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Editorial: Still Plenty of LED/Lighting Breakthroughs Left
 
... For many in the LED industry who have watched, and lived, the steady march of technology for the last decade, it's pretty easy to get jaded about the technology. Not in a bad way, but just a bored kind of one. "Let me guess," they say, "next year we'll...
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Welcome to your LED Applications news channel!

The opportunities presented by the increasing rapid adoption of high brightness LEDs, in all their forms and applications, represents nothing short of a "digital revolution" for a previously "analog" world. LEDs are having a substantial disruptive effect on a number of established technologies, and where there is disruption, there is an intense need for information.

LIGHTimes Online is here to serve the information needs of the LED industry supply chain, as well as integrators and non-architectural application solution providers with technology, product and market news updates for these rapidly evolving devices. Our readership also includes LED packagers, technology enablers and service companies seeking the the answers to how best to meet their customers' needs.

For architectural lighting and applications news of interest specifically to lighting designers, specifiers, and architectural lighting decision makers, along with luminaire designers, lighting system integrators and lighting subsystem developers, please visit our sister publication, Solid State Lighting Design.


SSL is booming and the 2011/2012 Summit Series is coming back to keep the message on quality

Launched in 2008, the SSL Summit will bring the quality story to New York City in October 2011, and then back to LA in March 2012. At every one of the Summit events, the feedback remains consistent: Just what we need, do it again soon. The Summit brings together lighting decision makers with industry thought leaders, pioneers, and innovators from the across the solid state lighting eco-system.

Continuing the tradition, 2011/2012 will continue to be all about quality, quality, quality. Showcase participants and sponsors are vetted to separate the wheat from the chaff (have your IES LM-79 test reports ready!). Last year's event in NYC included representatives of over 100 million square feet of developed property, and the one thing we don't want to leave out for 2011 is you! Look into the series information at www.SSLsummit.com for the details. Sponsorships are available for the full series.


Samsung Ends LED Lighting Business, Continues LED Components Business
SSL Design News Staff

October 28, 2014...Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. reported that it will end its LED lighting business outside of South Korea. The company began the LED lighting business just four years ago, but has seen increasing price pressure from rivals in recent years. Pricing pressure across the industry has also lead Philips of the Netherlands, a Samsung rival, to recently spin off its 100-year-old lighting business, and it has lead Osram another LED lighting business rival to lay-off about 8,000 employees.

A Reuters report cited an emailed statement from the company, "We will remain active in the LED industry through our LED component business," adding that Samsung will focus on backlighting for displays of consumer products like televisions.

MeU Launches Wearable and App-Controllable LED Display
LIGHTimes News Staff

October 28, 2014...MeU of Toronto, Canada, announced the launch of its wearable LED display, the MeU Square. A smartphone application can mange MeU Square, which the company designed for customizing clothing and accessories. MeU Square, a square 16 by 16 grid of RGB LEDs allows the user to display any pattern, image, or text to instantly communicate with people who can see the display. .

"We seek to improve communication with our surroundings, including important alerts and updates that you may not get otherwise, like when the next bus is coming," said Robert Tu, CEO and founder of MeU. "The display is a great combination of function and design. The display's open-source technology sets no limits to the designer's creativity across many applications and is the perfect platform for the maker and developer communities."

The MeU team is working on developing applications for fashion, marketing, cycling, and urban informatics. MeU says cyclists can display a flashing pattern or other signals on their backs to communicate with other road users. A group hike leader can keep participants informed or a construction worker can wear a blinking patternto help alert those passing by of potentially unsafe conditions.

The company says that the ability to display public transit updates on the vests of employees or receive weather alerts from pedestrians can help the city to run smoother. Having been featured in Toronto's first men's fashion week, the product can also portray a dynamic fashion statement.

The full-color LED matrix display consists of 256 LEDs, a microcontroller, and a Bluetooth radio that enables wireless communication with other devices. The company contends that the thin and flexible panel conforms to the body and can be worn with any style of clothing. After downloading the smartphone app, the user can choose from existing icons and animations or create their own content to send to the LED display.

"We're looking for tech savvy developers, who are open to working with the initial developer kit," added Tu. "The kit includes the MeU Square, a rechargeable battery, a micro USB cable, and the MeU Demo Mobile App."

The MeU Square will be available for pre-order for $270 USD.

St. Paul Baseball Team to Get Daktronics Equipment at New Park
LIGHTimes News Staff

October 28, 2014...The St. Paul Saints baseball team out of Saint Paul, Minnesota USA, has contracted Daktronics of Brookings, South Dakota. Under the contract, Daktronics will design, manufacture and install a new video display and scoreboard at their new field, CHS Field. The St. Paul Saints will be opening their inaugural season next year at CHS Field. The Saints plan to have this project completed later this fall.

"We've had a longstanding relationship with Daktronics in St. Paul and with several other of our clubs in The Goldklang Group. Daktronics' products and services are second-to-none and have come to play a big part in the fun we try to create at every game. The displays at CHS Field are a perfect complement to what will be the best baseball experience in North America," according to Tom Whaley, Saints' Executive Vice-President.

The main video display for the team will measure about 49 feet wide by 27.5 feet high and will feature a 15HD pixel layout. Daktronics will install the display in left-center field. In addition to sponsor advertisements, scoring information, and game statistics, the display can show vivid graphics as well as colorful animations and images. Daktronics says that displays will have multiple levels of protection from the elements.

"Daktronics is excited to extend our relationship with the St. Paul Saints, and to partner on the CHS Field project," said sales representative Joey Hulsebus. "This innovated ball park will be an exciting addition to the Lowertown community. The Daktronics products will assist in developing a new game-day experience for the Saints fans."

The Saints will also be receiving a fixed-digit scoreboard that will display basic baseball information such as pitch count, at bat, hits, and errors.

The Saints will also receive a bank of hours for the creation of digital content that Daktronics Creative Services will produce and deliver. This content will consist of any mixture of sponsorship messages, crowd prompts, headshots, game opens and venue announcements at the request of the Saints.

GaN LEDs in Automotive to Reach $1 Billion in 2014, According to IHS
LIGHTimes News Staff

October 23, 2014...The LED Intelligence Service of IHS Technology (IHS) predicts that the market for GaN packaged LEDs in automotive applications will reach the $1 billion mark this year for the first time. IHS forecasts that industry revenue will grow 11 percent from $943 million in 2013 to $1.05 billion in 2014. IHS contends that the growth comes from vehicle exterior applications such as headlamps and daytime running lights, where LED penetration is still low.

However, IHS notes that the LED value per vehicle can be quite high. Osram, Nichia and Lumileds are ranked by IHS as the market's leading three suppliers, and IHS says they are particularly dominant in vehicle exterior applications.

Audi has been a leader in using LEDs in its vehicles (especially in daytime running lights) since 2008, according to IHS, and many other manufacturers have followed the trend to using more LEDs in automotive applications. IHS points out however that many vehicles even at the high end of the market such as the $100,000 Tesla Model S, still do not use LED headlamps. Moreover, daytime running lights, cornering lights and indoor ambient lights are only available as an option rather than as standard. IHS forecasts that LED lighting should increase in vehicles over the next several years, growing further to $1.3 billion in 2018.

Research Association Produces Prototype LED with 256 Light Points for Adaptive Front Lighting Systems
LIGHTimes News Staff

October 23, 2014...Osram Opto Semiconductors reports that after just one and a half years, the company and its partners on the µAFS research project have developed a new LED chip with an unrivaled array of 256 light points (pixels). Previously pixel systems were based on a large number of individual LEDs. Funding for the project, a total of seven million euros, comes from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of its focus on “Integrated Microphotonics”. The project will run until January 31, 2016.

The project's goal is the development of a new class of energy-efficient LED headlamps which may then provide the basis for adaptive front lighting systems. The project intends to design systems that will improve the illumination of the road ahead through actively adapting the light distribution for the driving and traffic situation without dazzling other road users.

Experts from Osram Opto Semiconductors, Osram Specialty Lighting, Infineon Technologies and the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM jointly developed a prototype of an LED-based adaptive front lighting system.

Previous adaptive front lighting systems (AFS) have one pixel corresponding to one LED component or one chip. However, in this prototype one chip contains 256 pixels, which can all be individually controlled. Osram Opto notes that the 256 pixels per chip prototype is the first step to light sources with more than 1000 pixels. Osram Opto Semiconductors developed the new pixel chip with defined light patterns in blue and white . According to Osram Opto, the challenge was to define the light points during chip processing itself and enable them to be linked directly with the control system. Infineon Technologies developed the driver chip to directly and individually control the numerous light points. As the specialist in mounting technology, Fraunhofer IZM made it possible to couple the light-emitting pixel chip with the controlling driver chip.

Osram Opto Semiconductors structured the chip surface and attached the converter for creating white light to complete the prototype. This demonstrator proves the feasibility of having a particularly high resolution, which is needed to enable the dynamically adjustable light pattern with a high degree of precision. Osram Opto Semiconductor contends that the technology in the prototype will open up special automotive lighting options such as city lights and bad weather lights.

In one of the next steps, the Osram Specialty Lighting business unit, intends to transfer the prototype to a light module with electrical, mechanical and thermal interfaces. Future goals of the project include developing intelligent control and an appropriate connection to the vehicle bus to ensure extremely fine control of the light.

µAFS project partners Hella, the automotive lighting specialist, and Daimler, the car manufacturer, will then take over. Hella is responsible for the development of the optical system and the thermal management system, including the design of the complete headlight. Daimler has already contributed specifications and requirements for the bus connection and optics within the project, and is responsible for detailed testing of the headlamp and therefore for the final process.

Jacket Mimics Chameleon
LIGHTimes News Staff

October 21, 2014...Remember those TVs with ambient LEDs that were introduced a few years ago but never really caught on, a company called Drap og Design has created a jacket with an analogous, chameleon-like function. Drap og Design's Interacket, which is presented on maker site Hackaday, allows your jacket to mimic the colors of objects that you touch. Built in sensors detect the color of objects you touch with your hands. Strips of RGB LEDs change color to match the color of the object that your hand touches. The kit uses Adafruit Neopixle LED strips, Adafruit color sensors, and a pair of Arduino Uno Chips. The system is powered by a single 9V battery

The kit uses a pair of Arduino Uno chips, Adafruit Neopixel LED strips and Adafruit color sensors, all powered by a single 9V battery. The jacket itself is made of reflective foil and diffusive fabric to allow the coat to prominently display the colors picked up by the sensors. From the video, you can see that the design groups first prototype is cool but it does not have practical uses. It is far from the resolution required for practical uses in defense or military applications.

The company says that it has nearly completed its second prototype of the Interaket. Who knows what future iterations of the jacket could be capable of. Drap og Design says it also has other design ideas that it is developing that attempt to give humans the "powers" that some other animals have. You can check on their progress on the Drap og Design webpage, or by following them on Hackaday.

Ford and NextEnergy Announce Automotive Lighting Challenge
LIGHTimes News Staff

October 16, 2014...Ford Motor Company and NextEnergy, have issued a challenge to LED and automotive lighting suppliers to help advance state-of-the-art automotive lighting. The initiative was announced during a lighting exposition held at Ford’s Product Development Center. Some 30 suppliers and would-be suppliers gathered to address the challenges and opportunities presented to the automotive industry by the rapidly changing lighting technology.

The initiative includes technological goals that are separate aspects of the challenge. Parts of the overall challenge include: the Featherweight Challenge--to develop automotive lighting products that produce the greatest amount of light but have the lowest weight; Design for Manufacturing Challenge--device methods of making existing advanced automotive lighting technology more cost effective and suitable for high-volume production; Daylighting LEDs--developing automotive interior LED lights that emulate daylight; Structural Lighting--Integrate LEDs and OLEDs into interior and exterior automotive structural components, such as seats and door panels.

An additional technological challenge is to develop more sustainable products including designing recyclable automotive lighting technology and biodegradable automotive lighting.

The challenge will officially be launched on Nov. 19 at the Michigan Advanced Lighting Conference in Lansing. Support for the program comes from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Pure Michigan Business Connect initiative to help identify qualified Michigan suppliers.

Ford and Detroit-based NextEnergy will outline a scoring matrix to determine winners. Late next year, competing teams will present their ideas to a panel of Ford and NextEnergy experts, with one or more prizes awarded. The prizes, provided from the state of Michigan through Michigan Economic Development Corporation and NextEnergy, will include up to $40,000.

“Ford is very interested in maintaining leadership with the use of innovative lighting for the benefit of our customers,” said Dean Stevenson, chief engineer, Ford Global Design Engineering.

Wayne Bahr, chief engineer, Ford Global Body Exterior Systems, said the challenge “should help us innovate faster and increase the capability of our lighting supply base.”

The 2015 Ford F-150 uses LED headlights, side view mirror lights and cargo bed lights. The 2015 Ford Mustang employs a LED-based brake lights, turn signals and taillights.

“NextEnergy’s collaboration with Ford will encourage open innovation,” said Jean Redfield, president and CEO, NextEnergy. “While this technology challenge will solicit global solutions, we expect Michigan’s advanced lighting industry to be among the solution providers, driving significant economic activity in the state."

Intelligent LED Solutions Launches New UV LEDs for Industrial Applications
LIGHTimes News Staff

October 16, 2014...Intelligent LED Solutions (ILS) of the UK, has launched new high-power UV LEDs for industrial applications. The company designed the UV power LED to have higher thermal endurance, for better reliability at higher temperatures. The UV LED comes in a range of output powers, package formats and wavelength options ranging from 365nm to 420nm and output from 320mW to 7000mW.

The high power UV LED range is suited for industrial applications such as DNA sequencing, counterfeit detection, polymer curing, ink curing, aquarium lighting, and medical applications. The UV LED has a vertical chip structure on the company’s patented metal alloy substrate. The LED offers the company’s advances in optical output and high thermal conductivity.

“UV LED technology is playing an increasing role in industrial design,” said Adrian Amor, director at ILS. “The new high power UV LED range pushes the boundaries of what is possible. The high power LED offers a more efficient and more robust solution for engineers working to develop demanding applications that require a UV light source.”

“For those exploring UV LED technology for the first time, our team at ILS are able to provide design support and prototyping within the European market place,” said Adrian Amor. “We also have the capability to deliver production LED and assemblies to wherever in the world that the customer’s manufacturing or assembly is being undertaken.”

ILS is making available star boards with wires, strips and component LEDs through RS Components.

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