of about €260 million until the end of the fiscal year 2017. Osram expects the gross costs to amount to about €450 million in the same period.

Osram Opto Semiconductor's, the company's opto semiconductor business segment posted a 5 percent revenue increase over the same period a year ago. About €5 million of the improvement comes from the business segment's recent licensing agreement.

Osram's Automotive Lighting and Display/Optics units, continued to experience rising demand in the automotive segment to achieve a comparable revenue increase of ten percent. About 33 percent of total revenue in the segment came from LEDs. The LED Lamps & Systems (LLS) reporting segment that covers the business with LED lamps, light engines as well as LED drivers posted comparable revenue growth of 68 percent in the third quarter due to the fast-growing LED demand.

The Luminaires & Solutions (LS) reporting segment, which is comprised of luminaires for professional customers, products for consumers, in addition to the service and solutions business, recorded a sales decline of 13 percent in the third quarter because of the reorganization of the service business in North America. However, strong growth of LED-based luminaires segment the luminaires business posted a comparable revenue increase.

“While earnings continue to develop nicely, the growing market acceptance of LED technology is, as already announced, causing a significantly faster decline of the traditional business,” said Wolfgang Dehen, CEO of OSRAM Licht AG. “We will successfully complete the first stage of OSRAM Push shortly. However, we have always stressed that the transformation of the lighting market will also continue after 2014 and that it will require additional capacity adjustments. Against the backdrop of the latest developments, additional measures are now necessary to safeguard our position as a leading lighting manufacturer in the long term. We need to be even closer to the customer, further strengthen the entrepreneurship of our segments and at the same time create cost structures that are appropriate to the size of the company, but also to that of its individual businesses.”

Everlight Adds High-voltage Packaged LEDs to Portfolio
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 29, 2014...Everlight Electronics has introduced the XI3030HV family of packaged LEDs. The XI3030HV family serves as a high-voltage addition to the company's standard XI3030 line. The company packages both the XI3030HV and the XI3030 line in a 3×3-mm plastic packages. The product family ranges from mid- and high-power segments to some models that operate in excess of 1W. The company asserts that the new high-voltage LEDs can simplify the design of the LED driver electronics and reduce solid-state lighting (SSL) system costs.

High-voltage LEDs combine multiple emitters/junctions in series or several parallel strings of a number of LEDs in series. Some packaged LEDs connect separate chips that are packaged together with bond wires. Others make the electrical connection to multiple emitters on one monolithic chip that forms separate emitters at the end of the LED manufacturing process.

The higher-voltage input can provide several advantages. The lower difference in line-to-LED voltage reduces the component count in drivers and can increase energy efficiency. Everlight says that its XI high-voltage LEDs deliver efficacy of 120 lm/W at 3000K CCT, very good but not top-level performance at the warm end of the color spectrum. The LEDs have a minimum 80 CRI and a 115-lm maximum flux output.

So far Everlight has just 3000 hours of test data on the brand new products. However, the company said LM-80 testing is in progress. Everlight has begun an initiative that follows a recent trend in LEDs, producing particular packaged LEDs for specific applications in terms of voltage input levels, package features, and optical performance. Everlight calls the initiative "The Right LED for the Right Application." The company said it plans to provide custom versions of the high-voltage arrays at any voltage that customers require.

Seoul Semiconductor Launches New Acrich-based Module for Omnidirectional Lamps
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 31, 2014...Seoul Semiconductor has released a new Acrich module, which incorporates the Acrich MJT 2525 series LED with the company's latest Acrich 3 driver IC and a reflector optic that the company designed specifically for omnidirectional lamps. Seoul Semiconductor says that the new module is optimized for use in omnidirectional lamps that meet ENERGY STAR® requirements. According to the company, the Acrich 3 driver IC solution works with most existing TRIAC or phase-controlled dimmers

The Acrich MJT 2525 series LED measures 2.5mm x 2.5mm and features a wide a beam angle that has the has superior lumen density of 15lm/mm2. The module incorporates Seoul Semiconductor's proprietary Acrich Multi-Junction chip Technology in the high voltage LED package. The Acrich 3 IC can reportedly operate directly from the AC mains. The company asserts that it designed the module to operate with existing TRIAC or phase-controlled dimmers without compromising power quality or efficiency, and that the module enables lower cost driver solutions. All LEDs and the driver IC, are incorporated on one single, 38mm diameter board, making the light engine ideal for an A19 form factor. The light engine also comes with a reflector solution that Seoul Semiconductor optimized for an omnidirectional of light pattern. An optional heat bridge can improve thermal dissipation of the light engine.

Seoul Semiconductor Executive Vice President of Lighting sales, Jay Kim said, "The new Acrich A19 module is optimized for the performance, and cost requirements of the retrofit lamp market.” He added, “This new module combines the light source, driver, optics and primary thermal management in a single, compact system, simplifying designs and lowering costs for lighting manufacturers."

XL Video Provides LED Video Display Wall for Volvo Roadshow
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 29, 2014...The Volvo V40 promotional roadshow is currently being held at some of the UK's largest shopping malls. XL Video has supplied an LED video wall for the roadshow. XL Video worked with marketing agency Arnold KLP and creative production agency DesignScene on the roadshow, which runs through July. The show took place at the Bullring in Birmingham, Metro Centre in Gateshead, Cabot Circus in Bristol and finished up at the Silverburn in Glasgow.

Shoppers could sit inside a Volvo V40 R Design display car, and an array of touch-screen tablets gave an interactive quiz. XL Video's 5m x 3m Barco NX6 LED wall displayed advertisements about the V40 model and Volvo's current "Swedish Adventure" contest.

Jacqueline Rice, XL's Project Manager, collaborated with Attila Keskin of Design Scene to suggest a suitable LED wall for the project. The venues included a combination of both natural daylight and indoor mall lighting. A team of XL's crew, Steven Grinceri, Fabrizio Di Lelio, John Brandon, Tim Bolland, Connor Jennings, Rob Smith, and Marcus Wareham installed and maintained the screen.

Jacqueline Rice commented, "Each venue brought its own challenges, such as being under a glass roof on the hottest day of the year, but by working together solutions were found and the displays gained lots of positive attention from the public."

ProPhotonix Lanches UV COBRA Cure Module
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 29, 2014...ProPhotonix Limited, a UK-based designer and manufacturer of LED illumination systems and laser diode modules, has launched the COBRA™ Cure as a major upgrade to the power and functionality of the company's COBRA Slim Series of Chip-On-Board (COB) LED modules. UV COBRA™ Cure is a compact UV LED module that produces a uniform line up to a peak irradiance of 2 W/cm2. COBRA Cure, like its predecessor, UV COBRA Slim, offers adjustable optics so while in the field, users can choose the optimum lens position for an application. It comes in any length up to 5 meters. Both the COBRA Cure and the COBRA Slim come in a range of wavelengths including 405nm, 395nm, 385nm, and 365nm. Multiple versions are also available in each wavelength. The UV COBRA Cure offers on-board Ethernet control.

Tim Losik, CEO and Chairman of ProPhotonix, said, "We are delighted to launch the Cobra Cure as a new product following successful deployment to a number of lead customers for use in machine vision systems, adhesive curing assembly lines and industrial scale printing applications. Our experienced team of optical, electronic, mechanical and software engineers in combination with our in-house manufacturing capability, worked closely with these customers to deliver the optimum lighting solution for each application."

Losik continued, "Standard and Custom UV LED solutions, in addition to our direct emission 405nm laser diode modules available at various power levels, provide a wide range of alternative UV solutions for our customers."<

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Commentary & Perspective...

LEDs Opening New Doors for the Science of Light
LIGHTimes/SSL Design Staff

July 23, 2014...It's really incredible to realize that light has been a subject of intense scientific curiosity for hundreds of years, but we still don't know many of it's secrets. Not that it's all that surprising, in the sense that we had sand for millions of years, and only learned how to turn it into semiconductors in the 20th century, but what we're really talking about here is the 'effect' of light on, well, life. One might contend that we know a whole lot about the interaction of light on humans.

We know how different kinds of light can create moods, and we know lots about how we perceive color. We even know a fair amount about why we perceive color, as the three kinds of cone cells in our eyes (S, M and L corresponding to the relative wavelengths they detect) combine to give us the standard observer curves X, Y and Z. If this is new to you, it's kind of fun giving a browse to one of the wiki rundowns here. That overview, and subsequent ones such as the background in the CIE 1931 Color Space (here) can pretty easily conk up your brain, but at least getting familiar with some of the terms will be valuable for anyone at any level in the LED and SSL market space. No really, we promise that it will, because while we know a fair amount, we've really just scratched the surface.

Ok, fair enough. If we make the pronouncement, we should offer a few lines to defend it. There's lots we could throw into the argument, but we'll focus on just two. 1) Prior to the ready availability of the full spectrum of lighting-class LEDs, we really haven't had good control over the light that we create. Ergo, we haven't been able to throw the amount and kind of light we really needed to affordably study its effect on living things. 2) We only recently discovered some obviously key elements of the human light-response mechanisms, such as how light triggers the melatonin response in humans. (Ref here for the 2001 landmark study that attempted to determine how light managed to affect melatonin production, and here for 2008 specifics on the results of testing one wavelength of light).

To the first contention, while our scientific curiosity has always been easy to pique, it's a little trickier to find someone to pay to satisfy that curiosity. And still more of a challenge as the price increases, relative to the potential return on investment (whether societally or commercially). If you have evidence that suggests specialized materials combine more efficiently, and you can test it by putting something in a centrifuge, great. If you need to drop the experiment onto the surface of Jupiter to the real gravitational effect you're after... good luck with that. For light, the general challenge has been that the cost effective light was either white light generated from a glowing thing (filament, candle, sun, ant under the magnifier, whatever) or from an arc and phosphor combination (our friend, the fluorescent). The challenge with white light is that to generate just specific frequencies, you mostly had to take a subtractive approach. Start with white, throw filters in front of it, and use what's left. Need lots of it? Then you need lots of white light, lots of power, and you get lots of spare heat at no extra charge. If you want to light a box which test subjects can stick their head into, you can probably pull it off. But how do you light a test space where people would have longer term exposure to just specific sets of frequencies? Not cheaply is the answer. Fluorescents could offer some hope, presuming you were really good and had the time to invent and test all the custom blends of phosphor you'd need, and then build them into your own lighting systems. Maybe not so hopeful after all. LEDs allow unprecedented opportunities to tune those wavelengths, and then deliver a lot of photons in those wavelengths at a reasonable price.

To the second point, it just strikes us that when our first real confirmation that there is a non-visual pathway for light to affect one aspect of human biology comes in 2001, and that it is just the melatonin system that we figured this out about, there is still a lot of discovery left. An analogy might come from what we're learning about food or plant pharmacology. While we can study the effect of one compound on human physiology, what happens when we let it interact with another. Or another. Or still another. As we add compounds, it gets trickier and trickier to keep track of all the spinning dials, especially to the degree of certainty as to which of the included elements are having the interactive effect. Read any drug disclosure, and you quickly find it says, "While the specific mechanisms are not completely understood, it is generally believed that....".

So why does it matter? Step one in our process of new discoveries with light will be focused on understanding what "natural" light is. Our best baseline guess is that we're tuned to be "in tune" with natural light. Morning - noon - sunset - moon. We don't sleep so well when there is a full moon. Seems our bodies know that it's a full moon, and one guess we've always enjoyed is that we know the things that might be hunting us can see better, so maybe we should spend the night awake hunting them. We know that critters in captivity (inside) can tell what season it is. Gravity doesn't explain it, but it seems reasonable that as the sun changes its angle during the year, or as the duration of the light-dark cycle varies, those subtle changes can be picked up. The folks in the LED lighting industry, and their scientific partners, are working hard to figure out what parts of natural light matter, and why. If we can narrow it down to wavelengths, and interactions among those, we are on the way to step two.

Step two, of course, is messing with the light to make it better. Natural isn't always the best thing for us, sometimes it's just something we put up with. Like mosquitos. 100% natural, but totally evil (or very nearly so). UV light. Handy for some things, but for keeping eyes and skin healthy, there is a pretty compelling case that less is often better. Replicate the great parts of natural light, and trim back the not so great parts. It also goes hand in hand with the fact we don't live naturally. Indoors, for instance. We were meant to dig and hunt and stuff. Outside. At least for part of the day. If you don't buy into that, can we at least grant that we're not really meant to be doing important stuff during the midnight to 5 AM shift? Doctors there to perform surgery is a good thing. Them having to do it while their brains are saying "sleep... it's not a full moon..." is problematic. The solution is understanding what parts of the light matter, and how we can tweak them to help support the physiological needs of the folks that need to be up and around when we should all be asleep. Or take the case of the sick or injured. The natural course, was, naturally, dying. We've made some pretty impressive strides in fixing that, but how do we know that light isn't just helpful, but is actually critical to recovery. Lots of great studies are underway to figure that out, and as we can control the lighting on a coming epic scale, testing the theories will become easier and easier.

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