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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Cree Lowers System Costs with New SC5 Platform and XBH50 LED
LIGHTimes News Staff
October 23, 2014...Cree, Inc. has introduced an LED with the company's SC5 Technology™
Platform. The new platform powers the company's Extreme High Power (XHP) LEDs.
As with their previous LED developments, Cree has begun approaching LEDs not as
the biggest contributor to the cost of a lighting system, but as one of several
contributors including the heatsink and the optics. This approach has lead Cree
to create smaller and brighter LEDs that operate at higher temperatures. The
approach has further lead Cree to develop its XHB50, which the company says
doubles light output and greatly lowers system cost. Cree claims its new class
of LEDs can reduce system costs by up to 40 percent in most lighting
The SC5 platform and the new class of LEDs use the company's silicon carbide
technology. Silicon carbide allows the LEDs to operate at higher temperature
(up to 105 degrees C). At the same time, the new LED has double the light
output of previous iterations with the same efficiency, but in the same
footprint. The LED on silicon carbide that can run at higher temperatures does
not need as large of a heatsink. This translates to lower cost for the
heatsink. Furthermore, the higher output and higher lumen density means that
fewer LEDs are needed for each application, and these take up less PCB space
and have a lower PCB mounting cost (because there are fewer). In turn, this
translates to smaller and less expensive optics.
Cree says its advancements in epitaxial structure and chip architecture go
into the SC5 platform. The XHP50 runs on either 6- or 12-Volts, and has a new
solder pad layout that allows either 6- or 12-volt operation without additional
The first of the new class of LEDs is the XBH50. The XBH50 has an L90 of
50,000 hours. According to Cree, the longer projected lifetime comes from the
LED's ability to operate at up to 105 degrees C. The XHP50 LED delivers up to
2250 lumens at 19 watts from a 5.0x5.0 mm package. Cree contends that at its
maximum current, the XHP50 provides twice the light output of the
industry’s brightest single-die LED, the XLamp XM-L2 LED, at a similar
lumens per watt and without increasing the package footprint.
Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO said, “The SC5
Technology™ Platform redefines what is possible in high-power LEDs by
doubling the lumens out of a single LED, giving lighting manufacturers the
flexibility to innovate significantly lower cost systems. This new platform
establishes a new benchmark for LED lumens per wafer, which we believe will
define the long-term success of our industry. This also validates our belief
that high-power LED technology enables the best lighting system designs and a
better lighting experience for end customers.”
“LEDs are no longer the most expensive portion of an LED lighting
system, but they fundamentally determine the overall system performance and
cost,” said Dave Emerson, vice president and general manager for
Cree LEDs. “While other LED manufacturers only promise incrementally
lower LED cost, our new Extreme High Power (XHP) LEDs leveraging the SC5
Technology™ Platform directly address the increased burden that thermal,
mechanical and optical elements now place on total system cost.”
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
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
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
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.
Styron Launches New Plastic Resins for LED Lighting
LIGHTimes News Staff
October 23, 2014...Styron, a materials company based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania showcased its
plastics for the LED Lighting industry during Strategies in Light Europe 2014
at the M.O.C. Event Center in Munich, Germany from October 21–23, 2014.
The company is also launching its EMERGE 8830 Advanced Resins. Styron claims
that its EMERGE 8830 resins balance transparency, flame retardancy and
thickness, enabling thinner gauge applications. The material is UL94 rated V-0
at 1.0mm and 5VA at 2.5mm.
Styron offers other resins including transparent, light diffusion and
ignition resistant grades used in lenses, optics, diffusers, reflectors and
Styron previously announced plans to change the name of all Styron
affiliated companies to Trinseo. Styron companies that have not completed this
process will continue to do business as Styron until their respective name
changes are complete. Styron's operating companies also continue to do business
as Styron at this time.
Philips Lumileds Launches New Luxeon CoB LEDs for Spotlights
LIGHTimes News Staff
October 21, 2014...Philips Lumileds has introduced a new compact COB LED array with a small 6.5
mm light-emitting surface that is ideal for spotlights. The small Luxeon CoB
1202 array boasts the highest center beam candle power available. The company
says that its small size makes it perfect for PAR and other directional lamps.
The Luxeon CoB 1202s is also available with Philips Lumileds' CrispWhite
Technology, which the company says produces a high color rendering index and
for rich whites, vibrant reds and other colors.
“The 1202s lifts the bar even higher by producing light output in
a smaller, 6.5 mm LES that was only possible previously in 9 mm LES arrays. In
addition, the 1202s does so with a superior CBCP, delivering 65,000 candelas at
a 10˚ beam angle,” said Ahmed Eweida, product manager for the
Luxeon CoB line.
The company first introduced its CrispWhite Technology for retail lighting
in July 2014.
“The response has been tremendous. Shop owners and their customers
clearly prefer LED lighting with CrispWhite over CDM and halogen,”
said Eric Senders, Product Line Director.
The Luxeon CoB range including the 1202s is available in a very warm, 2200K
version for applications requiring a candlelight-like glow. Philips Lumileds
says lighting designers are using the Luxeon CoB 1202s to produce highly
reliable directional lamps. The company has published a full list of compatible
drivers, optics and holders to help speed the time-to-market for downlights and
Flip Chip LEDs and Chip Scale Packaging for LEDs Are Altering Supply Chain, According to Yole Development
LIGHTimes News Staff
October 21, 2014...The product quality of Chinese LED manufacturers has increased to the point
where they are competitive with other global producers of LEDs for general
lighting. In this competitive LED chip market, LED chip manufacturers hope to
improve efficacy, decrease cost, and increase color consistency, according to
Yole Development. Yole asserts that Several LED producers have begun focusing
on Flip Chip (FC) LEDs because of their distinct advantages over vertical LEDs
and conventional horizontally-aligned chips (MESA). Some advantages of FC LEDs
include: a smaller package, the ability to be driven at a higher current and
wire-bonding free design. FC LEDs also tend to have higher efficacy, improved
color consistency, and lower cost.
“The combination of cost reduction and advanced packaging
technologies such as Flip Chip and Chip Scale Package, is changing the LED
industry landscape, especially its supply chain,” Yole reported.
Yole points out that although companies such as Lumileds have employed the
technology for some time, technical and technological barriers such as low
yield regarding bumping/ eutectic process, and the high cost of packaging
equipment limited its adoption industry-wide. However, Yole says the technology
has gradually caught on in flash, backlighting, and lighting markets, becoming
one the most important developing technolgies in the LED sector this year.
“Whereas Flip Chip LED represented only 11% of overall high power
LED packaging in 2013, we expect this component to represent 34% by 2020. Flip
Chip LED will take market share from vertical LED that will represent 27% of
overall high power LED packages by 2020,” said Pars Mukish, senior
market & technology analyst, at Yole Development.
In addition to providing an increased “performance / cost” ratio
in metrics such as lumens/dollar, Flip Chip LEDs are also a key technology that
can enable the development of Chip Scale Packaging (CSP), which is expected to
further reduce costs as chip scale packaging did in silicon ICs. Essentially, a
CSP represents is a single chip, direct-mountable package that is the same size
as the chip. In LEDs CSPs are comprised of a blue FC LED die with a phosphor
layer coating. The primary application of such LED packages is in general
CSPs offer advantages such as better thermal contact to substrates, and
reduced size. However, CSP have eliminated several process steps of traditional
LED packaging, and have prompted some LED chip manufacturers to supply their
products directly to LED module manufacturers. Yole Development sees this as a
growing trend predicting that in the middle and long term, this technology
could make chip manufacturers supply directly to module manufacturers.
Yole says that overall, the rise of FC LEDs and chip-scale packaging is good
news for some, bad news for others. The company predicts that the LED packaging
materials market will grow by a factor x1.5 during the period 2014-2019, driven
by package substrate, phosphor and encapsulant / optic material.
Rutgers Researchers Devise Method for Systematically Creating Rare-Earth Metal Free Phosphor Family
LIGHTimes News Staff
October 21, 2014...Researchers at Rutgers University have devised a light converter (phosphor)
that is not based upon rare earth metals. Such rare metals have few sources and
primarily come from China. Instead of using phosphors such as cerium-doped
yttrium aluminum garnet or (YAG):Ce3, the researchers have developed an
inorganic–organic hybrid phosphor family based on I–VII binary
semiconductors. According to the researchers their hybrid phosphor materials do
not require rare-earth metals. The researchers published their findings in the
Journal of the
American Chemical Society.
The researchers assert that they can be produced using a simple, low-cost
solution process that is easily scalable. The material's emission energy and
band gap, color and intensity can reportedly be systematically tuned. The
researchers noted that the tuning process requires the incorporation of ligands
with suitable electronic properties.
The researchers indicated that some of the compounds that they developed
achieved High quantum efficiency. Therefore, the researchers claim that these
hybrid phosphor materials are promising candidates for eventually replacing
phosphors for general lighting devices.
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
DOE Announces Grants Totaling $10 Million for SSL R&D
LIGHTimes News Staff
October 17, 2014...The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is offering a total of $10 million for
SSL Development. The DOE announced the funding opportunity on October 14, 2014.
The funding from the (DE-FOA-0001171), will go towards the three existing DOE
SSL R&D program areas: Core Technology Research, Product Development, and
The Core Technology Research program attempts to apply fundamental
scientific concepts to SSL technology improvements. The DOE's SSL Product
Development program intends to use the knowledge from basic or applied research
to develop or improve commercially viable SSL systems, devices and materials.
The goal of the DOE's SSL Manufacturing Technology program is to accelerate SSL
technology adoption through improvements and innovations in manufacturing
innovations that increase consistency and quality while reducing costs.
DOE plans to choose up to ten projects. Concept papers are due by November
14, and applications are due by January 15. In addition, the National Energy
Technology Laboratory will hold a webinar about the funding opportunity
announcement on October 24 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. More information about the
funding opportunity and the webinar is available at the FOA
Some of the goals of the research and development include maximizing energy
efficiency of SSL products and improving lighting performance, lifetime, and
color quality. Additionally, the DOE hopes the funding will help reduce
luminaire and SSL source costs and maintaining high quality while improving
consistency. The DOE also intends for the funding to encourage sustainability,
growth, and leadership in domestic U.S. manufacturing.
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