SSL Technology Update: February 5, 2013

Based on corporate financial results, the LED and solid-state lighting industry appears well on its way to recovering from what was about a one-year downturn. Cree has had a string of positive quarters and most recently the company reported 10% quarter over quarter revenue growth and 14% year over year growth. Revenue in the most recent second quarter of Cree's 2013 fiscal year hit $346.3 million and net income was significantly up as well. As you might expect, the stock jumped, going above the $40 level – by far a high for the past year.

Philips also released annual and quarterly results, although the broad-based company doesn’t detail LED or lighting results. Still, CEO Frans van Houten said Philips Lighting sales grew by 4%. Sales of LED-based products grew by 43% and now account for 25% of all Philips Lighting sales. The company also said that the Lumileds LED business had double-digit growth.

We had a Webcast presentation from TE Connectivity last week that discussed the company's new Nector power-distribution system that targets applications ranging from solid-state lighting luminaires to building wiring. The Nector S system provides a simple way to distribute AC or DC power to luminaires via distribution modules and parallel or serial daisy-chained connections. The system supports external switch boxes and even offers a way to carry control signals for adaptive-control scenarios or to control RGB full-color lighting. If you missed the Webcast watch the archive at ledsmagazine.com/webcasts.

Cree announced some additions to its LED-based CR ceiling troffer family that are both interesting in their own right, and instructive of the progress being made in the LED industry. The newest products that are branded as High Efficacy deliver 130 lm/W whereas the standard CR series has been upgraded to 100 lm/W. The efficacy gain comes courtesy of Cree's third-generation SC-cubed manufacturing platform that underlies the XT-E LEDs that Cree announced almost one year ago, The company said at the time that the product delivered 300% more lumen output than predecessor products at the same efficacy level. Cree also introduced a lower-CRI version of the CR series that is meant as an entry-level product for applications where first cost and payback are the most important buying factors.

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