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2013: The Year of Market Penetration

Issue 76 December / January 2014

Our LED expert Dr Geoff Archenhold looks back at a year of slowing innovation.

Over the past ten years I have witnessed the roadmap races from every LED manufacturer outdoing each other in terms of lumens per watt with press releases seemingly shouting about new efficacy figures every couple of months. This year there has been a significant reduction in these types of press releases and one has to reflect why?

In reality, the lighting market and the SSL community have been fully integrated, with the LED and fixture manufacturers all agreeing LEDs are the main focus for new product development. This has resulted in each part of the supply chain focusing less on technical breakthroughs and much more on value engineering. Thus, LED manufacturers are focusing on improving LED die yields, reducing substrate and production costs to ensure fixtures are less expensive and market volume is driven upwards.

In practice, once LED has reached a certain lumen per watt and the colour consistency and quality are adequate then who is bothered if an LED reached 160lm/W or 175lm/W, however if you can purchase a mid-power LED for USD0.12 and then at USD0.08 that’s a big deal!

What’s really exciting is technology is only now disrupting the market place and rumours are rife of traditional companies that didn’t act fast enough getting into liquidity problems or young companies being snapped up by the corporate goliaths as future market strategies play out. This means it’s going to be a really exciting 2014 for the industry and I am sure you will see the start of a consolidation period with a raft of mergers and acquisitions.

I strongly believe 2014 is going to be a very exciting year for the lighting industry and the first year of true market-wide technology innovation. If you hadn’t already figured it out, LEDs were never really the disruptive technology; after all they are only another light source but combining digital LEDs with advanced sensors, control systems and complex artificial intelligence algorithms they should reduce the need for separate segments in the marketplace. For example, why would you need a controls company when the controls are integrated directly into LED drivers?

The larger players in the lighting market have seen that electronics and integrated controls are key to the future of lighting so have started to act eg; Acuity Brands’ acquisition of LED driver manufacturer EldoLED and Efore’s purchasing of Roal Electronics.

Despite the slowdown in innovation in 2013 there have been some interesting breakthroughs especially in new substrate materials such as the GaN-on-GaN technology from Soraa and the GaN-on-Silicon technology from Plessey in the UK, both of which have made successful levels of progress.

Finally, a couple of years ago I highlighted the potential of Visual Light Communications and this year we have seen major breakthroughs in this technology with an announcement from several UK Universities (see showing data transmission speeds up to 10Gbps which is 666 times faster than the UK’s average broadband speed! Although this is research a spin-out company called pureVLC in the UK has achieved working systems on standard LED lighting fixtures at up to 5Mbps (see and are already offering development kits to selective partners.

As 2014 is Light + Building year we will see a raft of new technologies and smart fixtures launched however, let’s look at a selection of the breakthroughs made in 2013.

January 2013

Cree: announces the industry’s highest-efficacy LED downlight, the LR6-10L six-inch LED downlight. The LR6-10L delivers 1000 lumens of exceptional 90+ CRI light while achieving 90 lumens per watt. The breakthrough performance was achieved by combining the high efficacy and high-quality light of Cree TrueWhite Technology with an integrated driver, enabling energy savings of up to 50 percent compared to incumbent CFL technology or 30 percent compared to competing LED products. Using only 11 watts of power, the new LR6-10L downlight is ideal for use in new or retrofit commercial applications. The high-performance fixture is available in colour temperatures to match existing installations of incandescent, halogen and fluorescent technologies (2700K, 3000K, 3500K and 4000K, and features a 10-year warranty.

Philips: launches its third generation of the Fortimo LED SLM system focussing on the retail lighting marketing. The new generation comes with the latest Chip-On-Board (CoB) LED technology creating a powerful, compact and uniform light source for excellent beam control and small beam angles. The SLM Gen3 modules produce high quality of light and deliver an energy efficiency performance of over 100lm/W at the system level within normal application conditions.

The Fortimo LED SLM Gen3 system can operate up to a Tc-point of 75C and its decreased thermal load enables improved efficiency. The small Light Emitting Surface (LES) creates the tightest beam angles and delivers the highest brightness.

Seoul Semiconductor: along with Verbatim, introduces halogen-replacement lamps with new LED chip technology, “nPola” utililising gallium nitride (GaN) substrates from Verbatim’s parent company Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation for GaN epitaxial growth, replacing sapphire or silicon carbide substrates. Seoul Semiconductor’s patented nPola minimises defects in the active layer and allows LED chip current densities five to ten times higher than conventional LED chips. Consequently, five to ten times brighter light output can be realised from the same chip size.

Sharp: introduces the new generation of Mega Zenigata COB LED series featuring increased efficiency of up to 108lm/W, with higher luminous flux up to 4780 lm (typically) accompanied by high CRI values of up to 93 (typically). (Fig 1)

February 2013

Cree: sets new R&D Performance Record with 276lm/W Power LED enabled by Cree’s innovative SC³ Technology Platform. Cree reported the LED efficacy was measured at 276 lumens per watt, with a correlated colour temperature of 4401K and 350mA using advancements in LED chip architecture and phosphor to create a new package design with outstanding performance.

Cree announces the new AR Series LED Architectural LED panel, delivering soft, high-quality light with exceptional efficacy of 100lm/W. With a flush-mount white housing, the AR Series LED panels blend seamlessly into any ceiling design and softly illuminate the space through highly diffused performance optics. The exceptional performance of the AR Series enables rapid payback by providing 33 percent energy savings versus standard T8 fluorescent solutions and low maintenance costs with its designed lifetime of up to 75,000 hours. (Fig 2)

Havells Sylvania: launches the Sylvania ToLEDo Superia LED retrofit T8 tube offering a very high lumen package with an impressive efficacy of up to 114Lm/W. The ToLEDo Superia tube has a 100° rotatable end cap, which enables light to be precisely targeted and furthermore acts as a locking mechanism to prevent movement when fitted. (Fig 3)

Sharp: introduces a unique dual While LED with CCT’s of 2700K and 5700K within the same mechanical MegaZenigata dimensions. With a suitable driver all colours between 2700K to 5700K can be generated out of one LED device. (Fig 4)

Soraa: announces the next generation of its high external quantum efficiency GaN on GaN LEDs. The new LED outperforms the best-documented LED laboratory result by Nichia Chemical Co. at current densities of 100A/cm2 and beyond.

Soraa’s GaN on GaN LEDs handle significantly more current and emit ten times more light per unit area of LED wafer material than conventional LEDs made by depositing GaN layers on cheaper foreign substrates like sapphire, silicon carbide or silicon. The company’s GaN on GaN technology leverages the advantages of the native substrate, including over a thousand times lower crystal defect densities that allow reliable operation at very high current densities (the same principle that enabled Blu-ray laser diodes). In addition to superior crystal quality, the native substrate’s optical transparency and high electrical and thermal conductivity enable a very robust, simple LED design that delivers maximum performance. Another advantage of the GaN on GaN approach is that it enables considerable flexibility in the choice of crystal growth plane. (Fig 5)

Xicato: becomes the first light source manufacturer in the industry to introduce a warranty for colour maintenance over time. The 5 Year Lumen Maintenance and Colour Consistency Warranty was not, as most other warranties, simply backed up by the company, in this case, Munich Re, as a first in their industry, backed the warranty offered by Xicato. The insurance industry’s entrance into this market signals that it’s both possible to evaluate and measure the risk - or the certainty - that colour consistency can be maintained. Xicato’s warranty states that the colour will be within .003 duv over a five year period.

March 2013

Cree: launches the first sub $10 LED light bulb in the US. The innovative bulb is illuminated by Cree LED Filament Tower Technology and provides a compact optically balanced light source within a real glass bulb to deliver consumers warm light. Boasting a shape that looks like a traditional light bulb, Cree LED bulbs can be placed in most lighting fixtures in the home. The new Cree LED bulb is designed to last 25,000 hours or 25 times longer than typical incandescent light bulbs and has a retail price of $9.97 for the warm white 40-watt replacement, $12.97 for the 60-watt warm white replacement and $13.97 for the 60-watt day light bulb.

The Cree LED light bulb (60-watt incandescent replacement) delivers 800 lumens and consumes only 9.5 watts and is available in warm white (2700K) and day light (5000K) colour temperatures. The Cree LED light bulb (40-watt incandescent replacement) delivers 450 lumens and consumes only 6 watts and is available in 2700K colour temperature. (Fig 6a & b)

Cree also extends the XLamp CXA family of integrated 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 (CXA2540) to more than 10,000 lumens (CXA3050), enabling new applications such as high-output track lights and downlights, outdoor area lighting and high-bay lighting. The new Cree CXA3050 LED 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. The CXA2540 and CXA3050 LED Arrays use the same proven package technology as the CXA1507 LED, which now has 6,000 hours of LM-80 data published and is able to support TM-21 calculated lifetimes of greater than 130,000 hours at binning current and greater than 85,000 hours at maximum current.

Cree also introduced a new product family, the XLamp XQ LEDs, including the XQ-B and the XQ-D, which feature a unique combination of small size, novel light distribution and high-reliability design. The XQ LEDs are Cree’s smallest lighting-class LEDs at just 1.6mm x 1.6mm, 57 percent smaller than Cree’s XLamp XB package. In cool white (5000K,, the XQ-B LED delivers up 160 lumens-per-watt at 0.18W, and the XQ-D LED delivers up to 130 lumens-per-watt at 1W. Both LEDs are available in 2700K to 6500K colour temperatures with minimum 80 CRI option.

LEDzWORLD: introduces its breakthrough MR16 GU5.3, 500 lumen lamp with Chameleon driver which self-adjusts to its environment by first detecting the transformer type, then analyzing its waveform, and finally adjusting itself to make a perfect electrical fit with that particular transformer. The Chameleon driver makes the company’s MR16 LED retrofit lamps truly ‘plug and play’ devices that can be used in a wide variety of transformer and dimmer combinations.

LEDzWORLD also unveils a suite of products that featured its Universal Trailing Edge and Leading Edge Truly Linear Dimming (UTL) technology. The lamps included a GU10 (480 lumen, 7W), a PAR16 (600 lumen, 8.5W) and a PAR38 (2000 lumen, 25W). The UTL technology is a breakthrough proprietary system engineered and patented by the company. It is a highly sophisticated driver that works flawlessly in combination with both trailing- and leading-edge dimmers. This high-performance driver delivers the highest possible compatibility with control systems. (Fig 7)

Philips: launches the Fortimo LED Integrated spot 600 lumen package which is an all in one solution that includes an integrated driver, optics and heat sink. This solution is not only easy to design in, it also provides luminaire manufacturers high quality of light and flexibility of choice. The integrated spot module is available in three different colour temperatures (2700, 3000 and 4000K, and comes with three beam angles (15, 24 and 36 degree). The Fortimo LED Integrated Spot Gen 2 dimmable module can be connected directly to the mains and is an efficient and affordable solution, ideal for the existing 50W LV halogen market. The integrated system means that no external driver is required. No extra costs, no additional installation time and space needed. (Fig 8)

Seoul Semiconductor: announces the new MJT 4040 package using Multi Junction Technology to bring performance and size advantages to the LED outdoor and streetlight markets. The MJT 4040 uses multi-junction technology that allows multiple LED junctions to be combined in a single chip thereby increasing the operating voltage and concentrating more light output within a given area. Operating at a nominal 64 Volts and 20mA, the device can reach output levels of 200 lumens and efficacies as high as 140lm/Watt (5000K CCT). Streetlights using the MJT 4040 device combined with the companies Acrich2 technology allows operation on AC current without a driver, which usually weighs around 2~3kg, and allows design of light-weight LED streetlights. This allows the end user to use the existing streetlight pole infrastructure as well as its functionality (such as existing wiring), which reduces the retrofitting cost drastically. Additionally, reliability is increased due to reduced component count and the elimination of electrolytic condenserscommonly found in traditional ballasts and drivers.

Tridonic: launches the new OLED lighting module range, LUREON REP, which achieves a luminous flux of more than 100 lumens, at dimensions of 99 x 99 mm². In addition, LUREON REP achieves a system efficiency of over 50lm/W in neutral white, which is much higher than that achieved by comparable products on the market.

The square OLED module is offered with a colour temperature of 4000K, featuring extremely high levels of luminous emittance (up to 12,000 lm/m²) and luminance (4,000 cd/m²). (Fig 9)

April 2013

LEDEngin: announces its most compact and efficient tunable CRI 90 white LED for black body dimming from 3000K to 1800K. The LuxiTune light engine is the first to deliver warm colour dimming in a compact single emitter, maintaining color quality and 3 SDCM consistency over dimming range and service life. Luminous flux is 1100 lumens, equivalent to a 60W halogen lamp. Luminous efficacy is 63 lumens per watt. 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. (Fig 10)

Osram: launches the Ostar Stage LEDs offering up to 48 million candelas per square meter (Mcd/m²) and tuneable colour tones from cold white to warm white. Combined with their extremely low-profile design and glass cover with its anti-reflective coating, the Ostar Stage LED provides the basis for compact spotlights with an extremely narrow beam. This LED is ideal for use in moving head spotlights on stage, for booth lighting at trade fairs and for architectural lighting.

The special feature of the new LED is its tuneable white light colour. Two warm-white and two cold-white chips, arranged diagonally in the package, not only enable colours to be mixed perfectly at component level but also allow all white tones between colour temperatures of 2700K (warm white) and 10,000K (cold white) to be produced with appropriate control. The LED achieves a high colour rendering index of 94 for warm white and 74 for cold white. In continuous operation (DC) the chips can handle an operating current of up to 900mA. This gives maximum values of 390lm in cold white (10,000K, and 210 lm in warm white (2700K,. At a typical value of 1.8 K/W the thermal resistance is very low and heat removal is therefore no problem at all. (Fig 11)

Osram launched the the new Duris in three versions with different chip surfaces and therefore three different brightness levels. The ideal application for the first version is wherever a large amount of light has to be emitted from a small surface area, for example in downlights and LED retrofits. At 3000K and a CRI of 80 it achieves very high brightness of 97lm and an efficacy of more than 100lm/W at an operating current of 150 milliamps (mA). Its optimized forward voltage of around six volts means that efficient driver solutions can be used that have a beneficial effect on the cost-effectiveness of the overall system.

The second version is designed for high efficacy, achieving 125lm/W at 65mA with 24 lm at 3000 K. It is therefore designed for use in panel luminaires and linear retrofits in which individual light points should not be visible and low energy consumption is an important consideration.
For these applications there is an alternative in the shape of version three, which has only a slightly lower efficacy and is designed for optimum system costs. It achieves an efficacy of 113lm/W with a brightness of 28 lm – also at 3000 K.

In addition to the three white Duris P5 emitters Osram launched five coloured versions including “deep blue” (450 nm), “blue” (470 nm), “true green” (528 nm), “yellow” (590 nm) and “red” (615 to 625 nm). At the heart of the different colours are state-of-the-art chip technologies from Osram, based on either the InGaN (Indium Gallium Nitrite) material system or InGaAlP (Indium Gallium Aluminum Phosphite) depending on the wavelength. Low forward voltages and optimized light extraction result in high luminous efficacies for all types. The “deep blue” version, for example, delivers a light output of 140 mW (at 100mA and 25 ºC), corresponding to a typical efficiency of 48 percent. (Fig 12)

Philips: expands the Fortimo LED LLM Gen 3 outdoor luminaire range with a 6000lm module, bringing a lumen package suitable for replacing 50W and 70W high-pressure sodium lamps. The higher lumen package delivers efficient, high-quality diffuse white light, similar to other modules in the product family. Depending on the luminaire design, the Fortimo LED LLM 6000 lm module may be used on the 4500lm Gen2 heat sink, simplifying and accelerating the design-in process. The system is developed for use with the Fortimo 6pin-to-wire cable and the Xitanium 150W 1.05A Prog+ GL-F sXt driver. The Constant Light Output (CLO) feature can be programmed into the driver to ensure 100% lumen maintenance at end of life.

Soraa: announces 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 for both 12V and mains voltages. A technological breakthrough made possible by Soraa’s recently announced 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, transforming ordinary lighting in any space into extraordinarily vibrant, brilliant and energy efficient lighting.

The Soraa Vivid 2 and Premium 2 lamps’ GaN on GaN LED technology leverages the 1000x lower crystal defect density advantage of the native 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; and the Soraa Premium 2 LED MR16 lamp has a CRI of 80 and is available in multiple beam angles and colour temperatures. (Fig 13)

May 2013

Cree: Cree introduces the XLamp XP-E2 colour LEDs, built on Cree’s revolutionary SC³ Technology™ next-generation LED platform. The XP-E2 colour LEDs deliver up to 88 percent higher maximum light output compared to alternative high-power colour LEDs, enabling lighting manufacturers to more cost-effectively address a wide spectrum of applications, such as architectural, vehicle and display lighting. The XP-E2 colour LEDs deliver higher lumens per watt and lumens per dollar compared to the original XP-E colour LEDs. With a forward voltage of 2.9V at 350mA the white XP-E2 can be driven up to 1A and deliver 283 lumens in a compact 3.45mm x 3.45mm package. (Fig 14)

Verbatim: announces the commercial release of Vivid Vision, a directional LED lamp using VxRGB technology developed by Verbatim’s parent company, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation. Vivid Vision ensures that colours and fine details of objects are rendered accurately through a unique combination of red, green and blue phosphors applied to a violet, rather than blue, LED die. The VxRGB LED is a lamp replacement for typically 20W low voltage halogen reflector lamps. Rated at 6.5W (equivalent to 20W incandescent lamps), it produces 180 lumens output over a 35° beam angle, with a colour temperature of 2900K and a CRI of 85.

June 2013

GE: launches the next generation Infusion LED modules offering significant wattage reductions and improved levels of efficacy. The interchangeable module range includes M1000, M1500, M2000 and M3000 versions, providing an ideal LED lighting solution for retail, hospitality and office environments. The range offers lumen packages, from 850 to 4,500 lumens, to meet a wide variety of lighting needs whilst delivering high colour rendering, with CRI ranges to Ra > 90.
(Fig 15)

Havells Sylvania: launches the RefLED Coolfit MR16 which packs an impressive 575 lumens into a small size, to achieve a performance that makes it the first LED true direct replacement for 50W MR16 halogen lamps. Incorporating Sylvania’s Coolfit Automatic Heat Control Technology, the MR16 575lm is suitable for all types of residential and commercial downlight applications including enclosed fire-rated and IP65 fixtures. (Fig 16)

LEDEngin: claims to achieve the highest colour rendering in the world’s smallest LED emitter for high-end directional lighting. The company’s Gallery White solution uses CRI 97 emitters to achieve unparalleled light quality, intensity and consistency in highly demanding retail, gallery and showroom applications. Gallery White offers high colour fidelity in warm white light (3000K) and achieves impressive individual R values (R1-R15) to enhance the contrast of retail merchandise, artwork and skin tones. Colour temperature and CRI remain stable over time, temperature and drive current with a 3 SDCM (Standard Deviation of Colour Matching) bin. Available in a range of package sizes for different power ratings from 10W to 80W, delivering between 450 and 3200 lumens output, the emitters are based on LED Engin’s robust and reliable LuxiGen platform that is up to eight times smaller than array-based solutions with the same flux performance.

Philips: The Fortimo LED Line Generation 2 is introduced and comes with an efficiency upgrade of approximately 10% (up to 150lm/W at nominal current). It offers reduction of manufacturing cost for OEMs, reducing mounting time of modules, reduced cost with standard bulk wire instead of dedicated LED Line cables, increased flexibility without LED line cables and reduced wiring time with automatic robot wiring enabled. The second generation completes the portfolio with a Fortimo LED line 1ft 1100 lm and a wide range of Xitanium drivers. The modules are ideal for linear profiles, trunking, waterproof luminaires, and both recessed and surface mounted office luminaires. (Fig 17)

July 2013

Seoul Semiconductor: develops two new mid-power packaged LED lighting products, the 5630C and the 3030. These packaged LEDs have been improved dramatically in terms of luminance efficacy (lm/w) and cost efficiency (lm/$). The 5630 package has a light output efficacy of 180lm/W and is an extension of the mid-power LED lighting family. The new 5630C is targeting the high growth segment of LED lighting including bulbs, tubes and panel lights. The new 3030 LED extends the Seoul mid-power offering up to the high-power one watt range by enhancing both the LED chip and package in terms of heat resistance. (Fig 18)

Sharp: introduces the 75W GigaZenigata COB with 122lm/W efficacy. The 75W emitter offers very low thermal resistance, 0.25 K/W in a single core device to replace HID products.

Xicato: introduces the Vibrant Series of modules. The modules are tuned to provide a wider colour gamut ~111 as measured with respect to the black body. Xicato’s colour scientists have not only developed the formula for the new light source but also introduced a simpler approach to understanding and comparing colour gamut areas. The indicator for the new method is GAI BB where the BB indicates with respect to the black body.

The new Vibrant Series is the first of its kind to be available with standard lead times and makes whites, blues and red visually brighter and bolder without the typical increase in CCT. Texture in textiles are visually richer. The new series finds an immediate home in retail lighting. (Fig 19)

August 2013

Cree: announces an industry-changing technology breakthrough for the LED street lighting market. The XSPR™ LED Residential Street Light consumes less than 65 percent energy at an initial cost as low as $99 for common applications. The new XSPR street light is the ideal replacement for outdated high-pressure sodium fixtures up to 100 watts and can deliver payback in less than one year. Cree achieves optical control with its NanoOptic Precision Delivery Grid™ optic and also features the same aesthetics as a traditional cobrahead luminaire making it easier to upgrade incumbent technologies for both replacement and new construction applications. (Fig 20)

September 2013

Cree: launches the new XLamp XQ-E LED family enables lighting manufacturers to significantly reduce the size and total cost of their LED luminaires without sacrificing light output, efficacy or reliability. The new XQ-E LEDs have a tiny 1.6mm x 1.6mm footprint and the XQ-E White LED is available in 2700K to 6200K CCTs with minimum CRI options of 70 and 80. The XQ-E White LED delivers up to 287 lumens at 3W or 1A max drive current, 85°C and the XQ-E Colour LEDs are available in red, green and blue. The package offers thermal resistances as low as 6C/W enabling excellent system thermal performance in application.
Havells Sylvania: launches the Beacon Minor which is the first mains voltage LED spotlight available on the market which means the luminaire does not require a separate LED driver to operate. The luminaire simply consists of the housing, arm attachment and track adaptor; there is no need for gear or a gear box. Without the hindrance of an external drive, the Beacon Minor can have a direct connection to line voltage of 200-240V making the installation process smoother and easier. (Fig 21)

Intematix: announces a range of patents covering its green and yellow GAL phosphor products and certain LuAG phosphors have been issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Intematix GAL phosphors enable exceptional performance for LED lighting compared to other options in these colour ranges. GAL phosphors’ light emission characteristics result in higher CRI in LED lighting applications. When combined with red nitride or other red phosphors, arrangements also covered by these patents, CRIs up to 98 (out of 100) have been demonstrated.

LEDzWorld: launched its Controlled Thermo Regulation (CTR) technology in its premium MR16 lamps. The CTR functionality implemented in Ledzworld’s Chameleon driver design provides an intelligent temperature control monitoring system. The temperature control system acts as a watchdog and continuously measures the ambient temperature inside the driver compartment by utilising a built-in thermal sensor embedded into the Chameleon driver chipset.

Osram: researchers at Osram Opto Semiconductors demonstrated the physical effect responsible for the decrease in efficiency (droop) at typical operating current densities. In LEDs based on the indium gallium nitride (InGaN) material system, the ‘bipolar Auger effect’ reduces the efficiency with which charge carriers are converted into light. This research provides semiconductor experts in academic institutes and in industry with a plausible roadmap for finding ways to suppress this effect.

‘Droop’ is the name given to the drop in luminous efficacy (efficiency) of an LED at current densities above a few amps per square centimeter, particularly at a typical operating current of 350 milliamps (mA) for a 1mm² chip. Up to now, this effect could be measured, but none of the various hypotheses could be definitively proved by experiment. Drawing on its many years of technological know-how, Osram Opto Semiconductors conducted a specially designed experiment to show that the bipolar Auger effect is a major contributor to droop. The results of the experiment have been published in the ‘Applied Physics Letters’ journal.

October 2013

Cree: Cree introduces a higher-performance XLamp XP-G2 LED, boasting a seven-percent increase in brightness compared to the already industry-leading XP-G2 family. The new XP-G2 LEDs now delivers up to 142 lumens per watt at 350mA, 85°C or 155 lumens per watt at 350mA, 25°C in warm white (3000K,, enabling lighting manufacturers to use fewer LEDs to achieve the same brightness at a lower system cost or increase performance levels using the same LED count and power. The new LEDs offer up to 488 lumens at 4.7W with a maximum forward current of 1.5A and a thermal resistance of only 4C/W.

Cree also introduces two new XLamp LED Arrays in October enabling high-lumen applications. The CXA3590 LED Array delivers up to 16,225 lumens at 85°C, 68 percent more lumens compared to Cree’s previous brightest array. The CXA3590 LED Array is the ideal light source to replace 250-watt metal-halide fixtures — using 40-percent less power and designed to last twice as long. Cree also introduced the CXA3070 LED Array, which delivers more than 11,000 lumens at 85°C and shares the same footprint and package design as the existing CXA3050 LED. Both the CXA3590 and CXA3070 arrays are optimised to simplify design and enable low system cost. Binning is available in ANSI White, 2- and 4-Step ellipses.

Philips: launches the Fortimo LED Downlight module (DLM) Gen 5 delivers increased system efficacy, including driver, of up to 110lm/W. In addition, the downlight portfolio is expanded with a 5000 lumen module ideal for high ceiling applications such as shopping malls, airports, and train stations. The 5000 lumen module as well as the 2000 and 3000 lumen modules, has the Philips Lumileds LUXEON M LEDs inside, creating the required higher lumen packages in the same form factor. The LUXEON M is a thin film flip chip delivering high efficacy and high flux density from a uniform source with tight correlated colour temperature control

Philips: launches the CertaFlux DL-S, a brand new LED downlight module. This integrated LED light engine fulfills the basic market needs for making simple LED downlights. Compared to other modules, the integrated heat sink and driver of the CertaFlux DL-S make it easy for luminaire manufacturers to design the module into new luminaires, or to upgrade existing ones to LED enabling fast market introduction
The CertaFlux DL-S offers basic product performance and functionality. There are products available in 1000 and 2000 lumen with respective energy consumption of 13W and 26W (> 74Lm/W). The LED modules have a colour rendering index (CRI) of > 80 and offer a product lifetime of up to 25,000 hours. (Fig 22)

Seoul Semiconductor: sells the Acrich2 AC LED Modules in Kit Form enabling designers to develop customised form factors. The kits consist of high-voltage Acrich Multi-Junction Technology (MJT) LEDs along with the Acrich Integrated Circuit (AIC) power controller device. Designers now have maximum flexibility in designing AC LED modules for their unique AC based fixture needs. (Fig 23a & b)

Tridonic: launches the TALEXXengine STARK NEW DLE for LED downlights. The system, consisting of an LED module and LED converter is 81 percent more efficient - from 77lm/W before up to 140lm/W now. At the same time, state-of-the-art LED technology has improved costs and reduced the height to 20 mm. (Fig 24)

November 2013

Intematix: unveils a remote phosphor-based LED lighting module with 203 lumens per watt efficacy. It is believed that this module represents the highest level of efficacy among LED-based light sources commercially available for production in the market today. The LED lighting module uses a commercially available, 26mm diameter dome shaped remote phosphor developed by Intematix that converts blue light to on-the-black-body-line 6000K daylight spectrum and 70CRI with conversion efficacy of 267 lumens per radiant watt. The design is applicable for round and linear module configurations and is offered in colour temperatures ranging from 2700K to 6000K with CRI values from 70 up to 98. This ground breaking lighting module uses Philips Lumileds LUXEON T/TX family of royal blue LEDs, achieving industry leading wall plug efficiencies of 76%. (Fig 25)

Philips: Fortimo LED high brightness module (HBMt) is a compact rectangular light engine with non-integrated driver to allow for creation of different light distributions using a metal reflector, similar to HID lamps. The design in is further simplified because the same form factor offers multiple lumen packages, leveraging a single design into a full portfolio to better meet end user needs. The Fortimo LED HBMt Gen3 LED ‘lamp’ offers high lumen output from a small surface and has an improved module efficiency of up to 137lm/W. Its fixed light emitting area, lumen package and mechanical interface are Zhaga certified. The module is available in three lumen packages (2500, 4000 and 6000) and in two colour temperatures: 4000K and 5700 K. With the introduction of Fortimo LED HBMt Gen3 the 4000 and 6000 lumen modules are available in CRI 70 or CRI 80.

Tridonic: launches the TALEXXengine STARK SLE for white light quality in all tones and is suitable for a wide range of applications. The new FOOD modules in state-of-the-art LED technology are available in four different colour versions:

•    Gold – brilliant warm light with a CRI > 90. The light makes bakery goods appear really fresh and brings out the best in jewellery.

•    Gold+ – brilliant light with a slight brown tinge. This makes crusty bakery items such as baguettes and croissants look as though they have come straight out of the oven.

•    Fresh Meat – a slightly red light for the delicatessen counter. This emphasises the red tones in fresh and cooked meats without colouring the white streaks. Fresh and cooked meats look really appetising.

•    Meat+ – saturated red tones to make all fresh and cooked meats look attractive and tasty. This light gives all the streaks in fresh meat a red appearance.

Verbatim: launched its ground-breaking Natural Vision VxRGB™ technology, available as realistic candle (Classic B) and MR16 retrofit LED lamps. True Candlelight LED lamps allow users to experience the warmth and ambience of candlelight. Delivering 1900K colour temperature, the white light spectrum and intensity of the LED closely matches a real candle flame – a feature not possible with traditional LED or incandescent lamps and something that has inspired this product to be positioned as ‘Natural Vision’. Ideal for use in decorative lighting fixtures such as chandeliers, wall sconces and table settings, the 2.5W VxRGB candle LED has an E14 base fitting and optics that feature a flame tip design. (Fig 26a & b)


December 2013

Intematix: announces the commercial availability of ChromaLit Linear, a remote phosphor offering uniform luminance over any length, high flux density and a sleek, white off-state finish to replace the estimated 5.7 billion units of installed linear fixtures worldwide. The ChromaLit Linear product delivers naturally uniform, high quality light with conversion efficacy of up to 215 lumens per radiant watt or up to 163 lumens per system watt when used with the most efficient blue LEDs available. The ChromaLit Linear remote phosphor solution offers flexibility of length. Surface lumen density scales from 500 to 2000 lumens per linear foot and the system offers 3 SDCM colour consistency as standard and colour temperature options from 3000K to 5000K and CRI of 80.

LEDzWorld: launches three additional high-quality LED lamps. These are scheduled to include a GaN-on-GaN MR16 GU5.3 (8W, 420 lumen, 20 BA), a VxRGB MR16 GU5.3, and finally a MR11 (4W, 210 Lumen, 20BA).

Sharp: introduces a new mid-power, SMD Tuneable White LED in a similar vein to the Tiger COB LED array. The new devices will be ideal for colour tuneable LED panels and T5 equivalents.

Soraa: launches the first line of high colour rendering GaN on GaN LED MR16 GU10 230V mains voltage lamps which are compatible with a very wide range of dimmers. The MR16’s novel heatsink design and thermal management system make the lamps suitable for use in enclosed fixtures, damp locations and outdoor applications.


What to expect in 2014

Paul Scheidt, Product Marketing Manager, Cree, LED Components believes:
“2014 should be a sea of change in the way LED suppliers approach the lighting market. Focus is expected to shift away from the technology metrics for individual LEDs toward the intelligent use of LEDs in a system context. LED prices should continue to decline, so the parts of the system that are not LEDs become much more important to continue to drive down system cost. LED innovation is likely to happen much more in harmony with driver, optical and thermal system innovation.”

The team at LEDzWorld states:
“The potential ahead of LED lighting to deliver real and measurable advantages - to save energy, last years longer, significantly lower bottom-line costs - is limitless. We’ve all seen the projections of massive growth within the global LED marketplace. A recent report from the US Department of Energy states ‘LED lighting is expected to represent 36 percent of lumen-hour sales on the general illumination market by 2020, and 74 percent by 2030.’ But for it to be the next great defining feature of the lighting landscape, LED lighting needs to work.

We believe the number one obstacle to widespread adoption for LEDs is compatibility. Today, legacy infrastructure - the transformers, fixtures, and control devices already incorporated into built environments - create unique and challenging compatibility interferences.
What we’ve seen to date in our current, ongoing preliminary phase of LED adoption is ‘plug and play’ applications - a customer simply installs an LED bulb into an existing fixture. Sometimes that fixture works with the LED bulb’s mechanical, electric, and thermal requirements; sometimes it doesn’t; and sometimes there are mixed results.
So that a few bad actors don’t spoil LEDs reputation, it’s time for the entire LED industry to tackle compatibility, together.”

Mike Krames, Chief Technology Officer of Soraa says:

“In 2013, we saw that a fundamentally superior materials technology (GaN-on-GaN) could lead to products with fundamentally better characteristics. In the case of MR16 lamps, these include highest ever light output (65W+ equivalency) with uncompromising color rendering, single beam performance, truly retrofit-able (sealed fixture use) and furthermore the ability to render white materials properly as per halogen and previous conventional lighting technologies. Compare this to the standard blue-based LED approach to lighting which has resulted in MR16 lamps with low output, mediocre colour rendering (with spectral blue ‘spike’), not-for-use in sealed fixtures, and no ability to render manufactured white goods properly. In addition we saw the benefits of Soraa’s vertical integration in the development of completely new ways to improve the end-user experience, through our SNAP system.

For 2014, we will see significant proliferation of GaN-on-GaN to new lamps and form factors, and continuing improvements in efficiency, light output, beam capability, and even more advances regarding quality of light.”


2013 has demonstrated important gains in the development of technologies including the use of new substrates such as GaN that can improve performance and reliability compared to the standard Sapphire and Silicon Carbide substrates found in 99% of LEDs used today.
The major players are starting to leverage their technology know-how to help reduce the cost of LED fixture ownership with Cree leading the way with a 40W LED bulb for less than $10. The price down of fixtures will only help to accelerate the rate of penetration of LEDs within the market.

As I predicted last year, commercially available LEDs did indeed exceed 180lm/W and the replacement of T5 luminaires started aggressively in the marketplace.

One aspect of last year’s prediction didn’t quite execute as expected because advanced low cost colour tuneable LED products didn’t become widely available. Despite the launch of LED emitters such as the Sharp Tiger there were few, low cost, tuneable white LED fixtures in the marketplace.

My predictions for 2014.

•    The commercial availability of 200lm/W LED emitters will be available by the end of 2014.

•    Low cost tuneable white LED fixtures will become widely available that offer end users the ability to set colour temperatures dynamically with a price difference of less than 25% more than static white equivalents.

•    The rise of DC Grid and centralised LED driver solutions will begin to be seen due to increased reliability, ease of installation and lower overall system costs.

•    The rise of Ethernet connected LED fixtures and the use of mobile applications will become common place for end-users. Thus, 2014 will see the start of the combined LED fixture and control system to help introduce smart lighting to commercial lighting.

•    Wireless connectivity will become popular in certain applications however reliability and security aspects will mean end-users patience will be tested.

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


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