I just read a tip that advised against burying any kind of “top whatever list” under a weighty introduction, so let’s get cracking. 😊
1. Ams makes financial moves that impact Osram factories
The ongoing evolution of the ams-Osram organization typically gains traction in our newsletters and on our website. In early May, contributing editor Mark Halper reported new strategies announced by CEO Alexander Everke, including delisting Osram as a separately traded entity and “a broad set of parallel programs to implement a new group organization, drive the creation of synergies, and optimize our business portfolio.” Halper outlines the photonics focus that is driving applications for LEDs and lasers beyond general illumination in the Osram group, as well as possible reductions in manufacturing infrastructure and footprint of existing Osram plants. Reduced redundancies and other operational expense decreases could add up to hundreds of millions of Euros in savings, Everke indicated.
2. California pursues efficiency and light quality in key commercial segment
When I had the opportunity to chat with California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) director Michael Siminovitch, I anticipated blogging briefly about the Million LED Challenge (MLC) — an extension of the previously launched Million Lamp Challenge that drove replacements of traditional general service lamps with more efficient and high-quality LED lamps. There was so much more to the discussion. We know that commercial & industrial lighting retains enormous untapped retrofit potential. Now that the MLC program seeks to replace ubiquitous fluorescent tubes, there is a greater opportunity for widespread energy and maintenance savings, as well as improved experience of light across the campuses involved. The framework developed for qualifying products exposes a critical need for quality specifications when it comes to linear LED lamps, declared Siminovitch, to improve project outcomes and meet both energy-efficiency guidelines and end-user expectations.
3. Visible-light disinfection sets sights on viruses
We’ve been covering disinfection applications of LED sources for a while, but before the coronavirus pandemic announcements were relatively scattered. During the past year, we’ve noted multiple times how UV launches and studies have exploded. Visible light has not been quite the “darling” of disinfection because it hadn’t been proven out against viruses like the one that causes COVID-19. This month, chief editor Maury Wright reported a spate of visible-light disinfection developments, citing new research that finds 405-nm light in the visible spectrum is capable of deactivating viruses. Such continuous-disinfection systems have already been vetted as for deactivating bacterial and fungal pathogens (which are slower to spread) without the risks of damaging exposure to UV light. What’s the catch? Well, the visible-light studies dictate exposure times in hours, not minutes or seconds — unlike with properly designed UV-C systems that are capable of virus deactivation in near-instantaneous fashion.
4. New LEDs clear quality and integration hurdles
Finally, our last top story is another topic that typically brings in the traffic. Readers are always looking to be up to speed on the latest component releases, especially packaged LEDs. This month we reported on new devices from Lumileds, Bridgelux, and Luminus. I’ll reiterate here that aside from novel applications of solid-state lighting (SSL), light quality factors are major drivers of LEDification 2.0. Lumileds’ new color offerings expand the possibilities for multi-channel LED systems often specified for high-end architectural, façade, and entertainment lighting. Bridgelux is now leveraging the potassium fluorosilicate red phosphor from GE Current to improve narrow band emission in mid-power LEDs. And Luminus has developed infrared LEDs that will offer cost and system integration advantages over vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) often employed in industrial, medical, and machine vision systems.
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