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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.


Mercedes-Benz CLS Class Uses Oslon Compact LEDs for Adaptive Front Lighting
LIGHTimes News Staff

October 31, 2014...Mercedes-Benz has equipped its new CLS Class automobiles with adaptive front lighting systems with Oslon Compact LEDs from Osram Opto Semiconductors. The company says that the very compact, high-power LEDs, which measure 1.6mm by 1.2 mm, can be placed very close together in the headlight systems for adaptive front lighting. In addition to this current project, Osram and Daimler are collaborating to devise future automotive lighting systems as partners in the µAFS research project that the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) sponsors.

The adaptive front lighting system for the new CLS reportedly helps increase visibility in every situation. Each module within the headlight consists of 24 LEDs that use the company's UX:3 chip technology to achieve high luminous efficacy even at high currents. The modules can be arranged close together in the headlight with a high degree of flexibility. Osram Opto notes that these LEDs therefore provide the basis for both AFS and light guide solutions.

A camera mounted on the windshield covers the area in front of the vehicle. From this camera four controllers select which LEDs to brighten, which to dim, and which to turn off completely to achieve the ideal light distribution. The controllers perform calculations based on the input from the camera 100 times per second to determine the best lighting for the driver.

Osram Opto Semiconductors Launches Displix Oval for Outdoor LED Displays
LIGHTimes News Staff

October 30, 2014...Osram Opto Semiconductors has introduced a surface-mountable, oval-shaped LED for outdoor displays called Displix Oval. It measures just 2.1 x 2.7 x 1.5 mm. The company contends that this small footprint allows almost twice as many LEDs to be mounted on a board than with ordinary radial diodes, doubling both the pixel density and the display resolution. According to Osram Opto the higher pixel density and resolution results in extremely vivid images with high color homogeneity.

The company points out that the high pixel density allows lower brightness for individual pixels. Therefore, individual LEDs can operate on lower current. Furthermore, the company says that combined with the durable packaging materials, the lower required output extends the lifetime of the LEDs.

The Displix Oval has a black QFN (Quad Flat No Leads) housing, which the company claims reduces reflections and increases the contrast and color quality of the images displayed on the entire display.

“Being surface mounted, SMT LEDs like the Displix Oval have very low tilt tolerances per diode. A display fitted with the new LEDs hence has a stable and very homogenous color appearance when viewed from virtually any angle,” said Sven Weber, who is in charge of product marketing of the Displix Oval at Osram Opto Semiconductors.

According to the company, both the processes and the processing of the Displix Oval are much simpler than with radial LEDs, greatly reducing OEM customers’ further processing costs.

Additionally, the very flat Displix Oval requires less silicone for the potting of the boards to protect the contacts from rain and moisture. This enables customers to reduce the amount of material used, which again has a considerable impact on their outlays. The LED has beam angles of 110° (horizontal) and 60° (vertical). Red and yellow offer 1 candela, the green version delivers 2.6 candela, and the blue provides 600 milli-candela.

LG Announces End of Plasma TV Business
LIGHTimes News Staff

October 30, 2014...LG Electronics of South Korea has officially announced the wind down and end of its Plasma TV business, which will be by November. According to a Reuter's article, LG Electronics revealed in regulatory filing that demand has declined in for plasma TVs. LG said that the Plasma TV business currently accounts for only about 2.4 percent of its revenue. LCD TVs have taken over the global market, and OLED TVs are beginning to gain a foothold in the high-end TV market.

Reuters cited analysts who said that plasma displays were unable to compete with the advances in screen resolutions and the lower power consumption of LCD-TVs. LED backlit and edge lit TVs are starting to gain market share as well.

Market research firm, NPD DisplaySearch predicted in July that global plasma TV shipments will decline to 500,000 in 2015, which is more than a 90 percent drop off from the 5.2 million in 2014.

Samsung remains the only major display maker to still produce plasma TVs. Panasonic reportedly exited the Plasma TV business last October.

Study Finds LED Lighting Can Increase Production in Hot, Un-Air Conditioned Factories
LIGHTImes News Staff

October 30, 2014...One often overlooked but important benefit of LED lighting is that it produces less heat than competing lighting technologies. For this reason, LED lighting can boost productivity in factories in already hot climates without air conditioning, according to researchers led by Achyuta Adhvaryu, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Un-airconditioned multi-story buildings are apparently also common in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and other major exporters in the $200 billion apparel industry.

The researchers examined the lighting related electricity costs, temperature, and productivity at 25 garment factories in Bangalore, India from 2010 to 2013.

"Heat stress stops the body's capacity to exert, so workers are less able to complete production targets," said Adhvaryu.

They reported that Hundreds of Workers labor at machines that run constantly in multi-story buildings without air conditioning. The researchers assert that finding ways to keep factories cooler will become increasingly challenging for businesses in developing countries, which on average are hotter than developed nations.

The researchers studied the staggered rollout of the LED lights in the factories over four years. They found the LEDs cost about $6,300 to install, and the energy savings was about $3,000 per year.

They found an average increase of about $41 per operating day for each factory. This translates to nearly $13,000 per factory per year.

"LEDs create a productivity gain that dwarfs the energy savings," Adhvaryu said.

Namrata Kala of Yale University and Anant Nyshadam of the University of Southern California were co-authors of the study.

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.

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