ESC Con 2015

LEDs

Lee Goldberg
Principal
Information on LEDs (light emitting diodes) and their various applications that runs the gamut from individual LED components to LED light teardowns, as well as in-depth technical design articles, regulatory and industry news, and product features.

Tips and tricks for driving WS2811 LED strips - Part 1: Taming the wily WS2811

Thanks to their versatility, low cost and eye-popping visual effects, programmable LED strips have become a staple ingredient for many LED lighting applications. But, as I quickly discovered, the serial protocol bus used drive the LEDs can be somewhat complicated and tricky to use. I've summarized some of the key design issues and located a few resources to help shorten your climb up the learning curve when you need to LED strips to work in one of your projects. Read More...

Dual-protocol wireless control modules enable smart, networked LED drivers, luminaires, bulbs, and wall plugs

The first two implementations of the dual-protocol platform are a multi-mode (0-10V or DALI) Bluetooth lighting controller and a Class 2 embedded Bluetooth 4.0 module. They can be integrated into lighting fixtures, LED drivers, and LED smart bulbs. Both the Bluetooth controller and lighting module are programmed to automatically form a self-healing and self-organizing wireless mesh network with any other Casambi-enabled devices within "earshot" of it. Each device can also be paired to a Bluetooth Smart Ready smartphone or tablet, enabling any fixture within the mesh to be controlled from any other point without the need for an external gateway module. Read More...

Inspection system checks LED color and intensity

EVT has devloped the EyeSens MCI multi-color inspection system for measuring objects for color and intensity with the integrated EyeVision image processing software. Read More...

MOSFET-based Joule Thief steps up voltage

This Design Idea illustrates a novel approach to the Joule Thief circuit. Read More...

Networked, color-tunable troffer makes high-quality lighting affordable, easy to install

Although I have a few unresolved issues regarding its SmartCast wireless control technology, I'm posting this review because Cree's new Troffer is one of the first commodity-level products I've seen which makes a respectable attempt at realizing solid-state lighting technology's full potential instead of simply being a more efficient light bulb. Read More...

Is 2015 "The Year of the LED"? - Printed optics combat light pollution - Meet your LEDitor at LEDuction 9

Is 2015 "The Year of the LED"? - Printed optics combat light pollution - Meet your LEDitor at LEDuction 9. All this and more in in this week's Semi-Coherent Emissions blog! Read More...

A simple method for determining the optimal operating point of an LED

Field applications engineer Donald Schelle shares a simple method for optimizing the performance of LEDs. He shows how to use the information on an LED's data sheet to perform the necessary trade-offs to produce the best mix of cost, efficacy, and weight for your particular LED application. Read More...

Wi-Fi equipped 32-bit Arduino board streamlines cloud-powered embedded app development

Digilent's chipKIT WiFire board is an awesome little beastie. Powered by Microchip's powerful 32-bit 200 MHz MCU, the Wi-Fi equipped Arduino-compatible platform has been paired with Imagination Technologies' Flow Cloud service development tools in an effort to make creating cloud-powered embedded applications practical for the average developer. Read More...

An insider's guide to designing near-eye displays

Carlos Lopez and Dan Morgan from Texas Instruments' DLP Pico Products group take an in-depth look at some of the top challenges for designing a compelling see-through near eye display solution that “seamlessly” blends the digital world with the physical world. Read More...

LED Wars, Road Warriors, and Smart Cities in this week's Semi-Coherent Emissions

This week's Semi-Coherent Emissions blog includes news on Cree's lawsuits against competitors, a definitive text on roadway lighting with LEDs, and a consumer's guide to solid-state lighting. Read More...

Let's get LEDucated!

Join me March 5&6 in NY City at the LEDucation conference! It lives up to its name by providing both a chance to kick the tires on the latest LED lighting products and to attend a program of highly-informative panels, seminars and workshops led by some of the industry's top authorities. Read More...

LEDs for liquid crystal display (LCD) backlighting – Part 2

In Part 1, the author described the types and structures of LED LCD backlight units and their relative advantages. This installment concluded with a summary of market requirements for BLUs and a history of how they've driven their development. The second and final installment of this book excerpt begins with a close look at recent market trends and technological developments and concludes with the key points in the optical design of LED backlights. Read More...

ZigBee 3.0 radio chips and modules can add Smart Home/IoT capabilities to lighting applications

GreenPeak Technologies' GP691 communication controller chip and GPM6000 integrated Modules provide a much-needed solution for implementing ZigBee 3.0, Thread, and other advanced wireless protocols. Read More...

Compact high-output LED module enables innovative designs for theatrical-type lighting equipment

Osram's Ostar Stage multi-element LED's high output and compact form factor of the 4-LED (RGBW) module which could be just what designers need to create a new generation of affordable, efficient, lighting products for theatrical, exhibition and architectural applications. Read More...

LEDs for liquid crystal display (LCD) backlighting – Part 1

The first installment of this two-part series introduces the types and structures of LED LCD backlight units. This is followed by a dive into the technological developments and market trends which are driving the evolution of LED displays. Read More...

Closing the green gap, magnetic lumen lust and hooking kids on LED tech

In this week's Semi-Coherent Emissions blog: Osram reveals 2 prototype green LEDs with record-breaking efficacy, a discussion on the search for anything that might ignite kids' interest in lighting technology and the latest addition to Lee's utility pouch. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

HB-LED flashing beacon repurposes switching regulator

A classic, low-cost “switcher” IC is repurposed to flash a high-brightness LED in this minimal-parts-count Design Idea. Read More...

Two PIC pins drive six LEDs

Here’s a take on LED multiplexing with minimal output pins. Read More...

Failsafe multichip LED module driver

Keep a power LED module with multiple strings operating despite fault conditions. Read More...

Design Notes: 60V, Synchronous Step-Down High Current LED Driver

Highly efficient high-power LED controller/driver also facilitates MPPT. Read More...

H-bridge paves new ways for LED lighting

Drive a LED array directly from the AC mains in full-wave current-limited mode to realize a flicker-free, energy-efficient solid-state lamp. Read More...

Pocket white-LED torch is power efficient

This single white-LED torch can be housed in an empty glue-stick tube and has a long rechargeable-battery life. Read More...

An improved offline driver lights an LED string

Keep the current constant and the voltage low for improved power efficiency. Read More...

Photo meter assesses ambient light

When most PN-junction diodes are reverse biased, they will produce a small photovoltaic output as the light level is increased. Read More...

Use an LED matrix horizontally

Using one 5×7 LED matrix horizontally instead of vertically allows the display of two characters instead of one. Read More...

Eight LEDs make a 100-division voltmeter

Use a counter IC to drive two sets of four LEDs. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Dual-protocol wireless control modules enable smart, networked LED drivers, luminaires, bulbs, and wall plugs

The first two implementations of the dual-protocol platform are a multi-mode (0-10V or DALI) Bluetooth lighting controller and a Class 2 embedded Bluetooth 4.0 module. They can be integrated into lighting fixtures, LED drivers, and LED smart bulbs. Both the Bluetooth controller and lighting module are programmed to automatically form a self-healing and self-organizing wireless mesh network with any other Casambi-enabled devices within "earshot" of it. Each device can also be paired to a Bluetooth Smart Ready smartphone or tablet, enabling any fixture within the mesh to be controlled from any other point without the need for an external gateway module. Read More...

¼-size Arduino board packs full-size punch + on-board LiPo charge/mgmt

Despite its compact 1in x 1.5in form factor, the Qduino Mini board packs all the punch of its full-sized counterparts and throws in a turnkey battery fuel gauge and charger just for grins. Read More...

LED lighting aspects in parking structures

Many people do not realize the effect that lighting can have on the human experience. Read More...

Inspection system checks LED color and intensity

EVT has devloped the EyeSens MCI multi-color inspection system for measuring objects for color and intensity with the integrated EyeVision image processing software. Read More...

Networked, color-tunable troffer makes high-quality lighting affordable, easy to install

Although I have a few unresolved issues regarding its SmartCast wireless control technology, I'm posting this review because Cree's new Troffer is one of the first commodity-level products I've seen which makes a respectable attempt at realizing solid-state lighting technology's full potential instead of simply being a more efficient light bulb. Read More...

Wi-Fi equipped 32-bit Arduino board streamlines cloud-powered embedded app development

Digilent's chipKIT WiFire board is an awesome little beastie. Powered by Microchip's powerful 32-bit 200 MHz MCU, the Wi-Fi equipped Arduino-compatible platform has been paired with Imagination Technologies' Flow Cloud service development tools in an effort to make creating cloud-powered embedded applications practical for the average developer. Read More...

Compact high-output LED module enables innovative designs for theatrical-type lighting equipment

Osram's Ostar Stage multi-element LED's high output and compact form factor of the 4-LED (RGBW) module which could be just what designers need to create a new generation of affordable, efficient, lighting products for theatrical, exhibition and architectural applications. Read More...

ZigBee 3.0 radio chips and modules can add Smart Home/IoT capabilities to lighting applications

GreenPeak Technologies' GP691 communication controller chip and GPM6000 integrated Modules provide a much-needed solution for implementing ZigBee 3.0, Thread, and other advanced wireless protocols. Read More...

Intelligent four-channel LED driver offers design flexibility

Code Mercenaries has introduced a 4-channel, intelligent, programmable LED driver which has I2C, DMX512, and DALI interfaces. Read More...

Arduino LED controller shield makes complex RGB LED lighting apps a snap

The Arduino-compatible lighting RGB LED lighting shield reviewed here was designed to give designers a low-cost easy-to-use open-source platform for fast prototyping and inexpensive evaluation of multiple LED light engines. Read More...

Cloud-based Smart Building system enables genius-level Smart Lighting

Daintree Networks' subscription-based cloud application provides a full suite of building and energy management services including genius-level Smart Lighting capabilities. Read More...

Two-string HB automotive LED driver provides 10000:1 dimming ratio

For use in automotive display backlights, automotive lighting applications and LCD backlights, Maxim has posted detail of the MAX16838B which it says is the only-available 2-String HB LED driver providing 10000:1 dimming ratio. Read More...

Triple LED controllers for rear lights

The IC family E522.80/81/82/83 from Elmos AG is an LED controller device, designed for applications like automotive rear lights. The devices offer three channels each, with a maximum current of 140 mA. Read More...

Advanced thermal imager cuts LED test time by 90+%

Known as an In-Line Compact Thermal Analyzer (ICTA), MPI's new testing system uses high-resolution thermal imaging and a newly-developed high-speed temperature sensitive parameter (TSP) measurement technique which promises to reduce LED testing time by more than 90 percent. Read More...

EDN Hot 100 products of 2014: Power & Optoelectronics/Lighting Control

This section of EDN's Hot 100 Products of 2014 includes power-related devices and ICs, as well as LEDs and optoelectronic/lighting control devices. Read More...

Multi-LED matrix manager enables simpler, lower-cost adaptive headlights

TI's TPS92661-Q1 LED matrix manager is a is welcome (and well-timed) entry into the automotive electronics market because it will help designers address some of the important technical and economic challenges associated with LED-based headlights. It's also likely that the elements which enable the device to precisely control up to 96 high-brightness LEDs will help find it applications beyond its intended market in many non-automotive lighting products. Read More...

High-temp-high-power LEDs may enable lower solution costs for lamps & light engines

Cree's XLamp MH-B LED series reflects an interesting strategy for helping manufacturers control their total component costs without having to slash too deeply into Cree's part of the BOM. Besides making it easy for manufacturers to cut assembly costs by moving from large arrays of mid-power LEDs to fewer, higher-powered LEDs, Cree says that their MH-B devices' higher operating temperatures enable designers to use smaller, lighter heat sinks which dramatically reduce product's total BOM cost. Read More...

Littlefuse announces circuit-protection at Electronica

The company is also announcing LED circuit protection, reed-sensing devices, and thyristors. Read More...

8000 Lumen LED module unveiled by Cree

The Cree LMH2 8000 lumen LED module is an industry first. The solution, designed for high-ceiling applications, easily replaces and actually obsoletes 150-watt ceramic metal halide (CMH) lamps. Read More...

3D printed optics for outdoor and indoor LED lighting designs

LUXeXceL's high-resolution 3D printing process avoids the optical flaws created by the individual layers filament-based machines produce. Instead, they use something similar to an ink jet printer which deposits micro drops of a photopolymer onto a substrate material and hardens them with UV light. Read More...

Track and recessed LED luminaires offer adjustable benefits

Intense Lighting Inc. has released the MX family of LED recessed multiples and track luminaires which provide adjustability, high performance and efficiency suited for accent and spot lighting applications such as retail, museums and galleries. Read More...

LED-fitted passive RF-field detector tag offers visual feedback

Equipped with a bright LED, whenever Farsens' Photon RFID tag comes close to an RF field source, it harvests energy from the RF field and drives its LED according to the field’s strength. Read More...

Color sensor tunes LED light color through smartphone interface

Through the use of its True Color sensor, MAZeT GmbH has demonstrated the accurate colour control of LEDs using a smartphone or tablet as a remote control. Read More...

LED lighting design sites offer tips, tools and techniques to speed design

ON Semiconductors has launched a pair of web sites which put you one click away from a bunch of resources which could be valuable for your next LED lighting design. They've mined a lot of their deep expertise in power and analog, and applied it directly to LED-related issues in the form of design notes, app notes, white papers and videos. Read More...

Buck/boost converter drives dimmable LEDs

The AL8812 DC/DC converter from Diodes Inc. contains an internal temperature-compensated reference, comparator, controlled duty-cycle oscillator with an active current-limit circuit, driver, and high-current output switch for driving dimmable MR16 LED lamps. Read More...

LED light engines’ hybrid packaging helps cut cost of PAR & halide replacements with longer life, wider design options

Bridgelux’s V10 and V15 light engines should make a lot of lighting equipment designer’s jobs easier – and probably more fun. These compact, high-performance Chip-on-Board (COB) LED array light sources bring all the advantages of the higher-powered members of the V-series product family (introduced last September) to many mid-power applications. Read More...

LEDs offer almost natural sunlight colour spectrum

Kyocera Corporation has developed a new type of LED that produces a color spectrum close to natural sunlight which makes the device ideal for color-inspection applications. Read More...

LED system enables instant customization of PAR30, PAR38 and AR111 lamps

SORAA’s s SNAP System of rapidly-customizable LED lamps now includes several large lamp products and accessories which allow users to customize light directly on the lamp rather than on the fixture. Read More...

Isolated LED-Driver ICs Offer Higher Output & Efficiency, Greater Dimming Accuracy, Lower Component Count

LYTSwitch-2 family of isolated LED drivers from Power Integrations delivers up to 12 watts of accurately controlled output power while enabling simpler, smaller, more reliable and more cost-effective LED lighting designs. Read More...

Rectangular, low profile LED opens up design options

The Synios E4014 LED from Osram Opto Semiconductors features a rectangular and low profile shape so that, with the design, light is easily injected into light guides and uniformly distributed. Read More...

Flush-mountable IR LED delivers remote control functionality

Osram Opto Semiconductors has introduced the company's first flush-mountable infrared LED which enables remote control functionality to be incorporated in a lower profile than ever before. Read More...

Mid- & Hi-Power LED drivers feature on-chip PFC, thermal/electrical protection

On Semiconductors' new series of power factor corrected (PFC) offline AC-DC LED drivers bring the same high levels of integration and application-specific features usually found only in lower-powered drivers to mid- and high-power SSL applications. Read More...

Free PCB design tool includes 3D modeling, crowd-sourced parts database

CircuitMaker PCB design tools' 3D modeling and other features will help designers deal with the "lumpy" nature of LED lighting products or other design projects involving large, irregular components. But that's only half of the story. Read More...

Chip-scale packaged LEDs offer new options for designers, more Lumens/$

If SemiLEDs' claims measure up, the new packaging option should give light-engine and luminaire manufacturers a more flexible and potentially more cost-effective alternative to the packaged die solutions they use today. Read More...

Heave your heat sinks with Bergquist's "Thermal Management for LEDs" guide

One of the ugly truths of the SSL industry is that conventional heat sinks often account for a shockingly high percentage of many LED products' BOM and assembly costs. That's why I was so intrigued when I stumbled on a copy of Bergquist's solutions guide for using their T-Clad thermal substrates in LED designs Read More...

Integrated display power and LED driver IC for Smartphones

What designer could say no to a device which saves them precious board space while adding much-needed slack to their power budget? And the hybrid dimming capability is icing on the cake. Read More...

IR LED achieves 48% electro-optic efficiency

Intended for security illumination, the Oslon Black SFH 4715A infrared LED from Osram Opto Semiconductors offers a typical electro-optic efficiency of 48%, as well as a 90° beam angle and a 30% increase in output power over its predecessor, the SFH 4715. Read More...

UVLEDs’ improved AlN substrate helps deliver longer life, cleaner spectrum for scientific & industrial instruments

Crystal IS says that the properties of their proprietary native Aluminum Nitride (AIN) substrate allows them to create UVC LED structures which provide a precise, energy-efficient light source that can be used in a wide variety of spectroscopic equipment, including analytical and life sciences instrumentation, as well as environmental monitoring. Read More...

Integrated IC controls flyback LED driver circuits

International Rectifier’s IRS29831 LEDrivIR integrates an LED driver controller and a 700-V MOSFET optimized for single-stage flyback and buck-boost topologies used in LED drivers, including LED bulb replacement, LED tube lighting, and down lights. Read More...

Small LED supply meets global lighting requirements

A high-density conduction-cooled power supply from SL Power Electronics, the LB130 delivers 130 W of power at 70°C ambient with no derating and 90% efficiency from a compact 3x5x1.3-in. package. Read More...

Bridgelux Replaces High-Pressure Sodium Lamps and Rolls 10-Year Warranty

There’s a new LED module on the block, the Bridgelux Outdoor Lighting Module (OLM) that reduces manufacturing cost of outdoor solid state lighting fixtures by 20% to 20% while lowering power consumption up to 65%. Read More...

Plessey rolls out dot-sized LED for wearable electronics

The smallest packaged MaGIC LED from Plessey and the first in its dotLED family, the PLW138003 is a white LED in a surface-mount 1.0x0.5-mm 1005 case that weighs 0.2 mg and has a profile of 0.2 mm for use in any wearable application requiring LED content. Read More...

LED yields density, optical control and a 50% smaller size

The XLamp XB-H LED combines a 500+ lumen output and up to 175 lumens/watt efficacy at 1W, 25°C, in a package that at 2.45 mm2 is 50% smaller. Read More...

Multiple options customize rugged key switches

Designed for operation in harsh environments, the K12S series of surface-mount key switches from C&K Components offers an expanded choice of illumination, environmental-sealing, and actuation options, including six different LED colors. Read More...

200 lm/W efficiency barrier smashed

LUXEON LEDs enable highly efficient color mixing by providing a convenient above-blackbody color point with optimal standalone efficiency of 200 lm/W at 350 mA and 85°C. Read More...

CXA HD LED arrays deal unmatched lumen density

Cree just came out with three new LED arrays that they say will unlock new LED lighting applications. Read More...

Sub-miniature connector provides LED app flexibility

The AUH Series wire-to-board, crimp style, dis-connectable connectors by JST Corporation, provide a subminiature size, design flexibility, and reliable contact construction for high density applications. Read More...

LED Troffer ZR Series at $100 plus 200 LPW LED demo

The ZR Series LED troffers by Cree delivers superior color quality at greater than 90 CRI, an ultra slim, package, rapid installation, and a price tag of $99. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

What's inside the Samsung 40W-replacement-LED light?

What's inside the Samsung 40W-replacement-LED light? Read More...

Remote phosphor expands reach of LED light

This Prying Eyes explores how an LED bulb is able to project light in an almost 360-degree pattern. Read More...

Visionaire Lighting’s Solar Vision Pole: shedding light on off-grid lampposts

Certain applications justify paying a premium for high efficiency, long life, ruggedness, and light-color-temperature control, and these applications represent the sweet spot for HB LEDs (high-brightness light-emitting diodes). Read More...

Compact fluorescent lights: Not always the best solution

Prying Eyes: A look inside a CFL bulb helps explain why they're no good in downward-facing installations. Read More...

Way, way off the grid: Powering the Phoenix Mars lander

Prying Eyes: An inside look at the power-generation, -regulation, and -delivery system for the Phoenix Mars lander. Read More...

LED lighting teardowns: Five lighting designs that illuminate the future of lighting

Early SSL products are making their way onto store shelves and into inventory. These products can indicate what direction SSL design will take, at least in its early stages. Read More...

Tear-down: inside a 7W LED light bulb

A 5000K version of a 7W LED bulb served as the sacrificial lamb to see what's inside. Read More...

LED bulbs reveal different design approaches

A peek into the Philips LED bulb’s electronics and the 6W, dimmable Pharox 300 contrasts two approaches in how a bulb handles the protection of the LED-power-control electronics. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Tips and tricks for driving WS2811 LED strips - Part 1: Taming the wily WS2811

Thanks to their versatility, low cost and eye-popping visual effects, programmable LED strips have become a staple ingredient for many LED lighting applications. But, as I quickly discovered, the serial protocol bus used drive the LEDs can be somewhat complicated and tricky to use. I've summarized some of the key design issues and located a few resources to help shorten your climb up the learning curve when you need to LED strips to work in one of your projects. Read More...

A simple method for determining the optimal operating point of an LED

Field applications engineer Donald Schelle shares a simple method for optimizing the performance of LEDs. He shows how to use the information on an LED's data sheet to perform the necessary trade-offs to produce the best mix of cost, efficacy, and weight for your particular LED application. Read More...

An insider's guide to designing near-eye displays

Carlos Lopez and Dan Morgan from Texas Instruments' DLP Pico Products group take an in-depth look at some of the top challenges for designing a compelling see-through near eye display solution that “seamlessly” blends the digital world with the physical world. Read More...

LEDs for liquid crystal display (LCD) backlighting – Part 2

In Part 1, the author described the types and structures of LED LCD backlight units and their relative advantages. This installment concluded with a summary of market requirements for BLUs and a history of how they've driven their development. The second and final installment of this book excerpt begins with a close look at recent market trends and technological developments and concludes with the key points in the optical design of LED backlights. Read More...

LEDs for liquid crystal display (LCD) backlighting – Part 1

The first installment of this two-part series introduces the types and structures of LED LCD backlight units. This is followed by a dive into the technological developments and market trends which are driving the evolution of LED displays. Read More...

LED-based sensors for wearable fitness tracking products

The surge in bio-sensing armbands, smartwatches, smartphones, and other fitness-oriented wearable products that employ optical sensing technologies would not have been possible without the dramatic reductions in cost and power brought by LEDs. Read More...

The changing role of LEDs in automotive lighting - Part 2

Part 2 of an excerpt from the book "Nitride semiconductor light-emitting diodes (LEDs)" looks at the key differences between LED and filament sources in terms of visual responses, as well as the energy and environmental implications for LEDs in automobiles. Read More...

The changing role of LEDs in automotive lighting applications - Part 1

Part 1 of an excerpt from the book "Nitride semiconductor light-emitting diodes (LEDs)". This installment explores the photometric requirements of vehicular lighting illumination and signaling systems and how LED light sources are being used to create innovative solutions to meet them. Read More...

Designing building & installing a homemade 12VDC LED lighting system

With the arrival of the LED lighting revolution and efficient DC-DC converters, an engineer revisits his cabin’s battery-powered lighting system. Read More...

OLED microdisplays made simple

At this week's SID Display Week conference taking place in San Diego, Dr. Alexander Zakhidov presented COMEDD’s latest development for the manufacture of high resolution OLED microdisplays. Read More...

LED Drivers—Match architectures with applications

Several basic architectural options available to designers. By understanding and comparing the strengths and weaknesses of each, it is possible to select the best driver solution for the application at hand. Read More...

Ensure long lifetimes from electrolytic capacitors: A case study in LED light bulbs

Several years ago I worked on a few designs for LED light bulbs. Very early on it became clear that the temperatures of components in such light bulbs can get quite high. Read More...

A guide to selecting power supplies for LED lighting applications

In order for your solid-state lighting design to realize its full efficiency, durability, and longevity, you'll need to choose a power supply with characteristics that closely match the requirements of your application and the LEDs you're using. Read More...

Tips & Trends: Solving LED Droop

To date, using quantum wells used in high-power lighting apps suffer a significant loss of efficiency even at low electric currents. As current increases, efficiency suffers (droops) more. Read More...

Pico-Projector Design with Color LEDs

In this paper we examine some of the challenges in maximizing screen brightness and efficiency and minimizing size to provide practical solutions that are attractive to the mass market. Read More...

Making the Smart Hat: Part 1

The maker of this LED-encrusted Wi-Fi-enabled Smart Hat shares his DIY, how-to designs. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Is 2015 "The Year of the LED"? - Printed optics combat light pollution - Meet your LEDitor at LEDuction 9

Is 2015 "The Year of the LED"? - Printed optics combat light pollution - Meet your LEDitor at LEDuction 9. All this and more in in this week's Semi-Coherent Emissions blog! Read More...

LED Wars, Road Warriors, and Smart Cities in this week's Semi-Coherent Emissions

This week's Semi-Coherent Emissions blog includes news on Cree's lawsuits against competitors, a definitive text on roadway lighting with LEDs, and a consumer's guide to solid-state lighting. Read More...

Let's get LEDucated!

Join me March 5&6 in NY City at the LEDucation conference! It lives up to its name by providing both a chance to kick the tires on the latest LED lighting products and to attend a program of highly-informative panels, seminars and workshops led by some of the industry's top authorities. Read More...

Closing the green gap, magnetic lumen lust and hooking kids on LED tech

In this week's Semi-Coherent Emissions blog: Osram reveals 2 prototype green LEDs with record-breaking efficacy, a discussion on the search for anything that might ignite kids' interest in lighting technology and the latest addition to Lee's utility pouch. Read More...

Foraged crabapple jelly – a delicious DIY holiday a gift

Crabapple jelly is a perfect "gateway drug" to get you hooked on home preserves because it's one of the easiest of jellies to make and, if you find the right fruit, one of the most delicious. Although seldom found in stores, there's a good chance you can forage your own crabapples from trees growing within a short drive of your house. Read More...

LED-lit urban farms aim to transform blighted cities with jobs, fresh food

A group of high-tech urban pioneers is using LEDs to power an indoor vertical farming system that will create good paying jobs and delicious pesticide-free greens. Read More...

LEDs brighten the holidays, launch fashion trend, refute climate skeptics

This week's top stories include: "LED lighting officially declared a No-Brainer for most Businesses", a look at how Corning's new light diffusing fiber may find its way into clothing, and a new Li-Fi system which lets objects speak for themselves. Read More...

Semi-Coherent Emissions: Ghostly LED-lit skiers haunt Alaska's slopes

LED-encrusted suits bring night in the Alaskan wilderness alive in hauntingly-beautiful ski film, the upcoming Bluetooth/ZigBee war, Mercedes' 84-LED headlamps paint the road with smart light. Read More...

Semi-Coherent Emissions: Are smart bulbs gateways for cyber-terrorists?

This week, LEDitor-in-Chief Lee Goldberg ponders oval video pixels, takes a quick peek inside Cree's new Flow4 LED bulb, shares a colleague's insightful critique of the so-called rebound effect and wonders whether cyber-terrorists can rally weaponize smart bulbs. Read More...

Semi-Coherent Emissions: October 15, 2014

Can LEDs conquer the Monday morning blues? What's with those "AC LEDs" that Samsung's recently Announced? And What's GE hiding inside its GE Link Smartbulb? You'll find the answers to these pressing questions a second opinion on the so-called "rebound Effect" and a toast to the Nobel Laureates who invented the blue LED In this week's Semi-Coherent blog. Read More...

First graphene-based flexible display is unveiled

For the first time graphene has been used in a transistor-based flexible device which promises to open opportunities to enabling fully wearable and flexible devices. Read More...

LED conspiracy theory

AllLED Lighting’s recent discussion about a article posted June 23 on LED Insider about Philips Lumileds’ admonition to the industry to explore strategies for adding value and differentiating their products raises several interesting questions – none of which I’ve got an answer for. Read More...

Semi-Coherent Emissions: NFC makes Bluetooth smarter, LED-mania makes crowdfunding dumber, Philips denies patent trolling

Lee's latest non-random sampling of the premier products, trending technologies, gossip and goings-on within the solid-state lighting universe. Read More...

Comparing handheld spectrometers - what matters to SSL pros (like you)

"Whether you’re designing LED lights or using them, a handheld spectrometer is as essential to your trade as a pocket knife is to a boy/girl scout on a camp-out" says Dennis McCarthy, LED lighting technologist and EDN columnist. "Whatever your application, a spectrometer is a great antidote for the growing levels of snake oil in the LED industry. The cold, hard data these little wonders put in your hand are invaluable for separating the truth from installer’s or manufacturers’ claims.” Join Dennis for an insiders’ look at one of the tools of his trade. To help you decide which unit would best suit your needs, Dennis shares his thoughts on the three units he’s had the good fortune to play with personally during his adventures in the realm of lighting. Read More...

Semi-coherent emissions: 30 rules of lighting, UVLED 3D printer & lumen lust

The latest non-random sampling of premier products, trending technologies, gossip and goings-on within the solid-state lighting universe. Compiled, Curated and Commented by Lee H. Goldberg – Managing Editor, EDN’s LED Design Center. Read More...

Hackspotter: World's most dangerous LED display caught at Maker Faire

Stay clear of the whirling sphere please, this is not a toy! Weighing in at over 350 lbs, the Orbital Rendersphere is a whirling LED array which uses the persistence of vision effect to paint 360 degree images in thin air. Read More...

Tips and tricks for driving WS2811 LED strips - Part 1: Taming the wily WS2811

Thanks to their versatility, low cost and eye-popping visual effects, programmable LED strips have become a staple ingredient for many LED lighting applications. But, as I quickly discovered, the serial protocol bus used drive the LEDs can be somewhat complicated and tricky to use. I've summarized some of the key design issues and located a few resources to help shorten your climb up the learning curve when you need to LED strips to work in one of your projects. Read More...

LEDs tap indoor location technology for social shopping

The next generation of LED lighting fixtures that communicate with shoppers' smart devices while in-store, enabling retailers to provide new location-based services have been revealed by GE Lighting and ByteLight. Read More...

Dual-protocol wireless control modules enable smart, networked LED drivers, luminaires, bulbs, and wall plugs

The first two implementations of the dual-protocol platform are a multi-mode (0-10V or DALI) Bluetooth lighting controller and a Class 2 embedded Bluetooth 4.0 module. They can be integrated into lighting fixtures, LED drivers, and LED smart bulbs. Both the Bluetooth controller and lighting module are programmed to automatically form a self-healing and self-organizing wireless mesh network with any other Casambi-enabled devices within "earshot" of it. Each device can also be paired to a Bluetooth Smart Ready smartphone or tablet, enabling any fixture within the mesh to be controlled from any other point without the need for an external gateway module. Read More...

LED lighting aspects in parking structures

Many people do not realize the effect that lighting can have on the human experience. Read More...

A simple method for determining the optimal operating point of an LED

Field applications engineer Donald Schelle shares a simple method for optimizing the performance of LEDs. He shows how to use the information on an LED's data sheet to perform the necessary trade-offs to produce the best mix of cost, efficacy, and weight for your particular LED application. Read More...

Networked, color-tunable troffer makes high-quality lighting affordable, easy to install

Although I have a few unresolved issues regarding its SmartCast wireless control technology, I'm posting this review because Cree's new Troffer is one of the first commodity-level products I've seen which makes a respectable attempt at realizing solid-state lighting technology's full potential instead of simply being a more efficient light bulb. Read More...

Wi-Fi equipped 32-bit Arduino board streamlines cloud-powered embedded app development

Digilent's chipKIT WiFire board is an awesome little beastie. Powered by Microchip's powerful 32-bit 200 MHz MCU, the Wi-Fi equipped Arduino-compatible platform has been paired with Imagination Technologies' Flow Cloud service development tools in an effort to make creating cloud-powered embedded applications practical for the average developer. Read More...

An insider's guide to designing near-eye displays

Carlos Lopez and Dan Morgan from Texas Instruments' DLP Pico Products group take an in-depth look at some of the top challenges for designing a compelling see-through near eye display solution that “seamlessly” blends the digital world with the physical world. Read More...

MD&M West steps up its game through Allied Electronics at Center Stage Gadget Freak event

This year, at MD&M West there will be a Gadget Freak Workshop presented by Allied Electronics in the Center Stage area of the Anaheim Convention Center. Read More...

Mid- & Hi-Power LED drivers feature on-chip PFC, thermal/electrical protection

On Semiconductors' new series of power factor corrected (PFC) offline AC-DC LED drivers bring the same high levels of integration and application-specific features usually found only in lower-powered drivers to mid- and high-power SSL applications. Read More...

LEDs for liquid crystal display (LCD) backlighting – Part 2

In Part 1, the author described the types and structures of LED LCD backlight units and their relative advantages. This installment concluded with a summary of market requirements for BLUs and a history of how they've driven their development. The second and final installment of this book excerpt begins with a close look at recent market trends and technological developments and concludes with the key points in the optical design of LED backlights. Read More...

Compact high-output LED module enables innovative designs for theatrical-type lighting equipment

Osram's Ostar Stage multi-element LED's high output and compact form factor of the 4-LED (RGBW) module which could be just what designers need to create a new generation of affordable, efficient, lighting products for theatrical, exhibition and architectural applications. Read More...

ZigBee 3.0 radio chips and modules can add Smart Home/IoT capabilities to lighting applications

GreenPeak Technologies' GP691 communication controller chip and GPM6000 integrated Modules provide a much-needed solution for implementing ZigBee 3.0, Thread, and other advanced wireless protocols. Read More...

LEDs for liquid crystal display (LCD) backlighting – Part 1

The first installment of this two-part series introduces the types and structures of LED LCD backlight units. This is followed by a dive into the technological developments and market trends which are driving the evolution of LED displays. Read More...

Intelligent four-channel LED driver offers design flexibility

Code Mercenaries has introduced a 4-channel, intelligent, programmable LED driver which has I2C, DMX512, and DALI interfaces. Read More...

Two-string HB automotive LED driver provides 10000:1 dimming ratio

For use in automotive display backlights, automotive lighting applications and LCD backlights, Maxim has posted detail of the MAX16838B which it says is the only-available 2-String HB LED driver providing 10000:1 dimming ratio. Read More...

Triple LED controllers for rear lights

The IC family E522.80/81/82/83 from Elmos AG is an LED controller device, designed for applications like automotive rear lights. The devices offer three channels each, with a maximum current of 140 mA. Read More...

LED-based sensors for wearable fitness tracking products

The surge in bio-sensing armbands, smartwatches, smartphones, and other fitness-oriented wearable products that employ optical sensing technologies would not have been possible without the dramatic reductions in cost and power brought by LEDs. Read More...

Arduino LED controller shield makes complex RGB LED lighting apps a snap

The Arduino-compatible lighting RGB LED lighting shield reviewed here was designed to give designers a low-cost easy-to-use open-source platform for fast prototyping and inexpensive evaluation of multiple LED light engines. Read More...

The White House goes digital for the holidays

The team in the Office of Digital Strategy and other staffers and volunteers at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave are mixing things up this year, working with several innovative companies to incorporate elements of modern technology into the traditional holiday decorations. Read More...

Cloud-based Smart Building system enables genius-level Smart Lighting

Daintree Networks' subscription-based cloud application provides a full suite of building and energy management services including genius-level Smart Lighting capabilities. Read More...

Wearables make hardware the new software

As wearables ranging from the likes of Apple to open source expand, hardware is the new software with disruptive intellectual property offering up the potential for explosive designs and market growth. Read More...

Smart light's bright future

After changing the way we think about light, human-centric lighting is poised to change the places where we work, live, and play. Read More...

The changing role of LEDs in automotive lighting - Part 2

Part 2 of an excerpt from the book "Nitride semiconductor light-emitting diodes (LEDs)" looks at the key differences between LED and filament sources in terms of visual responses, as well as the energy and environmental implications for LEDs in automobiles. Read More...

Advanced thermal imager cuts LED test time by 90+%

Known as an In-Line Compact Thermal Analyzer (ICTA), MPI's new testing system uses high-resolution thermal imaging and a newly-developed high-speed temperature sensitive parameter (TSP) measurement technique which promises to reduce LED testing time by more than 90 percent. Read More...

The changing role of LEDs in automotive lighting applications - Part 1

Part 1 of an excerpt from the book "Nitride semiconductor light-emitting diodes (LEDs)". This installment explores the photometric requirements of vehicular lighting illumination and signaling systems and how LED light sources are being used to create innovative solutions to meet them. Read More...

California shines a light on LED lamp efficiency opportunities

Efficiency opportunities and proposing regulations for small diameter directional lamps and general service LED lamps. Read More...

Young ASU Tempe engineers saving the lives of infants

Every three minutes an infant dies needlessly in some remote African village, unnoticed by all except the mother, father, family and their small village. How can we save them? Read More...

Motograph News Bulletin debuts in New York City, November 6, 1928

On this day in tech history, the Motograph News Bulletin, better known as the "zipper," debuted on the New York Times building in Times Square, using an electronic news strip to flash headlines to pedestrians. Read More...

Multi-LED matrix manager enables simpler, lower-cost adaptive headlights

TI's TPS92661-Q1 LED matrix manager is a is welcome (and well-timed) entry into the automotive electronics market because it will help designers address some of the important technical and economic challenges associated with LED-based headlights. It's also likely that the elements which enable the device to precisely control up to 96 high-brightness LEDs will help find it applications beyond its intended market in many non-automotive lighting products. Read More...

Designing building & installing a homemade 12VDC LED lighting system

With the arrival of the LED lighting revolution and efficient DC-DC converters, an engineer revisits his cabin’s battery-powered lighting system. Read More...

Making the Smart Hat: Part 1

The maker of this LED-encrusted Wi-Fi-enabled Smart Hat shares his DIY, how-to designs. Read More...

Free PCB design tool includes 3D modeling, crowd-sourced parts database

CircuitMaker PCB design tools' 3D modeling and other features will help designers deal with the "lumpy" nature of LED lighting products or other design projects involving large, irregular components. But that's only half of the story. Read More...

A guide to selecting power supplies for LED lighting applications

In order for your solid-state lighting design to realize its full efficiency, durability, and longevity, you'll need to choose a power supply with characteristics that closely match the requirements of your application and the LEDs you're using. Read More...

High-temp-high-power LEDs may enable lower solution costs for lamps & light engines

Cree's XLamp MH-B LED series reflects an interesting strategy for helping manufacturers control their total component costs without having to slash too deeply into Cree's part of the BOM. Besides making it easy for manufacturers to cut assembly costs by moving from large arrays of mid-power LEDs to fewer, higher-powered LEDs, Cree says that their MH-B devices' higher operating temperatures enable designers to use smaller, lighter heat sinks which dramatically reduce product's total BOM cost. Read More...

Readers were the Rock Stars at NY Maker Faire 2014

We've always known EDN's readers were a pretty interesting lot. But we didn't know how interesting they were until a bunch of them joined us for a "backstage pass" style tour of some of the exhibits at the NY Maker Faire. Read More...

3D printed optics for outdoor and indoor LED lighting designs

LUXeXceL's high-resolution 3D printing process avoids the optical flaws created by the individual layers filament-based machines produce. Instead, they use something similar to an ink jet printer which deposits micro drops of a photopolymer onto a substrate material and hardens them with UV light. Read More...

Meet EDN + EE Times editors for a "backstage tour" at Maker Faire

Join Suzanne Defree, Lee Goldberg and some of your other favorite EDN celebrities for a reader/editor meetup at Maker Faire on Saturday, September 20 at 12 noon. We'll have snacks, swag and surprises for you as well as "backstage pass"-style tour of the exhibits at the Atmel and Texas Instruments booths. Read More...

How-to design LED signage and LED matrix displays - Part 3

The third and concluding installment of this tutorial on designing an LED display system will explore some of the issues which affect the image quality and reliability of LED displays. You'll also become acquainted with the technologies and design techniques commonly used to deal with them. Read More...

Semi-Coherent Emissions - Sept. 3, 2014

This week's non-random sampling of the goings-on within the solid-state lighting universe includes a pithy analysis of the DoE's latest SSL industry roadmap, an inflatable solar lantern, three can't-miss LED-ucational events, and an invitation to meet your favorite EDN Editors at the Maker Faire! And what about those flaming bagpipes? Read More...

Chip-scale packaged LEDs offer new options for designers, more Lumens/$

If SemiLEDs' claims measure up, the new packaging option should give light-engine and luminaire manufacturers a more flexible and potentially more cost-effective alternative to the packaged die solutions they use today. Read More...

Going to Maker Faire? Meet "The Hat" at EDN's reader-editor meet-up!

Join me this September at 2014 NY Maker Faire for EDN's reader-editor meet-up! You'll get to chat with some of your favorite EDN editors and bloggers over coffee, and perhaps catch a few of the Faire's most interesting attractions together. And don't worry about being able to find us on the crowded fairegrounds, I've been hard at work on a Maker-style solution to that problem which promises to be almost as outrageous as flaming bagpipes. Read More...

Heave your heat sinks with Bergquist's "Thermal Management for LEDs" guide

One of the ugly truths of the SSL industry is that conventional heat sinks often account for a shockingly high percentage of many LED products' BOM and assembly costs. That's why I was so intrigued when I stumbled on a copy of Bergquist's solutions guide for using their T-Clad thermal substrates in LED designs Read More...

Integrated display power and LED driver IC for Smartphones

What designer could say no to a device which saves them precious board space while adding much-needed slack to their power budget? And the hybrid dimming capability is icing on the cake. Read More...

How-to design LED signage and LED matrix displays (Part 2)

In Part 2 of this 3-part series, we'll look at the remaining steps necessary to complete a basic LED display driver system. This will lay the groundwork for Part 3 which will introduce several important features becoming commonly available on advanced LED display driver ICs, as well as tips on how to make best use of them. Read More...

IR LED achieves 48% electro-optic efficiency

Intended for security illumination, the Oslon Black SFH 4715A infrared LED from Osram Opto Semiconductors offers a typical electro-optic efficiency of 48%, as well as a 90° beam angle and a 30% increase in output power over its predecessor, the SFH 4715. Read More...

Track and recessed LED luminaires offer adjustable benefits

Intense Lighting Inc. has released the MX family of LED recessed multiples and track luminaires which provide adjustability, high performance and efficiency suited for accent and spot lighting applications such as retail, museums and galleries. Read More...

LED-fitted passive RF-field detector tag offers visual feedback

Equipped with a bright LED, whenever Farsens' Photon RFID tag comes close to an RF field source, it harvests energy from the RF field and drives its LED according to the field’s strength. Read More...

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