Xicato extends SSL-engine lumen and color warranty to ten years

Jan. 13, 2021
Cold or remote phosphor techniques enable Xicato to back its LED light engine for ten years even with tight initial photometric specifications.

Xicato has announced a new warranty program for three of its LED light engine product lines that will stretch coverage of lumen and color maintenance to ten years. The quality-of-light specialist has stayed true to its legacy relying on remote- or cold-phosphor technology for its solid-state lighting (SSL) building blocks. Moreover, the new warranty also applies to Xicato’s modules that integrate connectivity and smart-lighting capabilities.

The new ten-year warranty applies to the XCA, XTM, and XIM series. The origins of these products go back a decade with Xicato being the first player in the SSL sector to stress light quality both when a product was brand new and over time. One of the keys to the success of the company has been what it refers to as Corrected Cold Phosphor Technology. More generally we would refer to the approach as remote phosphor technology.

We have written about remote phosphor going back at least as far as 2012 when we had a detailed contributed article on the topic. Most SSL products use phosphor-converted white LEDs. In such LEDs, the phosphor is applied directly on top of the blue pump and is exposed to heat from the LED junction. Even though LEDs produce relatively little heat compared to legacy sources, that heat from the junction can degrade phosphor over time.

In remote phosphor applications, the monochromatic blue LEDs used as pumps are physically separated from phosphor that is typically applied to a secondary optic or lens. The benefits include mixing of the LED beams for uniformity and also the physical separation that keeps the phosphor cold.

Xicato’s earliest light engines were small relative to, say, an incandescent lamp, but large relative to packaged LEDs. There was not a focus on the z height of the module and therefore plenty of room for the cold phosphor approach in modules intended for applications such as downlights and track lights.

Over time as LEDs and SSL evolved to tinier form factors, Xicato reduced both the footprint and height of its products. Back in 2014, we noted that the new XTM product line had become more akin to a chip-on-board (COB) packaged LED than a modular light engine. Still, Xicato said it was able to thermally isolate the phosphor from the LED pumps. And while some SSL manufacturers were boasting of ten-year lumen-maintenance warranties back in that timeframe, Xicato moved to five- and then seven-year warranties that also covered color maintenance. Moreover, Xicato has extremely tight color tolerances to begin with.

“Xicato’s radical thinking about what a quality light source means led to innovations that created the highest precision and most reliable light sources that are still unsurpassed 10 years after their introduction,” said Amir Zoufonoun, CEO of Xicato. “We feel confident in backing them with the best warranty in the industry at no additional cost to our customers, once again setting a new standard for the rest of the industry to aspire toward. Xicato’s commitment to create smart, energy efficient, and comfortable spaces starts with beautiful quality lighting, no matter which type of light bears our name.”

Clearly, customers will appreciate the move. “It is great to hear that Xicato has extended their XCA, XTM, XIM remote-phosphor module warranty to ten years including color maintenance,” said James Morris Jones, international sales director at Lucent Lighting. “This is important in today’s circular economy world and we are happy to support and extend our fixtures with Xicato inside.”

The XCA is the basic cold-phosphor light source offered by Xicato today in circular COB-like packaging. Light-emitting surface (LES) options range from 9–19 mm. The XCA sources are also used in the XTM and XIM modules. The XTM products have a form factor similar to a COB LED in a holder. The XIM products add on-board driver and connectivity features including Bluetooth Mesh capability.

The warranty applies across the Artist, Beauty, Designer, and Vibrant series that each have unique spectral power distributions (SPDs). For example, the Vibrant Series over-saturates rich reds even at 90 CRI and is targeted for retail applications.

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About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.