Bridgelux has announced that the Vero family of chip-on-board (COB) LEDs announced last December are now available with higher efficacy and tighter color bins. The company also said that the LEDs can now be driven at twice the rated current level, and that the family achieved LM-80 certification at the end of July.
Bridgelux boasted in the new release of efficacy as high as 122 lm/W and characterized that performance as industry leading. In reality those figures were at 25°C whereas many companies now characterize their LEDs fully at 85°C. At the higher temperature, the tables that Bridgelux distributed would place the LEDs close to 100 lm/W and in the same range as products from Cree, Philips Lumileds, and others. Still, the Vero product has matched the industry leaders.
The company is also now offering the LEDs in a choice of 2- or 3-step MacAdam Ellipse bins. Aaron Merrill, director of product line management, acknowledged that others offer 2-step bins but said Bridgelux is first to also offer customers 3-step bins. The question remains as to whether there is a customer base for a bin between the more typical 2- and 4-step bins offered by other companies.
Bridgelux also offers the LEDs in high-CRI options including the 97-CRI Décor family. Moreover, the Vero LEDs can meet the requirements of the California Energy Commission (CEC) for CRI R9 scores greater than 50 for the saturated red color sample.
The company has long said that COB LEDs offer luminaire makers great value in terms of stocking parts for a single luminaire design that can be customized to a CRI between 70 and 97 based on the LED installed in each product off the line, and clearly some customers agree. "The innovative feature set on-board in Vero Series arrays provides us with tremendous flexibility, particularly in designing new products for manufacturability," said Harald Dirnberger, CEO of XAL in Austria. "The efficiency and lumens per watt performance that Bridgelux regularly delivers help keep XAL products competitive in the marketplace and help drive broader adoption of solid-state lighting."
Bridgelux also continues to tout the mounting scheme that it devised for the Vero family. As the nearby photo shows, the COB LED is supplied separately from a plastic holder and optionally with a solder-free interconnect.
Bridgelux future direction
Merrill also took the announcement as a chance to address the financial stability of Bridgelux and the success of the Vero product thus far. He said that Vero is the most successful new product launch in the company's history and that supplies have been constrained.
Bridgelux has been through a major reorganization early this year and more recently a major change in its future direction. In April the company announced that it had sold its gallium-nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) manufacturing technology to partner Toshiba. Apparently Bridgelux is out of the actual epitaxial side of LED manufacturing for good.
But Merrill said that the company is on more solid financial footing than ever before. Surely that stability is in part due to the April agreement with Toshiba and additional cash from that partnership. For the Vero arrays, Merrill said the actual LED chips are being made to Bridgelux specifications by an unnamed overseas manufacturer.