Soraa brings GaN-on-GaN LEDs to AR111 lamps, adds high-CCT MR16s

Feb. 18, 2014
Soraa now offers an LED-based AR111 lamp family that delivers CRI Ra and R9 of 95 and has added MR16 lamps at 4000K and 5000K CCTs for applications such as jewelry retail lighting.

Expanding beyond its MR16 base, Soraa has announced the LED AR111 retrofit lamp family based on the company's gallium-nitride-on-gallium-nitride (GaN-on-GaN) LEDs that deliver uniform energy across the human visual spectrum and a CRI of 95. The lamps debut at this week's EuroShop retail-oriented trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany. Meanwhile, the company also added to its Vivid 2 MR16 lamp family with 4000K- and 5000K-CCT lamps intended to displace ceramic metal halide (CMH) and halogen lighting in gemstone and other high-end retail settings.

The AR111 product introduction marks the first time that Soraa has offered a solid-state lighting (SSL) product outside of the MR16 form factor, but apparently we can expect more from the company. "This year, we will expand our portfolio beyond our award-winning MR16 GU5.3 and GU10 lamps to create a full line of 4-in. lamps powered by our GaN-on-GaN LED technology," said Nick Farraway, senior vice president, international at Soraa.

Ironically, Soraa tackled what is perhaps the toughest LED-retrofit-lamp challenge first — the space-constrained MR16 form factor. Indeed, lighting companies struggled to fit the driver electronics into the tiny lamps and implement effective thermal management to keep the LEDs cool — a necessity for reliable lamps. Presumably the homogenous GaN-on-GaN structure of the LEDs enables higher current densities, simplifying the task. Soraa recently launched line-voltage LED MR16 lamps and then in January launched a 230V MR16.

The new AR111 SSL design brings energy-efficiency advantages to applications for the larger lamps, and improved lighting as well. At EuroShop, Soraa is demonstrating a lamp with an 8° beam that delivers 980 lm with center beam candle power (CBCP) of 27,500 cd. That performance is achieved with a CRI of 95 and a R9 score of 95 for saturated red colors. At 80 CRI, Soraa will offer CBCP of 34,000 cd, performance it said is double that of the competition.

"Soraa's lamp is a game-changer in the LED AR111 landscape," said Farraway. "With it, we bring to the market an energy-efficient AR111 lamp of exceptionally high intensity and quality of light." The GaN-on-GaN LED architecture enables the high CRI through the use of a violet LED chip and a mix of three phosphors, whereas most white LEDs use a blue emitter and two phosphors. The Soraa approach delivers a broader spread of energy in what the company refers to as full visible spectrum. But that high CRI comes with a efficacy penalty relative to many other LED lamps on the market.

Retail and high CCT

Back to the MR16 space, Soraa has added high-CCT products after finding success with warm-CCT products in applications such as hospitality. High-end retail applications, however, warrant lighting nearer natural sunlight.

Soraa said that the LED MR16s deliver the sunlight-like quality without the UV emissions or beam striations commonly found with CMH and halogen lighting. And of course the LED lamps deliver significant energy savings. Soraa CEO Jeff Parker said, "Now with our 4000K and 5000K products, you can bring the energizing feel of natural light indoors without sacrificing light quality and compatibility."

The higher-CCT lamps are initially available in Soraa's 12V low-voltage product family. The 4000K and 5000K family still deliver CRI of 95 and an R9 value above 90. The company said that the products will find usage in a broad set of retail applications, with jewelry stores being a prime example of a setting where broad-spectrum white light and high CRI can drive greater sales volumes.

"With Soraa's LED lamps, you can create a perfectly lit — yet energy-efficient —space," said Parker. "Our full spectrum technology renders colors vividly and whites accurately; our single source LED and innovative optics create perfectly uniform beams of exceptionally high-intensity light, casting clear single shadows; and our lamps are ideally suited for fully enclosed, non-ventilated fixtures — a place where other LED lamps struggle to perform."