Tag Archives: CREE

Cree develops light-guide based LED fixtures for offices and garages

Cree develops light-guide based LED fixtures for offices and garages (UPDATED)
Published on: April 30, 2015
By Maury Wright
Editor in Chief, LEDs Magazine

WaveMax edge-lit optics deliver lighting in two directions and enable sleek LED-based luminaire designs for high-end office space and optimized parking-garage applications.

Cree has announced WaveMax technology — an optical light guide platform that enables LED-edge-lit solid-state lighting (SSL) products with stylish sleek looks. Moreover, the company has announced the LN Series suspended linear fixture for use in Class A office space, although Cree says the design will ultimately prove affordable anywhere suspended fluorescent fixtures are used. A new parking garage fixture will follow with a four-sided light guide that evenly distributes light below the fixture and around the perimeter of the beam pattern.
Discussing Cree’s LED-based lighting products, vice president of product strategy Gary Trott said, “We’ve always made light better.” But Trott described the WaveMax technology as using Diamond Facet Microlenses embedded in the light guide to control the beam, and said that technology solves the three key roadblocks to optimum lighting — control, uniformity, and efficiency. “We wanted to make lighting better than anyone thought possible,” said Trott about the new technology.
Cree, of course, is not the first company to deliver luminaires based on LED edge lighting and planar light guide technology. GE Lighting has a number of luminaires in its Lumination portfolio based on its Intrinsx light guide, and has announced high-profile projects using the technology. Likewise, Eaton’s Cooper Lighting has been proliferating luminaires based on its WaveStream light-guide platform.

Both Cooper and GE Lighting licensed the technology behind their light guide from Rambus. Cree, conversely, said that it developed the WaveMax technology in house. An unnamed optics manufacturer is actually making the light guides or lenses for Cree.

LN Series
As you can see in the nearby photo, the LN Series pendant is stunning. The product is designed to deliver 60% of its output upwards for indirect lighting reflected from the ceiling, and 40% of its light directly to the work surface. The light guides are mostly transparent when off, and Trott said, “It looks awesome on or off.”

Still, the real selling point according to Cree is performance. Trott said that indirect/direct fluorescent fixtures have never delivered efficiency combined with great looks and lighting. Realistically, florescent tubes were intended for use in reflectors. Still about indirect/direct light, Trott said, “When it comes to office or schools, there is no better way to light it.”
The LN Series is designed to deliver the best light distribution and to be affordable. Cree has not released prices. But Trott said it will be priced competitively to top fluorescent indirect/direct fixtures and lower than competitive LED-based products.
Cree will sell the LN Series only in 4-ft versions delivering 3400 lm. The products can be cascaded end to end with power passed through the joining mechanism. The company will offer a choice of 3500K or 4000K CCT and CRI of 90. Efficacy is up to 110 lm/W. The product will support 0-10V dimming as a standard feature or can be specified with Cree wireless SmartCast controls. Cree plans to ship the LN Series in July commercially.

IG Series

Further down the production pipe will come the IG Series parking-garage fixture that Cree says it will ship in August. The IG has a truly unique look for a product designed for a garage, with a square design formed by the light guides that extend directly downward. Again, the optics deliver light in two directions. The outer surfaces deliver the uniform, glare-free perimeter pattern and the inner surfaces deliver the uniform light under the fixture.

The IG Series follows what Cree calls an extremely successful LED-based fixture in the VG Series announced in 2013 for parking garages. Trott said the company wasn’t sure it could innovate further in the use of LEDs for garage lighting. But Trott also said in the case of the IG that “form really follows function on this in a lot of ways.”

Cree, however, is again not the first to use a light guide in a parking fixture. Cooper announced a WaveStream-based parking-garage fixture called the McGraw-Edison TopTier in late 2013. Cooper claimed uniform light and low glare among the benefits of the approach.
Still, the Cree design is quite compelling and looks more like a fixture you might see indoors on a ceiling. The only concession to the application is the sensor you can see inside the optics that form the perimeter, and the fact that the industrial design does little to hide the driver resting in the middle of the design.
Cree plans to offer the light-guide-based product in 4000- and 7500-lm versions that operate at 35W and 65W, respectively. Efficacy goes up to 115 lm/W with a drop to 80 CRI. The light will be offered at a choice of 4000K or 5700K CCT.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
logo6

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.”

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather