LED business news: Future, Bridgelux, Cree, Plessey, Mouser, Evolucia, and Nualight

LED and lighting industry players make news in new executive hires and distribution agreements, with Cree Lighting increasing its presence in Europe and Nualight appointing a new CEO.

Major players in the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) segments have either announced significant executive hires or new distribution agreements with Cree Lighting and Nualight both making major personnel news. Moreover, Future and Bridgelux, as well as Mouser and Plessey, have announced new distribution agreements.

Of course, the biggest business story of the week in the LED and lighting space is the launch of Osram as an independent publicly-traded company. The company began trading Monday, July 8, 2013 on the Frankfurt and Munich Stock Exchanges under the symbol OSR. We covered the details in a story dedicated to the major spinoff of Osram from Siemens as a pure-play lighting company.

Nualight hires CEO

Irish LED lighting company Nualight has appointed Shaun Gray to take over as CEO, replacing company founder Liam Kelly. Kelly is retiring but will remain on the board of directors after having led Nualight through rapid growth supplying LED lighting for refrigerated cases and other retail displays.

Gray was most recently CEO of ZBD Solutions, a company that targeted retail labeling and pricing information using display technology called epaper. Gray led that company from a pre-revenue state to four years of 200% annual growth.

"As a company, we are working hard to continue to build a secure and solid foundation for future growth and profitability," said Per Langholz, Nualight chairman. "Shaun's technology track-record and expertise in business development will facilitate this. I also want to pay tribute to Liam Kelly for his immense contribution to Nualight, from startup through to our international expansion and progress over recent years."

Cree Lighting ups European presence

Cree Lighting, meanwhile, has hired Darren Marsh as their lighting sales manager for the UK and Nordic regions of Europe. Cree has long had a global presence supplying packaged LEDs to lighting companies in every market around the world. Cree's lighting business, however, has been much more entrenched in North America than elsewhere.

The company is building its European lighting organization out of its Milan, Italy office. "The UK is a key market for our strategic growth plans in Europe," said Alessandro Targetti, commercial director, Cree Europe S.r.l. "Darren has gained a wealth of experience in the lighting market during his career, which will serve as a significant asset to helping strengthen our business in the UK."

Evolucia hires quality director

Evolucia has been very active of late with announcements ranging from funding programs to partnerships and now has announced the appointment of Scott Nickerson as the company's global director of quality. Nickerson has 39 years of experience implementing quality systems.

"With nearly 40 years of experience in the electronics and high tech industries, Scott comes with the background and discipline needed to shape Evolucia's global manufacturing and quality control strategies — helping us build towards lean manufacturing and Six Sigma certification," said Mel Interiano, CEO of Evolucia Inc. "Our rapidly expanding product portfolio and our growing global manufacturing network demand that we have the systems and controls in place to exceed our customers' expectations."

In other recent news Evolucia announced an LED lighting financing program offering 100% financing to customers. The company signed an agreement with Solarmax to supply SSL products to Colombia under the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. And the company recently announced a facility expansion and a Center of Excellence for LED lighting R&D.

Distribution agreements

Moving to the distribution space, Future Lighting Solutions and Bridgelux have partnered. "Bridgelux's innovative product offering targets the rapidly increasing demand for high quality, energy efficient internal and external LED lighting solutions for retail, commercial and residential environments," said Jamie Singerman, corporate vice-president, worldwide of Future Lighting Solutions. "The partnership with Bridgelux presents Future Lighting Solutions with significant growth opportunities by delivering access to an even broader base of customers. Innovative new Bridgelux products, such as the Vero array platform, complement our SSL product line, increasing our ability to deliver design solutions across a wider range of applications and markets for our global customers."

Mouser, meanwhile has signed a global distribution agreement with Plessey Semiconductors. The partnership includes distribution of Plessey's emerging family of silicon-based Magic LEDs.

Just last week, Plessey announced that it is selling a royal-blue LED that delivers 350 mW of radiometric power. Still, the gallium-nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) LEDs significantly trail sapphire-based LEDs in flux output and efficacy.

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