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2012: A solid year for the lighting industry

Issue 70 Dec / Jan 2013

Our LED expert Dr Geoff Archenhold looks back at a year of consolidation - though not imagination - in the world of solid state technology.

2012 was always going to be a big year for lighting as the world’s biggest showcase, the Olympics, came to good old London town and we had Light + Building in Frankfurt.

The London Games were always going to be a great showcase for lighting and especially for LEDs as the organisers were promising the greenest Olympics yet and the show didn’t let us down. From creating the colours of the Olympic symbols to lighting the Tower Bridge in a myriad of colourful scenes the presence of LED lighting was shown to billions across the world.

If you have been reading my columns for a while you will remember that my prediction back in 2007 was that LED light bulbs would be everywhere by the next London Olympics, which raised some serious smiles if not murmurs of “he’s totally mad” by the majority of the lighting industry at the time. The reason I could make such a prediction was simple: I looked for the signs and trends within the industry and pulled them together to conclude the most probable outcome from a technical and commercial perspective. True, one could argue that LED light bulbs are not everywhere in the UK but one could argue that if you looked at the USA and Japan the statement holds true. This led (sorry for the pun!) me to question why major retailers in these two countries have got quality LED lighting on their shelves but the UK is lagging behind. The only conclusion I can ultimately come to is that the USA and Japan took the strategic lead with LED technology by creating strong government programmes of support for the new technology to create the market expectations, whereas Europe lagged behind with a strategy of ‘let’s wait and see what happens’. Despite this approach, the technology will ultimately arrive en masse to help reduce the energy consumption and increase the quality of lighting for all of us.

My reflection on 2012 is that it was a solid year of growth for LED lighting, exceptionally unimaginative fixture design and the creation of the 2nd Phase of end user disillusionment for the technology. I was disappointed that the majority of the lighting systems all looked virtually identical and manufacturers had simply replaced the lighting source with LEDs rather than explore the use of the novel light sources.

The market rapidly expanded for LED lighting as costs tumbled and 2012 saw the LED light source toppled as the most expensive component in the LED fixture to a great sigh of relief from manufacturers. However, this nexus was to cause issues towards the end of 2012 as focus on veracious cost downs started to hit system quality. Thus, by the time we are sitting down for our Christmas dinner with family and friends, someone somewhere will be getting stressed that their LED installation will have a high failure rate as component quality has been sacrificed for cost. As I have always stated, the most susceptible part of an LED system is the power electronics that drive the LED for a whole host of reasons and today this is the most expensive part of the LED system so trying to save US$1 or 2 could be the biggest mistake a fixture manufacturer can make. Driver issues are definitely on the rise from what I can gather from the Lighting Design community – so beware!

Light + Building was an excellent showcase for demonstrating the potential of OLEDs and Laser lighting in the future and allowed many LED manufacturers to launch new high quality LED emitters and high density power arrays. It was definitely a year where all LED manufacturers created high power LED arrays either in chip on board (COB) or in Zhaga type modules.Finally, I will end up making a series of predictions for 2013 and what we might see in time for Brazil 2016! However, let’s look at a selection of breakthroughs made in 2012.      

January 2012

Philips Lumileds: launched the Luxeon K LED emitter arrays shown in figure 1 specifically for retrofit and downlight LED lighting applications. Luxeon K provided a unique approach for Lumileds to deliver the highest, most consistent quality of light in an easy-to-implement array with freedom from colour, flux, and Vf binning. The key Luxeon K Parameters included:
•    CCT: 2700K, 3000K, 4000K;
•    Guaranteed minimum CRI of 80 and typical 85;
•    Typical Flux at 700mA: 620 to 4455 lumens;
•    >100 lumens / watt at 350mA, Tj 85°C, 3000K CCT;
•    Hot testing and specification at 85°C;
•    Freedom From Binning;
•    Single 3-step MacAdam Ellipse color space;
•    No flux bins; no Vf bins.

Cree: introduced the breakthrough XLamp XB-D LED as shown in figure 2. Built on Cree’s SC3 Technology Platform, the XB-D White LED delivers up to 139 lumens and 136lm/W in cool white (6000K) or up to 107 lumens and 105lm/W in warm white (3000K), both at 350mA and 85°C. This LED further simplifies designs, ultimately removing a key barrier to widespread LED implementation up-front system cost. The XB-D LED was claimed to deliver twice the lumens-per-dollar of other LEDs, in the industry’s smallest lighting-class footprint of 2.45mm x 2.45mm. The XB-D LED is 48 percent smaller than the XLamp XP package and ideal for lighting applications where high lumen density and compact light sources are required.

Osram: researchers at Osram Opto Semiconductors had succeeded in manufacturing high-performance prototypes of blue and white LEDs, in which the light-emitting gallium-nitride layers are grown on silicon wafers with a diameter of 150 millimeters, show in figure 3. The silicon replaces the sapphire commonly used until now without a loss in quality or performance. Already in the pilot stage, the new LED chips are to be tested under practical conditions, meaning that the first LEDs on silicon from Osram Opto Semiconductors could hit the market in just two years. This is a pioneering development for several reasons.
On account of its widespread use in the semiconductor industry, the availability of large wafer diameters and very good thermal properties, silicon is an attractive and low-cost option for the lighting markets of the future. Quality and performance data on the fabricated LED silicon chips match those of sapphire-based chips: the blue UX:3 chips in the standard Golden Dragon Plus package achieve a record brightness of 634 mW at 3.15 volts, equivalent to 58 percent efficiency. These are outstanding values for 1mm2 chips at 350mA. In combination with a conventional phosphor converter in a standard housing – in other words as white LEDs – these prototypes correspond to 140lm at 350mA with an efficiency of 127lm/W at 4500K. Over 17,000 standard 1mm2 LED can be made from a 6” wafer however Silicon wafers are already up to 12”in diameter so the number of LEDs produced in the future will enable costs to tumble due to scale.

Photonstar: In January the halogen emulation version – “ChromaWhite Tungsten+” won the visitors choice awards at The ARC Show for Photonstar. Following feedback from specifiers, this model has subsequently been superseded (in October) by the new ChromaWhite Tungsten H CLE module which provides faster response times and matches leading halogen 50W GU10 dimming curves in terms of CCT.

February 2012

Cree: Introduced the new XLamp XT-E White LED, which is based on a new silicon carbide technology platform which dramatically transforms LED price-performance ratios. The XT-E comes in a 3.45mm x 3.45mm package to deliver up to 148 lumens and 148lm/W in cool white (6000K) or up to 114 lumens and 114lm/W in warm white (3000K), both at 350mA, 85°C.

LED Engin: unveiled the world’s first halogen-like dimming from a single LED emitter using a constant current source, together with standard 0 -10V dimmers, to enable the colour temperature of the light getting warmer as it dims. The LED emitter changes from 3200K at maximum output to a warm 2400K glow when fully dimmed. This halogen-like dimming is particularly useful in hotels, restaurants and bars, where the technology can deliver the right ambience for levels of brightness.
LED Engin’s latest multi-colour (RGBW) emitters were announced to provide superior in-source colour mixing, particularly in narrow-spot beams of less than 10°. Recently introduced 8° and 15° lenses, combined with LuxiGen multi-colour emitters, open up new applications within the stage and studio and architectural markets where high intensity, focused, coloured light for distance lighting is required. In combination with secondary optics, these emitters deliver dynamic colour entertainment with sufficient “throw” and precision control, without compromising lux-on-target.

Nichia: announced its most efficient white LED in production to date, the 5mm NSPW510HS-K1 which achieves 170lm/W. The 5mm LED has a typical forward voltage of 2.8V and a maximum forward current of 20mA with a beam angle of 30 degrees.

Osram: launched the new generation of Oslon SSL LEDs to provide a luminous flux of typically 98lm in warm white (3000K) and 113lm in 5000K, with an operating current of 350mA at an application temperature of 85°C in the chip. With its typical luminous efficacy of 96lm/W and improved 3mm x 3mm package design, the Oslon SSL is a particularly temperature stable light source at elevated temperatures. The combination of higher luminous flux and reduced forward voltage of 2.9V equals an efficiency increase of approximately 25 percent, when compared with the previous generations.

Philips Lumileds: introduced its next generation high-voltage LED - the Luxeon H as shown in figure 4. With significant performance enhancements the Luxeon H enables the broadest range of retrofit bulbs and space constrained applications while providing the light output, efficacy, and quality of light.

Luxeon H has exceptional performance:

•    CCT: 2700K and 3000K with minimum 80 CRI;
•    Superior Quality of Light – Freedom From Binning;
•    Single 3-step MacAdam Ellipse color space;
•    No flux bins; no Vf bins;
•    Colour over angle specified at a low 0.02 du’v;
•    Hot tested and specified at Tj=85°C
•    Typical Efficacy: 90lm/W at 40mA, 100V, Tj = 85°C;
•    100V / 200V package rated for 4W – 8W;
•    Typical Flux: 320 – 660 lumens at 20 – 90mA;
•    Forward voltage of 100V or 200V.

Soraa: launched its flagship product, the Soraa LED MR16 lamp based on its new GaN on GaN (gallium nitride on gallium nitride) solid-state lighting technology. Although a new company, Soraa is founded by Shuji Nakamura, the father of the modern white LED, and other leading scientists. The new product is the first LED lamp to provide superior performance to a traditional halogen MR16. It is also the first LED lamp to provide halogen-equivalent brightness without requiring a mechanical fan and payback within months, not years. The GaN on GaN technology requires a much smaller die footprint to achieve the same light output as processes for LEDs on non-native substrates such as SiC, Sapphire and Silicon. The production quality means that Soraa can typically achieve 1000x fewer dislocation densities (or defects) than GaN on silicon or sapphire and achieved improved thermal performance.

The 50W MR16 product has a perfect LED crystal structure to deliver a bright (allowing 5-10 times more lumens to be generated per unit volume), highly-focused, controlled beam with the ability to produce a high colour rendering index and centre beam candle-power to match a standard halogen lamp. The lamp’s elegant, single-source LED design provides crisp object definition with solo shadow, uniform colour and a perfect beam pattern.

Lamp colour rendering is available in standard and high CRI versions. The standard version is offered at either 2700K or 3000K and 80 CRI. The high CRI version is offered at either 2700K or 3000K and 95 CRI. To achieve high colour rendering with deep red (R9>90), this product employs ‘violet pumped’ triphosphor, achieving a closer match to the blackbody than conventional two phosphor ‘blue pumped’ LED.
The performance of the GaN on GaN technology can be seen in figure 5 that shows external quantum efficiency up to 73%, showing very low LED droop as current is increased to 1A and delivers up to 850mW of power at 410nm (violet).

Toshiba: Toshiba launched its new range of LED downlights, E-CORE 1100 and 1600 (figure 6). These new downlights use Toshiba’s Light Engine LED which is an LED module complete with on board driver, optic and thermal management interface. This Light Engine means that the LED light source can be easily upgraded or changed making a versatile and future-proof solution.

Unlike conventional LED luminaires where the chip set is hard fixed to the unit, the E-CORE 1100 and 1600 are able to have their LED engine changed or adapted to suit the lit space and customer requirement.
As LEDs are constantly improving in efficiency, the downlights can be upgraded to the latest version with increased efficiency without major alterations to the luminaire design or a complete change of luminaire.
The Light Engine is Toshiba’s contribution to the Zhaga consortium under Book 6 making the inter changeability of LED light sources easier and cross-compatible.

With its easy twist and lock solution, the Light Engine is easy to install and also provides 40,000 hours (L70) life and good efficiency and high quality beam optics. Adding to these excellent features, the downlights can be dimmed using trailing edge dimming to extend the energy saving potential even further.

March 2012

Cree: expanded family of Mid-Power lighting-class LEDs with the launch of the XLamp ML-C and ML-E LEDs in a compact 3.5mm x 3.45mm footprint (figure 7). Designed to accelerate the adoption of LED lighting, the expanded XLamp ML family now offered red, green and blue colour options, high-voltage and three different price-performance options in the ML package. The ML LED high-voltage options can enable the use of more efficient, smaller drivers to lower cost for applications such as LED replacement lamps. The ML-C LED delivers luminous flux up to 37 lumens in cool white (5000K) and up to 31 lumens in warm white (3000K), both at 100mA. The series versions of XLamp ML-C and ML-E white LEDs have typical voltages of 6.4V and 9.6V, respectively, at 50mA.

Nichia: announced the updated B version of their popular low power 157 package. With 127lm/W, the 157 has become a popular choice for applications ranging from fluorescent tube replacements to emergency lighting and bulb retrofits.

Osram: launched the Duris P5 which offers a luminous efficacy up to 110lm/W (colour temperature 3000K) and an average lifetime of more than 50,000 hours, even at high currents and temperatures. Furthermore, this highly efficient LED is the first of its kind on the market for medium-power classes with particular resistance to adverse environmental conditions. Long-term tests with corrosive gases such as sulphur or chlorine cause no harm to the LED, without inducing a significant luminous flux decrease. Nor did long-term tests under sauna-like conditions, with considerable temperatures and high humidity levels, have any adverse effect on the LED.
In a package of 2.6 x 2.2mm2 with colour temperatures of 3000K; 4000K; 5000K and a minimum CRI > 80 the Duris P5 provides up to 33 lm at 100mA and up to 56 lm at 200mA. The Duris P5 is ideal for large area lighting fixtures such as 600mm x 600mm LED panel lighting.

Sharp: launched its new range of Pico ZENIGATA 0.2W to 0.6W (0.2W (1 die); 0.3W (2 dies); 0.5W (3 dies); 0.6W (4 dies)); 2.8 x 2.8 x 1.9mm LED series. The product uses low thermal resistance of ceramic substrates for efficient thermal management and high levels of heat release and reliability in addition to:

•    Availability in 0.2W, 0.3W, 0.5W and 0.6W versions;
•    Dome-shaped encapsulation to enhance light extraction;
•    High CRI of min. 80 for all CCT ranges;
•    Luminous flux (typ.) of up to 70 lm;
•    Luminous efficacy of up to 130lm/W;
•    Compact dimensions: 2.8 x 2.8 x 1.9mm;
•    Long lifetime: >40,000 hrs (depending on operating conditions);
•    Operating temperature range: -30° to +100°C;
•    Eight colour temperature options.

Verbatim: unveiled a set of high-performance halogen replacement LED spotlights including the MR16 GU5.3 with 450 lumens output and the dimmable PAR16 GU10, producing 230 lumens, delivering attention-grabbing accent-lighting.
The 64lm/W efficiency is significant for the 7W MR16 GU5.3 lamp, while the introduction of a dimmable PAR16 GU10 at 6.5W is also noteworthy.

April 2012

ridgelux: announced expansion of its highly successful Decor line of ultra-high CRI LED arrays as shown in figure 9. Address ing growing demand in the shop and retail, architectural, hospitality and museum lighting markets for the energy efficiency and high quality light offered by LED technology, Bridgelux has expanded its successful Decor 97 CRI product series to now offer increased efficiency as well as a broader range of light sources - from 500 to 5000 operational lumens in three colour temperatures, 2700, 3000 and 3500K - to satisfy the increasing number of applications demanding very high light quality.
Bridgelux announced the introduction of the Bridgelux Cetero Spot Light Module (SLM) at Light + Building, which is a compact high flux density light source delivering clean and consistent white light without pixilation and engineered to comply with the Zhaga spot light module specification. The Cetero SLM (figure 10) will offer light output ranging from 800 to 2300 lumens across multiple colour temperatures all in one common form factor. Its mechanical compatibility with the upcoming Zhaga interface specifications will ensure interchangeability and a modular product platform that will expand luminaire design options for our customers.

Cree: designed and engineered with Speirs + Major, one of the world’s leading lighting design firms, the Aeroblades luminaire series takes a bold approach to architectural street, area and security lighting. Aeroblades luminaires redefine exterior lighting by enabling beautiful LED implementation while optimising thermal management, light control, efficiency, longevity and payback.

Cree also introduced the availability of improved Cree XLamp XT-E and XM-L High-Voltage LEDs to provide manufacturers more efficient, cost-effective components. The XT-E High-Voltage LEDs can deliver up to 357 lumens at 3W in cool white (6500K) and up to 275 lumens at 3W in warm white (3000K), both at 85°C. The XM-L High-Voltage LEDs can deliver up to 647 lumens at 6W in cool white (6500K) and 555 lumens at 6W in warm white (3000K) both at 85°C.
LG: in terms of OLED developments the current technology leader at Light+ Building was definitely LG Chem who presented 60lm/W panels. LG Chem started mass production of OLED panels in October 2011 with 45lm/W panels which have already increased to 60lm/W in 2012 with CCT’s of 3000K, 3500K and 4000K. The OLED panels are some of the largest in the industry at 150mm x 150mm. The LG Chem roadmap offers outstanding performance. Table 1 shows their predictions for OLED performance by 2015.

Luminus Devices: launched a family of round LEDs (figure 11) that will accelerate the adoption of solid-state technology by displacing conventional light sources in high brightness lighting applications. Optical architectures of high power entertainment fixtures are frequently defined by a circular aperture, so using a traditional square LED is like putting a square peg into a round hole. The new round LED increases system-level efficiency by as much as 30%, enabling designers to use a single LED to replace a 250W HID lamp.

•    LED emitter family includes two die sizes;
•    7mm2 die offered in red, green, blue and white in a surface mount package (SBT-70);
•    14.2mm2 chip on board offered in white (CBT-140);
•    The CBT-140 can now replace a 250W HID lamp with a single point source/die LED;
•    The CBT-140 chip is world’s largest single die, a jump from     12mm2, the previous largest single die which is also a Luminus chip.

Nichia: released the NS9x383, a multi-chip power LED offering 150lm/W at its typical 350mA current. This LED is a great choice for high bay, street lighting and wide angled down lighting applications. Key aspects to the LED include a low forward voltage of 2.9V and colour rendering R9 value which is >0.

Osram: announced the Soleriq E LED (figure 12) arrays at Light + Building. The new Soleriq series provides the first chip-on-board LED from Osram Opto Semiconductors as shown in figure 13. Even at high application temperatures the LED arrays create the basis for highly efficient luminaires with a luminous flux of 1500 lm to 4500lm. The Soleriq E is available in two versions, covering the entire colour spectrum from 2700 to 6500K. Even at a temperature of 85°C, which corresponds closely to the temperature in the application, the two LEDs offer an impressive efficiency of 103lm/W at 4000K. At this temperature the larger Soleriq E 45 achieves a typical brightness of 4000 lm (rated current 880mA); the smaller Soleriq E 30 produces a lumen output of 2700 lm (at 600mA).

The Soleriq E30 comes in a package dimension of 30mm x 30mm x 1.7mm whilst the E45 package is sized at 36mm x 36mm x 1.7mm. The thermal resistances of the packages are 0.38K/W for the E30 and 0.25K/W for the E45.Good colour homogeneity is achieved by the narrow white grouping of the Soleriq E. As standard the products come in a 4-step MacAdam ellipse option which is not as good as other LED array manufacturers which offer 3-step as standard however for solutions that need a particularly high level of colour homogeneity, grouping based on 2-step MacAdam ellipses.

Philips Lumileds: launched new LED emitter products at Light + Building including the Luxeon M, Luxeon R, Luxeon H100/200 and the Luxeon 5630. The new LuxeonM emitter has already been approved for street lighting in major US cities and fixture designs were shown at Light + Building. LUXEON M’s high lumen output -more than 1100 lumens - and typical voltage of 11.2V enables fixture manufacturers to drive down system costs and improves system performance as solutions are simpler and use fewer parts. The Luxeon M is offered in three different correlated colour temperatures, 3000K, 4000K, and 5700K, and delivers more than 1100 lumens with a minimum CRI of 70. Every Luxeon M is hot tested and specified at 85°C and delivers Freedom from Binning.

The Luxeon R is an LED emitter designed for outdoor and industrial lighting applications such as streetlights, high-bay lights, wall packs and bollards. The Luxeon R is footprint compatible with Luxeon Rebel and Luxeon Rebel ES, while delivering more light output, higher efficacy and better quality of light. With a minimum CRI of 70. The Luxeon R is available in CCT’s of 3000K, 4000K, 5000K, 5700K and 6500K with a minimum flux of between 160 – 200 lumens.

Philips Lumileds also officially launched the new line of 100V and 200V Luxeon H LEDs for retrofit and small form factor applications with enhanced performance. Luxeon H leads in real world performance:

•    CCT: 2700K, 3000K, and 4000K with minimum 80 CRI;
•    Single 3-step MacAdam Ellipse colour space;
•    No flux bins; no Vf bins;
•    Hot Tested and Specified at Tj=85°C;
•    Efficacy: Delivers up to 100lm/W at 40mA, 100V;
•    100V / 200V package rated for 4W -8W;
•    Typical Flux: 320 – 660 lumens at 20 – 90mA and 100V or 200V.

Toshiba: unveiled its leading innovation at Light + Building with Laser Diode and OLED Technology (figure 13). Laser Diode-Lighting is a brand-new, ultra high luminance white light source, using cutting-edge technologies. It achieves performance of much higher luminance within a much smaller area, for various applications that require much higher luminous flux than available with conventional white LEDs.

Such outstanding performance is achieved by a small-form factor, lightweight emitter unit including optics and a small phosphor area. The emitter unit is coupled with optical fibres and separated from a LD light engine containing multiple blue light sources. In parallel, it does not contain any electrical components in the emitter unit. This way, it enables manufacturers to downsize luminaires and greatly improved design flexibility.

Toshiba also launched their own OLED lighting (figure 14) so that they too could offer the ultra-flat and glare-free luminous panels that are set to reinvent lighting.

Verbatim: Unveiled the world’s first colour-tuneable and dimmable OLED module that delivers brightness of up to 2,000 cd/m2. The company’s latest series of Velve OLED modules are twice as bright as earlier devices. Architects and interior designers can use OLED technology to create atmospheric lighting without hot spots, glare or uncomfortable intensity.

Verbatim demonstrated its latest Velve OLED modules at Light + Building which can be used to create dynamic wall illuminations. The Velve OLEDs (figure 15) are particularly suitable for creative use istage lighting and novel applications in disco and bar environments, offering harmonious soft-light output, integrated calibration and an even distribution of light from panel-to-panel.

Verbatim presented a new set of compact off-the-shelf modules, although the company can create custom-made OLED panel sizes. One option measures 131mm x 44mm and the second is only 65mm x 72mm, a quarter of the original size. Both variants have a depth of only 5mm. The profile of the OLED modules in this series has been made smaller, thinner and lighter because its printed circuit board is no longer rear-mounted and is housed in an electronic control unit connected via cabling.

The latest series of colour-tunable Velve OLED modules is ideal for mood lighting with each panel delivering red, green and blue (RGB) mixed colour with illuminance of 2000 candelas per square metre at a colour temperature of 3000K.

Xicato: launched two new LED models at Light + Building including the XLM 3000 and the XPM Point Module using their cold phosphor solution.
The XLM 3000 Artist was Xicato’s highest flux Artist Series product and is designed for applications that require perfect halogen-level colour rendering and smooth, continuous dimming to 0.1% (power). The XLM 3000 Artist combines high flux with high colour rendering and is suitable for track, recessed downlight, and wall wash luminaires.

As with the rest of the Artist Series Range, colour rendering is accurate across all 15 CIE standard test colours, both pastel and saturated, including the deep red and skin tone references. Ra = 90+ and 95 typical, outperforming other LED solutions, as well as compact fluorescent and compact metal halide sources. XLM Artist Series is available in Correlated Colour Temperatures (CCTs) of 3000K, 3500K, and 4000K.

As with all Xicato’s LED modules, the XLM 3000 Artist is colour consistent initially (1 x 2 SDCM) and over life and maintains its light level over time (L70/B50/50,000hrs)

Xicato’s new ‘point’ module, shown in figure 16, addresses one of the last bastions of halogen accent lighting - extremely tight beams, with very high luminous intensities (such as from AR111 lamps). With an aperture of only 6mm, the new high-luminance XPM enables reflector designs with peak intensities from 7,000cd to 50,000cd, and beam angles of 10° to 3.5°.

The new XPM is offered in both 2700K and 3000K CCT. CRI (Ra) is 80 minimum as is CQS (Colour Quality Scale).

May 2012

LED Engin: launched ViviLux (figure 17), a family of high-efficiency single-emitters combined with secondary total internal reflection (TIR) lenses delivering high Lux-on-Target, high CRI and 2 MacAdam Ellipse consistency for directional lighting. It is an extreme power density and high-efficiency solution for retail and commercial lighting comprisingsingle-package emitter and secondary lens.

The powerful, yet compact emitter and lens combinations produce up to twice the centre-beam lux of array-based LEDs with comparable power and reflector optics and lead the industry in terms of ‘lux efficacy’. Under steady-state conditions at 80ºC ambient, ViviLux emitters have luminous efficacy of 85lm/W at 350mA and 1700lm at 700mA.

With a CRI of 90 and minimum R9 of 70, ViviLux ensures accurate colour rendition in even the most demanding applications. Furthermore, emitter-to-emitter variations of less than 2 MacAdam Ellipses guarantee lighting consistency, both initially and throughout the service life of the emitters. ViviLux, which is based on LED Engin’s proven LuxiGen emitter technology, is available in three beam options: 24°/ 35°/45°, providing flexibility and freedom in lighting design.

Nichia: released the NVSx219B. This is the second generation of the 219 which offers 290 lumens or 132lm/W at its typical 700mA drive current. This point source, ceramic 3.5x3.5 package is a great fit for a variety of applications calling on a power LED with excellent durability and lifetime

Sharp: launched the Mini ZENIGATA line up which includes LEDs between 4 – 15W (available versions: 4W; 6W, 7W, 9W, 12W and 15W); 15 x 12mm COB (ceramic substrate), particularly suitable for retrofit bulb and spotlight applications. The mini Zenigata uses a unique ceramic substrate for long-term reliability and low thermal resistance for efficient thermal management. Series main features include:

•    Chip-on-board LED with only two terminal connections for easy installation;
•    CRI options of Ra 80+ and 90+;
•    Luminous flux (typ.) from 410 lm to 1400lm;
•    Luminous efficacy of up to 100lm/W;
•    Colour variation within a 3 MacAdam ellipse;
•    Dimensions: 15 x 12mm;
•    Standard 10mm LES and ceramic substrate in all wattage classes;
•    Long lifetime: >40,000 hrs depending on operating conditions*;
•    Operating temperature range: -30° to +100°C;
•    Four colour temperature options.

Soraa: launched its VIVID LED MR16 lamp - the first full spectrum LED MR16 lamp with colour quality and rendering superior to both traditional halogen and competitor LED lamps with the highest output 95 CRI. With rich saturated colour rendering, and excellent colour stability, Soraa’s VIVID LED MR16 lamp is the lamp of choice for demanding display applications. The VIVID MR16 lamp offers superior light quality, while being 75% more energy efficient than comparable halogen lamps. It is designed to replace standard 40 to 50W MR16 halogen lamps and is available in 2700K and 3000K correlated colour temperatures.

June 2012

Bridgelux & Toshiba: announced that they had achieved the industry’s top class 8” GaN on Silicon LED chip emitting 614mW, <3.1V@350mA in a 1.1mm square chip, just months after they engaged in a joint collaborative agreement (figure 18).

Toshiba Corporation announced that from October 2012 it would start mass production of white LED on a production line that the company will construct in the 200mm wafer facility at Kaga Toshiba Electronics Corporation, a production base for discrete products in northern Japan.
A combination of Bridgelux’s crystal growth and LED chip structure and Toshiba’s advanced silicon process and manufacturing technology were credited with enabling this mass production of high brightness white LEDs.

Luminus Devices: announced it had optimised RGB projection chip brightness improvements within its PT family of LED emitters. They had achieved the industry’s brightest Pure Green LEDs by making a significant jump, over 50% brighter than the 2011 generation PT chips. The Red LEDs offer over a 35% improvement and blue LEDs over a 30% improvement compared to the 2011 generation PT chips. Together these brightness improvements on projection-optimised RGB chipsets have enabled up to a 40% year-on-year projector performance improvements.

Philips Lumileds: launched the Luxeon Z, the company’s smallest LED package to date (figure 19). With a total footprint of just 2.2 square millimeters and high lumen output across a full spectrum of colours from 440-670 nanometers, including white, the Luxeon Z offers luminaire designers the industry’s highest commercially available lumen density. With this breakthrough, configurations are virtually limitless, and with the ability to mount as many as 250 of the high-lumen Luxeon Z in one square-inch, designers can reach new levels in lumen densities.
PhotonStar: introduced the Cryos Adjustable CLE and CeilingStar BLE range.

The Cryos is a Colour Tuneable High CRI low glare downlight including adjustable, wall wash, darklight and fixed. This is the first luminaire product to feature the new ChromaWhite CLE module, providing high CRI (>Ra90), variable CCT up to 1000lm. Fixed white and halogen emulation versions also available.

The CeilingStar BLE is also a Colour Tuneable High CRI, shallow void downlight that offers a low void depth luminaire product to feature the new ChromaWhite technology, providing high CRI (>Ra90), variable CCT.

Sharp: introduced the new Mega ZENIGATA line up covering powers between 15W to 50W (available versions: 15W; 25W, 35W and 50W); 24 x 20mm COB (ceramic substrate) for general illumination (spot and downlights etc.) requiring high lumen levels. The Mega ZENIGATA can be directly mounted onto the heat sink and requires no further electrical insulation. The unique ceramic substrate offers long-term reliability and excellent heat dissipation thanks to the flat surface of the ceramic substrate and provides low heat resistance for efficient thermal management.

The main features of the family include:
•    Chip-on-board LED with only two terminal connections for easy installation;
•    CRI options of Ra 70+, 80+, 90+;
•    Luminous flux from 1,000 lm to 7000 lm;
•    Luminous efficacy of up to 108lm/W;
•    Colour variation within a 3 MacAdam ellipse;
•    Long lifetime: >40,000 hrs depending on operating conditions*;
•    Operating temperature range: -30° to +100°C;
•    Six different temperature options.

July 2012

Cree: introduced the XLamp XP-G2 LED to deliver luminaire manufacturers up to 20 percent more lumens per watt and 2.5 times the lumens-per-dollar over the original XP-G LED. Characterised and binned at 85°C, the new XP-G2 LED leverages the same footprint (3.45mm x 3.45mm) and is compatible optically with the original XP-G LED. The XP-G2 LEDs combine high light output, reliability and efficacy to deliver up to 151lm/W at 350mA, 85°C or 165lm/W at 350mA, 25°C in cool white (both at 6000K). In warm white (3000K), the XP-G2 LED delivers up to 133lm/W at 350mA, 85°C or 145lm/W at 350mA, 25°C.
Cree also announced they had achieved a 170lm/W prototype LED light bulb less than one year after showcasing the 152lm/W concept LED bulb. Cree’s new 170 lumen-per-watt prototype LED bulb delivered more than 1250 lumens and consumes only 7.3W. The bulb uses Cree TrueWhite Technology to deliver a CRI of 90+. As an efficiency comparison, a traditional 75W incandescent light bulb produces 1100 lumens, which is only 14.6lm/W.

Nichia: released the V1 versions of their highly regarded chip on board line-up (figure 20). Nichia’s COB range offers products with flux options ranging from 740lm to 4,190lm (still at 120lm/W) with standard 3-step colour binning and hot and cold lumen ratings.

Nichia: released the V1 versions of their popular mid-power 757 package. With higher flux, these push Nichia’s mid-power packages to the front of efficiency. With several options including .15W, .2W, .45W and a 6V .6W multichip package, this is the package of choice for applications ranging from panel lighting to fluorescent tube replacement and flood lighting. In its most efficient version of the package, Nichia offers 155lm/W.

Philips Lumileds: launched it second product in the mid-power LED range comprised of a compact 3.5mm x 3.5mm form factor, efficiency of more than 110lm/W at 100mA and a CRI minimum >80. The Luxeon 3535 (figure 21) is offered in a range of colour temperatures from 2700K to 6500K and are ideal for non-directional light sources.

September 2012
Cree: introduced the new XLamp XP-E2 LED, delivering higherlm/W and lumens-per-dollar to lower system costs for existing XP-E and XP-G designs. The XP-E2 LEDs deliver up to 128lm/W at 350mA, 85°C or 143lm/W at 350mA, 25°C in cool white (6000K) and uses the same XP footprint (3.45mm x 3.45mm).

GE Lighting: launched the high lumen Infusion M4500 Series (figure 22) as a new addition to its innovative range of Infusion LED modules. When combined with high efficiency optics, it allows for a genuine replacement of 50W and 70W HID with a true replication of performance and light output. The Infusion M4500 Series plays a key role as it delivers the highest lumen package of all the products within the Infusion range up to 4500 lumens using a 50W module. Further benefits include varying colour temperatures which include: 2700K, 3000K and 4000K, in addition to >80 and >90 CRI options.

October 2012

Cree: announced commercial availability of XLamp XB-D color LEDs and XLamp XM-L multi-colour LEDs. The high-performance colour LEDs provide lighting manufacturers with discrete and multi-colour LED options to more cost-effectively address a wider spectrum of applications such as architectural, vehicle and display lighting. XLamp XB-D colour LEDs deliver up to 1416mW for royal blue, 92 lumens for blue, 198 lumens for green, 210 lumens for red and 261 lumens for red-orange, all at 1A in the 2.45mm x 2.45mm footprint. XLamp XM-L colour LEDs deliver up to 89 lumens for royal blue, 214 lumens for green, 229 lumens for red and 272 lumens for white at 1A in the 5mm x 5mm footprint.

Cree also joined the LED array fraternity by introducing its CXA LED arrays that deliver system-level performance ranging from 500 to 5000 lumens and up to 146 LEDlm/W, enabling applications ranging from LED replacement lamps to commercial downlights. For example, the CXA1512 LED array can deliver over 1900 lumens at 120lm/W in a very small 9mm optical source size. Other LED arrays may come close to this level of performance, but not in this small a form factor. The CXA1512’s small size is critical for enabling low system cost in a wide range of lighting applications, from narrow-beam spotlights to wide-area lights.

GE Lighting: introduced the Infusion Narrow Punch Modular (NPM) system (figure 23) a new LED light source which, when combined with GE’s new innovative optical system, creates a narrow light beam angle for track mounted, recessed accent lighting and spotlighting. When run at its maximum power of 25W, the Infusion NPM system delivers a peak intensity of up to 30,000 candela, in a narrow 10 degree beam of high quality.

Osram: The Duris E5 from Osram provides the perfect LED for homogenous distribution of light in panel lights. With a colour temperature of 4000K and a CRI of 85, the LEDs generate a light colour which is similar to daylight – an aspect which is particularly important in office and retail lighting. The Duris E5 are among the most efficient LEDs on the market in their performance class (mid-power), achieving 110lm/W (at 4000K and 120mA).

Philips Lumileds: introduced the Luxeon Rebel Plus, delivering a 15 percent performance upgrade over earlier versions of the product. Designed with an industry-standard 4530 package and a 2.55mm dome, the Rebel Plus is optimised for maximum light output and is available in a range of CCTs from 2700K-5000K

November 2012

PhotonStar: previewed their ‘Pastel’ version of the technology due for release in 2013. This uses the same active feedback technology as the other ChromaWhite versions providing high CRI over Ra90 whilst on planckian, but offers pastel colour possibilities as well.

Sharp: introduced the new Tiger ZENIGATA LED array which is the first tuneable-white high power chip-on-board (COB) LED, having four terminal connections for easy installation. The Tiger LED array offers the ability to tune along the blackbody curve from 2700K to 5700K whilst maintaining a 2,000lm output. With a circular light-emitting surface (LES) having a diameter of 17mm it is possible to provide simultaneous emission of warm and cold white light to achieve natural white. It offers a CRI of up to 92 in cold white and up to 94 in warm white tones with a typical luminous flux of 2,000lm and typical luminous efficacy of 83lm/W in just 25W and a 24 x 20 x 1.8mm package. The Tiger array provides high-quality light across the entire colour temperature spectrum and from a single point light source with no multiple shadows, no colour shadows and no differences in colour. The tuneable white LED works by combining warm white and cool white multi-chip LEDs within a single COB solution, creating a tiger-stripe appearance as shown in figure 24. A two-channel driver can be used to drive the two colours independently, allowing smooth tuning from warm white (2700K) to cool white (5700K) by varying their relative drive current. It is possible to tune through this entire range while maintaining a lumen output of 2,000lm.

Final Observations from the industry
What to expect in 2013...

Paul Scheidt, Product Marketing Manager, Cree, LED Components believes: “In the next year, the lighting industry is going to realise that LEDs aren’t just the ideal light source for certain niche applications, but they can be the ideal light source for all lighting applications. As an LED company, we have been saying this for years, but 2013 will be the year that the message is finally accepted.

2013 will be the year that the general public becomes much more aware of the benefits of LED lighting. People know LEDs in the context of Christmas lights, TVs and refrigerators. Now LEDs are starting to light up their roads, their stores, and even a few of their homes. Better LED lighting products mean more installations, which means more people actually experience LED lighting, which drives adoption of LED lighting.”

Keith T S Ward, President & CEO, Luminus Devices, Inc., states:
“I believe that in 2013, LED companies will continue to advance towards global consolidation, where the big get bigger and a few of the smaller firms get absorbed. Forward integration by the super large LED companies will continue to take new forms.

I forsee a continued focus on providing the innovation of new intelligence to the lighting system for ‘value adds’ and enhanced margins farther down the value chain. Fixtures will start to change in size and move towards more miniaturisation. Asia will continue to grow as the manufacturing centre for LED fabrication, with Europe and the US holding on to single players who will begin to fragment their country of origin production structures.

Unit volume growth will continue to be offset with aggressive price erosion holding the revenue growth to near single digits or so. Capacity will outstrip demand as LED manufacturing is ahead of demand and a year of growth will not fully absorb the difference. The bifurcation of chip size in lighting applications will continue, LED penetration continues in general lighting and further adaption in numerous new illumination applications but still dramatically below a 50% rate of penetration.

LED lighting markets will continue to move to adapting to using more LED platforms that displace traditional lighting products and technologies... the speed of penetration will be slower than many expect due to the industry fragmentation and relative slow growth of global construction. Retrofit applications using LEDs will also continue to penetrate as construction softness will drive ESCOs and contractors to search for work. Emerging markets will skip over traditional lighting applications and products and move directly toward LED products.

Global construction and manufacturing markets will continue to be slightly depressed globally as a continuation of the macro-economic environment we are seeing globally. Efficacy and LPW will continue to advance as well as high CRI utilisation in more and more applications. Integrated systems will also get more attention as businesses look to differentiation to drive revenue growth and margin expansion.”

The team at Verbatim believe: “As far as 2013 is concerned, one thing is certain: LED devices are set to become increasingly energy efficient and available in higher lux intensities. Beyond this, LEDs are set to become increasingly smart with more indoor lighting products controlled by smartphones. We also expect the level of consumer understanding about LED technologies to steadily improve, given many countries have banned or are planning to prohibit the manufacture of old-fashioned lightbulbs. Unfortunately, customer disappointment with inferior LED products from lesser-known brands or unbranded budget LED lamps may also rise next year and this could taint the reputation of the overall industry. Consumers on a budget in these austere times could choose ultra low cost LED lamps over more costly established brands but these products compromise on the quality of materials and components used. You get what you pay for.”


2012 has been a solid year in performance gains for LEDs and LED fixtures and OLEDs has shown a stunning comeback showing that it would be unwise to write the technology off completely.
Nearly every significant LED manufacturer has endorsed the fact that LED arrays offer the best solution for general LED lighting applications with the launch of arrays in a variety of formats from 10 to 100W. These LED arrays offer significant lumen outputs and high efficiency whilst enabling excellent optical performance from small light emitting areas.

A range of new and exciting LED technology advancements have been made during the year including new substrate materials such as Gallium and Silicon that offer significant performance gains and/or price reduction possibilities in 2013. Toshiba showed a glimpse of a possible lighting future using blue lasers remotely to enable high luminous power densities.

Of course LED and LED fixture performance increased significantly yet again during 2012 and we can expect to see an improvement in lumens of between 15 to 25% during 2013 to enable LEDs to surpass all types of artificial lighting.

In 2012, LED light bulb replacements finally found their way on to consumer’s shelves although their prices are still prohibitive.
What may happen in 2013...

I certainly believe the commercial availability of 180lm/W LED emitters will be available by the end of 2013 which will enable LED fixture manufacturers to begin the replacement of T5 luminaires as the return on investment payback drops accordingly.

Advanced, low cost colour tuneable LED products will become widely available during 2012 that offer end users the ability to set colour temperatures dynamically and meet 2 standard MacAdam ellipses. The vCCT products will be available in several formats, including two, three and five channel based systems, causing standardisation bodies a new set of headaches.

The relentless cost down of LED fixtures will increase poor reliability issues across the whole industry and a second phase of disillusionment will begin for a couple of years as LED fixtures fail in application.
Colour metrics and LED flicker effects will begin to be highlighted as an issue by designers as they find LEDs need to be measured more accurately and CRI is not appropriate.

Finally, LED lighting will become significantly more intelligent and leaders in the market will start to integrate control technology at little or no extra costs into luminaires thus accelerating the energy efficiency savings possible.

Have a great festive season and a Happy New Year which is going to be full of lighting innovations!

Dr. Geoff Archenhold is an active investor in LED driver and fixture manufacturers and a lighting energy consultant.




Figure 1: Luxeon K LED array family from Lumileds.

Related Articles

  • Figure 2: The compact Cree XB-D cool white LEDs introduced in January.

  • Figure 3: The new Osram UX:3 high brightness LED GaN on Silicon LED process.

  • Figure 4: The high voltage Luxeon H.


  • Figure 5: Unparalled LED performance from Soraa for their new LED technology.


  • Figure 6: Toshiba’s E1600 downlighter range.

  • Figure 7: Cree's XLamp ML-C and ML-E LEDs in a compact 3.5mm x 3.45mm footprint.

  • Figure 8: The Sharp pico Zenigata launched in March.

  • Figure 9: The high CRI Bridgelux Décor LED array.

  • Figure 10: The Bridgelux Zhaga compliant spot light at Light + Building.

  • Figure 11: The round ultra-high brightness LED from Luminus.

  • Figure 12: The new Soleriq COB LED array from Osram.

  • Figure 13: Laser Diodes Lighting from Toshiba lighting.

  • Figure 14: OLED lighting fixture from Toshiba.

  • Figure 15: The Verbatim OLED products launched at Light + Building.

  • Figure 16: The new Xicato XPM spot module enabling high peak intensities.

  • Figure 17: LED Engin’s ViviLux LED solution.

  • Figure 18: Bridgelux and Toshiba’s 8 inch silicon wafers in a MOCVD Reactor.

  • Figure 19: The Luxeon Z range of super compact LED emitters.

  • Figure 20: Nichia’s 120lm/W COB LED Arrays

  • Figure 21: The Luxeon 3535 mid-power LED from Philips

  • Figure 22: GE’s M4500 Infusion module that can replace 50-70W HIDs.

  • Figure 23: GE’s Infusion Narrow Punch Modular (NPM) system.

  • Figure 24: Sharp’s Tiger colour tuneable LED array.


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