CES show yields LED news ranging from lamps to the newest TV technology

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took over most of Las Vegas, NV for its January 8-11 run and both LED and OLEDs were prevalent on the exhibit floor. We saw a new retrofit lamp, improved dim-to-warm lighting, and a host of entertainment-oriented uses for solid-state lighting (SSL) technology. Moreover, home automation was a major theme of the show and lighting control is part of that story.

The spectacle that is CES is hard to describe. The exhibits from large companies such as LG, Samsung, Intel and others were the size of a football field. The similarly big, rectangular Sony exhibit had an oval screen suspended from the ceiling roughly around the perimeter of its booth. The company used the video screen for many things but standing in the booth and watching the cars of Gran Turismo circling the huge oval was amazing and we suspect used LED-based projectors.

CES 2013: Sony Booth Tour from SonyElectronics on Vimeo.

Lighting at CES

Back down to earth, LED-based lighting played a minor role at the show. Rambus, for instance, used CES to launch an LED retrofit lamp family that used the company's MicroLens technology. MicroLens is a light guide that has integrated optical elements formed inside the guide that deflect light creating a naturally diffuse light.

Rambus LED-based A19 lamp
Rambus LED-based A19 lamp

The primary usage for MicroLens has been in planar lighting such as in a recent GE Lighting product that resulted from GE licensing MicroLens technology from Rambus. But Rambus developed a cylindrical light guide to create an omnidirectional beam distribution for the retrofit lamp application. The lamp design uses three cylindrically-shaped, light-guide segments that in total comprise a complete cylinder that can deliver a 360° omnidirectional beam pattern (see nearby photo).

The LEDs are mounted in a circular pattern around the base of the lamp under the light-guide segments. The light guide carries rays vertically up the guide with the embedded element deflecting light outward.

While the design will surely deliver light evenly around the radius of the cylinder, it may not perform so well in terms of vertical beam distribution. Energy Star, for example, requires uniform luminous intensity over a range of 0° to 135° with 0° being the top of the lamp. Rambus has not said whether the lamp will meet Energy Star requirements.

Rambus says that design results in a reduction in the bill of materials and simpler manufacturing. "Our unique design has all the benefits of the best LED technology available and offers a significant bill of materials cost savings," said Jeffery Parker, president of the Rambus Lighting and Display Technology division.

The product design does appear to have a very effective thermal design. There are open channels that allow airflow through the lamp between the three segments of the lamp.

Rambus, however, doesn’t typically manufacture products but rather licenses the technology that it develops, and that appears to be the case with the retrofit lamp as the company says that it will bring the product to market with partners. Elite Group will be the initial source for the retrofit lamps and the first product will be a 60W equivalent lamp due in the second quarter. There are more details on the announcement in an article on our Illumination in Focus website.

The use of a light guide is relatively unique in the LED retrofit lamp space. To date, only the 3M lamp has used a light guide. That design also mounts LEDs in a circular fashion but the guide is spherically shaped.

NXP dimming technology

NXP Semiconductors dim-to-warm technology
NXP Semiconductors dim-to-warm technology

NXP Semiconductor, meanwhile, demonstrated a dim-to-warm SSL technology that the company says will more closely mimic the operation of incandescent lamps. Dim-to-warm products came on the market last year and typically mix a red or amber LED into a lamp or luminaire, allowing the color temperature to become warmer as the light is dimmed. An LED-based product that uses only white LEDs will maintain the same color temperature as it is dimmed.

To date, many available dim-to-warm products end up looking almost red at low light levels. NXP says that the problem is that the junction temperature of the LED drops as the drive current drops and that causes a shift in the color properties of the LEDs. NXP says that it has developed a way to monitor junction temperature to keep the color temperature on the blackbody curve as the light level drops.

NXP calls the new technology "sensorless sensing" because presumably they have a way to monitor the LED performance without using a dedicated optical or thermal sensor. The company has not disclosed exactly how the technique works but they apparently monitor the LED junction temperature using the electrical connection that carries current to the LED. NXP hasn’t said when or how it will commercialize the technology.

OLED technology

If there was OLED lighting technology at CES, we missed it. But OLED-centric display demonstrations could be indicative of future developments in the lighting space. One thing that has hampered OLED proliferation is the limitation on panel size limited by the ability to evenly distribute drive current across a panel (See a recent article on OLED technology from our Illumination in Focus website for more details).

You never know for sure if the latest products on exhibit will actually come to market. But there were large OLED TVs on display. LG Electronics launched a 55-in OLED TV that it says it will deliver to Korean customers beginning next month and later to the US market. The TV, however, comes at a steep price of $12,000.

LG Electronics OLED TV
LG Electronics OLED TV

Of course more people will pay a premium price for a TV than will for lighting, especially for a compelling video experience. "When customers see our razor-thin OLED TV for the first time, they’re left speechless," said Havis Kwon, global president of the LG Home Entertainment Company. "That’s a clear indicator as any that OLED TV is much more than just an incremental improvement to current television technology." Still, it's hard to speculate how progress in the TV space will translate to lighting.

Another potential benefit of OLEDs in both entertainment and lighting is flexible panels. Such products may be further from commercialization, but there were a couple of interesting CES demonstrations.

Back in the large TV space, Samsung showed a curved OLED TV that the company said adds depth to the viewing experience. The gentle curve means that your eyes are equal distance from all portions of the display – assuming you are sitting centered in front of the TV.

Samsung curved OLED display
Samsung curved OLED display

Samsung took display flexibility to a greater level in a small OLED display for a mobile phone. The company has a new technology called Youm that isn't ready for the market, but demonstrations show that the display can be bent double. We're not sure how that might be applied to lighting, but surely someone will have an idea in the area.

LED-backlighting

Of course LED-based backlights remain in the news. LG announced at CES that it was moving exclusively to LEDs for backlighting in its LCD-based TVs. The TV makers have found it tough going to convince mainstream customers to pay more for LED backlighting. But now LEDs are winning based purely on energy efficiency and reliability.

Most analyst have already factored 100% penetration for LEDs into backlighting, so the LG news may not impact packaged LED sales projection other than to possibly accelerate the market transition a bit.

But the major TV news at CES just might move the needle for LED components. Arguably the biggest news at CES were the so called 4k or ultra HD TVs that generally feature resolution on the order of 4000 by 2000 pixels – four times better than current HD TVs.

LG among many others demonstrated such products including an 84-in set. These high-end TVs will use substantially more LEDs because they will generally use local-dimming technology. Alas, the market for such sets is a year or more away because there is no content for such sets and in fact no way to stream content to them at this point.

Networks and controls

Home automation was a major theme at CES, and managing residential lighting is part of that story. Moreover, as we've written before, LED-based lighting is inherently suited for controls.

The ZigBee Alliance had a large exhibit at CES with a number of its alliance members showing lighting-centric products. The biggest crowd was gathered around an exhibit for the Philips Lighting Hue lamp that was announced a few months back.

Centralite had a demonstration of lighting controls based on the ZigBee Home Automation (HA) standard. The company's Azela family includes both lighting controls and energy-management elements for other home devices. You can control Azela devices with smartphones.

MMB Networks demonstrated its ZigBee-based development tools that companies can use to accelerate product-development cycles for lighting and other automated devices. The RapidConnect product family includes software and hardware building blocks along with tools.

While ZigBee is the only open standard we have for lighting control in the home right now, not everyone is convinced that it will prevail. NXP, for example, is supporting both ZigBee and its proprietary JenNet-IP platform.

Both ZigBee and JenNet-IP utilize the same IEEE 802.15.4 physical layer. At CES, NXP demonstrated evaluation kits and microcontroller technology that can support either platform.

The controls space is surely accelerating. It will be interesting to see how many lighting products have integrated ZigBee support at upcoming shows such as Strategies in Light in February and Lightfair in April.

RELATED ARTICLES

RELATED COMPANIES

Cree Inc

Leads the LED industry in performance, brightness and reliability with its XLamp LED family, enabling the lighting industry with efficient, environmentally-friendly LEDs that produce beau...

Zierick Manufacturing Corp

Offers innovative solutions for interconnect applications. Specializes in wire-to-board and board-to-board applications. Provides surface mount and thru-hole products while further reduci...

InnoLight sp zoo

EU located lighting manufacturer for LED GU10 5W 600lm CRI>80 reflector, great performance, and LED E27 5W 380lm classic traditional appearance.

CINCON USA

The LED, DC-DC and AC-DC power supplies from 1W - 1600W. Cincon’s lighting controllers, interfaces and devices incorporating DALI protocol. LED drivers from 25W - 150W with international ...

LTF LLC

LTF, LLC is a U.S based solid-state lighting product development and manufacturing company with facilities located in both USA and China.

Marian Inc

Marian is a global company who supplies die cut and converted parts to the LED market. Materials include thermal pads, reflective, venting, gaskets, insulators, diffusers and more.

Colorimetry Research

Specializes in the field of optics, manufacturing, electronics and software enables us engineer products with the right balance of hardware and software.

eldoLED America Inc

Designs and manufactures drive solutions for LED based lighting systems. Our technologies empower our customers to deliver the promise of LED lighting.

Cirrus Logic Inc

Cirrus Logic develops high-precision, analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for a broad range of innovative customers across a variety of energy-related applications, including the ...

LEDSupply

Established in 2002 as an ecommerce store for all your LED product needs.

CINCON

Designer and manufacturer of custom and industry standard LED, DC-DC and AC-DC power supplies from 1W to 1600W. Cincon also designs and manufacturers lighting controllers, interfaces...

Illumination Machines

Illumination Machines designs custom optics, heat sinks, and remote phosphor systems for LED luminaires and lamps.

eldoLED BV

eldoLED is a world leader in the design and manufacture of intelligent drive solutions for LED based lighting systems. Our technologies empower our customers to deliver the promise of LED...

CSA Group

A global solutions provider of product testing and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas, medical and a variety of other products.

Energy Efficient Lighting

Energy Efficient Lighting offers total solutions to both conventional and more advanced LED lighting fixtures and LED retrofit kits for commercial and industrial applications.

Schréder

48 companies worldwide, passionate about light and innovation, experts in developing LED lighting solutions for safe and comfortable environments with significant energy and cost savings,...

Guardian Industries

Guardian Industries Corp. is a leader in float glass, fabricated glass and high performance coated glass products. Guardian lighting solutions deliver optimal performance, flexibility and...

ELMA Electronic Inc

Provides standard and customized LED solutions. Elma's LED family offers consistent, reliable, and durable illuminating and indicating solutions.

LEDSAmerica Inc

LedsAmerica is a full line LED line company and has manufacturing in Iowa where T8 LED-O tubes and street lights are made together with PL, PARs, High Bay lights. MAx

Lumentra Inc

Provides NVLAP accredited optical (photometry, colorimetry, Lumen maintenance), thermal (mapping and transient analysis), electrical characterization services, product development, supply...

RELATED PRODUCTS

Surface Mount Wire Gripper - Part Number 1301

The Zierick 1301 is designed to allow customers to easier terminate a stripped wire to a PCB. Wire sizes to 24 AWG. Terminal is UL Recognized.

Surface Mount Wire Gripper - Part Number 1262

The Zierick 1262 is designed to allow customers to easier terminate a stripped wire to a PCB. Wire sizes from 0.025" to 0.095". Terminal is UL Recognized.

Unlock new LED lighting solutions with Cree High Density LEDs

Cree® High Density LEDs deliver the industry’s highest optical control factor enabling lighting manufacturers to improve performance, cost and size of LED lighting—enabling never before p...

Cree CXA LED Array Family

Cree’s CXA LED Arrays are optimized to simplify design and lower system cost, delivering high lumen output and efficacy with a family of single, easy-to-use arrays.

Cree LED Modules

Cree LED modules deliver beautiful, consistent light, backed by a 5-year warranty. They offer a choice of dimming options, while reducing the lighting power load by 80%.

Cree XLamp® XP-L LEDs-the industry’s highest efficacy single-die LED.

Cree® XP-L LED is the first commercially available single-die LED to achieve up to 200LPW at 350mA. The XP-L enables 50% or more performance increase as a drop-in upgrade.

Cree XLamp® XM-L2 EasyWhite® LED

The first 5mmx5mm LED to enable color-consistent 50W halogen performance; the XM-L2 EasyWhite delivers 1,100 lumens and is optimized to replace halogen technology.

Surface Mount Insulation Piercing Terminals

Surface Mount Wire-to-Board terminals available for wire gauges ranging from 24 to 14 AWG. Parts can be terminated to allow daisy-chain applications. Eliminates difficulty with direct...

Solar LED Paver Light

100% solor powered.No wires, no electricians.Super capacitors instead of battery,maintenance-free.Absorb sunlight in daytime and illuminate 8-12 hours during night. Epistar LED.Activation...

T8 LED tube light

Epistar Super bright 3528/2835 SMD LED.Aluminum alloy body with plastic cover.Consist with traditional fluorescent tubes.Easy mounting.PF>0.90,CRI>72,Over 60% energy-saving,Low degradatio...

LED light Bulb – LED spotlight

The AR111,GU10,MR16,PAR30,PAR38 LED bulbs are ideal replacement of 10-75W halogen or CFL bulbs.Cree/Everlight LEDs.PMMA lens.Aluminum housing.Good heat dissipation.Surface temperature les...

Super bright Injection LED modules

Housed by ABS material,covered by epoxy resin on surface with good insulation.Beautiful appearance.Waterproof.Anti-fire.Super bright 5050/3528 LED.12V voltage.Ideal light source for backl...

Flexible LED screen - Rental and Stage LED billboard

Special design,flexible use,light weight,super slim,transparent,SMD technology,easy to install.Can realize any curved and creative installation horizontally and vertically.IP65 protection...

LED flexible strip and aluminum LED bar

Full range of LED strip and bar including the unique high lumen strip. Protection degree up to IP68.Epistar 3528/5050 SMD LED.Compliant with CE & RoHS.2-year warranty.3528: 60LED/m,120LED...

P3 Indoor Full Color LED Display Video screen

High-density pixel pitch,high resolution,high refresh rate,magnificent and high-definition image and video effect.P3,P5,P6,P7.62 to P10 available.Epistar SMD LED,wide viewing angle.High r...

LED Panel Light

Designed to replace T8 fluorescent tube or Phillip Grille light.Epistar 3528/3014 SMD LED.Aluminum alloy body.Even and Soft light beam.Various mounting means.50,000 hours lifetime.Environ...

Rotatable LED Down Light, beam angle adjustable 10-60°

Beam angle adjustable 10-60 degree.Shell can rotate 360°,vertical 0-40°.High power CREE LED,even and uniform light output,Die casting aluminum alloy housing,good heat sinking.Widely used ...

LIMS - Liquid Injection Molding System

Silicone LIMS can be used to injection mold silicone components such as lenses or gaskets in an automated process. The two-component, thermoset material ranges in Shore A hardness from 5-80.

360 degree 10W led bulb

360 degree 10W led bulb has high efficiency, high power factor,environmental friendly, unique heat-dissipating design and perfect thermal management.

iVAR COB LED Downlight

iVAR COB LED Downlight use die-casting magnesium alloy to make the main body,has Excellent heat dissipation performance,and Unique and delicate looking design.

TOPIC INDEX

CONNECT WITH US

                

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • List View

Miss a webcast? Watch it in the archives

NEWSLETTERS

LEDs Magazine Newsletter

Our weekly flagship news source
SUBSCRIBE

Product Focus

Monthly newsletter
SUBSCRIBE

Illumination in Focus

Bi-monthly newsletter
SUBSCRIBE

  •  
  •  
  •  
Copyright © 2007-2014. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.