Sapphire Industry Watch – July 31

  • Lamp runs for 8 hours on one glass of water and some salt – Treehugger: Aisa Mijeno, CEO of Sustainable Alternative Lighting (SALt Corp.), has developed an LED lamp capable of running for eight hours a day on one glass of water and two tablespoons of salt. The lamp was designed by Mijeno to be a practical lighting solution for people in undeveloped areas  that lack reliable access to light at night.
  • The Skysphere: New Zealander Jono Williams builds solar-powered retreat for $75,000 – Construction novice Jono Williams has designed and built an app-controlled, solar-powered tower deemed the “Skysphere”. Complete with voice-controlled colored LED lighting, fingerprint locks, motorized doors and a wireless sound system, Williams said he plans to put his new expertise in green-energy design to good use by designing a fully off-grid house.
  • Seven technologies that will save the Earth – World Policy Blog: As renewable energy options become more accessible and affordable, populations around the globe are lessening their dependency on fossil fuels and turning their attention to more sustainable alternatives instead. LEDs, vertical farming and smart grids are just a few of the green technologies gaining momentum today.
  • Six ‘solar cities’ to be developed in the northeast – The Times of India: In an effort to improve India’s energy crisis and popularize the use of solar energy, the Tripura government is developing six cities in the northeast into solar cities. As part of the project, solar hot water systems and LEDs are being installed.

Sapphire Industry Watch – July 24

  • LAX unveils new energy efficient lighting scheme – Airport World: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has debuted a host of new energy efficient lighting features, including new LED light poles and a “lightband”, which are currently featuring a light show displaying the colors of the Special Olympic World games, which will be held in Los Angeles this summer. The new lighting features mark the completion of Phase II of the LAX Central Terminal Area Curbside Appeal and Roadway Improvement Project that began in Spring 2014.
  • Blue LED lighting to kill food-borne pathogens without chemical treatment – Airfal International: Scientists from the National University of Singapore have found that blue LEDs have a strong antibacterial effect on major foodborne pathogens, particularly in cold temperatures and mildly acidic conditions. Originally published in Food Microbiology, these findings could potentially be applied to preserve fresh-cut fruits or chilled meat products, without requiring any further chemical treatments.
  • Large lighting makers continue to transition to LEDs – Semiconductor Today:  As the lighting market continues to make the shift towards LED technology, IHS Technology forecasts LED lamp revenue will grow to 67% by 2022. A growing market for LED lighting technology has consequently resulted in a shrinking market for halogen, compact fluorescent lamps and other traditional lighting technologies.
  • Government committed to making LED a way of life in India – The Hindu Business Line: Over the next three years, the Indian government aims to completely replace all incandescent bulbs in the country with LED lights, offering a huge business opportunity for the lighting industry. The government also seeks to impose quality standards on lighting products that are imported into the country.

Sapphire Industry Watch – July 17

  • Photos: Clean energy innovations are lighting up Africa – Quartz: In 2013, President Barack Obama launched Power Africa, an initiative to bring 30,000 megawatts of clean electricity to sub-Saharan Africa, where 600 million people live without power. Supported by the US Agency for International Development, 4,100 megawatts of power have been delivered so far, a portion of which has come in the form of solar LED lamps.
  • University of Buffalo invention takes new approach to fighting insomnia – ABC 8 News: A University of Buffalo professor is spearheading research that aims to cure insomnia – something that more than 60 million Americans suffer from. Her invention called “Re-timers”, are LED light goggles that can reset the brain’s natural sleep cycle. Using green LED lighting, the goggles shut off Melatonin in the early morning in order to advance sleep rhythms come evening.
  • How smart lighting has the potential to reduce energy costs by 90% – First Post: Internet of Things (IoT) architectures are rapidly driving smart lighting technology, so much so, that the worldwide commercial space for smart lighting is expected to double in 2015. According to Gartner, smart lighting installations in office buildings and industrial areas have the potential to reduce energy costs by 90 percent, while LED installations alone result in energy savings of approximately 50 percent.
  • LED grow light market worth $1.9B by 2020 – Compound Semiconductor: A new MarketsandMarkets report forecasts that the LED grow light market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent over the next five years. As awareness of LED grow lights’ benefits increases, the market will experience a high growth phase in applications such as vertical farming, commercial greenhouse and indoor farming.

Sapphire Industry Watch – July 10

  • The Opening Ceremony: A Superlative Show of Lights – FISU: South Korea put on a show during the spectacular opening ceremony of the 2015 World University Games in Gwangju. From individual lights on stadium seats to a display of Korea’s national symbol in the arena’s interior, LEDs expressed images of infinite potential to the participating athletes and viewers.
  • Statue of Liberty Gets New Lighting System – CBS New York: A new LED lighting system has been placed on the grounds around the Statue of Liberty in an effort to reduce energy consumption and enhance the viewing experience in the evening hours. The lighting equipment was donated by Musco Lighting, who has recently installed LEDs at several national monuments, including Mount Rushmore and the White House.
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral Goes Green – The Age: Using cranes and scissor lifts, a team of electricians replaced 350 light bulbs hanging from the 15-meter tall ceiling of St. Paul’s Cathedral with new, energy efficient LEDs. The lighting project, which includes rewiring, new light fittings and a smartphone-controlled dimmer system, will cut the Australian church’s carbon footprint by nearly one third.
  • Orlando Eye hopes to turn heads with well-times colors – Orlando Sentinel: In celebration of Independence Day, the Orlando Eye was the canvas for a red-white-and-blue LED light show. At 400 feet tall and equipped with 64,000 programmable LEDs, patriotic imagery, including the American flag, was displayed on the wheel each night from July 3 through 5.

Sapphire Industry Watch – July 3

  • Legally blind Hobart man sees the light by making log lamps from Tasmanian timber – ABC News: Duncan Meerding, a legally blind furniture and lighting designer, has created unique log lamps using solely Tasmanian wood waste and LED lights. Meerding’s vision behind the design was to create sustainable furniture that could be kept and passed down through generations to come.
  • Slideshow: Fashion takes spotlight at CE Week – Dell: During New York City’s largest consumer electronics and technology event, CE Week, the tech and fashion industries collided during the futuristic FashionWare runway show. Proving geek can be chic, LED lights, smart jewelry and dresses embedded with sensors made modernistic fashion statements on the runway.
  • Targeted LEDs could provide efficient lighting for plants grown in space – Research from Purdue University found that hydroponically-grown leaf lettuce can thrive under red and blue LEDs. Additionally, the LEDs used 90 percent less electrical power per growing area in comparison with traditional lighting methods. This finding could advance the development of crop-growth modules for space exploration.
  • 7 Uses for LED Lighting Technology – Novus Light: LED technology has rapidly developed to become one of the leading and most prominent lighting solutions offered today. Due to the versatility of LEDs, they’re finding some highly innovative and interesting applications, including bionic LED contact lenses and LED wallpaper that can be programmed to present different settings on the walls of your home.

Sapphire Industry Watch – June 26

  • These LED skydivers turned the sky into a piano – Red Bull: In arguably their coolest stunt yet, the Red Bull Skydive Team fell 4,000m in complete darkness and turned the sky into their dance floor. Wired with LEDs, the wingsuits worn by the skydivers were choreographed to the music of Camo & Krooked, and the final video is nothing less than adrenaline-pumping.
  • Warsaw National Museum preserves art while enhancing mood with tunable lighting – LEDs Magazine: In an effort to preserve historic artworks while displaying them in optimum lighting conditions, the Warsaw National Museum has upgraded its lighting system to include LED spotlights with tunable white-point correlated color temperature (CCT). With its vast collection of over 800,000 pieces, the museum is already seeing a reduction in energy use, while still being able to display the works in the highest quality light.
  • Mini demos street lights that also charge your car – Gizmag: As part of Low Carbon Oxford Week in the UK, Mini showcased a new system called “Light and Charge” that would allow electric vehicle (EV) drivers to charge their vehicles from street lights. The units would employ a modular LED design that is more energy-efficient than conventional street lighting and drives would simply need to connect their vehicle and swipe a credit card to begin charging.
  • LED lighting could help with sleep patterns – Electronics Weekly: According to wake-sleep pattern research conducted by the University of Manchester, the changing balance between blue and yellow when the sun rises and sets affects the wakefulness of mammals. As humans’ reactions to the color spectrum continues to become more understood, LED luminaires could be designed to produce custom responses – more wakeful in the morning and sleepier in the evening, for example.

Sapphire Industry Watch – June 19

  • Light on your feet! Japanese inventor creates LED dancing shoes that allow users to paint the town any colour they like – Daily Mail: With artists and performers in mind, Japanese inventor Yuya Kikukawa has designed shoes with 100 LED lights and motion sensors in each sole. The “Orphe shoes“ can be controlled independently from a tablet, allowing the creative wearers to paint the town with their feet in customizable patterns.
  • Mount Rushmore introduces unique lighting system – KDLT News: Thanks to a new LED lighting system, the night time viewing experience has been improved for the nearly two million visitors who visit the Mount Rushmore National Memorial each year. The recently installed system will result in less light pollution while reducing energy consumption by 90 percent.
  • Through the wormhole! Waterslide with spectacular LED lighting gives sensation of travelling through time – Daily Mail: Bad 1, an indoor leisure pool on the German coast of Bremerhaven, features an incredibly colorful LED waterslide that is undoubtedly the fantasy of every child. Completely unsuspecting from the outside, multi-colored rings and lights provide riders sliding down the 25 foot tall and 256 foot long waterslide with the feeling they are traveling through a wormhole.
  • Why LED lights may become standard equipment on most cars – The Cheat Sheet: According to the Department of Energy, as LED prices have gone down in recent years, both their value and availability have skyrocketed. This drop in price will allow more cars than ever before to feature LED lighting. What were once considered a luxury, features such as sport LED- headlamps, daytime running lights and LED-charged turn signals are becoming much more common on affordable automobiles.

Sapphire Industry Watch – June 12

  • World acclaim for Thai students’ invention to help coral reefs – Thai Visa News: Two Thai university students recently received a prestigious honor at a convention in Switzerland for their invention of a computer-controlled LED lighting system capable of stimulating and quickening the growth of coral in threatened reefs.  By using different shades and light frequencies to simulate the natural surroundings of sunlight and moonlight, the system’s LED bulbs enable coral to reach growth maturity weeks, and even months, faster than normal.
  • Dyson’s LED lamp promises to burn brightly for 37 years – Gizmag: Jake Dyson, son of Dyson company founder James Dyson, recently announced the company has developed an LED lamp capable of lasting 37 years. By applying technology similar to “heat-pipe technology” used in satellites called Csys, the LEDs are properly cooled, greatly extending the bulb’s lifespan.
  • Anaheim has one colorful roof – The Orange County Register: An LED lighting system has been installed on the dome roof of the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC). Designed to glow colorfully for sporting events, holidays and special occasions, the California city even has a policy in place for deciding the mood lighting of any particular night’s design.
  • Five-buck bulbs: The LED revolution is on – Business Spectator: Lighting companies have ignited a revolution by reducing the cost of LEDs to an affordable $5 or less, down $20 from when they were first introduced a few years ago. Thanks to this significant drop in price, consumers will save billions of dollars annually and reduce millions of tons of fossil fuel pollution.

Sapphire Industry Watch – June 5

  • LTP Takes Interactive Architectural LED Lighting to New Heights for Barratt London – LEDs Magazine: Lighting Technology Projects has completed work on another energy-efficient architectural LED lighting scheme. The Tower, which is the centerpiece of Barratt London’s new regeneration project, is a 27-story residential building which overlooks West London’s ‘Golden Mile’. The installment is comprised of 53 horizontal rows going up the ‘spine’ or the building, each containing six LED lights that are programmed to operate fully automatically.
  • Lower-Cost LEDs Offer Some Competition to Compact Fluorescent Lights – The New York Times: LEDs have long been more expensive than CFLs, but with costs beginning to level and consumer demand is starting to shift, experts say that demand for compact fluorescents will continue to dwindle, while demand will continue to rise for LEDs.
  •  Strategies Unlimited Reports Global Packaged LED Market to Reach $22B by 2019 – LEDs Magazine: Strategies Unlimited recently released a report investigating the global packaged LED market. The total packaged LED market grew 7.6 percent in 2014 to reach overall revenue of $15.6 billion. Lighting made up 34 percent of total revenue, which is almost the same as display backlighting and mobile applications combined, and is expected to reach 45 percent of total revenue by 2019.
  • Materials Innovations Help LEDs Turn On – Photonics Spectra: Innovations in sapphire manufacturing is helping cut cost and boosting performance for LEDs. While there are other suitable substrate choices for LEDs, the majority of LEDs today are using sapphire. Rubicon Technology’s CEO, Bill Weissman discusses how the industry shift towards large diameter wafers minimizes edge loss and how patterning of substrates is increasing light extraction.

Sapphire Industry Watch – May 29

  • Data Transmission with LED Light to Be Possible – Business Korea:  A Korean research team from The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute has successfully developed visible light communication networking technology capable of delivering information through LED lights. This technique – which could begin the lighting communications era – allows people to receive information through network transmission devices by storing and sending digital information when LED lights blink.
  • New LED lights shine on bridge to Belle Isle – Detroit Free Press: Arriving just in time for Detroit’s Grand Prix racing weekend, more than 300 new LED light bulbs have been installed across the MacArthur Bridge on Belle Isle. As part of a ceremony to celebrate the bridge’s new lights, a bright red Grand Prix pace car drove across the bridge while the white LEDs were switched on. Lighting costs for the bridge are expected to drop to a third of what they were prior to the LEDs.
  • This is why we should be farming in skyscrapers – CityMetric: Futurists have been dreaming of ways to feed Earth’s growing population for decades, but thanks to new technology, there might finally be a solution. By utilizing LED lighting and indoor growing methods, vertical farming could be the way of the future by providing food to cities while also helping save ecosystems around the world from being converted to farmland.
  • Supermarket LED lights talk to smartphone app – BBC News: French supermarket chain Carrefour is the first retailer to install a new LED system capable of sending special offers and location data directly to shoppers’ smartphones. Codes are transmitted to phone cameras via light waves that are undetectable to the human eye, enabling shoppers to quickly receive information on promotions going on around them.