This post was written by Keith Dawson for UBM Tech’s community Web site All LED Lighting, sponsored by Philips Lumileds. It is archived here for informational purposes only because the All LED Lighting site may go dark at any time. This material is Copyright 2013-2015 by UBM Americas.


Monday Roundup: Lenses Attached

This week: Samsung's LAM, designers look at the reality of working with LEDs, and projecting LED cost and efficacy.

Projections on LED efficacy and cost
The US Energy Information Administration publishes an Annual Energy Outlook. The one for 2014 is due out later in the spring, but the EIA produced an early release overview last December. Below is their projection through 2040 for average efficacy and cost of consumer-grade lamps. We see the cost estimate dropping to meet that of CFL bulbs in 2020, and efficacy hitting 200 lm/W by 2030, after which it flattens.

Toshiba looking for EU partners
The Japanese company sells LEDs and lamps, mostly in Japan but elsewhere as well. (We noted their long-term arrangement with the Louvre that includes

  • lighting the Mona Lisa.) Toshiba has decided that the profits of the future will come from further up the food chain, namely from what Bloomberg's article calls "fixtures" but we might better characterize as luminaires. Bloomberg mentions the typical selling price of a lamp, €6 or €7, versus a luminaire at €200 or €300. Which business would you rather be in?

    Toshiba knows little about the fixture business, especially outside of Asia, and therefore is looking for European partners to get a toe-hold in Philips and Osram territory. Bloomberg quotes Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Peter Olofsen on just how difficult this task is liable to be. Toshiba will have to invest time and money to build relationships with architects on the European continent. Olofsen concludes, "When it comes to LEDs, Toshiba already is quite the supplier, but I doubt Asian parties will be successful in the European... fixtures business."

    Samsung's lens-attached modules
    The company is borrowing an idea from its flat-TV backlighting business to improve commercial lighting, in the form of linear and cove lighting and troffers.

    Samsung is mass-producing modules in which every individual LED is fitted with its own lens. In these "lens-attached modules" or LAMs, each chip's light distribution is broadened out from a 120° Lambertian to something wider; they don't say exactly what the final distribution looks like. The benefit is to be able to place a diffusion plate closer to the module without creating dark spots, and thus to reduce the thickness of fixtures. Samsung's press release claims that a diffusion plate can be located as close as 35mm (1.4") from its LAM, versus the 80mm to 100mm (3.2" to 3.9") needed for conventional LED-based replacements for T5 or T8 fluorescent tubes.

    Designers' real-world challenges with LEDs has a summary of material presented last week at the 2014 Taiwan Solid State Lighting Forum in Taipei. Members of the Professional Lighting Designers' Association were surveyed about their experiences in using LED light sources in their design work.

    James Wallace, Principal and Design Director of Light Plan and Director of the PLDA, reported on the top seven concerns or unmet needs these designers expressed. These were, in order: glare, especially in outside lighting; ease of dimming; interchangeable components; improved thermal management; standardized presentation of color and other measurement data; and lower costs.

    The surprise to me in that list was designers calling for more of what Zhaga promises: interchangeability of components within a luminaire. I'm more accustomed to hearing designers complain about the constraints on artistic freedom that interchangeability imposes. These PLDA members want Zhaga's manufacturer-oriented standardization specs extended to cover end-consumers as well.

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