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2014-07-22
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Editorial: DesignLights Consortium Racks Up 50K Listings
 
... In 1996, the DesignLights Consortium was founded as a regional non-profit whose mission was to serve the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to accelerate energy efficiency in the building sector through public policy, program strategies and education. As a project of Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP). In its own (correct) words,...
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Commentary...
DesignLights Consortium Racks Up 50K Listings

 
... In 1996, the DesignLights Consortium was founded as a regional non-profit whose mission was to serve the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to accelerate energy efficiency in the building sector through public policy, program strategies and education. As a project of Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP). In its own (correct) words,...

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

Natick Examines the Effects of Shelter Lighting on Soldier Thinking, Mood
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 22, 2014...Researchers at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, are examining the effects of various types of lighting in military shelters on soldiers. The Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command that aims to create technology and engineering solutions for American soldiers.

NSRDEC's Cognitive Science Team are investigating the effect of lighting on the ability to perform tasks, visual acuity, mood, or affective state, and cognitive alertness/awareness. The team is comparing traditional fluorescent lighting and newer LED lighting at varying color temperatures ranging from low-color temperatures of yellow and red tinted white light to high-color temperatures of bluish white. Twenty-four volunteers, soldiers between 18 and 31 years of age, participated in the five-day study,

"This study is important because it is the first study that has considered the tradeoff between the differences in cost between the lighting technologies and the impact of the lighting on Soldier mood and performance," Dr. Caroline Mahoney, leader of the Cognitive Science Team, said.

"There is a ton of past research on what lighting can do to humans," Breanne Hawes, lead researcher on the project and member of the cognitive science team said. "It can affect how sleepy you are, your sleeping patterns, or how productive you are. But this has rarely been studied as a military application."

"The ultimate aim of the project is to develop efficient spaces that promote well-being," said Hawes. "We were thinking of Soldiers in tents doing mission planning. This is where they setup their maps and have their meetings in shelters, and we wanted to see how the lighting would affect that especially, among other things."

Dr. Mahoney pointed out that one of the team's goals is to help shape technology and material development. On this study, the Cognitive Science Team collaborated with the Shelters Team and the Special Projects Team.

"This (study) was about helping material/product developers and designers make decisions about the technology," said Hawes. "We were trying to analyze different lighting systems. Currently, all the tents use fluorescent lighting, and (the Shelters Team and the Special Projects Team members) were trying to analyze three LED systems, which are newer lighting technologies. They were analyzing them based on technological differences, such as how long they last and how easy they are to set up. So the goal for our project was to tie in how (the lighting choice) is actually affecting the people sitting under the lighting, how is it affecting the Soldiers."

Mahoney said, "Ultimately, we want to provide information to predict a Soldier's abilities in a given context, keep them safe, and optimize performance."

Compared with fluorescent lighting, the NSRDEC researchers found that LED lighting in a work environment seems to promote a positive mood, increased alertness, and faster performance on cognitive and visual perception tasks. The researchers found that soldiers working in fluorescent lighting tended to be more fatigued, less alert, and more depressed over time. Soldiers under fluorescent lighting also tended to have slower response times on cognitive tasks that measured verbal and spatial memory.

"It's important to consider how we can make things so they can perform their best and help ensure their well-being," Hawes said.

AMOLED Mobile Phone Panel Costs to Fall Below LCD, According to NPD DisplaySearch
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 22, 2014...The difference in price between AMOLED mobile phone panels and TFT-LCD panels is decreasing, according to NPD DisplaySearch. Production yields of AMOLED mobile phone panels have reportedly helped reduce the cost difference. According to the NPD DisplaySearch's OLED Technology Report, the cost of manufacturing AMOLED panels is currently 10 to 20 percent higher than that of TFT-LCD displays.

However, the rapid improvement in AMOLED panel production yields is expected to result in a lower manufacturing costs for AMOLED mobile phone panels than LCD mobile phone panels within the next two years, according to NPD DisplaySearch. The company points out that AMOLED panels were expected to cost less than LCD panels from close to the beginning of their use in smartphone displays because they do not require backlighting. However, production challenges kept AMOLED yields low, increasing production costs. Therefore, equivalent LCDs cost less. AMOLED panels became high-end products, due to their high-color gamut, good contrast, and slimness. Production yield improvements are expected to help broaden the adoption of AMOLED panels into smartphones.

"Until recently, there have been few breakthroughs in the production of AMOLED displays, and the OLED industry seemed to be facing hard times," said Jimmy Kim, senior analyst of display materials and LED at NPD DisplaySearch. "If AMOLED costs fall below LCDs, as expected, it would lead to more opportunities for the OLED display industry, greater competition with LCD, and more choices for consumers."

The company gives the current example of a 16 percent cost difference between 5-inch AMOLED and LCD (1920 × 1080) mobile phone panels. NPD DisplaySearch contends that AMOLED panel costs are expected to fall below LCD panel costs when AMOLED production yields reach 90 percent. The company notes that if further cost reductions for OLED materials are achieved, then the yield required for AMOLED panels to be cheaper than LCD will be even lower.

Jacksonville Jaguars to Unveil Largest Ever HD Video Displays
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 22, 2014...On July 26th, 35.5 million LEDs in an enormous HD LED video display will light up EverBank Field, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville, Florida. During the game, the world's largest HD LED video display will be unveilled. EverBank Field will host a soccer match between Fulham F.C. and D.C. United followed by a concert by country music star Carrie Underwood.

"The Jaguars have done a great job in preparing an exciting unveiling event for the world's largest video displays," Daktronics vice president of live events Jay Parker said. "These displays will set a precedent in professional venues in terms of the fan experience and what can be witnessed by going to the stadium. The team can show a never before seen combination of content with essentially three huge HD screens on one massive LED display. It's going to be amazing when they fire them up to host their first home football game."

The two massive end zone displays featuring a 13HD pixel layout will each measure 60 feet high by 362 feet wide. Each display with more than 21,700 square feet of digital canvas is longer than a football field and can feature three full-size HD windows for maximum versatility during any event. Three sections of 60 feet high by 106 feet wide provide enough real display space and allow an extra 44-foot-wide buffer space for additional graphics, statistics and other content.

The 13HD technology was selected for numerous reasons, especially its high brightness that helps overcome the direct Florida sunlight. The displays boast high contrast and wide viewing angles.

ITRI Establishes Alliance for Commercialization of OLEDs
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 22, 2014...Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute initiated the setup of the Organic Light Emitting Diode Commercialization Alliance (OLCA) to spark the OLED industry in Taiwan. OLED companies RiTdisplay Corp, WiseChip Semiconductor Inc, Merck, Corning Incorporated and Tongtai Machine & Tool CO have joined OLCA.

OLCA Chairman Liu who serves as vice president and general director of the Electronics and Optoelectronics Research Laboratories at the ITRI, noted that while fluorescent lamps currently lead in high luminosity and cost-efficiency, technological development of fluorescents has reached its limit. Technology for LEDs and OLEDs and their use in general lighting has much room for improvement. Liu asserts that OLEDs can theoretically achieve higher luminance efficiency and longer life than fluorescent tubes. Liu noted that OLCA has organized five committees, which are lamps, lighting design, materials, fixtures and optical engines. The committees plan to making OLEDs ready for indoor lighting. So far, more than 60 companies have revealed their interest in working with other OLCA members.

Philips Lumileds Luxeon CoB with CrispWhite Technology Wins LFI Innovation Award
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 17, 2014...Philips Lumileds' CrispWhite Technology, which was showcased at LightFair International 2014, was awarded the LFI Innovation Award in the LED/OLED Chips and Modules category. The company developed the Luxeon CoB with CrispWhite technology specifically for retail applications including downlights and spotlights in which store owners and retail customers require the truest color representation. The company's CrispWhite technology is offered throughout the Luxeon chip-on-board (CoB) line of arrays. The company boasts that the arrays deliver the highest combination of lumen density and efficacy available.

The arrays have an output ranging from 1,000-10,000 lumens with a typical efficacy of 100 lm/W. Thousands of attendees including lighting designers and professionals got a glimpse at CrispWhite’s ideal light spectrum at LightFair International 2014 and the Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition earlier this month.

“We displayed saturated red, blue and white fabrics lit by CrispWhite next to the same fabrics lit by halogen and CDM sources. Overwhelmingly, attendees preferred CrispWhite’s rendition,” said Eric Senders, product line director at Philips Lumileds.

An independent panel of lighting professionals judges the LFI awards, which recognize products that exemplify innovative design. The 2014 LFI award winners were chosen from among 261 entries spanning 14 categories.

University of Michigan Researchers Develop Metal-free Phosphorescent OLED
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 17, 2014...Researchers from the University of Michigan claim to have produced a metal-free Phosphorescent OLED. The researchers note that fluorescent LEDs can produce light from up to 25 percent of the electrons that pass through them. However, phosphorescent organic LEDs can potentially turn every electron into a ray of light, but achieving this efficiency with inexpensive materials is difficult.

The researchers note that while carbon-based, or organic, semiconductors are much cheaper than inorganic semiconductors, today's organic technologies employ metals in the semiconductor to enable phosphorescence. According to the researchers, these metals and their incorporation into the semiconductor material raises the price and sometimes makes the material toxic. Now, the team led by Jinsang Kim, a professor of materials science and engineering, has devised bright, metal-free, phosphorescent OLEDs.

The difficulty was getting the semiconductors to produce light rather than heat. The researcher pointed out that electrical charges in a semiconductor can produce light in one of two ways. About one in four of the charges can cause fluorescence, resulting in the 25 percent efficiency limit for fluorescent LEDs. The other three in four can go towards phosphorescence, emitting slightly lower energy light than fluorescence, the researchers said.

Organic semiconductors reportedly tend to loose about 75 percent of the energy from electricity in producing phosphorescence. Instead of creating light, 75 percent of the electrons generate vibrations in the surrounding molecules, heating the material. The researchers note that while incorporating metals can improve phosphorescent emission efficiency, going metal-free requires a different solution.

"That's why phosphorescence from metal-free organic materials in nature is very rare," said Min Sang Kwon, a materials science and engineering postdoc in Kim's lab. One example, he added, is the Hope Diamond.

The researchers indicated that the phosphorescent OLEDs that they developed can reveal the presence of water under backlight. Water reportedly causes the polymers in the phosphorescent OLED they created to break, changing the material's phosphorescent light (green) to fluorescent light (blue), according to the researchers.

The team demonstrated that the stiff lattice structure of the OLED they created helps to stifle vibrations so more energy could be released as light. The material's crystals produced light from 55 percent of the charges. However, according to the researchers, it is very difficult to produce high-quality crystals consistently in manufacturing.

The researchers altered the molecules so that they would structurally bond with a transparent polymer. The team heated and dried a solution containing the new phosphorescent OLEDs and polymers, and the molecules assembled themselves into a stiff matrix. This structure allowed 24 percent of the charges to produce light. While this efficiency level is only about as good as fluorescent light, the team is attempting to devise a complementary way to improve the efficiency further.

"We demonstrated that increasing the intermolecular bonding strength could efficiently suppress the vibrational loss of the phosphorescent light," said Kim. "This finding provides an insight into molecular designs for achieving energy-efficient and inexpensive light-emitters, ideal for practical devices."

The presence of water reportedly breaks up the bonds that enable the charges to fluoresces (producing green light in this material). However, when the bonds break, the OLED switches to the fluorescent mode, emitting blue light.

"We can see the change from phosphorescence to fluorescence, and we know some water is there," said Kwon.

The material could lead to simple sensors for detecting water. The researchers detailed their findings in a paper in Angewandte Chemie. The Samsung Global Outreach grant funded the research.

Cree Leases Warehouse in Durham
SSL Design News Staff

July 17, 2014...Cree has begun leasing an 80,600 square foot warehouse located on Weck Drive in Durham, North Carolina to store products awaiting shipment to distributors. Mike Watson, vice president of product strategy at the Cree, reported that because the space is being used as a warehouse, “minimal new hires would be tied to this space specifically, potentially one-to-two jobs if any.”

Lakewood Church Upgrades Displays with Higher Resolution Daktronics LED Video Displays
LIGHTimes News Staff

July 17, 2014...Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas got two new LED video displays from Daktronics Inc. of Brookings, South Dakota USA. Daktronics designed, manufactured and installed two new LED video displays to replace the existing Daktronics displays with a higher resolution display that features 4-millimeter line spacing in a full black package.

The church uses the displays to show inspirational images and stories during service or reveal IMAG (Image Magnification) shots as well as live video of the sermon and song lyrics that allow the congregation to follow along. The feed shown on the new LED displays is the same video shown on the video displays inside the church.

The display installation continues the nine-year relationship between Lakewood Church and Daktronics. The installation employs the existing structure to support the new displays that measure more than 12-feet high by 22-feet wide that replaces the two previously installed 8-millimeter pitch displays positioned on each side of the main service platform. Installing each display took roughly five days between Dec. 1 and Dec. 13.

"We started tearing down one of the old displays after the final service on Sunday and had the new display installed and operational before the Saturday service at the end of the week," said Nathan McGillivray, Daktronics project manager of the installation. "It was critical for Lakewood to have zero display downtime, so we installed one display the first week and the other display the following week. Services went off without a hitch and with full video display functionality."

"After the displays were installed, the wardrobe and makeup departments had to be notified of everything that was now visible on the new high-definition displays," said Joel Henie, Daktronics sales representative.

Henie said, "A trip to the recent installation at Saddleback Church really helped confirm Lakewood's choice to upgrade with Daktronics."

The upgrade reportedly offers image clarity and contrast that now makes everything much more visible to the audience, from lint on clothing to blotches of makeup and powder.

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Commentary & Perspective...

DesignLights Consortium Racks Up 50K Listings
Commentary Staff

July 8, 2014...In 1996, the DesignLights Consortium was founded as a regional non-profit whose mission was to serve the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to accelerate energy efficiency in the building sector through public policy, program strategies and education. As a project of Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP). In its own (correct) words, the DLC has "driven the lighting market towards innovation by providing information, education, tools and technical expertise for cutting edge technologies. We were pleased to host a talk by NEEP and the DLC back at our 2010 SSL Summit, when they were just kicking off a program that was intended to accelerate the adoption of LED lighting by creating a more streamlined qualified product list for commercial applications, now affectionately known as the QPL.

While we all see the EnergyStar program chugging away happily today, the backdrop to the DLC and QPL at the time was not quite so smooth. EnergyStar was struggling with the dual (or maybe even triple) challenge of working out a long-lasting, well-organized standard that didn't necessarily obsolete incumbent technologies. There was also the whole challenge presented by the good old RLF (Residential Light Fixtures) spec, which needed to be reconciled into the whole EnergyStar scheme of things. LEDs weren't really at price parity with much of anything at that point, but we all knew where they were headed, and what they could do, so the desire was to set a high-enough bar that any LED related standards wouldn't be obsoleted in a year or two. By setting the bar on LED products higher than on the incumbents (CFLs, mostly), the result was an apparent double standard. Well, not apparent, but actually a real one.

On one hand, it made sense that you didn't want to strip the CFLs of their rebate-eligibility status, especially since it had taken them a decade or two to final start producing some decent quality light. Some energy savings is better than no energy savings, and CFLs were affordable. LEDs weren't necessarily so in nearly the numbers of applications they are today. So we (the LED lighting industry) cried foul and the program involvement wasn't explosive to start. That was also the time when the DOE brass caved to the EPA brass, and suddenly energy was suddenly deemed more of an environmental issue than, oh... say... an energy issue. And egg farms should be overseen by the Heath and Human Services, not the Food and Drug Administration, or Department of Agriculture, because if you eat too many and get no exercise, smoke and drink to excess, those nasty eggs are a health risk. (Why yes, yes we are still bitter about that whole deal...). EnergyStar was rigorous for LEDs, and if you qualified, it was a rousing endorsement, that stacked you right on par with mediocre performing fluorescents... big whoop.

Meanwhile, utilities were eager to incentivize decent quality LED lighting products in the commercial marketplace (the one where the lights are on all the time), but found themselves short of EnergyStar takers, as well as short of certain useful categories. Northeast energy stakeholders said enough is enough, and in stepped NEEP, who quickly recruited stakeholders nationwide to back the DLC's efforts to fill the gaps, as well as implement a more streamlined process. Perfect performance wasn't as important and decent quality, and things caught on quickly. By 2011, pretty much everyone recognized that EnergyStar or a DLC qualified product listing were good enough for most incentive programs. You can check out the easy to comprehend qualification criteria summary here. Basically, they were able to be nimble enough to include new categories, such as LED troffer retrofit kits, as a recent example, and get quick stakeholder buy-in without the long development, review and feedback periods that are the necessary inconveniences of a bureaucratic engine (while we wish common sense could always prevail, it doesn't, so it's a good thing that the wheels of vehicles like the EPA have certain statutory brakes on them... All hail the free(er) market!). If you're unfamiliar with the DLC QPL, also be sure to check out the overview of product submission criteria here. It ties into a number of EnergyStar approaches, but they just seem to be able to keep the categories caught up with the technology.

So fast forward to nows-ville, and I think everyone can be impressed by this week's news that the DLC QPL has passed 50,000 product listings. Here's the announcement:

DesignLights Consortium® SSL Qualified Products List
Surpasses 50,000 High Efficiency Lighting Products

With growing product list, DLC remains at forefront of fast-moving industry

LEXINGTON, MA, June 30, 2014 – The DesignLights Consortium®, an international commercial LED lighting qualification program, recently saw its Solid State Lighting (SSL) Qualified Products List (QPL) surpass 50,000 products. The list is a leading resource that distinguishes quality high efficiency LED products in the commercial sector. It sets the bar for efficiency program incentives across the U.S. and Canada while influencing performance and quality in manufacturer product development.

With this increase in qualified products on the DLC QPL, luminaire and component manufacturers, energy efficiency program administrators, and others in the SSL industry continue to improve energy efficient lighting technology with the latest most innovative and high-performing products.

The DLC, a Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) project, promotes quality, performance, and energy-efficiency in commercial-sector lighting through collaboration among its stakeholders. These are federal agencies, regional and state organizations, utilities, and energy efficiency programs throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as luminaire and component manufacturers, lighting testing labs, lighting designers, and industry experts.

“The DLC QPL is having a real impact on commercial lighting. The utilities are embracing its use in assuring the best in quality and energy efficiency, and manufacturers are eager to get on board,” said Irina Rasputnis, NEEP Commercial Program Manager. “Hitting this milestone so soon after raising the qualification requirements shows that DLC and the utility programs are significantly improving the LED lighting market. This is a great benefit to customers as they light their businesses, stores, institutions and offices”.

As the QPL grows, the DLC has identified additional ways to increase the list’s value as it relates to user’s needs. It is investigating processes to test and tier products, which will help to distinguish products on the list, provide quality control, and identify those products performing above baseline requirements.

The DLC continues to improve and evolve the QPL to increase value for its users. In addition to periodically revising its technical requirements, the DLC continually monitors potential new product application categories to add, it develops policies and procedures to keep the list honest and accurate, and it monitors industry testing procedures in order to keep its processes streamlined and up to date. The result is a resource that truly sets the bar for energy efficiency and quality in the commercial LED sector.

Thanks DLC!

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