By Adrian Rawlinson
The Marl numbers for LuxLive 2014 were impressive, which made the decision a no 'no-brainer' to continue to take part for at least one more years; hundreds of visitors, including existing clients and new enquiries which have already materialised into six figure orders, now well on the way to seven figures!
As most in the industry know, the LED revolution is over and we are now in a phase of evolution, driven by customer imagination applying LED based solutions to both existing and future product solutions in LED lighting and other markets.
For us the key developments in the past twelve months are all about enhanced component performance, reliability and cost reduction, which is continually broadening the application of LED technology.
This is important because enhancing the performance characteristics and quality of the components will inevitably broaden the scope of applications that LED lighting can truly compete, inevitably continuing to displace conventional illumination technologies along the way.
Light quality is becoming an essential factor in new product development to both improve performance and give a leading edge over the competition. Many new products are now available on the market which claim high light quality, but not all live up to their claims. There are buzz words such as Vivid White, Above BBL White, Brilliant Mix, True White, EQ-White, Violet White, Perfect White, Natural White etc. However, to live up to their performance it is important to study their spectral outputs and colour rendering indexes over the full colour garment R1 to R15 and taking into account the new TM-30-15 recommendations for colour testing.
Light output performance and package efficacies has increased to levels up to 200lm/W with ultra-low thermal resistances and high junction temperatures up to 150°C, all of which is allowing designers to reduce metal work mass and drive the LEDs harder to create functional and ascetically pleasing products. LED performance is so far advanced that almost any type of conventional lamp can be replaced, even ultra-high power flood lighting, with LED devices achieving luminous ouputs of up to 60,000 lumens and 550W from a single package (see Citizen Monster COB)! This will results in the eventual replacement of all lamp types being replaced with LED.
This is an exciting time to be in the lighting industry and designers only have to use their imagination to produce amazing lighting products. There will be more emergence into the Architectural lighting over the next few years with the light source integrated into the structure rather than a replacement lamp for conventional halogen.
We are seeing advancement in the technology in all areas which is giving a new freedom of design unlike anything seen or available before on the market. Next generation lighting products will have integral ballasts removing the need for external LED drivers and will use smart sensor technology and light harvesting to automate the control and save energy.
With advancement in solar and battery technology we will see the emergence of more self-powered luminaries that are harvesting energy from natural resources, this will be especially prevalent in commercial outdoor lighting for safety and area lighting in public places.
New technology is now available which reduces the light emitting source area, this is known as a small LES (Light Emitting Surface) and allows the light to create beautiful object shadowing from a point source, rather than multiple shadowing from multiple dies within the product. We will see new technology such as GaN-on-GaN devices that emit violet light and a full spectrum wavelength from 400nm up to 700nm, this will allow more accurate reproduction of halogen based lamps with beautiful colour rendering and a 'true' replacement.
With multiple bans coming into force around the world, such as the phasing out of 40W, 60W 75W and 100W incandescents we can expect to see a new influx of LED replacement lamps that must meet the high quality demanded to be a truly replacement product for efficiency, light quality, flicker, power factor, dimmability, beam angles, single shadowing and package ascetics. This will drive out low quality replacement lamps that have recently come to market in the past few years and can only be fantastic news for consumers and we will shortly see emerging real world "wall-plug" high efficiency and low flicker products which completes the full package. This will be essential for future regulations and light quality to be truly 21st century lighting.
Visiting the Marl stand at LuxLive 2015, visitors can see at first hand how some of these new technologies can integrate from global leaders in their respective disciplines; Citizen, Nanoco and Marl. The combination of the best COB LED, (Chip on Board LED), PCBA, (Printed Circuit Board Assemblies) and CFQD®, (Cadmium Free Quantum Dot), technology can produce outstanding performance and can now be applied to a wide range of lighting applications which demand the best technology. So the future continues to look bright for LED lighting.