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... Read
the editorial... (or permalink is here)
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.
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.
is booming and the 2011/2012 Summit Series is coming back to keep the message
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.
LEDs and Fixtures Brighten the Chemical Materials Market LIGHTimes News Staff
July 24, 2014...LEDs are quickly replacing older, less durable and energy-efficient lighting
technologies worldwide. Market research company, Frost & Sullivan says that
because chemicals and materials are required at all stages of the LED fixture's
manufacturing process, chemical companies will be an important factor in the
future success of the LED industry.
Frost & Sullivan predicts that revenue growth in chemicals demand will
be ahead of growth in the LED industry itself. The company projects that the
LED materials market, which had revenues of $5.01 billion in 2013, will
increase to $11.71 billion in 2018. Frost & Sullivan examined applications
for chemicals through chip fabrication, packaging, module construction, and
The company points out that historically, demand for LEDs in applications
including display backlighting has driven growth in chemicals demand for LED
applications. However, Frost & Sullivan says that this market is now
relatively mature, and the company predicts that the demand from the general
lighting sector will dominate future growth. According to the company, of the
four tiers of the value chain involved in manufacturing LEDs, the greatest need
for chemicals will come from the final stage, assembling the fixture.
"While prices of LEDs are falling at all stages of the value chain,
price pressure is particularly strong in the packaging stage," noted Frost
& Sullivan Performance Materials Industry Principal Brian Balmer. "As a
result, chemical companies that offer innovative products enabling cost savings
for LED manufacturers will be well-positioned to succeed."
The company indicated that unlike traditional lighting, LED light sources do
not have to be designed around a replaceable bulb. For this reason, the company
expects that innovative designs and material options will create opportunities
that did not exist with previous lighting technologies.
"Chemical companies, therefore, need to partner with fixture
manufacturers to help them understand how chemicals and materials can be used
to design the LED fixtures of the future," said Balmer.
While, the company says that the packaging tier has some of the greatest
requirements for innovation from chemical companies, this tier is reportedly
under the greatest pressure to reduce prices
Frost & Sullivan noted in a summary of their recent report, "While
some market segments, especially phosphors, have large barriers to entry,
others offer opportunities for new entrants to the market." Further, the
company says that more an more lighting OEMs are looking to produce their own
chemicals in-house to be more competitive.
In the chip stage, CVD precursors have the majority of the material market
value. The majority of the package material market value is in phosphors. The
largest portion of the module material market is for thermal interface
materials. In the fixture stage, plastics for secondary optics are the largest
part of the material market.
China Star Optoelectronics Commences Trial Production of AMOLED Panels
July 24, 2014...CSOT has begun trial production of AMOLED panels, according to Digitimes. The
company expects to mass produce AMOLED panels for display applications by 2016.
The company plans to have a total of 10 overall AMOLED production lines in
China that will go into production or have already begun production from
2014-2016. China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) has become the largest
supplier of 32-inch AMOLED panels worldwide. The company has also established a
joint venture with the government of Wuhan, China, to sell
small-to-medium-sized AMOLED panels using the joint venture's 6G LTPS/AMOLED
production lines. Digitimes notes that China makers of AMOLED panels continue
to receive financial assistance both from the central government in China as
well as from many local governments to develop AMOLED panel production
facilities. Digitimes Research says that despite government incentives, AMOLED
panel makers will face high production costs and low yields causing less
competitive pricing compared to TFT LCD technology in the short term.
GE Develops Special Phosphor that Improves Color and Sharpness of LED Backlit Displays LIGHTimes News Staff
July 24, 2014...GE reported a breakthrough that it said can greatly improve the color and
contrast of images displayed on LED devices. Scientists at GE Lighting and GE
Global Research have developed a phosphor powder that, when packaged inside an
LED, greatly increases the picture quality of LED electronics. GE's patented
solution involves adding potassium fluorosilicate (PFS) doped with manganese to
add red emission to LEDs. GE claims that the addition of red light makes the
LED light sharper, cleaner, and truer than the nitride phosphor resulting in
less color bleed and a richer picture.
Anant Setlur, a materials scientist in charge of the the phosphors
development at GE Global Research, said, "Backlit displays consist of an
array of LEDs fed into a waveguide to filter out red, green, and blue. In most
of the devices you see on the market today, the red component in the LED is low
quality, causing greens to look yellowish; this negatively impacts the overall
picture quality. What we've achieved here allows for more natural color in
consumer electronics. The difference in picture quality is stunning."
GE Ventures has licensed the patents for the technology to Sharp and Nichia.
Both Sharp and Nichia are manufacturing and packaging LEDs that contain PFS
phosphor material for use as LED backlights in LCD display products. Already,
several display companies have launched tablets and smartphones containing LED
devices supplied from these licensees.
Mike Petracci, General Manager of Licensing, GE Ventures, said, "Sharp
and Nichia are world-class leaders in the design and sale of LEDs, and we are
pleased to bring this breakthrough to market."
Jacksonville Jaguars to Unveil Largest Ever HD Video Displays LIGHTimes News Staff
July 22, 2014...On July 26th, 35.5 million LEDs in an enormous HD LED video display will
light up EverBank Field, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville,
Florida. During the game, the world's largest HD LED video display will be
unveilled. EverBank Field will host a soccer match between Fulham F.C. and D.C.
United followed by a concert by country music star Carrie Underwood.
"The Jaguars have done a great job in preparing an exciting unveiling
event for the world's largest video displays," Daktronics vice president
of live events Jay Parker said. "These displays will set a precedent in
professional venues in terms of the fan experience and what can be witnessed by
going to the stadium. The team can show a never before seen combination of
content with essentially three huge HD screens on one massive LED display. It's
going to be amazing when they fire them up to host their first home football
The two massive end zone displays featuring a 13HD pixel layout will each
measure 60 feet high by 362 feet wide. Each display with more than 21,700
square feet of digital canvas is longer than a football field and can feature
three full-size HD windows for maximum versatility during any event. Three
sections of 60 feet high by 106 feet wide provide enough real display space and
allow an extra 44-foot-wide buffer space for additional graphics, statistics
and other content.
The 13HD technology was selected for numerous reasons, especially its high
brightness that helps overcome the direct Florida sunlight. The displays boast
high contrast and wide viewing angles.
Natick Examines the Effects of Shelter Lighting on Soldier Thinking, Mood LIGHTimes News Staff
July 22, 2014...Researchers at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering
Center, or NSRDEC, are examining the effects of various types of lighting in
military shelters on soldiers. The Natick Soldier Research, Development and
Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and
Engineering Command that aims to create technology and engineering solutions
for American soldiers.
NSRDEC's Cognitive Science Team are investigating the effect of lighting on
the ability to perform tasks, visual acuity, mood, or affective state, and
cognitive alertness/awareness. The team is comparing traditional fluorescent
lighting and newer LED lighting at varying color temperatures ranging from
low-color temperatures of yellow and red tinted white light to high-color
temperatures of bluish white. Twenty-four volunteers, soldiers between 18 and
31 years of age, participated in the five-day study,
"This study is important because it is the first study that has considered
the tradeoff between the differences in cost between the lighting technologies
and the impact of the lighting on Soldier mood and performance," Dr. Caroline
Mahoney, leader of the Cognitive Science Team, said.
"There is a ton of past research on what lighting can do to
humans," Breanne Hawes, lead researcher on the project and member of the
cognitive science team said. "It can affect how sleepy you are, your
sleeping patterns, or how productive you are. But this has rarely been studied
as a military application."
"The ultimate aim of the project is to develop efficient spaces that
promote well-being," said Hawes. "We were thinking of Soldiers in
tents doing mission planning. This is where they setup their maps and have
their meetings in shelters, and we wanted to see how the lighting would affect
that especially, among other things."
Dr. Mahoney pointed out that one of the team's goals is to help shape
technology and material development. On this study, the Cognitive Science Team
collaborated with the Shelters Team and the Special Projects Team.
"This (study) was about helping material/product developers and
designers make decisions about the technology," said Hawes. "We were
trying to analyze different lighting systems. Currently, all the tents use
fluorescent lighting, and (the Shelters Team and the Special Projects Team
members) were trying to analyze three LED systems, which are newer lighting
technologies. They were analyzing them based on technological differences, such
as how long they last and how easy they are to set up. So the goal for our
project was to tie in how (the lighting choice) is actually affecting the
people sitting under the lighting, how is it affecting the Soldiers."
Mahoney said, "Ultimately, we want to provide information to predict a
Soldier's abilities in a given context, keep them safe, and optimize
Compared with fluorescent lighting, the NSRDEC researchers found that LED
lighting in a work environment seems to promote a positive mood, increased
alertness, and faster performance on cognitive and visual perception tasks. The
researchers found that soldiers working in fluorescent lighting tended to be
more fatigued, less alert, and more depressed over time. Soldiers under
fluorescent lighting also tended to have slower response times on cognitive
tasks that measured verbal and spatial memory.
"It's important to consider how we can make things so they can perform
their best and help ensure their well-being," Hawes said.
AMOLED Mobile Phone Panel Costs to Fall Below LCD, According to NPD DisplaySearch LIGHTimes News Staff
July 22, 2014...The difference in price between AMOLED mobile phone panels and TFT-LCD
panels is decreasing, according to NPD DisplaySearch. Production yields of
AMOLED mobile phone panels have reportedly helped reduce the cost difference.
According to the NPD DisplaySearch's OLED Technology Report, the cost of
manufacturing AMOLED panels is currently 10 to 20 percent higher than that of
However, the rapid improvement in AMOLED panel production yields is expected
to result in a lower manufacturing costs for AMOLED mobile phone panels than
LCD mobile phone panels within the next two years, according to NPD
DisplaySearch. The company points out that AMOLED panels were expected to cost
less than LCD panels from close to the beginning of their use in smartphone
displays because they do not require backlighting. However, production
challenges kept AMOLED yields low, increasing production costs. Therefore,
equivalent LCDs cost less. AMOLED panels became high-end products, due to their
high-color gamut, good contrast, and slimness. Production yield improvements
are expected to help broaden the adoption of AMOLED panels into smartphones.
"Until recently, there have been few breakthroughs in the production of
AMOLED displays, and the OLED industry seemed to be facing hard times,"
said Jimmy Kim, senior analyst of display materials and LED at NPD
DisplaySearch. "If AMOLED costs fall below LCDs, as expected, it would lead
to more opportunities for the OLED display industry, greater competition with
LCD, and more choices for consumers."
The company gives the current example of a 16 percent cost difference
between 5-inch AMOLED and LCD (1920 × 1080) mobile phone panels. NPD
DisplaySearch contends that AMOLED panel costs are expected to fall below LCD
panel costs when AMOLED production yields reach 90 percent. The company notes
that if further cost reductions for OLED materials are achieved, then the yield
required for AMOLED panels to be cheaper than LCD will be even lower.
Lakewood Church Upgrades Displays with Higher Resolution Daktronics LED Video Displays LIGHTimes News Staff
July 17, 2014...Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas got two new LED video displays from
Daktronics Inc. of Brookings, South Dakota USA. Daktronics designed,
manufactured and installed two new LED video displays to replace the existing
Daktronics displays with a higher resolution display that features 4-millimeter
line spacing in a full black package.
The church uses the displays to show inspirational images and stories during
service or reveal IMAG (Image Magnification) shots as well as live video of the
sermon and song lyrics that allow the congregation to follow along. The feed
shown on the new LED displays is the same video shown on the video displays
inside the church.
The display installation continues the nine-year relationship between
Lakewood Church and Daktronics. The installation employs the existing structure
to support the new displays that measure more than 12-feet high by 22-feet wide
that replaces the two previously installed 8-millimeter pitch displays
positioned on each side of the main service platform. Installing each display
took roughly five days between Dec. 1 and Dec. 13.
"We started tearing down one of the old displays after the final service
on Sunday and had the new display installed and operational before the Saturday
service at the end of the week," said Nathan McGillivray, Daktronics
project manager of the installation. "It was critical for Lakewood to have
zero display downtime, so we installed one display the first week and the other
display the following week. Services went off without a hitch and with full
video display functionality."
"After the displays were installed, the wardrobe and makeup departments
had to be notified of everything that was now visible on the new
high-definition displays," said Joel Henie, Daktronics sales
Henie said, "A trip to the recent installation at Saddleback Church
really helped confirm Lakewood's choice to upgrade with Daktronics."
The upgrade reportedly offers image clarity and contrast that now makes
everything much more visible to the audience, from lint on clothing to blotches
of makeup and powder.
NEP's Screenworks Launches Largest Mobile LED Screen Trailer in North America LIGHTimes News Staff
July 15, 2014...NEP's Screenworks of Corona, California announced that it introduced the
largest mobile LED screen trailer in North America. The National Hot Rod
Association (NHRA) will employ the screen trailer at all NHRA Mello Yello Drag
Racing Series events. The new screen trailer, called BigMo 4, includes an LED
display measuring 19 feet high by 33 feet wide with an additional 4-foot ad
banner around the entire perimeter. The display, which is an unprecedented size
for a trailer-based device, offers enhanced viewing for the on-site fans and
provides an integrated branding opportunity for NHRA and its sponsors.
"Having this new BigMo on site this season has definitely enhanced the
live race experience for our fans," said Jim Trace, NHRA's director of
broadcasting and video communications. "We want everyone at the track to
experience all of the drama of the race up close, and the massive screen on
BigMo 4 really works to amplify the action. With the addition of the ad
banners, we also have a really unique way of connecting the NHRA brand and our
sponsors to the fans while they are engaged, on site and having a great
BigMo 4 is part of a family of mobile LED display trailers that NEP
Screenworks designed and developed. These BigMos displays feature an enormous
LED screen that rises above the trailer's roof and can easily be adjusted and
turned to offer the optimal viewing angle. Also, they all supply their own
power and have a self-contained, climate-controlled production room. NEP
Screenworks designed the BigMos for use in large, open outdoor spaces for a
variety of major festivals, sporting events, and large outdoor civic events
such as NHRA, NASCAR and IRL races.
"Our fleet of BigMo LED screen trailers provide the perfect solution for
clients who need a quick, easy, large display solution to enhance a live
event," said Screenworks Director of Racing, Sam Artinger. "BigMo 4
will follow NHRA for the next four seasons, traveling to twenty-four races each
year. Because it is an entirely self-contained solution, it can set up in less
than two hours, cover the race live, and then easily pack up and drive to the
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