Fifth annual Sapphire Awards program reveals finalists (MAGAZINE)

Feb. 20, 2019
Carrie Meadows reports on the innovations that helped the finalists make the cut in the fifth year of the LEDs Magazine Sapphire Awards program, which demonstrates the evolution of solid-state lighting technology amid the drive toward value-added applications and services.
LEDs Magazine rang in the New Year with the Sapphire Awards shortlist, which recognizes finalists in 19 LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) technology product categories and three finalists for the Illumineer of the Year. The Sapphire Awards program was launched in 2014 to identify achievements in the LED and SSL sectors, representing technologies and people driving LED technology forward and revolutionizing the lighting industry. With the first Awards handed out at a Gala held during Strategies in Light 2015, the program bridged a gap in the industry by acknowledging the entire LED and SSL supply chain, from enabling components and test tools to controls and application-specific lighting end products.

The Illumineer of the Year honor will recognize an individual or team who has developed innovative technology that enables high-quality lighting products while lowering operational and/or product costs. These forward-thinkers combine a sense of long-term value and scalability of concepts with their passion for moving SSL technology forward. The technology may not yet be evident in available products but would need to demonstrate commercial viability and value.

The judging panel found the number of advances submitted during this year’s entry process illustrative of the progress the SSL industry has made in delivering unique form and function in modern fixtures; addressing emerging applications by applying the latest research to both component and SSL product development; and improving light and color quality for an enhanced experience.

All of the leading-edge products in the shortlist demonstrated the qualities expected in the Sapphire Awards program — viability for commercialization, reliable and efficient performance, contribution to profitability, and ease of use.

“Our 2019 Sapphire entries showed that the LED and SSL sectors have vigilantly tackled the issue of light quality and have made great strides from the component level to end products,” said Maury Wright, chief editor of LEDs Magazine. “At the same time, we continue to see great innovation via connectivity, controls, and tunable spectrum. The finalists that we have just announced represent the most compelling innovations in the industry and we look forward to celebrating the winners at our Sapphire Gala.”

Quality, insightful execution, and the foresight to develop SSL products as enablers of the Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to drive the industry into high-technology areas. Product and Illumineer finalists represent the leaps forward in LED and module performance we’ve covered recently; the advances of smart, connected lighting technologies enabling intelligent systems at various scales of deployment; and other clever designs that bring emerging applications into real-world scenarios right now.

Keep reading to see who made the cut, and stay tuned for our coverage on the winners and how products scored in future issues of LEDs Magazine.

The finalists will be honored at the Sapphire Awards Gala on Thursday, Feb. 28, in Oceanside Ballroom D at the Mandalay Bay hotel and convention center in Las Vegas, NV. The Gala takes place during the week of Strategies in Light, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2019. Join our team and advisors for an evening of fine dining and entertainment as we count down to the awards presentation, which will be hosted by chief editor Maury Wright. The evening’s festivities will include close-up magician PiP; a performance by LED percussion troupe the Las Vegas Golden Knights Drumbots; and a champagne-serving aerialist. Those interested in attending the Gala can register and purchase tickets on the Sapphire Awards website at Sapphire Awards.


Packaged LEDs and OLEDs
  • Cree, Inc. / XLamp eTone COB LEDs
  • LED Engin / LZ7 Plus 50W 7-Die Multi-Color LED Emitter
  • Lumileds / Luxeon CZ Color Line
  • Nichia Corporation / Nichia Optisolis LED (NF2x757G-F1)
  • Osram Opto Semiconductors / Oslon Pure 1010 LED
Modular LED Light Engines
  • LED Linear / VarioLED Flex Venus 3D True Color
  • Luxtech / LN-X Linear Cuttable White
  • Tridonic USA / Module LLE Flex G1 IP67 Excite
ICs and Electronic Components for SSL
  • Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. / MAX20092 matrix manager IC
  • Seoul Semiconductor / NanoDriver
  • Thomas Research Products, a Hubbell Lighting Components brand / Color Tuning Controller
LED Drivers
  • ERP Power LLC / CNB Series Programmable LED Driver with Wireless Lighting Controls
  • Fulham / eliteControl PoE 2-Channel LED Driver
  • Optic Arts / VintageDim 2 (DIM.010V.XXX)
  • Osram Digital Systems / Optotronic Programmable Compact LED Driver
SSL Enabling Technologies — Optics, thermal, interconnect, etc.
  • The Dow Chemical Company – Performance Silicones / DOWSIL MS-40XX Series Moldable Optical Silicone Elastomers
  • Gaggione SAS / LLC79 45-mm Silicone Collimator Range
  • Khatod Optoelectronic Srl / Nactus 6x2 SIL – Silicone Optical Systems (PLL12xxxSR)
Tools and Tests in SSL Design
  • Gamma Scientific / GS-Wavemon
  • United Power Research Technology Corp. / UPRtek MK350S Premium Spectrometer
Emergency SSL Luminaires, Modules, and Drivers
  • Fulham / EZ Exit EM T-Grid
  • Igor / Igor PoE Emergency Network Node – Max (NP50-60-C-F-5-EM)
  • Thomas Research Products, a Hubbell Lighting Components brand / LBU10-P Series Emergency Driver
Indoor Decorative Pendant SSL Luminaire Design
  • Axis Lighting / Stencil Surface
  • Fluxwerx / Aperture
  • Focal Point / Skydome Edge
  • Nulite Lighting / Sero
  • PureEdge Lighting / Pipeline 1 LED Suspension
Indoor Flex SSL for Coves, Cabinets, and Cases
  • Environmental Lights / HyperFlex 2835 LED Strip Light
  • Environmental Lights / 6-in-1 ColorPlus 5050 LED Strip Light
  • Elemental LED / Neon Blaze Flexible LED Lighting
Indoor Troffer, Track and Downlight SSL Luminaire Design
  • ALW USA / Superplane 2.5
  • Axis Lighting / Sculpt Mikrolite
  • iGuzzini North America / Palco Low Voltage
  • LED Linear / Mars Nano
  • Litecontrol, a Hubbell Lighting Brand / Vora
SSL Lamp Design
  • Keystone Technologies / Sign Hero 360˚ LED Sign Tube (KT-LED7T8-18P2S-840-D)
  • LTF, LLC. / SunLight2 True Color Optimized MR16 LED Bulb (BL18W12V3018KWD)
  • TCP Lighting / The Good Life LED
Outdoor Landscape and Architectural SSL Design
  • Architectural Area Lighting, a Hubbell Lighting brand / Pursuit
  • Lumenpulse / Lumenbeam Inground
  • Lumenpulse / Lumenfaçade Nano
  • Tempo / CLiP 4X (Model # C4X)
Outdoor Street and Area SSL Luminaire Design
  • Hubbell Outdoor Lighting / Intercept
  • Kim Lighting, a Hubbell Lighting brand / Ouro
  • LEDvance / Sylvania Area Light luminaire portfolio
Industrial SSL Luminaire Design
  • Columbia Lighting, a Hubbell Lighting brand / Peloton High Performance High Bay
  • Dialight / Vigilant High Output High Bay
  • Elemental LED / AlphaTECH Linear LED Lighting Solutions
  • Kenall Manufacturing / EnviroPro EPHB
Smart and Connected SSL Enabling Technologies
  • eldoLED B.V. / LEDcode BLE radio, Atrius-ready (BT-L1A1, BT-L2A1, BT-S1A1)
  • Enlighted / Enlighted 5th Generation Smart Sensor
  • Osram Digital Systems / SensiLUM Wireless Integrated Sensor
  • Samsung Electronics / Samsung SSM-U (SLP-S211UXXGWW)
Smart and Connected SSL Systems
  • Hubbell Control Solutions / PowerHUBB
  • Lutron Electronics / Enterprise Vue
  • Osram Digital Systems / Encelium Extend
  • Tridonic USA / net4more IP-connected Lighting System
Horticultural Lighting
  • Agnetix / A3 Liquid-Cooled Lighting System
  • Plessey Semiconductors Ltd / Hyperion LED Grow Light
  • Samsung Electronics / Samsung Full Spectrum Horticultural LEDs
Lighting for Health and Wellbeing
  • BIOS Lighting / BIOS Bio-dimming
  • Circadian Light / DynamicBlu NightSafe Troffer Series (CSPT/CSM Series)
  • Crystal IS / Klaran
  • Seoul Semiconductor / SunLike Series LEDs
  • Telelumen LLC / Octa – 8 channel light player
Specialty SSL Design
  • Elemental LED / ENVI-Light Color Tunable Mirror (DI-120V-ENV-MIR)
  • Environmental Lights / Performance 160° Cuttable LED Lattice
  • Saco Technologies inc / Shockwave V-Stick S + S2 (SVS-xxx-RGB, SVS2-xxx-RGB)


  • Jy Bhardwaj, chief technology officer; Parijat Deb, vice president of epitaxy technology; Danielle Chamberlin, PhD, senior director of converter technology; Ashish Tandon, senior director of device technology R&D; Oleg Shchekin, vice president of device architecture — Lumileds
  • Martin Moore-Ede, MD, chief executive officer; John Luciani, director of engineering — Circadian Light
  • Tigran Galstian, PhD, chief technology officer — LensVector; professor of engineering physics at Université Laval

Maury Wright / LEDs Magazine

Jim Benya / Benya Burnett Consultancy

Deborah Burnett / Benya Burnett Consultancy

Carl Bloomfield / Intertek

Chris Brown / Nextgen Lighting

Daryl DeJean / Emerging Technologies Associates

Rachel Gibney / Available Light

Monica Hansen / LED Lighting Advisors

Eric Haugaard / Cree

Dawn Hollingsworth / Darkhorse Lightworks

Duncan Jackson / Billings Jackson Design

Brad Koerner / Industry Consultant

Clifton Lemon / Clifton Lemon Associates

Dave Neal / Seoul Semiconductor

Steve Paolini / Telelumen

Kris Sandheinrich / KGM Lighting

Jared Saunders / Strategies Unlimited

Willem Sillevis-Smitt / Lumileds

Milena Simeonova / LiteHeal

Philip Smallwood / Strategies Unlimited

Aaron Smith / Finelite

Robert Steele / Strategies in Light

About the Author

Carrie Meadows | Editor-in-Chief, LEDs Magazine

Carrie Meadows has more than 20 years of experience in the publishing and media industry. She worked with the PennWell Technology Group for more than 17 years, having been part of the editorial staff at Solid State Technology, Microlithography World, Lightwave, Portable Design, CleanRooms, Laser Focus World, and Vision Systems Design before the group was acquired by current parent company Endeavor Business Media.

Meadows has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards, and has volunteered as a judge on several B2B editorial awards committees. She received a BA in English literature from Saint Anselm College, and earned thesis honors in the college's Geisel Library. Without the patience to sit down and write a book of her own, she has gladly undertaken the role of editor for the writings of friends and family.

Meadows enjoys living in the beautiful but sometimes unpredictable four seasons of the New England region, volunteering with an animal shelter, reading (of course), and walking with friends and extended "dog family" in her spare time.