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euroLED 2007

issue 38 Aug / Sep 2007

Solid-State Lighting takes a major step forward at euroLED 2007

euroLED 2007, the fourth annual European LED and SSL lighting event which took place in June demonstrated the speed of maturity shown by the Solid-State Lighting industry with major technical and commercial steps being taken by LED manufacturers, lighting fixture and lighting designers.

This year’s event was hugely successful attracting the majority of the world’s major LED and OLED Lighting companies and combined a two day technical conference and expanded lighting exhibition with six focused workshops discussing the latest trends, technologies and issues affecting the lighting industry.

An increased number of exhibitors demonstrated the leap in SSL performance since 2006 with many new lighting components and fixtures being launched with the latest high performance LED and driver technologies.

Conference and Exhibition Highlights
The first day of the conference provided an update of the latest trends and technologies with an interesting presentation from Strategies Unlimited highlighting the total LED emitter growth, as shown in figure 1, increased by 6% to $4.2 billion in 2006 with high power LEDs (0.5 Watts+) contributing strongly having a market growth of +43%. The use of high power LEDs in lighting applications is currently the fastest growing application and highlights how the increase in efficacy is enabling the expansion of this sector.

Several LED manufacturers announced near and medium term LED product roadmaps to enable the SSL industry to plan for new developments. One such manufacturer was Nichia who announced the mass production launch of their 1W white LED with an efficacy of 80 lm/W at 6500K or 70 lm/W at 3500K in Q3 of 2007. They also announced the launch of a high CRI (Ra=90) white LED for general lighting application during Q2 of 2007 with only a 20-30% drop in overall brightness compared with a cool white LED.

Mark McClear of Cree discussed what is next after the 100 lm/W LED and provided an overview of the performance roadmap of the Xlamp with the announcement that their R3 Flux bin will be available in volume from Q4 of this year. The R3 Flux bin delivers a minimum of 107 lm/W efficacy at 350mA forward current and a minimum of 122 lumens at 5500K from a single LED die. Cree also announced an R4 Flux bin with a minimum of 115 lm/W efficacy and a minimum flux level of 130 lumens but would not commit to a volume launch date although their roadmap would indicate sometime in early 2008 as shown in Figure 2.

What is striking is that during euroLED 2006 Cree announced the latest XLamp with 60 lm/W efficacy so within 12 months the performance increase has been approximately 78% - astonishing!

Philips Lumileds also described the advances they have made in power LEDs during 2007 with the new Thin Film Flip Chip (TFFC) which provides a gain of 50% in white LED performance and 30% in blue and green. The new TFFC technology provides improved performance at high drive currents producing a 30% gain at 1A. Steve Landau stated that high power LEDs will enable lighting designers to challenge conventional ways of thinking about lighting fixture design and cited the street lighting project based in Amsterdam that enabled designers to rethink urban lighting designs as shown in Figure 3.

An interesting presentation from phosphor materials specialist Intematix revealed they have developed a new OGB phosphor that operates with near-UV LEDs rather than the conventional Blue LEDs to provide a white LED with an efficacy approaching 45 lm/W providing a new opportunity for high power white LED manufacturing. They also discussed a new warm white phosphor for use with blue LEDs that produces a CCT of 3500K and a CRI of 80.

Several novel solutions are being applied within the LED industry and CeramTec of Germany discussed the benefits of placing LED and ancillary electronics directly onto a heat sink as shown in Figure 4 rather than an LED and separate electronics board. Such a system can provide a significant advantage to current methods of LED fixture production including:
• Improved thermal management Reduce Thermal Coefficient of Expansion mismatch;
• Increase lifetime of the LED die;
• One system for alignment of LED sources;
• Miniaturisation;
• Passive cooling;
• High current conductors;
• Simplify overall system;
• Improved colour stability.

In an interesting departure from technology, Mark Rea from the Lighting Research Center described how light plays a significant role on the human visual system in two distinct ways:
Visual (ability to perform visual tasks); and
Non-visual (synchronise circadian rhythm to a 24-hr day).
Figure 5 describes how the intensity, spectral distribution, spatial distribution, timing and duration of a light source can affect human performance and that light isn’t solely the domain of vision anymore.
Currently, the lighting industry concentrates on the visual system through metrics such as CCT, CRI or light levels however it is currently ignoring the circadian system.
The use of SSL in stimulating the circadian system was highlighted as a major benefit for a wide variety of applications such as those shown in Figure 6 and the summary described the opportunity for fixture manufacturers to develop a new range of “circadian light” products whilst lighting specifiers could add a “new layer of circadian light” to their design.

The rapid development of Organic LEDs (OLEDs) over the last year was apparent with an impressive presentation by Sven Murano of NovaLEDs AG. The latest data from their partnership with Philips indicated the development of a White OLED with high power efficiency of 32 lm/W at 1000 cd/m2 and a lifetime (to 50%) of 20,000 hours with a CRI of 88. Figure 7 highlights the recent efficiency trends for both Green and White OLED lighting and it is proposed that the first market ready products (2008-2010) will have an efficiency of between 15-30 lm/W, be small in size (5-20cm2) and have a high cost of 0.1 Euro per cm2.
However, NovaLEDs predicted that technology evolution of OLED products would yield significant increases in efficiency and lifetime performance over the next decade:
2010: 50 lm/W, 30.000 h
2015: 100 lm/W, 50.000 – 100.000 h
2025: > 150 lm/W, > 100.000 h

In addition to the latest news on LED achievements during the past year there was an array of new products launched within the euroLED exhibition including a host of lighting companies utilising the latest high powered LEDs. For example, both Dialight Lumidrives and IST launched high powered LED drivers for powering the next generation of 1A LEDs. In addition to their new iDrive 1000, IST launched a range of linear LED lighting fixtures based on the Luxeon Rebel in RGB, White and Vari-White options. The LED fixtures have been designed to dissipate up to 60W of heat without the use of a fan and incorporated a novel reflector and fresnel lens combination to provide a high system efficiency in a wide variety of symmetrical and asymmetrical beam angles.


Figure 1: Global LED emitter market trends 2001-2006

  • Figure 2: Cree LED roadmap and comparison of the number of LEDs needed to replace conventional lamps

  • Figure 3: (a) design concept of new street light

  • Figure 3: (b) Example implemented in

  • Figure 4: Placing electronic circuits and LEDs directly on heat sinks to improve thermal management and system

  • Figure 5: Human performance has two components affected by light

  • Figure 6: Typical application benefiting from SSL addressing the visual circadian rhythm

  • Figure 7: NovaLEDs Green and White OLED efficiency trends

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