Guest Commentary: Sapphire Substrate Advances Lead To Brighter LEDs at Lower Costs
... The adoption of solid-state lighting is fueling market growth for high-brightness LEDs. It's a competitive market, and each manufacturer is looking for the keys to greater light output at a lower cost. In recent years, the most significant advance in cost per lumen has been the adoption of patterned...
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Plessey Achieves 120 lm/W with GaN-on-Si LEDs in Lab and its GaN-on-Si LEDs to Power 8point3's Linear Lighting Products
LIGHTimes News Staff
November 20, 2014...Plessey Semiconductor of Plymouth, UK reports that the company has agreed to
supply its gallium nitride on silicon MaGIC (Manufactured on GaN-on-Si I/C)
high-brightness LEDs to UK-based LED luminaire producer 8point3 Ltd. 8point3
plans to use the Plessey LEDs in its new Sabre Architectural range of LED
linear lighting products, which will be officially labeled ‘Made in
Britain'. Plessey asserts that that recent performance improvements in its
MaGIC LEDs have made them competitive with any LED technology.
In related news, Plessey announced that its GaN-on-Si MaGIC high-brightness
LED technology has achieved light output of 120 lumens per watt with over 50%
light output efficiency.
8point3's Sabre Architectural luminaires employ remote phosphor with a
unique light emission design that provides what the company claims to be high
system efficiencies and economic life. The Sabre Architectural luminaires come
in a wide range of color temperatures, and are said to deliver a uniform and
diffuse luminance and appearance without reflections or pixilation. The Sabre
Architectural luminaires offer lighting for high lumen areas.
“A technology agreement has also been reached, whereby Plessey
will design bespoke LED solutions in the UK to complement 8point3’s
ongoing lighting projects,” said Mark Pinnock, Plessey’s
regional sales manager for Northern Europe and account manager for 8point3.
Plessey’s range of products for lighting applications is being
showcased at LuxLive (the UK’s biggest lighting show) at ExCel London
Plessey hopes to achieve even greater lm/Watt efficiency soon. Plessey chief
technology officer Keith Strickland commented, “Whilst 120 lumens per
watt for an LED may be considered ‘acceptable’ to industry, we must
remember that we have doubled our LED light output in the past six
“I see no reason why we cannot reach state-of-the-art in LED die
output performance within the next six months. This current process technology
will become the base for our Application Specific LEDs, the ASLED that bridges
the gap between the LED component suppliers and the solid-state lighting
fixture designers and OEMs,” Strickland continued.
“The combination of expertise and a sustained period of light
output performance improvement in the core LED material is due to our holistic
approach to LED development - our in-house experts in epitaxy growth, process
development and die design all working together,” said operations
director Mike Snaith. “This way of working will continue and
strengthen as we drive towards the next generation of higher-efficiency,
silicon-based integrated LED solutions and away from discrete, plastic-packaged
Researchers Create Heat Sensitive Color Converter to Produce Warmer Light
LIGHTimes News Staff
November 20, 2014...Researchers from the Netherlands have found a novel method to efficiently
emit warm white light from LEDs.“We demonstrated a seemingly simple
– but in fact sophisticated – way to create LED lights that change
in a natural way to a cozy, warm white color when dimmed,” said Hugo
Cornelissen, a principal scientist in the Optics Research Department at Philips
Research Eindhoven, a Royal Philips corporate research entity in the
Netherlands. Cornelissen and his team from Eindhoven University of Technology,
Netherlands detail their new LEDs in an article published in the Optical
Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Optics Express.
Incandescent lamps naturally emit warmer colors when dimmed. Cornelissen
pointed out that our general preference for redder colors in low-light
situations might have developed far back in time, when humans
“experienced the daily rhythm of sunrise, bright daylight at noon,
and sunset, each with their corresponding color temperatures.”
Unlike incandescent lamps, LEDs don’t normally change color at
different light intensities. Other groups have used multiple color LEDs and
complex dimmer control circuitry to make lights turn redder as the power is
reduced. The added complexity requires multiple components that can increase
the cost and the risk of failure, and mixing light emission from multiple LEDs
without creating light artifacts such as color shadows is tricky.
The scientists noticed that when they embedded LEDs in coated textiles or
transparent materials, the color of the emitted light would sometimes
“After finding the root cause of these effects and quantitatively
understanding the observed color shift, we thought of a way to turn the
undesired color changes into a beneficial feature,” Cornelissen
They began with white LEDs made from a blue LED and a phosphor. Essentially,
the phosphor absorbs and then re-emits the blue light as white.
Cornelissen and his team knew that if more blue light is absorbed and
re-emitted then the color of the white light could be shifted toward the warmer
end of the spectrum if more of the blue light is absorbed and re-emitted by the
phosphor. The paper describes how they developed a novel, temperature-dependent
way of creating a color shift towards the warmer white.
The group produced a coating that combined liquid crystal and polymeric
material that scatters light when relatively cool but becomes transparent if it
is heated above 48 degrees Celsius (approximately 118 degrees Fahrenheit). At
the high temperature, the liquid crystal molecules rearrange and make the
After the team covered the LEDs with the material and increased the power
enough to make the coating transparent, the LEDs emitted a cold white light.
However, when they reduced the power, the coating restructured itself into a
scattering material that bounced back more of the blue light into the phosphor,
creating a warmer light. The group later fine-tuned the LED design and used
multiple phosphors to create lights that comply with industry lighting
standards across a range of currents and colors.
“We might see products on the market in two years, but first
we’ll have to prove reliability over time,” Cornelissen said.
“That is one of the important things to do next.”
Cal Poly Partners with Daktronics to Update Arena
LIGHTimes News Staff
November 20, 2014...California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) has partnered with
Daktronics of Brookings, South Dakota, to install LED displays and tables at
Robert A. Mott Athletics Center this fall in San Luis Obispo, California.
"These new video displays and LED tables add excitement and provide our
fans a game-day experience we have never had at Cal Poly. And our association
with Daktronics over the years has been very positive," said Cal Poly
Director of Athletics Don Oberhelman.
A main video display, which features surface mounted RGB LEDs at 10mm
spacing, was mounted at each end of the arena. Each display measures about 11
feet high and 22 feet wide. The 3-in-1 SMDLED package reportedly allows tighter
pixel spacing and wide-angle viewing.
These displays are capable of showing live video and instant replays, but
can also be divided into multiple sections to highlight timely statistics and
scoring information, sponsor messages, and other graphics and animations.
Eight LED scorer's tables measuring 2 feet high by 9 feet wide with 10mm
line spacing placed along the sidelines offer additional opportunities to show
game information statistics and sponsor ads.
Eric Cain, Daktronics sales representative said,"This integrated system
will deliver an outstanding game-day experience to every seat in Mott Athletics
Center. We are excited for the major impact this video system has on Mustangs
fans, sponsors and student athletes."
In addition to the equipment installation, Cal Poly received a bank of hours
for content creation from Daktronics in-house creative team, Daktronics
Creative Services, which will produce and deliver content at the request of the
Carnegie Mellon Researchers Create New Form of Silicon with Potential for Solar and LEDs
LIGHTimes News Staff
November 20, 2014...While direct band gap materials can effectively absorb and emit light,
indirect band gap materials, like diamond-structured silicon, cannot. A team of
researchers at Carnegie Mellon university headed by Timothy Strobel, have
created a new form of silicon with a quasi-direct band gap that falls within
the desired range for solar absorption. The silicon they created is an
allotrope, a different physical form of the same element. The silicon consists
of a zeolite-type structure that is comprised of channels with five-, six- and
eight-membered silicon rings.
The researchers created the new silicon with a novel high-pressure precursor
process. First, the team produced a compound of silicon and sodium, Na4Si24
under high-pressure. Then, the compound was brought back down to ambient
pressure. Next, it was heated under a vacuum to completely remove the sodium.
According to the researchers, the resulting pure silicon allotrope, Si24, can
absorb, and potentially emit, light far more effectively than conventional
diamond-structured silicon. Si24 is stable at ambient pressure to at least 842
degrees Fahrenheit (450 degrees Celsius).
“High-pressure precursor synthesis represents an entirely new
frontier in novel energy materials,”stated Strobel. “Using
the unique tool of high pressure, we can access novel structures with real
potential to solve standing materials challenges. Here we demonstrate
previously unknown properties for silicon, but our methodology is readily
extendible to entirely different classes of materials. These new structures
remain stable at atmospheric pressure, so larger-volume scaling strategies may
be entirely possible.”
“This is an excellent example of experimental and theoretical
collaboration,” said Kim. “Advanced electronic structure
theory and experiment have converged to deliver a real material with exciting
prospects. We believe that high-pressure research can be used to address
current energy challenges, and we are now extending this work to different
materials with equally exciting properties.”
The research work was supported by DARPA and Energy Frontier Research in
Extreme Environments (EFree), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science. Portions of the work were
performed at HPCAT, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory. HPCAT
operations are supported by DOE-NNSA and DOE-BES, with partial funding by the
Litecool LineX LED module Provides 3000-lm Linear Lighting
SSL Design News Staff
November 18, 2014...Litecool Inc. of Sheffield, UK, reported that its LineX modules offer 3000
lumens at 135 lm/Watt. The company says that the LineX modules' performance
enables more high powered lighting applications with maximum reliability.
According to Litecool, the LineX module is ideal for a wide range linear
lighting applications in retail, architecture, and industry. Litecool uses the
company's proprietary thermal packaging around Intematix remote phosphor
technology. LineX modules that are 4000K, have an Ra 90 and operate at 135
lumens per watt. The remote phosphor technology from Intematix produces a
uniform lighting effect with no hot spots or color variance.
“LineX modules enable luminaire manufactures to produce a new
generation of lighting fixtures for high lumen output applications,”
said James Reeves, Litecool CEO, “Not only are they exceptionally
bright, but they are also very uniform in appearance and combined with our
thermal engineering can create miniature form factors helping luminaire
manufactures reduce bill of material costs across the entire
Litecool’s Linex modules now come in 5000, 4000, 3500, 3000, and 2500K
corrected color temperatures (CCTs) and in standard lengths of 1000, 600, and
Fujitsu Laboratories Develops LED Lighting Technology that Transmits Data
LIGHTimes News Staff
November 18, 2014...Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. based in Kawasaki, Japan, announced that it has
development a technology that can embed ID data in light from LEDs or other
light sources onto objects. The technology allows a smartphone camera with an
app to recover this ID data. Unlike RF related technologies that can go through
object in a wide area, data can be conveyed to an individual object. Also
unlike RF ID technology, it is limited to line-of-site.
The lighting transmits the data. What is unique about the Fujitsu Laboratory
system is that in addition to transmitting the data in on and off oscillations,
the data can be transmitted in very small color modulations with the RGB LEDs.
Another unique thing about the Fujitsu system is that it does its best to
compensate for light being reflected off an object or absorbed to ensure more
accurate data transmission.
The system does not apparently use LiFi, but it employs a proprietary method
of light-based data transmission that creates tiny color changes that are
essentially imperceptible to people, but can be captured with a cell phone
The technology can make RGB-based LED lights act like a location beacon that
transmits location data to anyone with a smart device and a camera. This can be
combined with GPS or other data transmission methods such as WiFi or
Currently, the technology is just one-way transmission to a camera. However,
in theory at a store, a smartphone app could receive the location data from a
fixture, and figure out the location in the store. Then, the app could connect
with a server through WiFi. The server could be linked to a database that
reveals the smartphone user's ID.
It can also link with information about what the person purchased
previously, and what sales are going on for the products that are on the
shelves around the person. This technology appears similar to a technology
previously detailed by Philips, but it uses color modulations. This Fujitsu
technology will be exhibited at Fujitsu Forum 2014, running November 19-20 in
eMagin Awarded R&D Contract to Develop OLED Microdisplay Backplane Technology
LIGHTimes News Staff
November 18, 2014...eMagin Corporation, a developer of OLED microdisplays and virtual imaging
technologies previously announced in the first half of October a total of $6.8
million in new R&D contract awards. Today, eMagin announced that $800,000 of that total is a contract to develop an advanced backplane technology
for use with eMagin's OLED microdisplays. Funding for the award is through the
US Army RDECOM CERDEC Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD)
Science and Technology (S&T) Division and Naval Air Systems Command. The
$750,000 contract will be executed over the next eleven months.
"This advanced backplane will enable significant performance
improvements in the OLED device including more than 30% reduction in power
consumption compared to the existing backplane technology," said Andrew
Sculley, eMagin CEO. "This backplane program will play an integral part of
eMagin's advanced OLED development efforts, complementing our ongoing
multimillion dollar R&D projects, including the Defense-wide Manufacturing
Science & Technology and Enhanced Ultra-high Brightness OLED
Mitsubishi Electric to Unveil World’s Largest High Definition Video Display
LIGHTimes News Staff
November 18, 2014...Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc. announced the unveiling of a
Diamond Vision display at 1535 Broadway in New York City’s iconic Times
Square that exceeds 4k ultra-high-definition pixel density. The display
measures a massive 77.69' by 329.65' for a total surface area of
25,610-square-feet. The display boasts a pixel density of 2,368 x 10,048.
Mitsubishi claims that the Diamond Vision display will be the highest
resolution LED video display in the world of this size.
The installation will use the company's Electric Diamond Vision AVL-ODT10
large-scale display which provides true 10mm pixel pitch spacing. It employs a
3-in-1 surface mount LED (SMD) that features Mitsubishi Electric’s Real
Black™ LED technology. The company was vague about how its Real Black LED
“With 23,793,664 individual physical pixels a video quality
display of this size and density is a milestone in the industry. It exceeds 4k
resolution by nearly 15 million pixels,” says Todd Stih, national
sales manager, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.
Because of the extremely high pixel density and resolution of the display,
Mitsubishi Electric supplied a special control system to provide pixel-to-pixel
mapping of content and images. The display can be separated into segments to
show multiple pixel-for-pixel 1080 HD or 4k images simultaneously. Specifically
the company says that the display canvas allows two 4k images to be shown
side-by-side, with pixels remaining in the height and width for other
The company claims that its Real Black™ LED technology allows for
deep, rich black levels and unsurpassed vertical viewing angles in an outdoor
LED display product. The company says that Real Black™ LED technology
will ensure that Times Square crowds can clearly see the display up close and
in bright sunlight.
“The Real Black™ LED technology revolution is just beginning
with fifteen other displays using Real Black™ LED technology coming on
line in North America over the next few months,” says Stih.
“We have worked on a number of record-breaking projects, but
working with this type of pixel density and installing it in a 24/7 live
environment presented unique challenges. However, we delivered the display
modules earlier than scheduled and due in part to great cooperation and team
work with the project team at Vornado Realty Trust, our customer, completed the
project on time,” says Mike Brosko, operations manager, Mitsubishi
Electric Power Products, Inc.
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