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LG Innotek and Daintree Launch the Standards-Based Wireless LED Driver

LG Innotek and Daintree Launch the Standards-Based Wireless LED Driver.
Jeff St. John
March 24, 2015
Networked LEDs are becoming more and more common in the commercial building space. But almost all of these LEDs are wirelessly connected through retrofits, using proprietary networks that can’t communicate with one another.

On Tuesday, South Korea’s LG Innotek announced that it’s breaking this pattern, with the launch of an LED driver that comes embedded with standard ZigBee wireless. Its partner, Silicon Valley startup Daintree Networks, has been working with LG on ZigBee-embedded LED light bulbs since last year. But this week marks the partners’ first foray into a wireless-embedded product for the troffers and retrofit kits that can replace standard overhead fluorescent lights with far more efficient and controllable LED equivalents.

“This is the first open-standard, ready-for-purchase solution for the mass market” in the LED driver space, according to Daintree CEO Danny Yu. LG Innotek’s new driver is using a defined standard — specifically, ZigBee Pro, which is being rolled into an umbrella standard known as ZigBee 3.0.

“The biggest advantage of using this driver is cost savings,” said Shin Cho, senior development engineer at LG Innotek. “Integrated drivers can eliminate the need for additional or extra wireless, or wiring.” That could make the company’s new wireless-integrated LED drivers attractive to the unnamed “major fixture manufacturers” interested in the new product, as well as smaller lighting fixture makers looking for a simpler route to wireless connectivity, he said.

Daintree and LG aren’t the only companies integrating LEDs and wireless controls in commercial ceilings, of course. Boston-based startup Digital Lumens has deployed its LEDs into 100 million square feet of commercial real estate, much of it warehouses. Redwood Systems (bought by CommScope) and Adura (bought by Acuity) have both installed their networked LED lighting systems into millions of square feet of commercial buildings as well.

LG Innotek’s new driver is built not with a Daintree chipset inside it, but with a standard ZigBee chipset, designed and built by LG based on the firmware designs that Daintree has made available to partners since 2012. That means that, theoretically at least, any other provider of an “enterprise-class, multi-function network control platform” adapted for ZigBee could make use of the drivers in lieu of Daintree’s ControlScope platform, Yu said.

For LG Innotek, this standardization has meant a much faster path to market, Cho noted.

“With Daintree, we didn’t need to modify anything — we just adopted that, and we went through the certification process easily,” he said. That, in turn, allowed LG Innotek to “minimize [the] resources dedicated to software development. We can spend more time focusing on developing and improving the hardware.”

The overall benefits equated to cutting product development time in half, and reducing total bill of materials cost by 10 percent to 20 percent, Cho estimated.

Of course, there are reasons why other vendors have made tweaks to standard ZigBee in their lighting networks. The low-power wireless technology can sometimes struggle to scale up to the hundreds of endpoints that it needs to support in lighting applications. “There is no perfect standard,” Yu said about this issue. “We are aware of the potential limitations of the ZigBee standard — but we are there to solve those problems.”

There are also reasons to architect a wireless lighting control system in ways that require a non-standard solution. San Francisco-based startup Enlighted, for example, has built distributed intelligence into its smart lighting nodes, giving them the ability to follow schedules and automated response patterns in ways that systems reliant on constant network connectivity might not be able to match.

Proprietary networks could gain ground simply through the weight of their incumbency in the market. Big lighting vendors like Cree and Philips have built their own proprietary wireless mesh-embedded LED control platforms.

Meanwhile, other contenders for low-power wireless standards in networked lighting are emerging, such as the Thread standard, an IPv6 networking protocol built on the same IEEE 802.15.4 standard that underlies ZigBee, launched by Google’s Nest Labs and Samsung last year.

But Daintree and LG Innotek are betting that their standards-based approach, combined with the current market penetration of ZigBee, will offer lighting system manufacturers a more compelling path toward future interoperability. That doesn’t just apply to the lighting environment, but to broader building networks, Yu noted. Like most of the networked lighting companies out there, Daintree and its partners are hoping to expand their in-ceiling wireless nodes to connect thermostats and sensors, and serve as the glue for broader energy management systems.

“Some of our products, like networked sensors, occupancy sensors and networked cameras, can be connected to this kind of system as well,” Cho said. “Our first approach is to develop and launch available product, which has cost-effectiveness” — and LEDs, which offer much greater efficiency, lifespan and light-by-light control features than the fluorescent lights they replace, have that characteristic, he said.

“After that, we will try to expand our types of products, like sensors and cameras, and [will also be] adding more features.”


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LED industrial lighting market to reach US$2.366 billion in 2015!

LED industrial lighting market to reach US$2.366 billion in 2015!
March 17,2015
Alex Wolfgram

LED light bulbs!

The LED industrial lighting market scale will be worth US$2.366 billion in 2015, and by 2018 will reach US$3.935 billion, according to findings from LEDinside.

Compared with home lighting products, industrial lighting products operate for longer periods, so switching to the energy-saving LED technology is more cost-effective. As a result, LED high and low bay lighting fixtures have become more attractive for industrial lighting users for replacement purposes. Furthermore, LED lighting products have seen additional increases in performance and decreases in pricing. These improvements, together with industrial lighting products’ high profit margins, have made industrial applications the most competitive market for LED package and LED luminaire companies for the 2015-2016 period, the firm said.

Among different fixture types, LED high/low bay lighting products are the largest in terms of market share. This category is further subdivided into mining and general applications (or for use in warehouses, gyms, and other indoor settings), making LED high/low bay lights a major focus in the development of industrial lighting market.

LEDinside expects 80W-250W LED high/low bay light products will become the mainstream in the market as improvements are made to the LED technology and to thermal dissipation. Current 80W-250W LED high/low bay lights have around 10,000lm-30,000lm in terms of luminous flux as well as 275-300lx in terms of illuminance. Pricing strategies for high/low bay lights vary according to product lines and market regions as these products have yet to be standardized. China-based makers tend to have lower product prices and fewer product lines. Hence, prices in the China market are expected to only show minor price fluctuations, the firm added.

Leaders in LED industrial lighting include GE Lighting, Cree, and Cooper Lighting, as well as their Japan counterparts IWASAKI and Toshiba, and China LED maker Ocean’s King Lighting. Among these competitors, CREE has made advances with high-power LEDs that save costs and simplify product designs. GE Lighting by contrast focuses on LED module adoption and thermal dissipation design. Their luminaires can have a life of up to 100,000 hours.

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Philips working on Apple Watch app to turn on Hue smart bulbs!

Philips working on Apple Watch app to turn on Hue smart bulbs!
March 22, 2015
By Jamie Harris

Philips has announced that it is working on an Apple Watch app for its Hue smart bulbs.

Phillips Hue

The technology will allow users to turn lights on and off from their wrist, although the company has yet to reveal when it expects to release the app.

Writing on Twitter, developers for Philips Hue said: “Yes, we are working on an app for Apple Watch that will allow Hue customers to control their lighting.”
Owners of the smart bulbs can already control lighting on iPhones and iPads, which can also be used to change lighting colors and intensity.
Several firms have been busy building apps for the long-awaited Apple Watch, including Facebook, eBay and Emirates.


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Glasshouse LEDs Save Greenhouse Gasses


Stockbridge Greenhouse

Glasshouse LEDs Save Greenhouse Gasses
13th February, 2015
By Steve Bush

UK plant researchers are looking into LED lighting to grow plants with less energy.
While outdoors in the summer there is no real need to provide plants with artificial lighting, it is increasingly used to extend the growing day and growing season inside greenhouses.
It is not necessarily the efficacy of LEDs that is the advantage, as the high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps currently used can deliver up to 150 lm/W, but the ability save power by only delivering wavelengths useful to plants – green, for example, reflects off plants.
Strockbridge Technology Centre (STC) is a plant growing research lab in Yorkshire.
“The most efficient way to drive photo synthesis is red light. You need a small amount of blue and in some situations you need far-red light,” STC science director Dr Martin McPherson told Electronics Weekly.
STC is one of many horticultural research establishments around the world trying to work out exactly what spectrum is needed when for what plants in what situation.
“We are experimenting to work that out,” said McPherson. “We have a mixture of lights, and a close working relationship with Phillips, and we’re working with other lighting manufacturers. They are producing some interesting lights.”
Philips, owner of LED firm Lumileds, makes a range of LED-based growing lamps, branded GreenPower, and is honing its products based on feedback from plant research customers.
The latest GreenPower product puts out 50µmol (see below) of useful light from 23W of electricity. “Its predecessor used 32W, and it still produces the same 50µmol output,” said Philips.

Stockbridge LED

Its grown lamps now come in seven different spectrum options. “With these we offer the best combinations of spectrum, intensity, moment of lighting, uniformity and positioning to steer specific plant characteristics such as compactness, colour intensity and branch development,” said the firm.
One of its recent introductions, dubbed Far Red, is optimised to promote flower formation and rooting, and includes some white light for people working around the plants.
So, how good is LED plant lighting?
McPherson says it is early days. He is certain it will be popular, but the jury is still out on how effective it will be, which lights will win in which situations and when the commercial tipping point will be.
Information from lighting manufacturers, he said, suggests growers are seeing 30-60% energy savings over HPS illumination and are expecting more as the technology improves.
STC’s experiments are under way, with a team of photo-biologists using research lighting modules with two sets of LEDs – one red and one blue – whose intensity can be set independently to vary the spectrum.
Stockbridge HPSIt has a greenhouse-scale tomato growth comparison with HPS lighting (see photo, purple against yellow respectively) – using, for those interested, Sunstream midi plum variety.
“The first tomatoes from Stockbridge’s research facility were harvested in time for Christmas and have been very well received,” said Nigel Bartle, board member of the East Yorkshire Local Food Network.
STC also has a series of ‘multi-layer’ trials (see photo) – for intensive horticulture where racks of plants are grown one above the other in trays. One potential application for multi-layer horticulture is in warehouse (rather than greenhouse) growing environments. Intended for growing crops in towns, these warehouses are sometimes called ‘city farms’ or ‘urban farms’.
HStockbridge multi layer LEDPS is unsuitable for multi-layer growing. “You can’t put it too close to the crop, it’s too hot. You have to keep it one metre away,” said McPherson. Here, fluorescent tubes are incumbent, and Philips is offering LED-based growing lamps shaped like fluorescent light fittings.

Stockbridge HPS

Stockbridge Technology Centre is an independent, not-for-profit agricultural and horticultural technology-transfer organisation, wholly owned by the UK horticultural industry. 70% of it work is commercial research. It was once a government research centre.
An aside: µmol
Watts is a measure of the quantity (radiant flux) of electromagnetic radiation leaving a light source. To convert this into the amount of visible light emerging, the human eye’s spectral response is taken into account and the new unit is ‘lumens’ – which like watts is an energy/second term. ‘Lux’ also takes the eye spectrum into account, and is the brightness you get if a lumen is spread evenly over a square metre.

Stockbridge multi layer LED

Photosynthetic activity in a plant is proportional to the number (rather than energy of) of useful photons landing on chlorophyll. The ‘lumens’ equivalent for plants – the metric which plant-aware people use to take into account chlorophyll spectral response as well as the number of photons leaving a lamp is µmol, and it is a measure of ‘photosynthetically active radiation’ (PAR).
To take this a stage further, the ‘brightness’ of plant-useful light falling on an area is the ‘photosynthetic photon flux’ (PPF) per second, and this is measured in µmol/(m2.s) – for the chemically aware, the mol here is indeed related to Avagadro’s number – it is the number of photons needed to activate a mol of chlorophyll
To bring this back down to earth, for a plant person with a standard light meter:
plant-useful light falling [in µmol/(m2.s)] = lm/m2 [lux] / constant
The division constant depends on the spectrum of the light source, and is roughly 20 for incandescent bulbs and 80 for HPS lamps.

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Cooper Lighting replaces up to 400W MH fixtures with Lumark LEDs!

Cooper Lighting replaces up to 400W MH fixtures with Lumark LEDs!
March 5, 2015
By Maury Wright
Editor in Chief, LEDs Magazine and Illumination in Focus

LED Cooper Floods

Cooper Lighting, an Eaton company, has announced the Lumark Night Falcon family of LED-based outdoor luminaires for floodlight applications. Cooper intends the solid-state lighting (SSL) family to span the range of replacing 250W to 400W metal halide (MH) fixtures, delivering energy savings and superior beam control and light quality.

The new luminaire design is based on chip-on-board (COB) LEDs that can generate a tremendous amount of light from one light-emitting surface. But COB LEDs aren’t always conducive to the use of lenses to control the beam.
Generally, COB LEDs have been used with reflector-based optics rather than lenses, although companies such as Khatod have now developed ways to use new materials to enable larger total-internal-reflection (TIR) lenses. Indeed, Khatod won one of our inaugural Sapphire Awards for its silicon COB lens. For information on beam control, see our feature article on the topic.
Cooper, however, stuck with reflector optics in the Night Falcon LED floodlight design. The company said that it delivers uniformity and beam control matched to the application at hand. Specifically, the design is based on the NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association)-specified 6H×6V distribution. Such a design is intended to deliver maximum fixture spacing for projects and that delivers the lowest fixture and installation costs.
“Our Night Falcon product combines high-efficiency optics with superior thermal management and energy efficiency in a cost-effective solution,” said Mark Eubanks, president of Eaton’s Cooper Lighting Division. “The LED floodlight offers customers greater than 75% in energy and maintenance savings compared to traditional lamp sources.”
The Night Falcon is designed for 50,000 hours of operating life delivering L90 or 90% or more of initial light output. The reliability comes from thermal fins that cool the LEDs and the use of a sealed housing for the driver electronics. The product carries an IP66 rating for water and dust ingress.

Cooper also offers optional controls for the Night Hawk family of LED floodlights. For pole-mounted area-lighting applications, a sensor enables autonomous dimming to 50% of maximum output when no activity is detected in the area of the luminaire. Cooper says the implementation meets stringent California Title 24 codes for energy efficiency. Moreover, a NEMA socket enables the addition of a daylight sensor to turn the lights on or off automatically.

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LED Lighting Market in India set for BIG growth!

LED Lighting Market in India set for BIG growth!
23rd February, 2015
By Richard Wilson

LED Factory in India

The LED lighting market in India is projected to reach $2.2bn by 2021, according to market analyst 6Wresearch.
LED lighting market in India is in its early growth stage but is expected to be driven by government initiatives to replace incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs in streetlight application.
There are also government initiatives to promote domestic manufacturing, prices are expected to decline further, thus boosting the growth of the market.
In 2015, the Government of India announced the distribution of LED bulbs at subsidized rate to drive the adoption.
Several LED street-lighting pilot projects are under process or in planned phase, where traditional streetlights would be replaced by LED bulbs. Chandigarh, Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttrakhand, and Punjab are some of the states where such initiatives have been taken.
The main suppliers are Philips, Syska, Havells, GE and Osram.

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General Electric Lighting and Lighting Science Group unveil LED Circadian Lamps

General Electric Lighting and Lighting Science Group unveil LED Circadian Lamps!
March 10, 2015
By Maury Wright
Editor in Chief, LEDs Magazine and Illumination in Focus

GE Align SSL retrofit lamp technology aims to nurture the natural human sleep and wake cycles, while the Lighting Science Group Sleepy Baby product is designed for infant sleep training.

GE Lighting and the Lighting Science Group (LSG) each have new LED-based, retrofit-lamp products intended to help humans sleep properly. GE’s new Align family includes different versions intended for night and morning usage. Lighting Science Group has been selling similarly-intended Good Night and Awake & Alert lamps and has now added Sleepy Baby lamps designed to assist parents in training infants to sleep through the night.
It is fairly well established that warm-CCT light at night encourages melatonin production in humans and induces sleep and a restful night. Likewise, blue-rich cooler-CCT lighting in the morning can suppress melatonin and lead to alertness and increased productivity. Philips was involved in one such study on LED lighting and human circadian rhythms. Researchers still don’t fully understand the impact of lighting on non-visual receptors in humans, as we covered in a recent interview. Still, many companies are ready to move forward with solid-state lighting (SSL) technology intended to optimize sleep/wake cycles.
Many of the products being developed for matching the circadian cycle use tunable light engines to produce the warm and cool light at different times of the day and night. But such designs inevitably cost more because multiple channels of LEDs are involved, a more complex driver is required, and a control element must be included for either autonomous or programmatic control of the lamps or luminaires.
GE Align lamps.
The products we cover here including the GE Align lamps take a more simplistic approach to circadian lighting. GE is offering two separate LED retrofit lamps for night and morning usage. The Align PM bulbs produce an amber hue meant to mimic candlelight or fire. GE recommends that people use the 7W lamps that produce 350 lm for 30 minutes prior to bedtime.

The 11W Align AM lamp produces 900 lm in a hue that GE describes as “concentrated bluish-white light. The company says that 30 minutes of usage after waking helps promote the natural wake cycle. The lamps are each listed at $35, although has the PM version for $31.09 and the AM version for $32.48 currently.
“Aren’t we all tuned to the good feelings on a bright and sunny day, or the feelings we have on a gloomy day? Light impacts not only our mood and wellness, but our ability to fall asleep,” said Gary Allen, physicist and LED innovations principal engineer at GE Lighting. “By changing the timing, amount, spectral quality of light exposure, we can avoid disrupting the body’s natural circadian rhythms.”
GE has also produced a lengthy whitepaper on lighting and sleep. The nine-page PDF document includes a characterization of our current base of knowledge on the circadian rhythm, melatonin production, and the sleep/wake cycle. Perhaps more significantly, the document includes a comprehensive set of references to research in the area.
LSG circadian lamps
Of course, the GE lamps were not the first such products to market. LSG had announced the Good Night and Awake & Alert lamps at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) back in January 2014. At the time, LSG said the consumer products were based on what it had learned in working with astronauts that had visited the International Space Station who depend completely on artificial light.

Now LSG has released the Sleepy Baby lamp designed for use by parents during an infant’s nightly bedtime routine. The 3.5W retrofit lamp produces 300 lm and is designed to replace a 40W incandescent bulb. The product has a very-warm 2300K CCT and is rated for 25,000 hours of use. It sells for $30 and comes with a five-year warranty.
“As a scientist, and the father of an infant myself, it was important to me to develop a biologically-correct LED lamp that could benefit my family,” said Robert Soler, director of lighting research at Lighting Science Group. “Utilizing the ground-breaking, collaborative research we did with NASA for our Good Night LED lamps, we biologically tailored it to work to support healthy infant circadian rhythm development and sleep cycles. Your baby can now utilize our light to fall asleep faster; stay asleep longer; and fall back to sleep quicker if awakened for late night feedings or changings. This product takes full circle Lighting Science’s dedication to provide healthy LED lighting and promote the advancement of biological lighting in the global environment.”

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Best Commercial: Enhance Your Lighting GE Commercial

Best Commercial: Enhance Your Lighting GE Commercial

Enhance Your Lighting spot from GE starring Jeff Goldblum as Terry Quattro, the world’s most well-lit man. Click image to see video!

GE Lighting’s cutting-edge GE Link connected LED bulb will enhance your lighting like no other light bulb. Just ask an over-the-top celebrity, played by Jeff Goldblum, who owes all of his success to really great lighting.

GE works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works.

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