This week: the International Year of Light gets its first sponsor, Lumenpulse's IPO, and color gamut expansion using quantum dots.
Quantum dot film for wider LCD color gamut
This one isn't yet directly related to lighting, but applications in that space are conceivable down the road. 3M and its partner Nanosys have come out with a new way to deploy quantum dots in LCD displays, 20 years in the making. 3M QDEF consists of a layer of polymer with quantum dots embedded, protected by top and bottom barrier layers. The narrow bandwidth produced by the dots, along with the ability to control their frequency with good precision, leads to spectra with nearly equal peaks in the red, blue, and green. This results in a wider gamut of color that the display can reproduce, as much as 50% larger than the gamut reachable using a YAG phosphor-converted LED. 3M's QDEF film is said to give LCD displays the gamut of OLEDs. We discussed quantum dots last summer.
We recently had a look at vertical farming using LEDs to encourage crop growth. Now one of the companies exploring LED-assisted indoor farming is preparing to launch the world's largest cubic farm outside of Quebec. Urban Barns claims to use the entire "cubic space" inside a warehouse or barn, and to be 119 times as productive per acre as traditional farming methods. For one thing, the enhanced plant growth encouraged by the LED horticultural lighting compresses growing cycles. In the example given at the link above, lettuce grown on farmland under sunlight produces two crops per season and yields 74,000 head per acre. In cubic farming, the growing cycle is 28 days and over 8 million head could be produced in a building with an acre's footprint.
Philips signs as first sponsor of IYL 2015
Earlier this year we noted when the UN declared 2015 to be the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies. Now the initiative has picked up its first patron sponsor, Philips (a subsidiary of which sponsors this site). The parties initiating the UNESCO-led ILY 2015 include the American Physical Society, European Physical Society, SPIE, and The Optical Society (OSA). The CEO of SPIE described IYL 2015 as "a worldwide infomercial for light."
Lumenpulse goes public
We have met Lumenpulse on a few occasions on this site. The Canadian company, which is not yet profitable, is now going public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. IPOs seem to work a little differently in Canada. Lumenpulse priced its offering, at $16 per share, on Monday. Apparently on that day orders for the stock were filled by the underwriters, and 100 million Canadian dollars went into the company's coffers. But this was all reported as "according to sources," since neither company nor underwriters would speak on the record. At some unknown point in the future the stock will show up on the public exchange.
Canada has seen no IPOs for two years, and the LED / energy sector seems to be one of the few growth hotspots.
— Keith Dawson , Editor-in-Chief, All LED Lighting