SSL Technology Update: July 31, 2012

Aug. 1, 2012
In this SSL Technology Update: positive financial news for companies with an LED focus; LEDs thrive in application areas such as airfields; a performing arts center gets an LED facelift and how LEDs could counter the trend of short-term low cycle in lighting sales.

Philips has reported that the second-quarter revenue for its Lighting division increased by 6% year-on-year, led by double-digit sales growth in its Light Sources & Electronics segment. The company’s lighting sales were just over 2 billion Euros or about $2.4 billion for the quarter. A slight decline in earnings was mainly due to higher-than-expected restructuring expenses. LED-based sales grew by 37% year-on-year and now account for 20% of total lighting sales. Philips’ sales recovery in lighting has happened despite the current weakness in the construction market in mature economic regions where 30% of sales are driven by new construction.

Solid-state lighting has also been important for UK-based Dialight, which has reported revenue growth of 65% in this segment in the first six months of 2012, compared with the same period last year. The group’s total revenue for the period was 61.1 million British pounds or about 95 million dollars. The company also set a technology milestone, announcing a 17,000 lumen high-bay luminaire with a guaranteed lifetime of 10 years.

LEDs are also poised to continue a run of success in the rugged field of airfield lighting. The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has authored a new report published by Transportation Research Board of the National Academies focused on LED lighting on airfields. The visibility and performance of LED lighting on airfields is generally considered very good. Reduced maintenance cost is the primary benefit for airports considering a move to LEDs. Energy savings are secondary, in part because airfield electrical systems are designed for incandescent loads. Savings could be increased if the lighting infrastructure is optimized for LED lighting and the Federal Aviation Administration is exploring new infrastructures.

Moving indoors, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri is sporting a new look thanks to LEDs. The most dramatic usage is in newly designed balcony facades that use Tivoli linear LED modules to create a flowing, water-like visual using textured panels. The retrofit also includes LED highlighting for poster boxes, and LED lighting in other public spaces within the center.