Making white look whiter
For a while now, Soraa has been promoting as one the advantages of its GaN-on-GaN technology the fact that such LEDs produce light with a violet component and thus activate fluorescent whitening agents that have been present in various products (paper, detergents, cosmetics) for decades. Most other white-light LEDs, particularly the phosphor-converted ones, produce a spectrum that drops off above the blue.
Now Soraa says it has proven scientifically that people prefer the look of whites under Soraa LED lighting over those lit by other illuminants. The research will be published in Leukos, the journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, but it has not appeared yet, so it is not possible to check the science. (A request for a preprint was not answered by press time.) Here's the press release.
Luxera's custom dimming
Luxera is selling a package of four PAR30 spotlights and a custom wall switch and dimmer for $200. Margery Conner reviews the product, and the concept, in a hands-on piece up on her DesigningWithLEDs.com blog.
It's an intriguing idea. Not only are the lights wall-dimmable in a controlled and flexible manner, but they also respond to Bluetooth Low Energy via an iOS app. (Android is coming soon, the company says.) Luxera has found one way out of the swamp of legacy dimmers that not only bedevils the operation of most incandescent-replacement LED lighting products, but also indirectly adds a lot of bulk and expense to these products.
International Year of Light
The UN General Assembly has proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL2015). I remember in my youth the excitement around the UN-proclaimed International Geophysical Year. A vast amount of science got done in that year, and geology took something of a great leap forward.
IYL2015 was promoted by scientific organizations around the world, such as SPIE, but it doesn't seem to be oriented toward doing science. Instead, we will be "raising global awareness of how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health." That's good, I guess, but I would rather see the science.
When life hands you lemons, power LEDs with them. You knew you can generate electricity from a lemon, right? Didn't we all do some version of that experiment around age 8? Steve Bush gives us the recipe in the Engineer in Wonderland blog over at ElectronicsWeekly.com. He managed to get the efficacy high enough, when powering a single red LED, to slim the power supply from six lemons to four.
— Keith Dawson , Editor-in-Chief, All LED Lighting