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euroLED 2008 signals strong Solid-State Lighting adoption

issue 44 Aug / Sep 2008


Geoff Archenhold, reviews the UK’s annual solid state lighting conference and exhibition

euroLED 2008, the fifth annual European conference and exhibition dedicated to LED and SSL lighting demonstrated how rapidly the latest LED technology is beginning to displace conventional light sources in typical applications. The conference highlighted the increase in LED market size, major technical and commercial breakthroughs by LED manufacturers, and how Governments are changing laws to support energy efficient lighting including LEDs. As in previous years, the event had significantly expanded and was hugely successful in attracting the industry’s top speakers. The majority of the world’s LED, OLED and lighting companies converged on the two-day conference to discuss the latest trends, technologies and issues affecting the lighting industry.
A significant increase in the number of exhibitors and delegates demonstrated the rapid expansion occurring in the SSL industry with companies from as far a field as Russia, China, Mexico and the USA all demonstrating the latest in lighting products.

Conference and Exhibition Highlights
The first day of the conference provided an update on the latest trends and technologies with an interesting presentation from David McAuley of Sustainable Energy Ireland, the National Energy Agency of Ireland. He highlighted how the Irish Government was taking a lead on supporting Energy Efficient Lighting through positive action at both the design/application level and the product level:

Design/application Focus
(SEI Level):
• Standard Solutions for Business
• Supply Chain
Product Focus
(Government Level):
• Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme
• Restrictions on sale of inefficient lighting products

McAuley explained how SEI was creating a series of common reference manuals for specific lighting applications, the first being aimed at retail lighting to enable the whole lighting supply chain to understand the core concepts of the application and to act as a straightforward lighting reference guide. He continued by discussing how Ireland was supporting LED technology through the new Accelerated Capital Allowance (ACA) scheme that was announced in the 2008 Budget. The scheme had generated a huge interest from buyers and suppliers with product lists being managed by SEI. The criteria for acceptance on the product list was highlighted as shown in Figure 1 with a minimum of 40 Lumens per circuit Watt and 35,000 hours rated to maintain 70% of initial Lumens.
He also reiterated that Ireland, through new regulations announced by the Minister for the Environment, will introduce an energy efficiency standard for lighting. The regulation will be implemented for 1st January 2009 and thereafter, making it illegal to market inefficient lighting in Ireland. This is great news for all eco-lighting technologies but especially good for LEDs which are improving at a rapid pace. I feel it is now the responsibility of the LED industry to respond to this heroic regulatory lead by developing market acceptable, high quality and efficient lighting.
John Magan from the European Commission’s Photonics Unit described how Europe had a significant lead in Solid-State Lighting and explained how the commission had recently received R&D applications under Framework 7 for SSL research that totaled 14% of the€90m euro fund.
He outlined the aims and objectives of four projects that had recently been funded which include:
CombOLED: Cost effective OLED lighting solutions by smart device and manufacturing concepts for (transparent) OLEDs. 7m euro funding with partners including Osram, Schneider, LETI, Siemens, Saint-Gobain, PPML.
Fast2Light: Cost effective large area (90cm2) OLED lighting deposition technologies on polymer film by Roll-to-Roll concepts. 14 partners in total and coordinated by the Holst Centre, NL.
Aeviom: Advanced Experimentally Validated OLED model over 36 Months duration.
OLED100.eu: OLEDs in European dimension with larger size, higher efficacy and lower costs with 16 partners and a budget of 12m euro.
Robert Steele from Strategies Unlimited highlighted the acceleration of the total LED emitter market revenue growth at 9.5% to $4.6 billion in 2007 as shown in Figure 2. He described how the volume shipment of LED emitter growth remained strong at 26% to 39 billion units worldwide highlighting that LEDs continue to be used in new applications whilst their costs continue reducing.
Figure 3 shows the breakdown of high power LED sales by application with LEDs for illumination increasing significantly with a 37% market share. It is envisaged that during 2008, high power LEDs for illumination will become the main market application for high power LEDs. Indeed, the 2007 market for HB LEDs used in lighting was $330 million a 60% increase over 2006!
Strategies Unlimited forecasted that the industry will see a 12% growth in the LED market for 2008 and a 5-year CAGR of 20%, for a total market of $11.4 billion by 2012 as shown in Figure 4.
Several LED manufacturers announced near and medium term LED product roadmaps and improved LED efficiencies to enable the SSL industry to plan for new developments. One such manufacturer was OSRAM who discussed the Golden Dragon Plus white LEDs with up to 120 Lumens at 350mA for Cool White (6500K), 100 Lumens at 350mA for Neutral White (5700K) and 85 Lumens for Warm White (3000K). Impressively, OSRAM announced recent records for white LEDs with a cold white at a CCT of 4800K (more like a Neutral White) of 130 Lumens at 350mA or 111 Lumens per Watt with a Warm White having a CCT of 3000K and achieving 85 Lumens at 350mA or 65 Lumens per Watt. The output of such new LED devices are shown in Figure 5 and impressively they do not demonstrate a heavy fall off of linear flux as current is increased to 700mA although fall off is more noticeable for the Warm White version.
Other areas of concentration for the production teams at OSRAM include the improvement in Colour Rendering Index of white LEDs through improved phosphor technologies and improved binning structure. Figure 6 demonstrated how the latest white LED emitter products have increased CRI to 80 with better colour rendering properties across the CCT range whilst maintaining brightness levels despite higher CRI.
Indeed, OSRAM have launched a new binning scheme for excellent colour homogeneity between LEDs based upon McAdams 3-step fine bins.
Seoul Semiconductor discussed their roadmap for the industry leading AC driven LEDs branded Acriche. The speed at which the Acriche technology is developing is certainly impressive as shown in Figure 7 with a predicted increase in luminous flux of 50% within just 1 year! Regular readers will have read the March Issue of Mondo*arc that covered AC driven LEDs and one of my personal reservations included the issue of the uncompetitive lifetime versus conventional DC driven LEDs. It seems that Seoul Semiconductor are addressing this issue by demonstrating a roadmap which defines how the lifetime of the Acriche is increasing by more than 100% to 35,000 hours for L70 by 2009 as shown in Figure 8.
Mark McClear of CREE discussed LED products within their roadmap including the new multi-die MCE emitter, the availability of the XLamp R2 Flux Bin in Q4 of 2008 with a minimum flux of 114 Lumens and 100 Lumens per Watt at 350mA as well as a next generation XLamp package to be launched towards the end of this year.
Figure 9 shows how CREE’s LED emitter roadmap will have been transformed from 2007 to 2009 with a variety of high Lumen and high efficiency products for the general lighting market. Expect CREE to deliver more application-specific lighting-class LEDs to address the unique cost and illumination needs of the various lighting segments.
Mark warned that the LED industry must deliver real benefits and the key to success is quality design and components and one must go with the other to ensure quality lighting products are available in the marketplace as demonstrated by Figure 10.
Rene Helbing from Bridgelux discussed recent advances in chip and packaging technologies and showed how their LED die technology was improving significantly through the recent roadmap in Figure 11. His talk covered how multiple dies can be placed on substrates to improve the lumen output from a package as well as reducing the packaging cost to deliver cost effective lighting class products.
A new nanotechnology, Quantum Dots (QD), that could eventually replace phosphors within LEDs were discussed by UK Company Nanoco. Quantum Dots are:
• Semiconductor material 80,000
• smaller than the width of a human hair
• Size gives unique electronic and optical properties
• Platform technology with many applications across different industry sectors

... and could be useful in the LED world as a replacement for traditional inorganic phosphors (YAG, Silicate) (see Table 1) because they are:
• Tuneable
• Stable
• Versatile
• Bright
• Long life
• Low energy consumption
• Rapid response time
• Improved chromaticity

Several examples of Quantum Dot LEDs were shown in a range of different colours including a variety of CCT white LEDs.

INDUSTRY DYNAMICS AND LED APPLICATIONS
The second part of the conference attended by delegates from conventional lighting companies was dedicated to the applications of LEDs and the changing dynamics of the lighting industry.
Govi Rao from Lighting Science Group discussed the industry dynamics and keys trends and stated the lighting industry is currently in a dynamic transition with an open landscape and many companies undertaking a land grab as the new value chain created by LEDs evolves. He defined the key drivers (see Figure 12):
• Technology disruption and changeover
• Increasing regulatory controls
• Energy and Eco consciousness

He also discussed how LEDs compare to conventional lighting products and showed the difference between LED emitter efficiency, LED fixture efficiency and conventional lamp technologies (see Figure 13).
His discussion expanded to street lighting applications showing how LEDs change the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in this application with the potential to dramatically reduce energy and maintenance costs as shown in Figure 14.
He concluded the talk by describing the status of the LED street lighting opportunity as follows:
• First Cost of LED systems are significantly higher than HID solutions of equal lighting performance
• Best in Class LED Street Lighting Systems can out perform traditional solutions in System Efficacy due to optical advantages of LED sources
• Total cost of ownership for LED based systems will be significantly lower than HID solutions for well engineered products
• Integration of Intelligent controls will significantly increase the functionality and economic impact of LED street lighting
• Market is in the very early adoption phase however significant conversion will occur during the next decade as LED performance increases and costs decline.

Steve Landau from Philips Lumileds described in detail the path to user adoption by effectively connecting LED technology with end-users. Again, the message was reiterated that it was not just about LED emitters but the whole LED fixture solution that was important.
Steve also went on to discuss the use of LEDs in street lighting applications and showed how LEDs can outperform conventional lamp technology as shown in Figure 15.
Interestingly, Neil Musson a light artist and lighting designer gave his current perspective of LED technology and the LED industry. He discussed how in the mind of the designer, lighting solutions start with a vision but many LED companies misinterpret this and choose to discuss technical capability, budget and environmental concerns and simply do not listen to the customer.
Musson stated: “For manufacturers to communicate effectively with lighting designers they need to shift the focus from product to effect. So often manufacturers try to sell me products – don’t – sell me effects.”
These are certainly wise words for the LED industry, and those that listen, understand and take action will forge ahead at the front of this new lighting revolution.
This year for the first time, the global finance community stood up and spoke out about how they saw the LED and Solid-State Lighting community and why there are billions of pounds being invested in the sector. Initially, Barney Rhys Jones the Investment Director of UK based Low Carbon Investors discussed the investor sentiment for SSL Opportunities.
He re-iterated that lighting is the fastest growing sector for PE and VC investment in the Energy Efficiency sector and showed that during 2007 lighting represented approximately 50% of the deals.
Indeed, he demonstrated that growth in acquisitions further up the supply chain indicated a good market for exits as shown in Figure 16.
The presentation very clearly outlined to the eagerly listening audience the Low Carbon Investors six key investment criteria as:
• Management Team
• Technology
• Market
• Business model
• Valuation
• Exit

The LCA team elaborated on what would-be entrepreneurs need to do in order to become investment ready as shown in Figure 17.

Conclusions
The euroLED 2008 conference and exhibition provided a vital snapshot of the latest Solid-State Lighting technology developments enabling both the lighting fixture manufacturers and designers to understand and forward plan for the next wave of high efficient lighting during 2008/2009. A clear message from this year’s conference is that regulations are changing and acting as a driver for LEDs and the efficiencies of production LEDs are now high enough to develop a new class of general lighting that is market acceptable.
It is clear the market opportunity is real as the finance community is spending its money to support SSL start-up companies as well as large merger and acquisition deals.
The next few years are certainly going to be exciting for the lighting community. Watch this space...

www.euroled.org

 

LEDs issue 44

Figure 1: The LED criteria required for LED lighting on the SEI product list

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