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The Light We Do, and Don't, Want
... In a mostly annual trek into parts mostly unknown (to us, anyway) to see what is going on with lighting in the real world, we were struck two things. 1) There still isn't all that much of the light we want, and 2) There is still a lot of...
full story at the bottom of the current news page, or
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Mid-Power LEDs to Comprise 48 Percent of Packaged LED Revenue in 2014, IHS Predicts
LIGHTimes News Staff
August 19, 2014...The 2014 lighting end market is expected to comprise about 35 percent of all
revenues from packaged LEDs, according to IHS. IHS points at that for the first
time, the end lighting market for packaged LEDs is greater than the market for
packaged LEDs in all backlighting combined. In 2013, backlighting and Lighting
each accounted for 31 percent of market revenue, IHS indicated. IHS forecasts
that Mid-power devices will make up about 48 percent of packaged LED revenue in
lighting applications in 2014 and 81 percent of units sold.
The market has changed drastically in recent years. Back in 2010, high power
LEDs such as 1-watt devices dominated the market, IHS noted. In the west, the
percentage of revenue from mid power LEDs is lower. IHS found that in Asia
however, the percentage is higher. The company points out that numerous Chinese
suppliers that sell LEDs to their large domestic market primarily produce
From 2011 to 2013, the market for mid-power LEDs grew rapidly. IHS says that
this rapid growth was driven by the attractive dollar-per-lumen ratio and the
availability packaged LEDs previously used for backlighting. South Korean
companies such as Seoul Semiconductor and Samsung initially led this trend.
However, mid power LEDs are an essential part of the packaged LED portfolios of
most global companies now. Other suppliers such as Cree, Lumileds, and Nichia
have followed the trend, IHS says.
While Cree is the largest provider of packaged LEDs in lighting
applications. Philips Lumileds is a close second. Despite this, competition
from Asian companies has increased in last few years in lighting
During 2015 and beyond, IHS predicts that the share of mid-power will
continue to increase. Also according to IHS, the proportion of chip-on-board
(COB) LEDs of the packaged LED market is growing and playing an increasingly
important role because companies are designing completed lighting products for
a wider variety of target end markets. IHS says that high-power LEDs are still
popular in areas such as street lighting and should retain a strong presence in
Excluding lighting, the rest of the LED market is almost completely flat
from year–to-year. IHS predicts that the rest of the packaged LED market
will remain flat until 2019. The lighting market, led by mid-power LEDs, will
drive the growth, IHS contends.
Daktronics to Acquire European Display Company Focused on Transportation Market
LIGHTimes News Staff
August 19, 2014...Brookings, South Dakota-based LED display company, Daktronics, recently
agreed to purchase Data Display, a transportation focused display company that
has manufacturing and engineering capabilities in Ireland. Data Display has
served customers across the European Union and United States.
Under the terms of the agreement, Daktronics will retain Data Display's
workforce of manufacturing, engineering, service, and sales teams. Data Display
is headquartered in Ireland and includes a modern, ISO 9001:2008 certified
manufacturing facility with 60,000 square feet (5.575 square meters) of space
in County Clare, Ireland. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Data Display has focused on the mass transit industry for more than 30
years. The company offers electronic displays for real-time passenger
information (RTPI) in bus and tram networks and provides customer information
systems (CIS) for railway networks. According to Daktronics, Data Display has
built a strong business in Europe and brings a complementary customer base,
skilled workforce and valuable mass transit sector experience.
Daktronics CEO Reece Kurtenbach noted, "We believe Daktronics and Data
Display complement each other well. Daktronics is active in the transportation
business, mainly in the United States, and we have a global presence with
offices and people in many countries, currently focused on sports, third-party
advertising and video solutions. Adding the strengths of Data Display will
allow our combined organizations to better serve transportation customers
world-wide and broaden our leadership position on a global scale. Daktronics
looks forward to further expanding its customer and market focus in Europe and
DRSA Wins Contracts to Refit Yauchts with LED lighting
LIGHTimes News Staff
August 19, 2014...DRSA, a supplier of marine LED lighting, recently secured more than 12 major
contracts to refit yachts ranging between 100’ and 175’ with LED
lighting. According to DRSA, refitting yachts with LED lighting that have
dimming capabilities is now in high demand because the technology for LED
lighting has finally made its way to the yacht industry.
“We have dramatically increased our focus on designing, creating
and sourcing LED light products over the past year as we have seen significants
benefits in the marine industry,” said DRSA president Cathy Smith.
“LED lights are smaller in size, brighter in appearance and lower in
heat emissions. Also, we have now been able to identify solutions to properly
dim LED lights on board, so anyone with a yacht going thru a refit - or a used
build - is well advised to look at these alternatives,” Smith added.
For more than 25 years, DRSA has designed, developed, manufactured, and
imported luminaires, light bulbs and LEDs to illuminate entire vessels from bow
DRSA will be showcasing its products at the International Boatbuilders
Exhibition and conference (IBEX) 2014, September 30-October 2 at the Tampa
Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.
Daktronics Installs Lagest Ever Display at Ector County ISD High School
LIGHTimes News Staff
August 19, 2014...Daktronics supplied and installed the largest display that it has ever
installed at the high school level for Ratliff Stadium of Ector County ISD
(ECISD). Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, Texas is home to Odessa High School as well
as Permian High School of "Friday Night Lights" fame. The company also recently
installing the largest display in college football at Texas A&M
University's Kyle Field and the largest display in professional football at the
Daktronics notes that ECISD's new display is one of the largest in all of
high school sports. The display with a 15HD pixel layout measures about 27 feet
high by 50 feet wide, a little more than 1,330 square feet. It's size makes it
larger than displays at three professional stadiums including the New Orleans
Saints, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.
Daktronics originally installed the district's previous video display in
2005 that was less than 400 square feet. This display is still being used in
the stadium. ECISD is apparently the only high school in the nation that uses
two two displays with full video capability for a combined 1700 total square
feet of video space.
The Daktronics Sports Marketing team helped ECISD secure 1.2 million dollars
of equipment and and more than 2 million dollars in ad contracts over ten
years. With the assistance, the district was able to pay off the existing
equipment, which will stay where it is. The district is also expected to pay
off the new equipment two years sooner. Any revenue generated above obligations
is returned to the district.
If you are interested in advertising at Ratliff Stadium, contact Michael
Vogelaar at 432-235-0103.
Cree Posts 43 Percent Increase in Annual Net Income
SSL Design News Staff
August 14, 2014...Durham, North Carolina-based Cree, Inc., posted revenues of $436 million for
the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 which ended June 29, 2014. . This is 16
percent higher than the $375 million reported for the fourth quarter of fiscal
2013, and an 8% increase compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2014. The
company's total revenue for fiscal year 2014 increased 19 percent from $1.39
billion in fiscal year 2013 to $1.65 billion in fiscal year 2014. GAAP net
income rose 43 percent to $124 million from 87 million during the previous
fiscal year. Cree generated $319 million of operating cash flow and $121
million of free cash flow during fiscal 2014.
"Fiscal 2014 was another great year, as we achieved record revenue and
grew our non-GAAP net income by over 30%," stated Chuck Swoboda, Cree
Chairman and CEO. "The strength of our operating model gives us the
flexibility to make investments to support our goal to grow the business and
increase operating margin. Our new product pipeline, brand momentum and strong
balance sheet put us in a great position to enable our long-term customer goal
of 100% upgrade to LED lighting."
Notable recent projects for the company included replacing 2,000
high-pressure sodium streetlights for the city of San Luis Obispo, California,
illuminating a Walgreens location in Goodyear, Arizona, and collaborating with
Musco Lighting to transform the San Francisco to Oakland Bay Bridge. The
company also launched several new products such as the OSQ Area luminaire, the
XLamp XP-L LED, and the LED T8 Series.
Cree is targeting revenues of $440 to $465 million for the first fiscal
quarter of 2015 ending September 28, 2014.
SemiLEDs Launches Complete 80mil EV LED Chip Family
LIGHTimes News Staff
August 14, 2014...SemiLEDs of Chunan, Taiwan has begun sampling and made available in high
volume, a complete line of 80x80mil rugged metal LED chips, including blue, UV,
and white varieties. A single member of the EV-80mil family can typically
replace four 40x40mil LED chips and minimize shadow effects and color fringing,
which are common among multi-chip devices. The EV family combines a vertical
LED architecture with rugged copper-alloy substrates. has proven to be
especially. SemiLEDs asserts that the EV family is ideal for handling the
large-chip implementation and their increased thermal and electrical
Mark Tuttle, General Manager for SemiLEDs Optoelectronics Co., Ltd.,
commented, “Applications in commercial and residential lighting,
along with UV industrial applications, share the common challenge of achieving
high output in compact form-factors, in the most cost-effective manner.
SemiLEDs’ unique vertical-metal architectures allow these devices to be
driven hard, without compromising either their stability or reliability,
allowing packagers and integrators to deliver maximum optical power from
extremely small package or chip-on-board footprints.” Mr. Tuttle
continued, “The EV-80mil line is also able to deliver substantial
versatility, including die-level white options that incorporate SemiLEDs’
proprietary ReadyWhite™ phosphor coating technology, which minimizes
blue-leakage and delivers impressive levels of color uniformity with tight
binning options for low-profile and multi-color white packaged
The new EV-80mil ReadyWhite™ chips employ the company's proprietary
phosphor technology. At 3A chips in a typical 5x5mm ceramic package, can
reportedly provide up to 1200 lumens. They chips come in correlated color
temperatures (CCTs) ranging from 2600 to 10,000K, and after packaging, they
have color rendering indices from a minimum 65 to a minimum of 90.
SemiLEDs’ ReadyWhite™ solutions when combined with the company's
vertical LED chip architecture, deliver a package-ready white chip to single-
or multi-die or COB packaging applications. The company claims that its
ReadyWhite phosphor technology eliminates the need for costly phosphor
manufacturing technology. At currents below 1.0A, the 80mil ReadyWhite chips
offer up to 145 cool white lumens per watt in typical package configurations
and are suited for outdoor street or area lighting, or heavy duty
The 80mil blue chips come in standard wavelengths ranging from 445 to 460nm,
with wavelength options up to 470nm available upon request. The chips in
typical ceramic packaging provide up to 4000mW of optical power at 450nm.
SemiLED says that single-chip implementations of the ReadyWhite and blue chips
are ideal for kilolumen applications requiring a narrow beam pattern because of
their simplified optics and compact emitter sizes such as MR/GU/PAR spotlights,
projectors, and automotive front lighting.
“While much of the news in the LED industry is focused on general
lighting, there is an incredible amount of innovation going on in the
industrial and medical arenas,” Mr. Tuttle continued. “The
80mil UV solution from SemiLEDs allows tremendous power per square millimeter
for high output-density industrial requirements. Applications ranging from spot
curing to 3D printing and fiber optic coupled systems, as well as completely
new applications, are all benefitting from the increased optical control that
is enabled by solid state solutions such as SemiLEDs single-die 80mil
series,” he said.
The UV 80mil is available in wavelengths ranging from 360 to 420nm. At 3A in
typical ceramic packages, the UV 80mil has optical outputs up to 4000mW. The UV
LED is for industrial applications, such as spot curing of inks, polymers, and
adhesives, 3D printing, and fiber optic coupled systems. The design of the
80mil enables an 8-10W single chip point source, eliminating the need for
sophisticated optical designs to collimate light and avoiding dark gaps that
are inherent with using multiple smaller chips. The single chip design enables
varying the beam patterns through secondary optics, maximizes delivered UV
optical power across the target areas, and increases UV exposure consistency.
SemiLEDs’ EV-80mil LED chips are RoHS compliant with production
quantities available now.
AUO to Begin Making 1.6-inch AMOLED Panels in Q4 of 2014
August 14, 2014...AU Optronics (AUO) plans to begin producing 1.6-inch AMOLED panels for smart
wearable devices in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to a
Digitimes article. Since
2011, the company has been developing small- to medium-size OLED panels. It has
provided 5.5-inch Full HD and 5-inch HD panels used in smartphones for Taiwan-
and China-based vendors.
In related news, the Japanese government has sponsored Innovation Network
Corporation of Japan (INCJ), Japan Display, Panasonic, and Sony will jointly
invest JPY20 billion (US$196 million) to set up an OLED panel production in
2015 and begin volume production in 2018. While, Samsung Display currently
boasts about 90% of the global market for small- to medium-size OLED panels,
AUO asserts that AMOLED panel market may take off when more companies
Quirky to Market Yoga Mat with Integrated Pressure Sensors and LEDs to Aid in Yoga Instruction
LIGHTimes News Staff
August 13, 2014...An invention marketing company called Quirky has created an interactive yoga
mat. Quirky is tentatively calling the product Beacon. The yoga mat has
integrated LEDs and pressure sensors. The mat gives feedback in the form
colored LEDs. For example, the LEDs can emit green light around a person's
hands on the mat if the person has balanced the weight distribution on their
The Interactive Yoga Mat, which its inventors first referred to as Glow,
came out of a 2009 Product Engineering class for seniors at MIT. Molly Duffy
and her team at MIT came up with a prototype of Glow as part of the class's 'Be
The company says that Beacon provides instruction and feedback for a
customized yoga experience. Further feedback comes from a laptop or cellphone
app that works with the mat. The company claims that with the help of the mat's
sensors, LEDs, and the smartphone app, users can get much of the same
instruction that they might get one-on-one from a master yogi. Also according
to Quirky, the mat and app enable a completely personalized Yoga workout,
allowing the user to perform a single pose or a series of poses.
The LEDs can show users exactly where to put their hands and feet.
Initially, the LEDs glow purple to show the user where to position themselves.
The LEDs glow red to reveal areas that are getting too much pressure and green
when the user is accurately positioned. The device communicates with the app
via Bluetooth or USB cable and has a rechargeable battery for extended use.
Our news features are reported
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Commentary & Perspective...
The Light We Do, and Don't, Want
August 14, 2014...In a mostly annual trek into parts mostly
unknown (to us, anyway) to see what is going on with lighting in the real world,
we were struck two things. 1) There still isn't all that much of the light we
want, and 2) There is still a lot of light we don't want. While few probably fell
off their chair on that revelation, we all tend to have so much legacy lighting
around us that we tend not to reflect too much on what we're missing, much less
on what we're getting that we really shouldn't be.
of the first stops on the tour was into The
Caverns at Natural Bridges, in the mountains of Virginia. Lots of natural
wonder to be found in a mostly horizontal cave that heads into a mountain, which
therefore gets deeper and deeper "underground" as you head in. That
means more opportunity for water to pick up minerals on its way down, and when
they hit the roof or floor of the empty space, they give the minerals back. That
water also carries clay with in this particular cavern, so you get pretty impressive
"mudstones" that can be scrubbed white for a day or two (also right
there on their website). And you get green stuff -- algae in this case, that made
it down there on some air currents, and grows courtesy of the moisture and
the artificial light. Nice, broad spectrum incandescent, to enhance our viewing
pleasure, is prevalent, and with close to 8 hours a day on time, it's plenty to
grow. It's the light we don't want. The guide pointed out where they had begun
to changeover to LED lighting, that would "supposedly" help with that.
The company apparently specializes in that kind of thing. Don't know who it is
yet, but hopefully they'll let us know their formula, which we'd expect to be
removing some spectra that algae like, and which the viewers won't necessarily
The next stop was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. A look at
the high ceiling revealed some nice looking area lights that fit the model of
Beta (now Cree's) original Edge product line. The optics were well done, and weren't
obnoxious to look toward. With good color rendering, it made it the kind of light
we do want. Unfortunately, the LED lighting doesn't appear to have gained overwhelming
traction in that facility, as a number of displays protected from curious fingers
behind a protective glass barrier required the traditional "bob and weave"
to see it all against the glare in the glass. The original Wright flyer (the,
the original... very cool) was illuminated by a beachy sort of Kitty Hawk sand
dune kind of towards sunset yellow. Quite emotionally stirring, and very deficit
of helpful wavelengths when it comes to visual acuity. LED lighting shouldn't
be challenged to provide a cure for that - ambiance plus fidelity, all for just
a few pennies per lumen. Even better would have been a bit more experiential display,
with the light giving us the full sunrise-midday-sunset playback of a typical
day over the course of 10 minutes, along with a background soundtrack of seabreeze,
sputtering engines and enthusiastic hollering (I'd recommend they check out Telelumen's
solution for the realistic light playback -- Yo, Smithsonian. Tell Steve Paolini
we said "Hi").
At the Smithsonian Art and Portrait gallery, CMH
and halogen were the watchwords. One of the few artifacts in the extensive gallery
was a civil war sword. The sign read (paraphrase), "This is a replica. The
original is carefully stored away to prevent it from being damaged by light."
There's a thrill! A genuine, real live, carefully detailed replica. We could have
gotten that in the wax museum in Gatlinburg, TN (lots of LED lights in that town...
sort of Orlando in the mountains). In a room only lit by artificial light, should
we really need to protect a treasure from the damage that light can cause? Maybe
we can put in the kind of light we want, and get rid of the kind we don't.
good news here is the LED lighting is in its infancy when it comes to what we
know, or don't know, about light. As we've said many times before, incumbent technologies
didn't offer a particularly cost-effective solution set to test each and every
wavelength. LEDs open that door, and with that, our knowledge. We've mentioned
it a lot, but it's only because we don't want anyone to miss it: This whole thing
is about what our light can do for us, and very quickly, it will also be about
what our light has been doing too us. Up til now, anyone has been able to claim,
"That's all we had." No one was suing their employers for using kerosene
lamps, since the choice then was those, or darkness. When Edison heated that wire,
we quickly had good, healthy (enough) light. Then came the longevity and efficiency
of fluorescent which quickly devolved to devising the bare minimum of phosphor
spikes to fool our eyes into thinking it looked ok, but do we really know what
we were missing? Soon enough, we'll know what the lack of, or extra of, in terms
of photons were or weren't doing for us. Then there will be published papers that
get cited in the lawsuits for decades of bad lighting causing many of the ails
of society. And the justifiable defense will be "We didn't know." All
will be forgiven, with the out of court settlement being total conversion to "natural"
LED lighting (with none of the bad additives).
This will be way better than
that incandescent bulb ban. We promise.
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