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LighTimes: Lighting For Tomorrow Launches 2015 Competition

January 15, 2015…At the Dallas Market, Lighting for Tomorrow launched its thirteenth consecutive annual competition. In 2015, Lighting for Tomorrow is seeking products that incorporate and enable superior integrated design, light quality, and efficiency. Similar to past years, Lighting for Tomorrow plans to reward lighting designed to satisfy the needs of the growing senior population and organic LED (OLED) luminaires as part of the SSL competition. In addition, the competition is highlighting LED fixtures that have replaceable components, the filament type, the decorative LED replacement lamps, as well as contractor lighting, which includes fixtures less than $50. The scope of the SSL competition includes LED luminaries for specific applications, replacement lamps, and retrofit kits.  The Lighting for Tomorrow will also focus on lighting control products, including stand alone, systems, and whole house devices.

The deadline for Intent to Submit forms for this year’s competition is April 24, 2015. The competition will announce the winners during an award ceremony at the ALA Conference in October 2015, in Huntington Beach, California. Award recipients will be eligible to be promoted by energy efficiency programs across the US and Canada during the following yea

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LighTimes: Automotive LED Lighting Market to Grow Rapidly, According to Research and Markets

January 15, 2015…Research and Markets forecasts that over the period of 2014-2019, the Automotive LED Lighting market in the Americas will have a compound annual growth rate of 25.26 percent. The firm notes that LED lighting technology for automobiles has improved significantly in terms of heat-light ratio. Also, the company says that LED lights consume less power and have a longer lifespan and greater shock resistance than alternative technologies. A drive towards greater energy efficiency, the falling price of raw materials, and exponential vehicle production are radically changing the Automotive LED lighting market in the Americas, according to Research and Markets.

The company points out that automakers are increasingly using LED-based headlamps. Research and Markets contends that LED headlamps increase occupant safety and offer powerful and constant high-quality light, which enables illumination at greater distances. Additionally, the company says that LED headlamps can reduce energy consumption and improve the esthetic appeal of vehicles. According to the company’s latest report about Automotive LED lighting in the Americas, one of the main drivers of the market is the high rate of adoption and the growing popularity of LED lighting. The company says that LEDs tend to produce a better quality and higher intensity of light and are more flexible.

Another feature of LED lighting driving its adoption in vehicles is the improvement in visual conditions it offers. Furthermore, LEDs reportedly enable the styling and customization of vehicles with lights. Research and Markets points out that Automakers and their suppliers have to overcome regulatory approval delays as they seek to introduce new lighting technology, such as high-intensity LED headlights and adaptive lighting systems, which are hindered because of the safety legislation in the Americas.


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LighTimes:2015 Draper Prize for Engineering Goes to LED Lighting Pioneers

January 8, 2015…The US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has awarded the 2015 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering to Nick Holonyak Jr, Isamu Akasaki, M. George Craford, Russell Dupuis, and Shuji Nakamura for “the invention, development, and commercialization of materials and processes for LEDs. The prize will be presented at a gala dinner in Washington D.C. on 24 February.

In 1988, in honor of the memory of Charles Stark Draper, known as the ‘father of inertial navigation’, the National Association of Engineering (NAE) established the $500,000 annual Draper Prize at the request of Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc.

The Draper Prize, which is NAE’s highest honor, is given to engineers for achievements that have significantly benefited society by improving the quality of life, and/or expanding access to information.

“These prize-winning engineers were the pioneers in a technology that has changed the world we live in, from the aesthetics in our homes, to advancements in our visual capabilities, and to environmental stewardship,” stated NAE president C D. Mote Jr.

In 1962, Nick Holonyak Jr created the first visible, red LED while working at General Electric. He studied III-V materials including gallium arsenide (GaAs) and found that adding phosphorus (P) to gallium arsenide resulted in a shortened wavelength. He ultimately tuned the GaAsP LED to emit visible red lightIn 1972, George Craford invented the first yellow LED and increased its brightness by adding nitrogen to the GaAsP LED. Craford also participated in developing processes for the first large-scale commercial production of red LEDs. He later led work that resulted in the first high-brightness yellow and red LEDs, available in 1992, and subsequently contributed to the development of high-power white LEDs.

Russell Dupuis developed and refined the metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) process in 1977, which enabled the production of high-brightness LEDs and is now the basis of nearly all production of high-brightness LEDs, and other high-speed optoelectronic devices including laser diodes and solar cells.

In 1987 Isamu Akasaki used MOCVD to grow high-quality gallium nitride crystals on sapphire substrates, creating the first blue LED (which later enabled efficient, bright, white light sources).

In 1992, Shuji Nakamura also made important contributions to InGaN-based high-brightness double-heterostructure blue LEDs, as well as laser diodes that allowed development of the high-density digital video disk (Blu Ray DVD). Nakamura, who is a professor of materials and of electrical & computer engineering at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), received the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics (shared with professors Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano) for helping develop the first high-brightness blue LED.


White LED-based Integrating Sphere Offers Superior Luminance Calibration of Imaging Sensors

LED Integrating Sphere

G&H’s white LED-based integrating sphere


The light measurement instrumentation and imaging detector industry relies heavily upon conventional single line spectrum and continuous sources. Typically incandescent, they provide only limited utility in terms of reliability, accuracy, control of spectral content and serviceable life. A new product under development by Gooch & Housego will allow an unprecedented level of flexibility in terms of uniformity and linearity testing for designers, integrators and end-users.

The source addresses the needs of engineers, scientists and technicians who currently work with conventional incandescent-based line and filtered broadband sources but desire a cost-effective, wavelength-selectable, NIST-traceable radiant light source. In such applications, the LED Integrating Sphere Source provides more versatility and better performance than filtered sources and is a significantly lower cost alternative to monochromators and similar instruments. Main application areas include product testing and detector, imaging system and photometric instrument calibration. Also unlike tungsten halogen lamps, LEDs will not heat parts significantly due to radiation, so the optical cavity can be small. It does not require air flow, so the cavity is easily rendered light tight. The heat can be conducted to a heat sink and dissipated using inexpensive, readily available assemblies. Calibrations will be available in luminance, radiance and illuminance/irradiance.

here are a few white LED-based luminance sources in the market place but until now they have only been able to generate a uniform spectral output across a limited range. The proprietary design of this new system from G&H is unique in overcoming that limitation, offering a true broadband output as good or better than conventional sources. For more information on the G&H White LED-based Integrating Sphere; specifications and applications, contact Alex Fong or orlandosales@goochandhousego.com.

New website showcases Light Measurement Solutions Portfolio for Industrial and R&D Applications

Multicolored LEDSTo showcase this exciting line of solutions, G&H has recently launched a website dedicated to light measurement instrumentation. This new dedicated site is designed to serve the industrial and research light metrology community. It is application driven and allows visitors to explore all the options G&H has to offer along with rich content such as a wealth of product information, application notes and video tutorials. Links to social networking tools and forums will help to create dialogs between our experts and the user community regarding technical and commercial trends of importance. New innovations to be introduced in 2015 will also be announced on the site as part of product spotlights and case studies.

In addition to its trusted and popular OL 770 Series lighting LED and display test platforms, research systems such as their OL 750, HSi-440C spectral imagers and calibration standards and services, Gooch & Housego (Orlando), the company’s Instrumentation division, recently announced that it has added ultra compact and rugged spot photometers, colorimeters and luminance spectroradiometers from Colorimetry Research to its line-up. In addition G&H now distributes the Techno Team family of LMK5 Imaging Photometers and RiGO801 goniophotometers in the Americas. “Both of these lines are welcome additions, enabling G&H to better serve the production test community”, commented Senior Vice-President, Alex Fong.

The Instrumentation division of Gooch & Housego, located in Orlando, Florida, is a world leader in light measurement solutions, such as spectroradiometer, radiometer / photometers, calibration standards and services, integrating spheres and hyperspectral imaging and multi-imaging solutions. Instruments and systems provide accurate, repeatable, research-grade measurements in the UV-VIS-NIR-IR wavelength ranges for research, academia, industry, and the military. Light measurement systems are designed to provide consistent, precise, and repeatable measurements throughout the long life of the instrumentation.

For more detail on G&H’s light measurement solutions please visit the Instrumentation website or e-mail us at sales@goochandhousego.com.

LighTimes: Zhaga Consortium Starts Working on New COB LED Array Specification

December 11, 2014…The Zhaga Consortium, which develops specifications for interchangeable LED light sources, is now working on a new Book that will include Chip-on-Board (COB) LED arrays. COB arrays are in widespread use, but different manufacturers offer a wide range of alternative sizes. The consortium notes that this creates problems for luminaire makers and other stakeholders such as COB holder suppliers and limits their options of using alternative products from different suppliers.

“We consulted many luminaire makers, and received broad support for our plans to standardize this type of LED light source,” said Musa Unmehopa, secretary general of the Zhaga Consortium.“These companies asked us to standardize properties such as the mechanical dimensions of the module, the position of electrodes, and the diameter of the light-emitting surface.”

Zhaga says its standardization removes arbitrary variations in a small number of parameters, to allow interchangeability of LED light sources. The consortium contends that for customers, standardization simplifies the comparison and selection of products. The consortium says that it allows COB-array makers to focus on offering value-added differentiation to customers, such as luminous efficacy, quality of light, or thermal properties.

“For Zhaga Books to be successful, they need to reflect the wishes of the market,” said Unmehopa. “We welcome any input from COB makers or other companies, who are invited to join Zhaga and contribute to the ongoing discussions.”

The new Zhaga Book will define rectangular and square LED modules with a circular light-emitting surface (LES) and a separate LED driver. The Book will define a family of modules with different dimensions. In the majority of cases, modules that are compliant with the new Book will employ COB technology* for the light-emitting section. However, the Zhaga specification will not prevent the use of alternative technology approaches.

After extensive discussion the consortium decided to specify a family of six rectangular or square modules, with the following PCB dimensions: 12 x 15 mm, 16 x 19 mm, 19 x 19 mm, 20 x 24 mm, 24 x 24 mm, and 28 x 28 mm.

The circular LES sizes defined in the new Book will correspond to the LES categories specified in several current Zhaga Books that cover spotlight modules (Books 3, 5, 10 and 11). COB LED arrays are used both with and without holders, depending on the luminaire type and application. The consortium expects that the new Zhaga Book will also include specifications for these holders.

In common with other Zhaga specifications, the new Book will only restrict the parameters necessary to enable interchangeability. In addition to PCB dimensions and thickness, such parameters are likely to include the location of the LES centre point; the position and size of the electrode positions; and the location of the thermal measurement point.

Screw holes will be optional, since many COB arrays are mounted directly using a thermal interface material. However, if screw holes are used, then their position and size should conform to the Zhaga specification.

Zhaga plans to discuss whether other features should be part of the specification such as a current-setting resistor to the board, for example, or the adding a temperature sensor to prevent over-temperature operation.


LighTimes: Researchers Create Heat Sensitive Color Converter to Produce Warmer Light

November 20, 2014…Researchers from the Netherlands have found a novel method to efficiently emit warm white light from LEDs.“We demonstrated a seemingly simple – but in fact sophisticated – way to create LED lights that change in a natural way to a cozy, warm white color when dimmed,” said Hugo Cornelissen, a principal scientist in the Optics Research Department at Philips Research Eindhoven, a Royal Philips corporate research entity in the Netherlands. Cornelissen and his team from Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands detail their new LEDs in an article published in the Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Optics Express.

Incandescent lamps naturally emit warmer colors when dimmed. Cornelissen pointed out that our general preference for redder colors in low-light situations might have developed far back in time, when humans “experienced the daily rhythm of sunrise, bright daylight at noon, and sunset, each with their corresponding color temperatures.”

Unlike incandescent lamps, LEDs don’t normally change color at different light intensities. Other groups have used multiple color LEDs and complex dimmer control circuitry to make lights turn redder as the power is reduced. The added complexity requires multiple components that can increase the cost and the risk of failure, and mixing light emission from multiple LEDs without creating light artifacts such as color shadows is tricky.

The scientists noticed that when they embedded LEDs in coated textiles or transparent materials, the color of the emitted light would sometimes change.

“After finding the root cause of these effects and quantitatively understanding the observed color shift, we thought of a way to turn the undesired color changes into a beneficial feature,”Cornelissen said.

They began with white LEDs made from a blue LED and a phosphor. Essentially, the phosphor absorbs and then re-emits the blue light as white.

Cornelissen and his team knew that if more blue light is absorbed and re-emitted then the color of the white light could be shifted toward the warmer end of the spectrum if more of the blue light is absorbed and re-emitted by the phosphor. The paper describes how they developed a novel, temperature-dependent way of creating a color shift towards the warmer white.

The group produced a coating that combined liquid crystal and polymeric material that scatters light when relatively cool but becomes transparent if it is heated above 48 degrees Celsius (approximately 118 degrees Fahrenheit). At the high temperature, the liquid crystal molecules rearrange and make the composite transparent.

After the team covered the LEDs with the material and increased the power enough to make the coating transparent, the LEDs emitted a cold white light. However, when they reduced the power, the coating restructured itself into a scattering material that bounced back more of the blue light into the phosphor, creating a warmer light. The group later fine-tuned the LED design and used multiple phosphors to create lights that comply with industry lighting standards across a range of currents and colors.

“We might see products on the market in two years, but first we’ll have to prove reliability over time,” Cornelissen said. “That is one of the important things to do next.”

LighTimes: ITRI Introduces System that Reduces LED Thermal Testing Time by More Than 90 Percent

November 11, 2014…Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan’s largest high-tech research and development institution, has introduced its In-Line Compact Thermal Analyzer (ICTA) Technology. The automatic thermal analyzer, ICTA offers a measurement speed of 12,000 LEDs per hour. According to ITRI the ICTA automatic thermal analyzer reduces each LED’s component thermal resistance testing time to just 0.3 seconds. The time per LED is reportedly 2,000 times faster than the conventional lab method in which only six components can be measured per hour. ITRI will receive a 2014 R&D 100 Award in November for this technology in the “Imaging” category.

ITRI points out that thermal performance has always been the primary factor impacting the life and light quality of LEDs. ITRI boasts that its ICTA Technology is the most powerful and cost efficient thermal analyzer compared to other LED thermal testers available. ITRI also contends that the ICTA technology greatly reduces the defect ratio of LED illumination products, decreases LED testing time, and improves production yield, performance and lifespan of LED devices including LED bulbs, mobile phones, TV, and laptop display backlights.

The technology employs a high-speed temperature sensitive parameter (TSP) measurement technique that ITRI says could reduce LED testing time by more than 90 percent, thus improving the efficiency of thermal structure analysis. According to ITRI, designers of power semiconductor devices can use ICTA to help solve thermal-induced stress, enabling innovative package design and material property identification or facilitating lifespan estimation.

“Up-to-now, measuring LED thermal resistance has been complex, time-consuming and could only take place in the laboratory at the product design stage,” said James, Mu Tao Chu, division director of the opto-electronics device and system applications division at ITRI. “With ICTA, manufacturers can now screen defective products on the production lines in real-time, optimizing production processes, increasing efficiencies to significantly lower LED lighting defect rates. This technology ensures, creating higher quality and more stable LED lighting products, for the delivery of best quality products to end-users, and finally, wider adoption of LED technology worldwide.”

ICTA provides the critical thermal characteristics such as junction temperature and thermal resistance for semiconductor devices, including LEDs, High-Electron-Mobility Transistor (HEMT), Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-effect Transistor (MOSFET), and Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT). ITRI has given the first technology transfer and patent licensing contract to global manufacturer MPI Corporation. The company is engaged in technology cooperation that has yielded the first ever transient thermal structure and in-line thermal resistance analyzer. MPI corporation expects to begin mass production of the ICTA by the end of 2014.

“Future LED illumination applications will require greater power needs in packaging, meaning that thermal resistance will become increasingly important. Since heat impacts the life and quality of a product, accurate measurement of LED thermal resistance will have a clear impact on product quality and cost,” said Anderson Fan, vice general manager of equipment operation division at MPI Corporation. “This cooperation with ITRI has successfully brought thermal resistance measurement technology out of the laboratory and to automated machinery. In the future, thermal resistance will be able to be measured in an automated process on the production line, significantly boosting the quality of LED products.”

LighTimes: DOE Announces Grants Totaling $10 Million for SSL R&D

October 17, 2014…The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is offering a total of $10 million for SSL Development. The DOE announced the funding opportunity on October 14, 2014. The funding from the (DE-FOA-0001171), will go towards the three existing DOE SSL R&D program areas: Core Technology Research, Product Development, and U.S. Manufacturing.

The Core Technology Research program attempts to apply fundamental scientific concepts to SSL technology improvements. The DOE’s SSL Product Development program intends to use the knowledge from basic or applied research to develop or improve commercially viable SSL systems, devices and materials. The goal of the DOE’s SSL Manufacturing Technology program is to accelerate SSL technology adoption through improvements and innovations in manufacturing innovations that increase consistency and quality while reducing costs.

DOE plans to choose up to ten projects. Concept papers are due by November 14, and applications are due by January 15. In addition, the National Energy Technology Laboratory will hold a webinar about the funding opportunity announcement on October 24 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. More information about the funding opportunity and the webinar is available at the FOA webpage.

Some of the goals of the research and development include maximizing energy efficiency of SSL products and improving lighting performance, lifetime, and color quality. Additionally, the DOE hopes the funding will help reduce luminaire and SSL source costs and maintaining high quality while improving consistency. The DOE also intends for the funding to encourage sustainability, growth, and leadership in domestic U.S. manufacturing.

LighTimes: GaN LEDs in Automotive to Reach $1 Billion in 2014, According to IHS

October 23, 2014…The LED Intelligence Service of IHS Technology (IHS) predicts that the market for GaN packaged LEDs in automotive applications will reach the $1 billion mark this year for the first time. IHS forecasts that industry revenue will grow 11 percent from $943 million in 2013 to $1.05 billion in 2014. IHS contends that the growth comes from vehicle exterior applications such as headlamps and daytime running lights, where LED penetration is still low.

However, IHS notes that the LED value per vehicle can be quite high. Osram, Nichia and Lumileds are ranked by IHS as the market’s leading three suppliers, and IHS says they are particularly dominant in vehicle exterior applications.

Audi has been a leader in using LEDs in its vehicles (especially in daytime running lights) since 2008, according to IHS, and many other manufacturers have followed the trend to using more LEDs in automotive applications. IHS points out however that many vehicles even at the high end of the market such as the $100,000 Tesla Model S, still do not use LED headlamps. Moreover, daytime running lights, cornering lights and indoor ambient lights are only available as an option rather than as standard. IHS forecasts that LED lighting should increase in vehicles over the next several years, growing further to $1.3 billion in 2018.