SSL Technology Update: September 25, 2012

Sept. 26, 2012
In this week's video: Street and Area Light Conference and Strategies in Light Europe updates; Business news; and an SSL installation at an energy test site in Denmark.

For the second straight week, network and adaptive control technologies will be predominant in our technology update with items from both Street and Area Lighting and Strategies in Light Europe. We also have business news items from across the globe, and a novel solid state lighting installation at a wind-energy test site in Denmark.

Let's start with a look at a wireless LED demonstration kit announced at Strategies in Light Europe by partners Renesas Electronics Europe and wireless specialist Virtual Extension. The kit employs a wireless mesh network scheme developed by Virtual Extension called VEmesh. The kit includes a DALI gateway that in turn links to eight wireless nodes, and each node can handle three LED channels. Each channel gets a unique DALI address. A Renesas RL78/I1A microcontroller handles the DALI communications, controls the LED driver electronics, and also runs the wireless networking protocol stack. The kit will help accelerate wireless LED-based product designs and specifically targets commercial lighting applications.

At the Street and Area Lighting Conference, Ed Smalley, the director of the DOE Municipal Solid State Street Lighting Consortium, announced publication of a draft version of the Model Specification for Adaptive Control and Remote Monitoring of LED Roadway Luminaires. The document is meant as a template for municipalities that want to add adaptive controls and networks to their street lights for dimming and increased energy savings. The document will define a common language or set of terms that suppliers and customers can use when discussing controls, and offers a broad set of options in terms of things like network types and performance. The draft is open for public comment through October 12.

Moving to the role of LED lighting in wind energy, the 250 meter tall turbines in a Denmark test site posed a potential aviation challenge, given their size. The International Civil Aviation Organization places safety lighting requirements on such structures. Obelux solved the problem by installing two 250 meter lighting masts with high intensity lighting mounted at 83, 167, and 250 meters. Three luminaires at each level provide 360 degrees of coverage. During the day, each fixture delivers 200,000 candellas of flashing light that pilots can easily see.

We'll close with business news. In Taiwan, Lextar Electronics and Wellypower Optronics will merge with the Lextar brand to become the second largest LED manufacturer in Taiwan. Back in the United States, Nexxus Lighting has received a $6 million dollar capital infusion from Aston Capital that will allow it to settle its litigation with Philips and Nexxus will also receive license to some key Philips Patents. Philips, meanwhile, has announced plans to reduce its workforce although the impact on the lighting business isn’t known at this time.