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Editorial: The American Case For 'Buy American' for LED Lamps/Luminaires
... Every country will typically make its case for buying products for which the value-add is primarily generated within it's boundaries. Beyond the 'profits stay here' and 'it puts our countrymen/women to work' encouragement, which are nicely shared here and could be applied as "___fill in your country name here...
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The American Case For 'Buy American' for LED Lamps/Luminaires

... Every country will typically make its case for buying products for which the value-add is primarily generated within it's boundaries. Beyond the 'profits stay here' and 'it puts our countrymen/women to work' encouragement, which are nicely shared here and could be applied as "___fill in your country name here...

View the full story at the bottom of the current news page, or if this is a back issue, go here...

Epistar and Intermolecular Extend Collaboration and Licensing Agreement
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 24, 2014...Epistar Corp and Intermolecular announced the signing of multi-year extension of their collaborative development and licensing agreement. The collaborative development program and IP licensing agreement aims to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of Epistar's LED products. Under the terms of the agreement, which began back in April 2013, Epistar and Intermolecular engineers will continue to leverage Intermolecular’s High Productivity Combinatorial (HPC™) technology to accelerate R&D experimentation for materials and process development for fabricating Epistar's LED products. Intermolecular boasts that its HPC platform allows R&D experimentation up to 100 times faster than traditional methods.

“Epistar is leveraging Intermolecular’s HPC methodology and technology in order to accelerate R&D experimentation as we bring more advanced, higher-performing LED devices to market for our customers,” said Carson Hsieh, vice president of R&D at Epistar. “Our CDP with Intermolecular helped to significantly increase the performance of one of our LED products during development, and we are now in the process of implementing that technology in production. In the coming years, we expect our continuing relationship with Intermolecular to support further advancements in our technology roadmap.”

Schott and Lufthansa Technik Create Homogeneous Lighting for Airplane Cabins
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 24, 2014...Schott and Lufthansa Technik are planning to introduce a new cabin lighting solution for aircraft cabins. The new lighting solution called HelioJet SpectrumCC (Color Control) is designed to make sure that the color is rendered consistently with sensor technology that displays colors homogeneously. Schott will debut the HelioJet SpectrumCC at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany.

Schott points out that most LED systems cannot maintain homogeneous color because they employ a single chain of LEDs. Each LED die ages at a different rate and colors are rendered differently, depending on the color's shade and the temperature of the LED. This results in inhomogeneous colors that cannot be uniformly controlled even with conventional light management systems.

The new True Color Sensor ensures that each LED in the system renders colors in the correct color shade. The company claims that the sensor is about as sensitive as the human eye to render the results as realistically as possible. The sensor system compares the light emitted from each diode to a target value. The sensor system also allows Lufthansa Technik's "nice" cabin management system to control the colors emitted by the lighting solution. HelioJet SpectrumCC employs an optical light converter using four LEDs (Red, blue, green, and white) to create the precise color of light required.

The HelioJet system is in three subsections. Colored LEDs are at the end of each subsection for a total of six LED clusters per product. Each of the red, blue, green and white LEDs in the RGBW clusters emits a point of light. The points of light in the primary colors and white mix into color shades within the light converter. The system reportedly can create any desired color and color shade and maintain it across all of the HelioJet SpectrumCC units at a defined level of brightness.

According to the company, HelioJet consumes significantly less energy than traditional fluorescent tubes and lasts much longer. Schott says its mean time between failures is at least 50,000 hours. Furthermore, Schott says that maintenance and repair costs are lower because the LED clusters within the system can be easily replaced.

“We have received extremely positive feedback from potential customers. This confirms that we are on the right track. We expect the qualification phase for HelioJet SpectrumCC to be completed in the second half of 2014,” explained Dr. Armin Plichta, general manager transportation at Schott Lighting and Imaging. Schott and Lufthansa Technik work together to develop cabin lighting concepts for commercial airliners, business jets, and VIP airplanes.

Everlight Introduces 940nm IR LED
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 24, 2014...Everlight Electronics Co., Ltd. of New Taipei City, Taiwan, has introduced the thin 940nm top-view infrared LED IR92-01C/L491/2R in a small MIDLED package. Everlight develope the SMD LED for applications requiring high power output and narrow beam angle in limited space.

The new 940nm IR topled comes in MIDLED packages measuring 2mm x 1.4mm with a thickness of just 0.7mm. The IR92-01C/L491/2R small size makes it ideal for space-constrained end products like tablets and smart phones. The LED has a low forward voltage of 1.3 V at 20mA, a high output power of 25mW/sr at 70mA and a narrow viewing angle of 45°for even higher output without a lens. The IR92-01C Series is suited for IR data transmission applications of including use in proximity and optical touch sensors, remote controls, night-vision cameras, or high-tech touch panels. Additional applications include coin counters, light curtains or barriers, and turbidity sensors.

GE Introduces LineFit Light LEDs to Retrofit Fluorescent Cabinet Signs
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 24, 2014...GE has debuted the LineFit Light LEDs to replace or upgrade fluorescent cabinet or box sign lighting systems with LEDs. The new GE LineFit Light LED system delivers 58 to 76 percent energy savings compared with T12HO fluorescents. The systems are available in 11 sizes and three color temperatures for a variety of double-sided signage sizes and styles.

“LED lighting offers several benefits and improvements for outdoor signage lighting compared with standard fluorescents. From significant energy cost reductions and easier job site installation, to less frequent maintenance and more consistent brightness, as well as uniformity and cold weather performance across your signs, LED stands as the ultimate choice,” said Mark Shepard, global product manager for GE Lighting. “GE’s new LineFit LED system offers all these benefits and more with the potential to save money not just in operation, but on the installation as well.”

The GE LineFit Light LED modules utilize existing fluorescent sockets (R17d) for an easy four-step installation that GE says takes just minutes per fixture. LineFit Light has rotating end caps to align the light output with the sign face. The systems employ GE’s patented OptiLens™ optical lens technology to efficiently use light, while protecting each LED against damage, corrosion, moisture, and humidity. While conventional fluorescents emit light in a 360-degree pattern, each LED module is designed to capture otherwise wasted light and redirect the light toward the lit surface of the sign. GE's OptiLens technology also eliminates shadows and striping on the sign face that fluorescent tubes can cause. The system has a rated life of 50,000 hours.

Trifortune Purchases Aixtron System for GaN LEDs on Substrates other than Sapphire
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 22, 2014...Trifortune Electronic Technology Co. Ltd. of Jintan City, China, has reportedly ordered Aixtron’s AIX G5 HT system to develop gallium nitride based high brightness LEDs. Trifortune wants the AIX G5 HT system configured for 56×2-inch wafers per run. Aixtron’s team will install the system at Trifortune’s R&D center in the Jiangsu area. The company plans to transfer the developed process to mass production after successfully completing the research.

Dr. Hu, Technical Head of Trifortune, commented, “We are developing GaN processes to grow LEDs on substrates that offer some advantages compared to the well-established sapphire substrates. To compete in the HB-LED market, there is a real need to achieve the maximum yield in our manufacturing process, so that products with better performance in lumen per dollar can be established.”

Dow Corning Defends Chinese Patent for LED Optical Silicone Encapsulants
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 22, 2014...Dow Corning's Chinese subsidiary and licensee has filed a complaint with the Shanghai First Intermediate Court. The complaint alleges that Beijing KMT Technology Co., Ltd (Beijing KMT) is manufacturing and selling allegedly infringing products using proprietary Dow Corning silicone technology under the Beijing KMT label. The patent in question is among Dow Corning's intellectual property (IP) portfolio protecting the company's high refractive index (RI) phenyl-based optical silicone encapsulants. The silicone encapsulates are slated to offer excellent mechanical protection of LED components, enduring gas barrier properties for enhanced reliability, and improved light output.

"Dow Corning will always rigorously defend its intellectual property to ensure that our customers continue to receive the highest quality products and reliability we can provide to help them stay competitive in today's fast-growing LED market," said Kaz Maruyama, global industry director, Lighting Solutions, Dow Corning.

For almost 15 years, Dow Corning has been aggressively developing optical silicone technologies and products for applications along the entire LED value chain. Dow Corning began developing its phenyl-based high RI silicone encapsulants more than a decade ago in Japan where the technology was first patented. Additional patents for these materials quickly followed in Korea, the United States, European Union, Taiwan, Malaysia and other countries. Dow's Chinese Patent that was asserted in the complaint against Beijing KMT, was granted on April 2, 2008.

These high RI encapsulants are available globally under the Dow Corning® OE product label. Certain silicones within this product family including Dow Corning® OE-6630, OE-7620 and OE-7651 Encapsulant, have RI in the range of 1.53 to 1.55, compared to an RI of 1.41 that is typical for methyl-based silicones. According to Dow Corning, this seemingly small difference translates into about 7 percent more light output. The encapsulates also provide improved photo and thermal stability compared to other silicones.

American Made Cars to Get LED Lighting
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 22, 2014...More and more vehicles are using LED lighting as standard design features worldwide. Several cars from the Chrysler Group are getting LED Lighting. The 2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan has the signature Chrysler grille and winged badge, LED light pipe accents in the front projector headlamps, LED tail lamps. The LX and Touring models of the 2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan also come with ambient LED lighting.

Other Chysler Group brands, Jeep and Dodge, have introduced LED lighting for their upcoming models. Jeep designers introduced the 2015 Jeep Wrangler's Sundance Design Concept which includes unique front and rear bumpers equipped with linear LED lighting. Dodge also decided to design its 2015 Charger with LED lighting in the front and rear. The Charger features new Dodge signature LED racetrack tail lamps and LED fog lamps.

Another American car maker, Ford (not a Chrysler Group company) also recently debuted the new design of the F-150 pickup with LED-based headlamps. This LED lighting treatment in cars is part of a trend of equipping standard and mid-range models with LED lighting in addition to its already significant presence in Luxury automobiles.

Strategies Unlimited Predicts HB LED Market to Reach $26 Billion in 2018
LIGHTimes News Staff

April 22, 2014...Strategies Unlimited (SU) predicts that the total market revenue from packaged LEDs will grow 12.9% from 2013 to 2018. According to SU, this growth is bolstered by 27% CAGR in LEDs for lighting applications. SU says that the global packaged LED industry grew from just $1.2 billion in 2000 to $14.2 billion in 2013. In 2009, illumination accounted for just $665 million in revenues, and this reportedly jumped to $4.4 billion in general lighting in 2013.

According to Strategies Unlimited analyst Katya Evstratyeva, “We forecast the growth for LEDs in lighting to be 27% of CAGR from 2013 to 2018, driven mostly by an increased consumer confidence and continuously increasing sales of replacement lamps, downlights, industrial, commercial, and outdoor products.”

SU notes that the top 15 companies in the LED business comprise about 81% of global revenues, and the top 25 companies account for 93% of revenues. According to SU, many companies are struggling to find their identities, and SU forecasts market consolidation in the coming years.

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Commentary & Perspective...

The American Case For 'Buy American' for LED Lamps/Luminaires
Guest Commentary - Charlie Szoradi, Independence LED

April 24, 2014...Every country will typically make its case for buying products for which the value-add is primarily generated within it's boundaries. Beyond the 'profits stay here' and 'it puts our countrymen/women to work' encouragement, which are nicely shared here and could be applied as "___fill in your country name here ___", there should be something added to the business case behind the position. The editors welcome LED lighting producers who would like to share what you feel are some differentiators for your country (or country groups... you know who you are) across the globe to contact us to arrange some space to 'make your claim' for how your country's products are the superior choice, both inside and outside your borders.

The mainstream market, both in and outside of the lighting sector, typically believes that products “Made in America” have a higher level of quality assurance than imported products from countries such as China, but the American products come with a higher equipment cost. In many cases, high quality domestic LED luminaires are now sold at competitive prices. Designers, energy professionals, sales companies, and potential buyers should look into the “Total Cost of Ownership,” which is often lower with U.S.-made LED products. The idea is pretty simple: do it right from the start by buying higher quality, American-made LEDs and save on the replacement labor and cost of shipping back failed imported products.

Here are the Top 10 reasons to Buy American:

  1. Total Cost of Ownership – Review the watts per lumen output and the warranty to assess “Lifetime” cost to operate new LEDs vs. just the equipment cost at purchase. As an example, if a common existing 2’ x 4’ fluorescent “troffer” fixture has four 32 watt fluorescent tubes, the total fixture power consumption is 128 watts. Four Chinese 5-year warranty LED tubes, at 16 watts and $35 each, add up to 64 watts and $140 per retrofit. By comparison, two high output 10-year warranty American-made LED tubes, at 22 watts and $65 each, add up to only 44 watts and $130 per retrofit. The American tubes are each more expensive but the fixture “solution” is less expensive, the operating wattage is lower, and the warranty is twice as long.

  2. Quality Assurance - Assess the reliability, specification sheets, and case studies of U.S. vs. imported products. American-made products, more often than not, will have a higher level of quality controls built into the production than Chinese products that are turned out at mass volume levels.

  3. Warranty and Claim Access – Compare the length of the U.S. warranties and the cost burden of tracking down overseas manufacturers when their LEDs fail. Assess the value of a 10-year warranty over the more typical 5 year warranty on imported products.

  4. Warranty Claim Shipping – Don’t specify or buy products where you or your customers get caught paying more to ship back overseas failed product that negates the energy savings advantage. The less expensive per-unit cost up front may not equate to a lower “Total Cost of Ownership” if you have to pay for return shipping and also pay for the labor to re-install the LEDs.

  5. Public Relations – Take advantage of the potential PR for you or your customer’s business, by taking a leadership role when buying LEDs from an American Manufacturer. Your customers and their customers may appreciate actively supporting American job creation and for having a meaningful role in spurring our national economic recovery.

  6. Direct American Job Creation – Support American job creation for economic recovery in the manufacturing sector. The Energy Economy offers an opportunity for America to re-gain manufacturing traction on the global stage.

  7. Indirect American Job Creation - Support American job creation for economic recovery in the “Ripple Effect” of jobs created through packaging design and production, support services, shipping, etc.

  8. Green House Gas (GHG) CO2 Reduction – Help reduce CO2 by reducing the shipping distances vs. overseas and global air transit. If your business is in America, then specifying or buying lights that are made in America makes sense. Every kWh saved equated to 1.34 lbs on average of CO2 reduction, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The debate over Climate Change rages on, but conservatives and liberals should all agree that wasting energy, or anything, is…a waste. The debate should focus more on what tactics we can use to cost-effectively reduce waste, and switching the lights is a very real and easy way to save money and the planet.

  9. Global Exports – Help reduce America’s growing trade deficit by supporting American manufacturers that are improving LED technology and seeing increased global demand.

  10. American Energy Security – Foster more “Self-Reliance” with a stronger America that actually makes the products that it uses vs. buying them from overseas.

Weigh all of the advantages of Made in America LED products before specifying imports or investing in any new lighting. Energy-saving LED retrofits are ideal for existing buildings, and recently more architects and lighting designers are specifying LEDs for new construction. Energy Service Companies, Distributors, Value Added Resellers, Manufacturer’s Representatives, Electrical Contractors, and Energy Advisors all have reputations to uphold, so reliable and consistent lighting is key.

Long run time LED lights often last up to 60,000 hours. This equates to 20 years of illumination (at 8 to 10 hours per day) for typical offices or retail stores and 7 years of continuous illumination (at 24 hours per day) for typical hospitals, parking garages, emergency exit stairs, hallways in hotels, dorms, and apartment buildings, data centers, and around the clock restaurants, as well as three-shift factories, warehouses, and distribution centers. These types of 24/7 areas are an excellent starting point for reliable, high quality, U.S.-made commercial LED lighting. Naturally, federal, state, and local government facilities should also specify and buy American LED lighting, as a cost-effective means to create jobs, save tax payer dollars, and increase total operating efficiency.

Charlie Szoradi is Chairman and CEO of Independence LED. Contact information can be found at their website, www.independenceled.com

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