newsletter link
mondo arc

Light Fantastic

Issue 73 June / July 2013

Dr Geoff Archenhold is pleasantly surprised to find a Lightfair International show that proves US Lighting can be elegant and innovative.

It has been over three years since I last made the trip to Lightfair International (LFI) but it was definitely worth the long transatlantic flight as I could witness the significant progress that incorporated technology advances, business models and quality of product design. LFI has exploded as an exhibition since its days in New York with 538 exhibitors packed into over 233,000 square feet of exhibition halls and over 26,000 attendees. Of course the event isn’t just about being the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show but just as equally important is the LFI Conference which offered 66 accredited courses and over 200+ hours of educational lectures covering topics in retrofitting, daylighting, LEDs, Net Zero, lighting design, controls, energy efficiency, exterior and roadway lighting, solar power and more.

Another area which is of particular interest is the LFI Innovation Awards, which this year received 307 submissions from 156 different companies and spanned fifteen innovation categories which exemplifies the best in innovative design and thinking. I will talk about a few of the winning entries later on as they offer some unique perspectives on how LED technologies can be used for various lighting applications.  
Over a decade ago, I used to travel to the US regularly, and I witnessed lighting fixtures that had been designed with all the elegance of an elephant wearing a tutu. Virtually all the products I saw were bulky, hideously over-engineered, questionable in design styles and on the whole, poor technically compared to the elegantly designed and technically superior (at least in my mind) European products. However, within the last three years there has been a dramatic change in products being offered in the US market which I can only believe is due to innovative thinking inspired by LED technology becoming predominant throughout virtually all lighting applications and the tremendous US Government support provided by the DoE and EPA SSL programmes. I think we have to pay tribute to the US Government who have really supported SSL over the last 6 years ensuring innovation, high quality and education programmes are coordinated to ensure SSL technology succeeds in the US market in a sustainable way. I think such unusual government department foresight and coordinated programmes have really helped accelerate the indigenous US lighting industry to be world leading and in the long term fully sustainable. For example, the vast majority of lighting fixture manufacturers in the UK are starting to jettison home-grown production in lieu of importing lower cost Asian sourced products where price seems on the whole to be the overriding key factor. In contrast, when speaking to many of the US fixture manufacturers they are much more bullish about being able to compete with US manufactured products and their key aim is to offer a technically superior product at near-equivalent Asian pricing (when taking into account quality rejects, logistical costs and upfront inventory funding) and I was consistently told the American consumer would prefer to purchase American made goods when they can!

Innovations to look out for  

There were some really interesting innovations on offer during the event and I only have space to cover a few but I definitely think you need to get to the US next year and see more for yourself.

Figure 1: Heico’s induction lighting system with modules.

Figure 1: Heico’s induction lighting system with modules.

Contactless Technology

HEICO lighting, founded in 1985 and based in Quebec, showed off its contactless LED technology which supplies power to LED modules by induction. Several start-up companies are looking into or have launched such technologies recently and such induction technology offers one solution to reduce energy consumption as it can convert power to drive LEDs at up to 92% which is higher than most LED driver technologies today. Another significant advantage of induction based systems are in installation and reliability with the benefits of less maintenance and operating costs with zero electrolytic capacitor drivers and dimmers. Heico claims the contactless technology allows a perfect customization to all projects and applications through a wide range of possibilities with the option of mixing colours, beam angles and intensity on the same single stranded wire.

HID and tuneable white replaced by LEDs

LED Engin launched their Studio White LED emitters to enable the design of compact, cool, safe and reliable LED alternatives to HID arc lamps. HID’s have proved one area of difficulty for LEDs to match as they offer relatively high system efficacies and light output in a compact footprint however LED Engin have created a high lumen density product which features a daylight colour temperature of 5300K, a colour rendering index (CRI) of greater than 85 and R9 red content of 50 which results in natural rendering of skin tones and other colours. The Studio White emitters come in a range of package sizes for different power ratings from 10W to 80W and delivering between 600 and 4400 lumens output. The emitters also come with a range of total internal reflection (TIR) lenses ranging from 9° narrow spot to 50° wide flood beam versions. The compact emitter/ lens combination produces uniform lighting on the target area, smooth beam profiles and minimizes light outside the target area, reducing unwanted glare compared to HID and larger LED array solutions.

HID is used extensively throughout retail applications and this is a step forward in replacing the traditional technology with true LED equivalents enabling manufacturers to overcome lifetime and heat issues commonly found with HID.

Figure 2: LED Engin’s LEDPR018 LuxiTune with lens.

LED Engin also announced LuxiTune, the first intelligent, compact, single emitter light engine that delivers directional light with halogen-style dimming, hugging the black body curve from 3000K down to 1800K. Luminous flux is 1100 lumens, equivalent to a 60W halogen lamp. Luminous efficacy is 63 hot lumens per Watt including the secondary optic losses, far higher than that of rival products that utilize multiple emitters and reflectors. At full intensity, colour rendering index (CRI) is 90 and LuxiTune maintains a CRI average of 85 and R9 red content of 70 as it dims. With a diameter of 50mm, LuxiTune makes it quick and easy to create a compact lighting fixture that works with standard 0-10V dimmers or via a DMX interface.

The LuxiTune light engine comprises a 12-die, compact single emitter with intelligent control circuit and complementary TIR optic. The die are matched to within 3 MacAdam ellipses (SDCM) and dimming tracks the black body curve to within three SDCM, producing consistent, natural light across the full dimming and CCT range.  The unique, multi-layer ceramic substrate minimizes the package thermal resistance and provides an almost stress-free environment for the chips providing effective heat dissipation and maximum light emission.

Improved CFL replacement

Philips introduced the Fortimo LED Disk 800 lm Gen 3 dimmable module (see figure 3) to help manufacturers replace CFL compact down lighting that requires a high quality of light. The module offers the latest energy efficient LED technology and is very easy to design in, thanks to the integrated driver and primary optics (85D beam angle) and can be connected directly to the mains. Since the Fortimo LED Disk is an all-in-one integrated solution, just a small heat sink will be required to design a very nice compact downlight starting from only 7.5cm in height. Fixture manufacturers can make use of the newly added dimming feature (leading edge) to always set the right ambience. This makes it a great solution for commercial applications such as restaurants, hotels, retail and small offices.

Figure 3: The new Philips Fortimo LED disk 800lm module.

The new generation furthermore offers an efficacy upgrade of 25% over previous generations and an increased lifetime of 50K hrs is possible (with a Tcase 60°C). This will meet the demands of most customers seeking for lower energy consumption and maintenance cost. The Fortimo LED Disk 800lm now offers a complete range of colour temperatures (2700K, 3000K and 4000K).

Liquid-cooled LED lamps

Switch Lighting is an innovative venture-backed start-up which is focussing on the LED retrofit lamp market but offers an innovative twist in that its LED bulbs are liquid-cooled for superior performance and long life-time compared to standard convection cooled LED lamps. Switch announced several new products at Lightfair including the Switch Infinia, available in 40 and 60 watt-equivalent models with an average price to the end user of under $20. The SWITCH infinia is designed to exactly replace the look and performance of traditional 40W and 60W incandescent A-Lamps, while saving up to 83% on energy costs. The Switch Infinia will be available in warm and cool colour temperatures (2700K and 5000K), will offer a full range of light distribution, and is covered by a 10 year residential and three year commercial warranty.

Figure 4: The Switch 60W Liquid Cooled LED lamp.

The Switch Infinia fits into standard light sockets, turns instantly on, and is dimmable. Unlike some LED replacement A-Lamps, it can be used in the same manner as any incandescent or compact fluorescent equivalent - in any orientation, any fixture, anywhere.

All of Switch’s LED bulbs use an advanced LQD Cooling System which is an innovative blend of two proprietary technologies: a cooling liquid that bathes the LEDs inside the bulb, and a patented driver that is both reliable and highly efficient. The overall electronic design works to cool the LEDs, using the bulb’s entire surface to disperse heat. As a result, Switch LED bulbs offer up to 40% better thermal performance than air-cooled LED bulbs. Better thermal performance means the Switch lamps can be used in any fixture, even fully enclosed or recessed, and in any orientation without compromising light output or life.

The LQD Cooling System uses a liquid silicone, a coolant commonly used across many industries. It’s an ingredient found in food products and cosmetics, and it’s also used for cooling large machinery and power plant equipment. The liquid silicone used in Switch’s designs is a benign, food-grade liquid, and is electrically non-conductive, non-toxic and non-staining. It doesn’t degrade the LEDs or bulb components in any way, and it doesn’t harm people or the environment. The liquid silicone dissipates heat from the 10 LEDs (12 LEDs for the 100-watt version) as warmer silicone moves toward the glass exterior, where heat dissipates into the air; as it cools, the silicone drops back toward the bulb’s heart similar in concept to the good old lava lamps.

The LQD Cooling System has earned Switch LED bulbs the distinction of being the first liquid-cooled lighting product to be UL-approved.
The advanced cooling technique has allowed Switch to launch the SWITCH3-Way that is the first LED bulb in an A-Lamp format that works in three-way lighting fixtures. For the first time in LED lighting, users can select different levels of lighting - low, medium, and high (300, 800, 1,100 lumens and in 30/60/75 watt-equivalents) - for different applications at the flip of a switch on a table or floor lamp. The three power settings give users control over the amount of light, ambiance, and energy used, with no changes in the warm colour temperature.

The SWITCH100 will be among the first 100 watt-equivalent LED A-lamps available to commercial and consumer customers. It’s designed on a small A-21 form factor and comes in 4000K colour temperature with over 1600 lumens output. The SWITCH100 provides the same level of performance as the now obsolete 100W incandescent A-Lamps, at a fraction of the energy consumption at 20 Watts.

Flexible LED lighting Sheet

Cooledge Lighting Inc. founded in 2009 is a venture backed start-up focused on delivering high value solid-state lighting solutions to the general illumination market launched its product line of flexible LED light sheets. Its flexible LED light sheet technology was the Design Excellence Award Winner in the 2013 LIGHTFAIR International (LFI) Innovation Awards and named as category winner in the LED, OLED, Chips and Modules category.

Cooledge’s light sheet provides high quality lighting with luminous efficacies exceeding 120 lumens per watt and 50,000 hours lifetime. The light sheet utilizes a highly dense pattern of LEDs on a thin plastic substrate, delivering on the promise of OLEDs with the reliability and performance of LEDs.

Light sheet’s unique form factor permits large panels, long lengths and the ability to conform to a wide variety of shapes, eliminating many of the constraints and challenges imposed by existing LED systems. Luminaire designs using the light sheet can be fluid, thin and minimal in design as well as allowing unique material choices. Based on Cooledge Lighting’s patented technology, this new medium of light requires no heat-sinking or thermal management and inspires a wide range of unique and novel luminaire designs.

Figure 5: Cooledge’s flexible LED light engines.

Cooledge light sheet comes in various sizes having widths from 1.1” (28mm) to 11” (280mm) and lengths up to 8’ (2.4m).  These linear sheets are available in nominal one-foot standard lengths and can be custom configured to luminaire manufacturer requirements. Light sheet is fully dimmable with standard commercial dimmers and is a UL recognized class-2 low voltage component, allowing for ease of integration and design. The product is RoHS/REACH compliant and carries a 5-year limited system warranty.

The system operates from a constant voltage power supply and dimming can be made easily by integrating constant voltage dimming solutions for DALI, DMX and phase dimming control protocols.
During the show Cooledge and GE Lighting announced a joint development agreement to include the development of high performance LED phosphors and LED solutions targeting a wide range of commercial applications including signage and retail refrigeration applications.

Linear LED Modules

Samsung Electronics announced the introduction of a new line-up of Zhaga-compliant LED H-Series linear modules that feature extremely high efficacy, as well as excellent light quality, and colour consistency for use in a wide range of LED lighting applications including ambient lighting and linear fixtures.

Figure 6: The Samsung Linear LED module.

The new Samsung H-Series features 145lm/W luminous efficacy, which is the industry’s highest in the LED module product category. The new LED module’s 5000K CCT (Correlated Colour Temperature) provides an approximately 40 percent improvement over a typical T5 fluorescent lamp and 50 percent improvement of a T8 fluorescent lamp.

Directional LED Modules

Osram Sylvania announced the new series of DLM1100 Directional Light Modules and DL1100 Directional Light Engines. Available in 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, 4000K and 5000K colour temperatures, DLM1100 Directional Light Modules and DL1100 Directional Light Engines are ideal solutions for fixture designers and manufacturers focused on directional, recessed, area and accent lighting. These new lighting solutions provide fixture manufacturers lower costs, improved efficacy from 58 to 82 LPW and 78 to 103 LPW, respectively, and improved colour and intensity consistency while using 37 percent less energy.

Figure 7: The DL1100 light engine from Osram Sylvania.

The DL1100 Directional Light Engine shown in figure 7, consists of 40 high-brightness LEDs on a metal core board (MCB). This stand-alone light engine can be designed into a variety of housings in combination with optical components and can be used in a wide spectrum of applications including downlighting, wallwashing, track lighting, area lighting and accent lighting. The high lumen LED package generates up to 2000 lumens of light from a compact source and comes pre-wired with connectors to simplify the mounting process.

High Lumen Chip on Board Module

Cree extended the XLamp® CXA family of LED arrays with the new higher light output CXA2540 and CXA3050 LEDs. Optimised to simplify designs and lower system cost, the new CXA LEDs deliver 5,000 to over 10,000 lumens, enabling new applications such as high output track lights and downlights, outdoor area lighting and high bay lighting. The new CXA3050 LED, shown in figure 8, is now the brightest member of the CXA family and can enable LED replacements for up to 100 watt ceramic metal halide in spot lighting or up to 175 watt pulse-start metal halide in high-bay and outdoor area lighting. The addition of the CXA3050 LED Array also enables lighting manufacturers to rapidly expand their product portfolio with higher lumen products.

Figure 8: The Cree 10,000 lumen Chip on Board CXA3050.


High Peformance MR16 Retrofit lamps

Soraa announced its new perfect spectrum SORAA VIVID 2 and PREMIUM 2 LED MR16 lamp lines—the first ultra-efficient replacements for 65 watt and 75 watt halogen lamps, available in both 12V and mains AC voltages. A technological breakthrough made possible by Soraa’s world-record performance gallium-nitride on gallium-nitride (GaN on GaN) LEDs, the new SORAA LED MR16 lamps deliver the industry’s highest light output, while rendering vivid colours, richer reds and whiter whites.

The SORAA VIVID 2 and PREMIUM 2 lamps’ GaN on GaN LED technology leverages the 1000x lower crystal defect density advantage of the native GaN substrate, thus emitting substantially more light and allowing reliable operation at much higher temperatures. This enables a very simple and robust MR16 lamp design that uses a single LED light source and a simple heatsink, while producing 65W to 75W halogen equivalent light output and operating reliably at lamp temperatures of up to 120°C, a requirement for use in the most constrained fixtures.
The SORAA VIVID 2 LED MR16 lamp has a CRI of 95 and R9 of 95 and is available in a complete suite of beam angles, colour temperatures and lumen outputs.

Figure 9: Soraa’s new GaN-on-GaN MR16 with high CRI perfect spectrum output.



LFI is definitely one of the global calendar events where new technologies and products are launched. However, this year the quality and diversity of products on offer shows the US market has caught up with European design finesse and is catching up with Asian costing to enable what I think will be a sustainable North American lighting market once artificial Asian subsidies have long disappeared. My opinion is the European Commission and politicians should learn from colleagues in the West if they wish to keep a strong European Lighting sector so vital to CO2 targets.

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


Dr Geoff Archenhold
Related Articles


Follow us on…

Follow Mondo Arc Magazine on Twitter Follow Mondo Arc Magazine on Facebook Follow Mondo Arc Magazine on Linked In

mondo arc india

darc awards DWLF IALD PLDC LRO