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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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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.

Up to 1.1 Gigabit per Second LiFi Transmission Using Micro LEDs is Possible Over 10 Meter Distance, According to Researchers
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 10, 2014...Harald Haas, a University of Edinburgh professor, chief science officer (CSO), and co-founder of pureLiFi, and his team demonstrated that up to 1.1 gigabit per second (Gbps) can now be transmitted using light from micro LEDs over a distance of 10 meters with less than 0.5W power. LiFi is a term reportedly coined by professor Haas in which light is used to transmit data wirelessly in a way that enables full networking capabilities similar to WiFi. However, LiFi has greater spatial reuse of bandwidth

The process uses just 5% of the power of a typical 10W LED light bulb. Therefore, lights can be dimmed while maintaining high LiFi data rates and coverage. Furthermore, the researchers found that the distance at which 1 Gbps is possible with a single color LED is 10 times larger than previously reported.

EPSRC funded the work as part of the Ultra Parallel-Visible Light Communications (UP-VLC) program grant. Haas collaborated with partners from the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde, the University of Glasgow, and the University of Oxford.

pureLiFi successfully demonstrated of the first commercial Li-Fi product, Li-1st, at MWC 2014 and CeBIT 2014 in March and added a second production run of the Li-1st to meet the demand from industry customers. The new production run is scheduled to ship this month. Haas founded pureLiFi (formerly pureVLC) as a spin-out from the University of Edinburg. The company produces LiFi drivers and receivers.

Professor Haas said, “Li-Fi is revolutionizing wireless communications and showing that Li-Fi can be the enabler of the emerging Internet of Everything. By transmitting data at speeds above 1 Gbps and record distances of 10 metres at a fraction of the power of typical LED bulbs, we continue to make the technological leaps and bounds that make Li-Fi a technology that could transform the way we use the internet in the near future.”

Tetris is Played on Cira Centre in Philadephia
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 8, 2014...Two sides of the 29-story Cira Centre in downtown Philadelphia were transformed into a giant game of Tetris as part of the kickoff to Philly Tech Week on Saturday. Sam Robinson was one of the lucky participants who got to play the famous game on the 100,000 square foot screen formed with LED lights. Tetris has been played on buildings before, but the size of the game on the north and south faces of the Cira Centre building may be a record.

“It has been probably 15 years since I played Tetris last on a Game Boy, and it’s much different playing on the side of building that’s a half-mile away,” Robinson said.

Organizers hoped that the grand exhibitiion would inspire players and onlookers to imagine technology's possibilities. The hundreds of LEDs mounted on the building's glass walls normally display patterns, but on Saturday night enormous shapes fell and piled up as players attempted to maneuver the falling puzzle pieces so that an entire row could be filled and then erased before the pieces piled up to the top.

Frank Lee, associate professor of digital media at Drexel University, oversaw the creation of the giant game on Cira Centre to celebrate the upcoming 30th anniversary of Tetris. Tetris was created by Russian computer programmer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984 and was eventually put on numerous gaming platforms. The game's popularity took off after it was put on the original Nintendo Gameboy.

Lee addressed a crowd of onlookers saying, “This project began as a personal love letter to the games that I loved when I was a child – Pong last year, Tetris this year, but it ended up as a way of uniting the city of Philadelphia." Lee previously set the Guinness World Record for the largest architectural video game display for playing Pong on one side of the Cira Centre last year.

Curved TV Screens Jump Into Global Market
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 8, 2014...NPD Display search forecasts that shipments of curved TVs will reach almost 800k units in 2014 and are predicted to be more than 6 million units by the end of 2017. According to the company, curved TV is a feature that is expected to reach its peak in LCD TVs in 2016. Then, growing shipments of OLED TVs are predicted to increase curved TV shipments in 2017.

After two straight years of declining revenue from the global TV market, brands are exploring numerous avenues to revitalize the business such as curved screens, OLED displays, and increased resolution (4K or Ultra-HD).

“The novelty of curved screens is expected to wear off with time, leading to shipments peaking and then trailing off,” said Paul Gray, director of European TV research for NPD DisplaySearch. “Even so, curved screens will have completed the important task of differentiating new high-end models, thereby helping to boost overall value in the global television market.”

Curved LCD displays first emerged at IFA 2013. Samsung, LGE, and several Chinese brands showed curved screen LCD TV models at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but the companies are hedging their bets with other features. “Brands are not staking their futures only in curved screens or any other single feature, but are instead exploring a whole mix of features to attract TV buyers,” Gray noted.

OLED TVs are getting much attention, but they still face significant manufacturing difficulties. NPD Display Search says that at best only 100K will ship in 2014, and annual shipments are expected to reach only over in 2016.

“LCD has proved a tough act to beat, because it is a mature, efficiently-manufactured technology, with a surprising amount of room for innovation,” according to Gray.

Companies are racing to get the best screen resolution. This year, Netflix announced 4K streaming services to support expansion of the category. The number of ultra-high-definition (UHD) 4K TVs shipped in 2014 are forecast to exceed 12M units and increase to 62 million in 2017. China will reportedly dominate demand and shipments of 4K TVs with an 83% share of 4K TV shipments in 2013, falling to 46% in 2017, as other countries catch up. “4K TV is currently grabbing a lot of headlines, but it would not have been possible to deliver 4K, had there not been investment in connected TVs, over the past five years,” Gray said.

Hella Puts Shaped OLEDs in Prototype Automotive Rear Lamp
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 3, 2014...German automotive lighting company Hella, has used bent OLED modules in a prototype for combination rear lamps. A total of 28 of these differently shaped OLED modules produce three-dimensional, illuminated structures. LG Chem and BMW collaborated with Hella to develop the prototype design , which was unveiled at Light + Building 2014. This design sample will be showcased at the stand of the OLED specialist, LG Chem.

OLEDs, which are made up of are very thin, organic, semi-conductor layers, generate light over a complete area. The OLED's bent shape is made from a flexible OLED substrate. Hella notes that the flexible OLED can be made into virtually three-dimensional shapes with bend radii of just a few millimeters. Hella reports that it is in the process of developing technologies for a rigid, bent OLED module.

S+H Starcloth Serves as Backdrop for Crufts Dog Show
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 3, 2014...S+H Technical of Devon, UK, built a custom ‘Crufts’ LED sign and supplied quantities of its standard RGB LED starcloth for the main show ring of the 2014 edition of the world’s largest dog show. Crufts was staged at Birmingham, UK’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC), the LG Arena. The Kennel Club initiated the idea of the sign and the starcloth. The starcloth was first used in 2012 by Jon Pope, the show’s lighting designer since 2009. The star cloth creates a highly visible and flexible ‘Crufts’ identity in the form of the color changing sign that has augmented the background of all the presentations in the ring.

The main show ring served as the hub of the action for all four days of the event which culminates in the renowned ‘Best in Show’ competition. It is broadcast on More 4 and Channel 4 national TV and also streamed daily on YouTube. Pope wanted to complement the show's lighting for the ring with a dramatic backdrop. He need something that could change the mood and feel of the space and would look great on camera, especially as a visual filler for the ‘back’ of the shots. Pope had to satisfy the demands of both the live event, and the live TV coverage. At the same time, he had to give all involved ideal conditions in which to work.

The S+H RGB starcloth, which measured 30 meters wide by 10 meters high, formed the main backdrop along the closed sides of the ring. Three 3 x 3 by 4.5 meter runs of RGB Starcloth clad one of the TV camera towers that was also frequently in shots from other cameras.

The custom Crufts sign was made up from ShowLED RGB LEDs, with a 40mm pitch and approximately 1200 lights. It measured 6.5 metres in length with a 2.5 meter drop, and 8 -channel controls enabled full color mixing, and chasing, etc.... The sign was prominently displayed throughout the duration of the event. The starcloths and the sign were DMX controlled by Pope via his ETC Congo lighting console, through which he also controlled the generic lighting system.

Pope commented that S+H's pricing was competitive and that they were “Very helpful and constructive in making suggestions about how the Crufts starcloth should be built.” He added that both the starcloth and the Crufts logo brought an “Impressive backdrop to the event, which looked great on camera.” Both items gave him a large back-cloth and enabled him to “Greatly enhance the lighting and ambience of the space.”

S+H’s Terry Murtha commented, “He had a very clear idea of what he wanted and listened and took onboard our ideas and experience in this specialist area. The results looked truly spectacular!”

Pope worked on the show which was directed by Nick Brooks-Ward, with Moving Light Operator Phil Cole and Production LX Nigel Hollowell Howard. Rental company Neg Earth supplied all the lighting equipment. Crufts 2014 ‘Best In Show’ winner was Ricky the standard poodle.

Consumer Demand for LED Backlight Falters as Demand for LED Lighting Rises
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 3, 2014...While demand for LED chips for backlight applications in display screens is expected to decline, both LED lighting sales and total shipments of LED chips are increasing. According to NPD DisplaySearch, worldwide LED lighting chip sales are expected to rise from $1.1 billion in 2013 to $3.4 billion in 2017. The company forecasts that overall LED chip demand (measured in standard units of 500 × 500 micron chip size) is expected to grow from 17 billion in 2012 to 61 billion in 2014. However, NPD Display Search predicts the market for LED backlight chips for TVs and other display applications will begin declining after 2014.

The company says a combination of slower growth in LED-backlit LCD TV sales and efficiency increases have resulted in a reduction in the number of chips used per backlight and the demand. LED backlight chip sales reached $2.0 billion in 2013, but are NPD DisplaySearch expects them to decrease to $1.4 billion in 2017. However, the company points out that consumer demand for LED lighting has increased since 2012, and the company expects it to continue growing through 2017.

"LED market observers have been expecting huge growth in the LED lighting market for a long time, and it's finally here," said Steven Sher, LED backlight and lighting analyst for NPD DisplaySearch. "Significant growth in consumer lighting is helping to keep the LED market on an upward trajectory, even with ongoing declines in backlight demand."

Tulane University to Get Daktronics System for Football Stadium
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 1, 2014...Daktronics will design, manufacture, and install a new video display system for Tulane University. Installation is expected to be completed before the start of the Green Wave's 2014 football season. The system will be installed at the football team's new home, Yulman Stadium, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

"Tulane has been very pleased in working with Daktronics and the capabilities their scoreboard system will offer, " said Jim Alty, vice president of facilities management and campus development at Tulane University. "The scoreboard should not only provide state-of-the-art viewing for fans, but also enhance other events planned for Yulman Stadium."

In the south end zone, the main video display located will feature a 15HD pixel layout and will measure about 95 feet wide and 20 feet high. It will have wide angle visibility along with excellent image clarity and contrast. The system reportedly offers multiple levels of protection from the elements. The display can show one large image to highlight live video and instant replays and can be divided into separate windows to show vivid graphics, colorful animations, statistics, scoring information, and sponsor advertisements.

The installation includes two ribbon displays along the seating fascia that measure approximately 4 feet high by 128 feet wide. Another ribbon display measuring approximately 4 feet high by 25 feet wide is also included. The ribbon displays have 20 millimeter line spacing. The smaller ribbon display will be focused on providing closed captioning for the games.

Daktronics is including its Show Control System with the installation. The Show Control system combines display control software, video processing, data integration, and playback hardware for user-friendly production. Daktronics Creative Services will help Tulane create digital content consisting of a Tulane's specified mixture of sponsorship messages, crowd prompts, headshots, game openers and venue announcements.

Philips and Saint-Gobain Ecophon Launch Ceiling Lighting Attuned to Body's Circadian Rhythm
LIGHTimes News Staff

March 26, 2014...Philips and Saint-Gobain Ecophon, a supplier of acoustic systems is launching a new version of their jointly developed light emitting ceiling. The new active SoundLight Comfort Ceiling Tunable White is designed to promote vitality and productivity through leveraging the human body’s natural circadian rhythm.

The luminaire system incorporates programmable lighting controls. Throughout the work day, the lighting controls change the brightness and warmth of office lighting to simulate daylight. Simulating daylight can reportedly help reverse a person's feeling of diminished energy from being stuck inside. SoundLight Comfort Ceiling Tunable White simulates ‘daylight'. This simulated daylight helps the body maintain its natural connection to the sun.

“Saint-Gobain Ecophon and Philips jointly developed and released SoundLight Comfort Ceiling in 2012. Now with dynamic lighting we take the next step towards an optimum working conditions when it comes to light and sound absorption, enabling people to perform at their best and keep the balance in their biorhythm,” said Gert-Jan van Doormalen, president of the Ecophon Group.

After the product's launch in 2012, research done at the Stress Research Institute of Stockholm University examined the effects of the SoundLight Comfort Ceiling on employee well-being and comfort in the workplace. According to the findings, nine out of ten office workers agreed that SoundLight Comfort Ceiling contributed to an environment in which they like to work. Additionally, the majority of those involved in the research stated that the ceiling created an atmosphere that was more stimulating, lively and inspiring than the conventional lighting that they used previously. Office workers who tested the SoundLight Comfort Ceiling experienced greater visual comfort than those when they used traditional office lighting.

“Many people suffer from light deficiency especially in the winter; have sleeping problems, are more tired, and even depressed as a result, ’’ said associate professor, Arne Lowden, Stockholm University, Stress Research Institute. “The preliminary results using SoundLight Comfort Ceiling show that employees feel less stressed and more energetic as a result of improved lighting.”

‘’Innovation at Philips is based on our understanding of how light can be used to positively impact people – we know it can soothe, energize and relax us, aiding productivity and concentration, ’’ said Menno Kleingeld from Philips Lighting. ‘’We applied this knowledge to develop SoundLight Comfort Ceiling Tunable White in partnership with Saint-Gobain Ecophon, to help create comfortable and inspiring workplaces.’’

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