newsletter link
mondo arc

Smart Lighting?

Issue 79 June / July 2014

Our lighting technology expert, Dr Geoff Archenhold, finds true innovation hard to come by at this year’s Light + Building despite a wealth of newly launched networked lighting solutions.

Light + Building (or perhaps Frankfurt) has started to build up a jinxed reputation after the previous volcanic disruption and this year saw the untimely strike of Lufthansa causing travel chaos to the world’s largest lighting fair. Despite the travel issues a record 210,000 visitors made their way around the event. However it took me a good four days to finally track down interesting lighting innovation as the majority of products on show were in essence “me too” products.

The lack of stand-out innovation was rather disappointing considering what is happening elsewhere in the technology world and I believe the lighting industry really needs to invest further in developing innovative ideas based around the digital technologies offered by LEDs and OLEDs. Despite my pessimistic tone, seams of innovation gold could be found, but one had to look hard. If you missed attending Light + Building, this issue’s article should help understand the general trends including:
• LED lamps are everywhere and are being subsidised somehow;
• Lighting is becoming connected - LED lamps are first to adopt networking;
• LEDs are getting boringly more efficient (>200 lm/W at package level);
• OLEDs are rapidly becoming an accepted lighting technology;
• Lighting hasn’t grasped innovation so there are great opportunities for new players to enter the market.


The first major trend was the large proportion of top tier manufacturers such as Philips, Samsung, LG, Osram etc all launching integrated lighting control solutions within fixtures or lamps. Of course, this is more evolution than revolution as many of you will have read my previous articles on controls (and more interestingly security) of connected lighting systems.

Obviously, industry leaders have woken up to the fact that by adding a few more electronic components to a lighting fixture it is possible to add full lighting control and connect fixtures directly to mobile devices. Thus, it’s possible for manufacturers to concurrently reduce cost of ownership to end users whilst providing increased flexibility, functionality and appeal by deploying integrated controls. One must start to feel a little sadness as the fixture manufacturers’ gain will no doubt mean, over the next decade, someone will inevitably lose out and I believe one will start to see established control manufacturing based businesses decline as controls become further integrated into LED and OLED fixtures.

However, it is clear that the industry is at the nexus point for integrated controls and I will now discuss a selection of the best implementations.


Xicato, well-known amongst the lighting design community, as proponents of Quality of Light modules launched their integrated control LED module called XIM (Xicato Intelligent Module). The XIM unit integrates communications, controls, sensors, software and a light source into one compact light engine. Xicato claims that by bringing the critical electronics together makes the system more reliable, easier to integrate and provides a foundation for exploring new business models based on lighting.

Speaking with the senior team at Xicato they believe the XIM module will solve a great deal of the anxiety that fixture manufacturers have had over the years with sub-standard LED drivers, dimming issues and controller complexities and I believe that these issues have certainly caused a great deal of frustration for everyone. Integrating the control system, sensors and a DC to DC driver into the light source certainly has many advantages and two notable ones are increased flexibility and choice of constant voltage ballasts.

The modules on show offered integrated DALI communications and the ability to measure the LED voltage and current in real time. The module has also been designed to include the possibility of a circular antenna for wireless sensing and communications.

Thermal management has been taken care of with the new chip-on-board LED engine which is bonded to the main metal inner core of the module and the electronics boards are mounted around, rather than connected to, the core to improve lifetime.

Overall, I was very impressed with the concept presented by Xicato but a few issues will need to be addressed to make the industry happy including:
• What is the price point (as this was not available at the show)?
• How resilient are the modules in practice?
• How will on-board software be updated (because DALI is a control protocol standard not practiced correctly and so the module may operate correctly with one controller but not with another)?
An example of where the Xicato XIM module could be implemented was shown on the Projection Lighting stand that integrated the XIM module with Lumentalk’s control system that delivered control information to each individual luminaire by superimposing control data onto the AC mains. The Power Line Control alphaLED fixtures eliminates the need to install control wires necessary for DALI or 1-10V control. Such costs of retrofitting control cable alone deter many retrofit lighting applications from being modified to utilise the advantages of modern control systems especially as there are those who are nervous about the robustness and security of Wireless RF as a control method.

Xicato’s XIM module.

The AONE control module provides individually controllable luminaires and is designed to be integrated with a wide range of third-party lighting control and smart home systems. The module provides in-line, two-way communication directly to each light source, received over wireless protocols and PLC (Power Line Communication) from the module to Aurora’s hybrid IC technology which is found inside the latest range of Aurora luminaires.

Aurora seem to have cottoned on to the fact that proprietary protocols are not the way to go and their goal is to create interoperable luminaires that are not constrained to closed systems where consumers are forced to use product X with control Y.

Obviously, by choosing Zigbee there are potential security and maximum number of lighting point issues. However by developing PLC and other protocols this should increase their chance of success.

Aurora AOne control module.

Havells Sylvania
Havells Sylvania Europe launched a connected lighting platform in partnership with Kickstarter-funded LIFX at the show.  They integrated the LIFX platform into a Wi-Fi enabled, multi-colour, energy efficient LED lamp that can be controlled with either an Apple or Google Android smartphone.

Using a free App in iOS and Android versions, users can control the colour, brightness and dimming levels of their LIFX lamps as well as create scenes. New features of the app are being added all the time, the new Music Visualiser enables the lights to interact with music being played and soon the LIFX app will enable a host of features including alarm linked automatic control and using LIFX Cloud, the LIFX lamos will be controllable from anywhere in the world.

Havells new LIFX based LED lamp.


Megaman launched two versions of their INGENIUM Smart Lighting Solutions at the show - a Bluetooth controlled LED retrofit for areas up to 10sqm, while for larger installations there is a scalable RF-based dimming solution. INGENIUM BLU is the easiest and most economical solution for those looking to introduce smart lighting technology to their house or commercial space. It offers plug-and-play installation with the compatible Megaman LED PAR16, LED Classic and LED Integrated Downlight. More interestingly for the professional market, INGENIUM RF is suitable for large-scale installations with 20 metres of coverage for indoor settings, 35 metres for outdoor settings, or controllable remotely from anywhere in the world using a smart device app. Employing Radio Frequency technology, the INGENIUM RF solution allows you to have integrated lighting control of up to 288 LEDs and 48 modules through a handheld or smart device by  connecting Megaman LED lamps to the Gateway and Dimming Module with a broadband Wi-Fi router.

Megaman’s INGENIUM RF solution is for use in larger commercial spaces.

OSRAM launched Lightify, a lighting system, which enables users to exploit a wide range of lighting possibilities using an app on a smartphone or tablet. Lightify can be simply integrated into the existing WLAN network and Lightify components interconnect automatically. Installed lighting systems and products from other manufacturers that support the common ZigBee Light Link standard or Home Automation standard can be simply integrated into the system. In addition, the Lightify system offers an interface for the so called DALI standard.
The system was demonstrated by controlling LED lamp based products one with an RGBW LED mix and the other with a tuneable white LED lamp.

Osram’s Lightify control system connected to LED Lamps

Philips Lighting made the largest announcement on connected lighting systems and proclaimed they are building a world where lighting systems connect people, places and devices through new connected solutions for homes, businesses and cities.

Eric Rondolat, CEO of Philips Lighting enthused, “Through connected LED Lighting, we foresee a future where lighting innovations connect seamlessly with smart controls, networks, devices and apps to positively benefit and improve lives and drive new business value.”
It definitely seemed like Philips had much more of a strategic intent about delivering connectivity than any other lighting company at the show as they focused clearly on:
• Home: Expanding the Hue personal wireless lighting system by unveiling Hue lux, a bright white-only version of Hue.
• Office: Philips launched its first complete Power over Ethernet connected lighting system for offices that gives workers smartphone control of their office lighting and building managers new insights into building usage.
• Cities: Philips launched CityTouch light wave. It is a new remote lighting management system that allows streetlights to be instantly connected to a remote lighting management system over wireless GPRS networks instead of local Radio Frequency (RF) networks.

The PoE solution for offices is interesting and has been attempted previously by companies such as Redwood System in the US. However if pricing can be brought down there is definitely good sense in standardising control protocols based on IP technologies.
The PoE based office lighting fixtures, when fitted with sensors, are able to capture anonymous data on room occupancy, temperature and humidity. They connect to the IT network and interface with other building systems such as heating, ventilation and IT services. This benefits the facility manager who has a single system showing real time and historical views of building utilisation.

In addition, if the fixtures are fitted with wireless communications devices they can form a dense indoor positioning grid, like an indoor GPS, that support a range of location-based services, such as wayfinding.

Philips highlighted that a connected and integrated lighting network could potentially save on a building’s operational costs in a significant way, given that heating, cooling and lighting together account for 70% of a building’s energy usage.

Philips also introduced CityTouch light point, an asset management system that enables cities to easily access information about the street lighting network and receive real-time updates about lighting maintenance requirements. Amidst other features, the system provides map-based data visualisations of a city’s lighting infrastructure, enabling a city to allocate budget for street lighting upgrades to those areas where it is most needed.

It is clear that Philips are being the thought innovators in how lighting fixtures can be connected seamlessly to help improve energy management and lighting control and the industry is sure to follow over the next few years.

Philips Power over Ethernet connected light system.


One further trend present included the proliferation of LED based lamps and the speed of price erosion within the sub-sector. Indeed, my presentation at the IALD Light Forum referred to how low the price of an LED bulb could go and posed the question why on earth anyone would even want to enter the LED light bulb market with negligible margins and high chances of recalls! It just doesn’t make great commercial sense in my view but there are just so many lighting companies chasing the billion unit dream.

Philips launched a new clear 40 watt equivalent LED bulb (Lifetime: 25,000 hours, Colour Temperature: 2700K [warm white light] and 470 Lumens) which brings back the shape and instant bright, warm light of a traditional light bulb. The bulb uses an innovative lens system to deliver light in all directions and is ideal for the living room and all other places where light matters. The clear LED 40W replacement bulb is available from July 2014 for RSP of EUR 8.99.

Philips also announced the Hue lux, a bright white-only version of Hue, controllable using a smart phone or tablet and fully compatible with the range of Hue apps and hardware.

As with all Hue devices it’s possible to use the intuitive app, to lower the setting from bright, warm white light for practical tasks to dimmed light, all from the convenience of your smart device, even when you’re away from home.

Available for £89.99 in a starter kit containing two Hue lux bulbs and a Hue bridge it is possible to control up to 50 bulbs on one system. A user can simply screw in the bulbs, plug the bridge into a home WiFi router and download the app or just add Hue lux to an existing Hue bridge.

The new Philips 40W clear LED lamp and Hue Lux light bulb.


Samsung announced the launch of a range of LED lamp solutions which include a lighter and more efficient PAR-series, lamps with a swivel-head PAR, a decorative classic design LED lamp, and an L-tube series with ECG and CCG compatibility. Hee-Chong Yoon, Vice President of LED Lamp Marketing at Samsung Electronics stated that. “Our ultimate goal is to connect the digital dots in our customer’s lives and Samsung is well positioned to deliver LED solutions for the Smart Homes of the future.”
Unlike traditional Wi-Fi controllable LED lighting, the Samsung Smart Bulb shown utilises Bluetooth technology which eliminates the need for a bridge and wireless AP, enabling the user to connect and control it directly from a smartphone or tablet PC.
The Smart Bulb can be dimmed down to 10% brightness and is CCT tuneable from 2700K (warm white) to 6500K (cool white) whilst offering a lifetime of 15,000 hours so users will receive approximately ten years (based on four hours per day) of highly-efficient lighting.
Samsung announced updated versions of the L-tube lamps, which are direct replacements for T5 or T8 type fluorescent tubes. Samsung claim compatibility with conventional ballasts so is well-suited for internal areas and can be easily installed without re-wiring of fixtures and helps reduce installation costs thanks to their ECG/CCG compatibility.
Specifications of the L-tube series are impressive with luminous efficacy up to 120 lm/W for 5000K models and up to 3200 lumens from a 1500mm length.

Samsung Bluetooth enabled Smart Bulb.

Ledzworld launched a colour temperature adjustable MR16 lamp that perfectly emulates the colour tones of halogen light bulbs when dimmed allowing users to create the right colour temperature ambiance through dimming while enjoying the energy-efficient and long-lasting benefits of LED lighting.

Utilising a second generation of the company’s patented and award-winning ‘Colour Temperature Adjusted’ (CTA) dimming technology, Ledzworld’s new CTA 2.0 LED MR16 lamp not only adjusts the light output strength while being dimmed, but also gradually transform from a bright soft tone colour temperature at the highest level, to a warm flame colour at the lowest dimming level. The CCT on the new lamp will range down from 2700K to 1600K depending on the dimming level and can reach a CRI of 95.

Ledzworld’s new colour tuneable MR16 unit.

Another goliath of the light bulb era is Osram and they explained they are the first major manufacturer to design, develop and manufacture a selection of their LED lamps in Europe. The ‘Superstar Classic A40’ for end customers and the ‘Parathom Pro Classic A40’ for professional users, in contrast to previous LED lamps, have a size identical to standard light bulbs.

I was hugely impressed by Osram’s commitment to manufacture high volume products within Europe and, although a huge risk commercially, one has to admire that perhaps long term their strategy may actually pay dividends. For example, it is well known that there are too many direct and indirect subsidies entering the Asian LED market which, at some point in the future, will need to be reversed/unwind and at that point there will be significant supply chain volatilities which could cause issues for the general lighting market so producing products within Europe would provide leverage against such volatility. In addition, shipping logistics, shipping costs and quality issues are mitigated by producing products in Europe but I doubt many other lighting companies have the foresight or bravery to create a European manufacturing base – hats off to the Osram senior management team.
Osram also demonstrated its technical leadership by announcing its research team has succeeded in constructing the most efficient LED lamp in the world. The lamp in tubular form consumes only half the power of currently common fluorescent and LED tubes, and achieves significantly superior colour rendering. The lamp achieved an efficacy level of 215 lumens per watt and, in contrast to previous research demonstrations, the lamp with a length of 1.2m (identical length to traditional fluorescent lamps). The peak efficiency is achieved with both warm and cool white light.

The record is based on a combination of high-efficiency red LED chips and green-whitish Osram LEDs containing a self-developed phosphor that is approaching production maturity. Materials with maximum reflection factors are also used as well as an innovative, integrated optic for minimizing absorption. The lamp is operated with a specifically developed control unit featuring efficiency of 95% and emits 3,900 lumens of warm white light (3000K) with a CRI 90.

The new forms of technology developed will be integrated step-by-step into OSRAM products and the company is expecting a series of products with the R&D in from 2015 allowing LEDs to significantly reduce the return on investment times compared to T5.

OSRAM A40 LED lamps.

Soraa showed its new range of Full-Visible-Spectrum Colour and Whiteness Rendering LED lamps based on their GaN on GaN Gen3 LED technology. Soraa’s third generation (Gen3) GaN on GaN LED achieves world-record setting wall-plug-efficiency, outperforming the nearest competitor by 20% at normal operating conditions. The company’s Gen3 LED runs at 75% wall-plug-efficiency at a current density of 35A/cm2 (or 350mA) and a junction temperature of 85°C, efficiency levels that are out of reach for other LED manufacturers. Soraa’s Gen3 LED emits full-visible-spectrum light (all the colours of the rainbow, including violet), which excites optical brightening agents and perfectly renders whiteness as well as colours.

The PAR30L lamp leads the market not only in light output, but also in colour and whiteness rendering; at CRI-95 and R9-95 it will achieve centre-beam intensity (CBCP) of 28,250cd at a beam angle of 8°.

Soraa Gen3 Gan on Gan LED engines.

Verbatim launched a range of LED lamps at the show including the development of a range of true-colour flame candle lamps utilising their VxRGB technology that, similarly to Soraa, incorporates violet LEDs (rather than blue) and a tri-phosphor to achieve excellent colour quality spectrum. The VxRGB Natural Vision Flame Candle LED lamp allows users to experience the warmth and ambience of real candlelight by delivering a colour temperature of 1900K which closely resembles the warm colour of a real candle flame. This LED candle is joined by Rich Flame Candle, an even warmer white LED Classic B lamp tuned to 1650K; Flicker Flame Candle, a 1900K LED Classic B that also simulates the gentle fluctuation of a burning candle; and Tunable Flame Candle that replicates incandescent lamps by providing a warmer light as it dims from 2400K to 1900K.

Although the models provide an excellent colour quality they definitely lag the industry on efficacy and come in at around 20 lm/W.

Output spectrum of Verbatim’s candle lamp.


It was exactly two years ago at the last Light + Building when OLEDs suddenly appeared back on my radar as a potentially viable lighting source and this year it became evident that OLEDs certainly have a place in the lighting sector over coming years.

Despite the fact that LED emitters are still improving rapidly and some mid-power manufacturers have already achieved LEDs with 200 lm/W and others offering CRI values >90, the reality is that when such LEDs are placed within systems the total efficacy drops down to the 100 lm/W mark.

LG Chem
Two years ago LG Chem announced availability of a range of OLED panels and, speaking with their senior technical and marketing team, they have ramped up availability and specifications of their OLED offering this time around. LG Chem offers eight different OLED models in three different colour temperatures (3000K/3500K/4000K), which deliver high colour rendering levels (CRI>90) as well as achieving high luminance, high efficacy and long lifespan.

LG Chem has now increased their OLED lifetimes up to 40,000 hours (LT70) when usually OLED manufacturers use LT50 to quote lifetimes and often at lower forward currents. Currently, the majority of LG Chem’s OLED panels offer 60lm/W efficacy which are still the most efficient mass-produced OLED panels but the roadmap means you can expect panels to reach 100lm/W by the end of 2014 which will equal the performance of the top quartile of LED based panels!

However, LG has set the goal of 140lm/W and 60,000 hours lifetime by 2016, which is pretty impressive from a technology standpoint. The standard luminance of the current panels is 3000 cd/m² but the panels can be driven harder albeit shortening lifetimes up to 5000 or even 8000 cd/m². 

LG Chem is approaching the market from a lighting perspective and quality of light through OLEDs is their top priority and each OLED panel is manufactured to ensure there is a high degree of light uniformity >85%.

LG Chem revealed the world`s largest OLED light panel N6SD30 (320 x 320mm) with an efficacy of 60lm/W at 3000K, a high CRI (>90) and just 1mm (yes, one millimetre) thick. This single panel is capable of a maximum 1,000lm output and a 40,000 hour lifetime.

Interestingly, LG Chem has continued to develop flexible OLED based light sources and in order to reduce pricing they have focused on adding plastic substrates based versions which will become commercially available in 2015. These new plastic based flexible OLEDs will be super-thin at only 0.3mm thick, lightweight <5g, bendable, twistable and at the same time infrangible. Although I wonder exactly what mass produced lighting will need such flexible OLEDs, they certainly will allow lighting designers to stretch their imagination as to the potential uses of such light sources. LG Chem highlighted how OLED flexibility could be used for task lighting and light art. The LG OLED task light can also be controlled by smartphone using iOS and Google Android Apps.

I know you will be saying that OLEDs may meet the technical specifications required for lighting but the costs are excessively prohibitive. LG did state the costs of OLED panel would drop significantly now that they have reached technically acceptable levels and I believe costs will drop by 50 to 80% over the next few years allowing a rapid penetration in certain market segments just as LEDs did in their early evolution.

I wouldn’t put it past LG Chem to deliver a 140lm/W 600mm x 600mm OLED panel by Light + Building 2016!

The world’s largest OLED panel from LG Chem

Philips launched its new OLED Lumiblade Panel Brite FL300 which is a highly flexible OLED panel ideal for customised designs. This new panel offers 300 lumens output over a 12cm2 area with an increased efficacy of 50 lumens/W and will be available by the end of 2014 in two colour temperatures of 3,000 Kelvin and 4,000 Kelvin. The Lumiblade panel brite FL300 is rated to last 10,000 hours at full brightness and is designed for environments such as high-end shops and hotels, as well as office spaces such as executive board rooms, where lighting is used as a design statement to create an exclusive ambience.

Osram showed an OLED concept suspended luminaire designed by Werner Aisslinger equipped with 16 square SDW-058 OLED panels based on the latest generation of the ‘Orbeos’ OLED panel. The new Orbeos OLED panel is already more efficient than energy-saving lamps and the performance improvement compared to the previous generation is +50-75% on lm/W, lifetime and lux output. These latest OLED panels can achieve 600 lux and 65lm/W with a lifetime of 15,000 hours, which is just ahead of Philips latest devices but behind those exhibited by LG Chem.

OSRAM OLED luminaire by Werner Aisslinger

One of the largest pure play lighting companies, Acuity Brands has been focusing on OLEDs for several years and they showcased its latest generation of OLED luminaires. Three commercially available OLED luminaires – Trilia, Revel and Canvis - used the LG Chem OLED panels to unlock functional but artistic possibilities to enhance human relationships with lighting. The OLED luminaires can be used in a variety of spaces such as office, retail, hospitality and restaurants. They are offered in three colour temperatures - 3000K, 3500K and 4000K – with a CRI of 85 to 90.

The Canvis OLED luminaires allow freedom to sculpt and define the shape of a space and provides substantial lighting.

The Trilia OLED luminaires are modular units that allow designers to shape single or expansive networks of OLED lighting and create an exquisite interplay of symmetry and asymmetry.

Speaking with Pete Shannin, Acuity Brands Lighting General Manager and Vice President, OLED Business Group he confirmed how focused Acuity are on their OLED business and stated that the three luminaires shown demonstrate that OLED lighting has made significant advancements and is now commercially viable. So much so that Acuity are expanding their commercial OLED team to take advantage of the expanding market which points to a realisation the OLED technology is becoming acceptable for general lighting markets.

Canvis OLED luminaire from Acuity

Konica Minolta
Konica Minolta has been making R&D progress on commercialisation of OLED lighting, as it utilises the company’s unique core phosphorescent emitter materials.

Konica Minolta has developed the world’s most efficient OLED lighting panel - achieving 131 lm/W over an emitting area being 15cm2.
Konica Minolta presented the pioneering R&D results including the announcement of the OLED lighting panels with the world’s first colour tuneable function within an exhibition entitled ‘The cradle of life’. The Irodori display demonstrated an OLED lighting panels that rotated slowly and dynamically changed colours.

The Ibuki display contained the world’s thinnest flexible type OLED at only 70-microns thick (or 30% thinner than a human hair). The OLED panel is so thin and light that it was shown floating in the air fanned by wind.

Konica Minolta also invested in a new Japanese OLED production facility focusing on high-productivity roll-to-roll manufacturing methods. The facility will be able to manufacture up to 1 million panels per month and is set to deliver the new Symfos OLED panel range.

One of the perceived advantages of roll-to-roll manufacturing of OLED devices is the large reducing in production costs and the Konica Minolta developments could be a very exciting breakthrough. The colour tuneable features are also a novel and an exciting development but less so for the general white light volume market.

Symfos OLED panels from Konica Minolta.

Sumitomo Chemical
Sumitomo Chemical exhibited its dual-colour emission polymer OLED lighting by inviting the Japanese lighting designer Motoko Ishii to create an exhibit called OLED Cosmos from bright OLED colours of light. Its design indicates unlimited possibilities of polymer OLED ever expanding into the future.

According to Sumitomo Chemical, it is the first in the world to have developed technology to mass-produce dual-color emission OLED lighting panels where a single panel can be printed in two distinct colours based on the company’s highly advanced printing method.

Sumitomo Chemical’s OLED Cosmos.

There was of course a large number of LED based emitters launched from all the main manufacturers and the clear trends included efficacies reaching 200lm/W for mid-power emitter and minimum CRI’s of 90. However, there was little innovation and only a few products caught my eye.

LG Innotek
One of the interesting new LED emitter developments included the new 3030 mid-power series from LG Innotek especially the 3030 IOL emitter. The 3030 IOL emitter has been developed with a novel optic to allow a very wide beam angle that decentralised the light concentration from each LED which in turn is ideal for back-lit LED panels.

The innovative LED optics reduce the number of LEDs used within an LED back-lit panel substantially by saving up to 39% on LED and PCB placement costs in comparable systems. In addition to reduced numbers of LEDs the depth between the LED emitters and the diffusers can be cut by 50% helping to reduce material costs and make slimmer fixtures.

LG announced the use of advanced phosphor material technology within their LEDs which virtually eliminates the trade-off between high CRI and flux losses. This remarkable achievement reduces the typical 20 to 25% flux losses for CRI’s above 90, to less than 5%, thus creating an exceptional value for LED lighting customers seeking to accelerate adoption in the market. The phosphor improvement is immense and it is impressive to see CRI of 90 being only 6% less than 80 CRI LEDs by the end of the year.

LG Innotek 3030 IOL.

Samsung launched high efficient mid-power LED emitters pushing 200 lm/W. However the innovations stand column highlighted new R&D concepts to the LED mass market.

The first innovation on display was the GaN-on-Silicon LED technology that Samsung research teams have developed. Most LEDs (>95%) are made with GaN-on-Sapphire technology. However GaN-on-Silicon offers several potential advantages because Silicon substrate technology is used to create microprocessors and the equipment costs along with production times are smaller and shorter thus providing big cost gains for LED manufacturers. Unfortunately, getting the technology to work reliably, as well as achieving LED efficiencies similar to GaN-on-Sapphire, has proved very difficult to do. However, Samsung claim they have cracked the technology barriers and will be introducing a new range of GaN-on-Silicon based LEDs by the end of 2014 which they state will match or even exceed current LED efficacies. This is a potentially exciting achievement as it will be the first time the efficacies meet current production LED levels with the added benefit of reduced costs.

The next innovation showed a new NanoLED based concept that contained multiple numbers of very small LED emitters within a single LED die package. This concept has been shown previously and used for microdisplays. However Samsung demonstrated how different red, green and blue emitters could combine to create a white LED output without the need to use a phosphor.

There were several other market available products on Samsung’s stand all of which showed that Samsung LED is delivering high efficiency LEDs up to 200 lm/W in a wide variety of form factors. With such commercial weight behind Samsung they certainly have become a force within the LED market and if they achieve the GaN-on-Silicon breakthrough they will be a tough act to follow.

Samsung Nano LED phosphorless emitter.

Toshiba acquired the Bridgelux GaN-on-Silicon technology and subsequently launched their ultra-small Chip Scale Package White LEDs for lighting applications.

The new TL1WK series LEDs have been designed as light sources for general lighting, including straight tube lights, light bulbs and ceiling lights.

The emitters utilise the gallium nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) process technology and a new process technology that fabricates the elements of a packaged LED on an 8-inch silicon wafer. The LEDs are the industry’s smallest in sub-watt class (0.25 to 0.5W) white LEDs, with a package size of just 0.65 x 0.65mm, but they achieve a luminous efficacy of 130lm/W and superior heat dissipation. Forward current is up to 180mA (max.).

The new white LEDs make it possible to achieve a narrow beam in small-size lighting equipment and can contribute to innovation in lighting design. The first device has a colour temperature of 5000K and a colour rendering index Ra of 80, other colour temperature variations including 4000K, 3000K and 2700K are also under development.

Toshiba’s GaN-on-Silicon ultra small LED emitters.

Osram launched its first chip-on-board LED, the Soleriq P9, which is suitable for compact powerful spotlights such as the ones used in retail outlets and museums. The P9 has a light emitting surface with a diameter of only 9mm (64 mm²) but produces an impressive 2000 lm and has a luminous efficacy of 100 lm/W (at a temperature of 85 °C and 3000 K). The light emitting surface is therefore around 50 percent smaller than that of the existing Soleriq S13 versions but at 2000lm the LED delivers twice as much light with the same efficiency.

The P9 is available in colour temperatures of 2700K to 5000K at CRI 80 and 2700K to 4000K at a CRI 90. The package dimensions are 15mm x 15mm and the beam angle is 120 degrees.

Sharp Devices in Europe showed off their colour tuning LEDs by entirely lighting their stand with the technology. Their stand was bathed in all white colours between 2,700K (warm) and 5,700K (cold), a sequence made possible by an automatic program controlling all the tuneable white LED devices. 

Besides the COB-based Tiger ZENIGATA already released by Sharp, the booth also featured prototype versions of Sharp’s new tuneable white mid-power LED device based on SMD technology. This mid-power device’s dimensions – 4.2 x 3.0 x 0.9mm – and its unique design with two integrated CCTs will make it easy to incorporate into any luminaire. Besides, any CCT combination can be customised to a lighting designer’s wishes.
LED Engin
Following on in a similar theme of colour tuning, LED Engin unveiled its generation 2.0 LuxiTune LED emitter module with added tuneability and connectivity.

The new version of LuxiTune offers many additional features including a Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) tuning function that enables users to separately adjust the CCT, between 2100K and 4300K, and light intensity (flux). Tracking along the same tune curve, the existing halogen style dimming mode allows users to dim from 3000K to 1800K. In both modes of operation, the tune curves have been precisely designed to stay a short distance below the black body locus throughout the tuning range, resulting in more vibrant colours. Additionally, LuxiTune 2.0 has newly added DMX control functions, such as switching in between halogen dim and CCT tune modes.  

Providing high lumen density and Lux-on-Target performance, LuxiTune has a luminous flux of 1100 lumens, equivalent to a 60W halogen lamp. Luminous efficacy is 63 lm/W at temperature including the secondary optic, far higher than that of rival products. At full intensity, CRI is 90 and LuxiTune maintains a CRI average of 85 as it dims.

LED Engin showcased Gallery White, the world’s most compact emitter for directional lighting boasting an exceptional CRI of 98. Designed for high-end applications, including retail outlets, galleries and museums where accurate colour representation is vital, 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. Available in a range of package sizes for different power ratings from 10W to 80W, the emitters deliver between 480 and 3450 lumens output.

LED Engin Gallery White spectral output showing high CRI achieved.

Philips Lumileds
Philips Lumileds announced an efficacy upgrade to the Luxeon Z ES emitter of 18% over previous 2013 models. The Luxeon Z ES is 75% smaller than a standard 3535 package and measures only 1.6 x 2.0mm in size featuring an undomed design enabling close packing density of the LEDs in space-constrained applications. 

In addition to upgraded performance across the existing portfolio, Philips Lumileds has introduced new 4000K and 5700K emitters in the 90 CRI range to address needs in stadium and museum lighting whilst colour consistency of the LUXEON Z ES is ensured by the emitters’ 5-, 3- and first-ever 1-step MacAdam Ellipse binning options.


A relatively new US company, Cooledge launched its range of light sheets which is a new light source medium that combines the mechanical, electrical and LED source together into a flexible sheet of light while eliminating many of the constraints and challenges that existing LED systems impose. Luminaire designs using light sheet can be fluid, thin and minimal in both design and material choices. The light sheet utilises a highly dense pattern of LEDs on a thin plastic substrate, delivering on the promise of OLEDs with the reliability and performance of LEDs. 

These products can certainly be used for a range of lighting applications such as shelf lighting, backlighting within panels and a variety of other applications. The lighting sheets are highly flexible and offers a similar flexibility to OLEDs but at a more affordable price.

The new LED light sheets from Cooledge.

Quarkstar, a US based lighting company present at the show, demonstrated a very interesting ‘Glare-Free Filament’ optic that virtually illuminates glare from lighting fixtures. As we know, glare is a major issue often ignored or overlooked by many so it is refreshing that Quarkstar has developed a range of lighting products that significantly reduces glare by using specially designed optical components that redirect light to maintain high efficiency of the fixture.

QuarkStar has over 120 patent applications to date for multiple technologies and is one of the world’s most unconventional LED lighting hardware start-ups, staffed by world-renowned technologists and LED pioneers with more than 500 years of collective LED and lighting industry experience.

The Glare-Free Filament increases LED lighting efficiency through improved light extraction and allow light mixing from multiple coloured LED sources.

The QuarkStar technology solves many major challenges of LED lighting, including:
• Extracting the light emitted by the LEDs efficiently;
• Mixing the light evenly from multiple LED sources;
• Distributing the light in a controlled manner and eliminating glare to maximise visual comfort;
• Reducing the initial fixture, installation, and operating costs of LED lighting systems.
One of the first fixtures developed using the Quarkstar ‘Glare Free’ technology is the Q-blade, a suspended linear unit, which offers over 110 lm/W total system efficacy equivalent to the best fluorescent lamps. Indeed, Quarkstar has shown that their novel optics allows the technology to be scaled up to 14,000 lumens (for industrial applications) without significant glare or compromising efficacy which is a major achievement.

The R&D team also demonstrated pendant, LED panel, garage and industrial fixtures based on the technology proving it is scalable to many application requirements.


A new entrant to the LED emitter market, Lextar launched a new White Chip technology involves substrate-free flip chip and phosphor moulding process which can be fabricated by current SMT equipment to simplify the manufacturing process significantly. Lextar’s White Chip is a chip scale die without cumbersome packaging, featuring high lumen densities, high lumen output, wide beam angle, and can be packaged closer together to simplify optical lens design.

The Lextar White Chip can achieve high lumen output and high lumen intensity, reaching up to 2500cd at 25 degree with high CRI 90 performance, making it a perfect replacement for 50-watt halogen lamp.

The new Lextar white chip LED emitter for high density applications.

The show was obviously a success for many manufacturers and the prevalence of the connected lighting system era is upon us.

I still have major concerns about the security of Internet connected lighting systems as it seems the majority of players are not building secure systems from the ground up so I expect that by 2016 this will become a major trend.

I looked back at my previous Light + Building review and I made several predictions in 2012 as to what we would see in 2014 so I thought it would be great to see how I did!

‘What will happen by the next Light + Building...’   
• ‘T5s will be completely replaced by LEDs in terms of new fixtures as well as high efficacy retrofits.’ Not quite achieved but penetration of T5’s market certainly underway.
• ‘LED prices will have decreased by over 50% and maybe as high as 70% compared to this time meaning the return on investment compared to traditional light sources for most applications will be between one and two years.’ This has been achieved, especially with Chip on Board solutions.
• ‘OLEDs will be a serious player in the general lighting market and costs will have tumbled from today.’ OLEDs are now technical capable for use but costly. OLEDs will be seen more in 2016.
• ‘LED fixtures will actually be able to dim properly (most the products on show were very poor with either poor dimming range and/or flickering of the LEDs at low intensities).’ Dimming has been significantly improved but not perfect.
• ‘Samsung, LG and the major Japanese electronics companies will be significant players in Europe as they use innovation, improved products and competitive pricing to break down barriers unlike in the last two to three decades.’ Certainly Samsung and LG have made big inroads in all vertical segments of the LED market but all Asian players are struggling to break the route to markets held by traditional players.
• ‘Standard white PC LED efficacies will reach 180 lm/W in production.’ This has easily been achieved.
• ‘Variable CCT products will be prevalent, low cost and Internet enabled.’ Colour tuneable products were still a niche area but growing strongly.

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

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of mondo*arc.


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