Sapphire Industry Watch – May 22

  • Brighter Nights Ahead With LED Streetlight Pilot Project – KDLT News: A pilot project to replace traditional high-pressure sodium streetlights with LEDs is underway in the city of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Due to the energy efficiency and long lifespan of LEDs, the project will pay for itself in savings in just under five years. The city received a grant from Heartland Consumers Power District to help supplement a portion of the up-front expenses for the lighting upgrade.
  • Lincoln Park Church to Serve as Giant Canvas for Light Show This Week – DNAinfo: During the week of May 18, 60 LED lighting fixtures illuminated St. Vincent de Paul Church in Chicago, Illinois with a beautiful array of color and projections. The lighting was designed by students from The Theater School at DePaul University, along with guidance from DePaul alumnus and light designer Paul Gregory.  The church’s exterior will be transformed by light and projections inspired by artists such as Vincent van Gogh.
  • Pajaro Valley berries right from the start – The Californian: A decade ago, Driscoll’s, a major producer of both organic and non-organic berries, transformed a former greenhouse in Watsonville, California into a state-of-the-art propagation facility that produces berry plants for the company’s commercial growers. Fluorescent lighting in the facility has recently been replaced with LED lighting, as red and blue LEDs have been shown to enhance the growth of the plants.
  • It’s All About the Quality of Light – Santa Barbara Independent: The last phase of Santa Barbara County’s project to install LED lights along major streets in Isla Vista and UC Santa Barbara has been completed. The project began several years ago in an effort to improve lighting in Isla Vista and create a safer environment for residents.

Sapphire Industry Watch – May 15

  • A giant Pac-Man is going to take on Sydney’s Vivid light festival – Business Insider Australia: At this year’s “Vivid Sydney”, an annual 18-day festival of light and music, students from the University of New South Wales will premiere a giant robotic Pac-Man game, complete with glowing LED ghosts and a three-meter maze. Created using a mix of programmable LED strip lighting, laser-cut and 3D printed materials, installations like this are the reason the event is highly popular amongst tourists and locals, attracting 1.43 million visitors in 2014.
  • LED market outlook is bright – Energy Manager Today: According to a recent report from Navigant Research, the cost of LEDs has declined to a point where LED lighting is becoming the most economical choice for nearly every application. Through 2024, unit shipments of LED lamps and modules are expected to experience an overall 19 percent compound annual growth rate.
  • Construction of SunTrust Park enters next phase – WSB Radio: As construction of the Atlanta Braves’ new stadium, SunTrust Park, ramps up, the MLB team has decided to install LED lighting. Braves’ VP Mike Plant says LED lighting provides many benefits to the in-game experience, including better visual quality for fans watching in the stands and on TV at home and faster on/off capabilities compared to other lighting options.
  • America’s smartest bridge to get connected lighting system – New Civil Engineer:  The new Tappan Zee Bridge in New York will have the first ever connected LED lighting system for both its road and architectural lighting. The lighting will be able to be controlled remotely from a single dashboard to reflect special occasions such as holidays or wins by local sports teams. Upon completion in 2018, the bridge will be the most technologically advanced bridge in North America.

Sapphire Industry Watch – May 8

  • The Hidden Perils of Energy Efficient Fluorescent Lighting – Sourceable: Fluorescent lamps have long been seen as a source of energy efficient lighting, but they pose a threat to the environment and human health as a result of their mercury content. Besides being greener in nature, LED light bulbs are devoid of mercury, making them the preferred alternative to fluorescent lamps when it comes to energy efficient lighting.
  • With LED Lights, Automakers Reveal All the Road We Cannot See – New York Times: Thanks to LEDs, automotive lighting is undergoing a quiet revolution that is leading to new vehicle designs and providing enhanced nighttime safety. By combining LED lamps with cameras, a vehicle’s headlights can continuously alter their light patterns to exactly fit road conditions.
  • Green Focused People Power LEDs – The Asian Age: India’s LED light industry is continuing to grow thanks to public awareness and government energy conservation initiatives. According to recent data from the Electric Lamp and Component Manufacturers Association of India, LED lights are likely to account for about 60 percent of the total lighting industry by 2020.
  • Implications for LEDs of The Shift to Large-Diameter Sapphire Wafers – Semiconductor Today (Pgs. 68-71): Rubicon Technology’s senior VP of operations, Faisal Nabulsi, explains the changes in the sapphire wafer market over the past two years, and how large diameter and patterned sapphire substrates are impacting LED manufacturing.

Sapphire Industry Watch – April 24

  • UK’s ‘first’ aquaponic farm gets green light – Fresh Produce Journal: A London warehouse has been converted into a large-scale aquaponic farm that will use aquaculture and hydroponic technologies to grow enough salads and herbs for 200,000 bags of salad and approximately 4,000kg of fish per year.  Featuring specialized horticulture LED lighting, the farm is described as the first of its kind in the UK and is expected to produce its first harvest in September.
  • Rubicon Technology to showcase largest sapphire window ever produced at SPIE DSS – Market Watch: Rubicon Technology showcased the largest sapphire window ever produced at the SPIE DSS 2015 exhibition from April 20-24. Measuring in at 17 inches wide by 25 inches long and 1 inch thick, the sapphire window perfectly combines the durability and optical clarity necessary for use in defense applications.
  • Gov. Baker recognize Earth day with new LED program – 7News Boston: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker celebrated Earth Day by announcing the state will be working to replace more than 5,000 outdoor lights with LEDs in an effort to reduce energy consumption and cost. The governor hopes this conversion will help Massachusetts become a national leader in the LED light movement.
  • Adaptalux uses octopus-like LED arms to illuminate your photos – Slash Gear: Adaptalux, a miniature portable lighting studio for videographers and macro photographers, uses magnetically-connected “arms” with LED lights on the end to illuminate subjects without overpowering them. The device can use a variety of lights and diffusers to ensure perfect lighting, along with controls to adjust beam angle and direction.

Sapphire Industry Watch – April 17

  • Video: The Apple Watch’s sapphire display survives an insane power drill test – BGR: In an effort to prove just how indestructible the sapphire display of the Apple Watch is, iPhonefixed made a video of a purported Apple Watch sapphire display enduring aggressive rubbing against a stone wall and a power drill, amongst other abusive tests. In the end, the Apple Watch display is shown 100 percent intact, surviving without a single scuff or scratch.
  • Check out the light emerging from these Dublin landmarks – thejournal.ie: A team of professors at Trinity College Dublin have estimated that over 2.2. million units of electricity are wasted per year across Ireland in illuminating areas such as public parks and gardens. According to the Dublin City Council, the biggest source of light pollution comes from low pressure sodium light bulbs. To remedy the situation, there is a proposal to replace all of the low pressure sodium lights with LED lights over the next few years.
  • US LED lighting market to reach $5.2bn in 2015, driven by declining LED prices and government initiatives – Semiconductor Today: Continued innovation over the last decade has led to the overall growth of LEDs in the general lighting market. According to TechSci Research, due to continuously declining LED prices, US government initiatives and increasing consumer inclination towards the adoption of green technologies, the US LED lighting market could grow to $5.2bn in 2015.
  • Oklahoma City Hall park to get makeover – The Oklahoman: The park surrounding Oklahoma City Hall is set to undergo a much needed makeover. The main feature of the park, the fountain, which dates back to the opening of City Hall in 1937, will be rebuilt with new nozzles, mechanical systems and LED lighting.

Sapphire Industry Watch – April 10

  • Monuments Around The Globe Are Turning Blue For Autism Awareness – BuzzFeed: In an effort to increase autism awareness, 13,000 buildings across the globe shined bright blue on the evening of April 1. An annual tradition since 2008, major world landmarks, such as the Empire State Building and its LED Lighting System, lit up blue in honor of World Autism Awareness Day.
  • Taiwan Expanding Into Indoor LED-lit, Pesticide-free Farms – Lancaster Online: A new generation of Taiwanese farmers is growing vegetables indoors under bright LED lights in climate-controlled “grow rooms”. High-tech indoor farms are now yielding more crops per area than soil and because of the intensity of lights and nutrients provided in the water, plants grown under LED lights grow twice as fast.
  • Hotels Light Up to Influence Human Behavior – Sourceable: Amongst furnishings and art, lighting is emerging as the most important factor that can evoke emotion and create ambiance for hotel guests. A case study by electrical firm Leviton, demonstrated how LED lamps are able to transform lobby areas with colors and aesthetics that couldn’t be achieved with standard incandescent lighting.
  • LA Connects, Controls its LED Street Lights – Energy Manager Today: The Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting has implemented a new management system that allows it to remotely control the city’s LED street lights, along with monitor power usage. Made up of about 7,500 centerline miles of LED street lights, LA’s entire system can be managed remotely through any web browser, eliminating on-site commissioning.

Sapphire Industry Watch – March 27

  • Disco Dog smartphone-controlled LED vest makes your dog a party animal – Slashgear: New York creative firm PARTY has invented a LED covered vest for dogs – dubbed Disco Dog – that can be controlled by a smartphone via Bluetooth to display animated patterns of light. In addition to making a dog the life of the party, the vest has additional safety features, such as the option to automatically update the vest with a scrolling message of “Lost Dog” if the pup runs out of range.
  • Aerial fire truck add-ons to boost function – Fire Chief: LED technology is being used on aerial fire trucks to improve visibility and scene safety. Manufacturers are installing LED rope lights on both sides of ladders to better illuminate the path to the building, making it safer for personnel climbing the ladder and easier for the turntable operator to see where the ladder is during low visibility conditions.
  • This Millennium Falcon paper model looks real enough to fly – CNET: After four years of tedious assembly, Polish artist and self-proclaimed “Star Wars” fan Bernard Szukiel debuted his paper model of Hans Solo’s legendary ship, The Millennium Falcon, at the “Star Force” exhibition in Torun, Poland earlier this month. Measuring at 38 inches, the model was built using only paper, thin cardboard, a few wires, clamps, optical fibers and LED lights. The LEDs allow the model to light up like in the original movie.
  • Rubicon showcasing large-diameter patterned sapphire substrates for LED market – Semiconductor Today: Rubicon Technology showcased its large-diameter patterned sapphire substrates as well as its line of 4” and 6” polished sapphire wafers for the LED industry at LED Taiwan 2015. With an edge exclusion zone as small as 1mm, Rubicon offers LED chip makers more usable area to maximize the number of chips per wafer. LED Taiwan 2015 was held in Taipei from March 25-28.

Sapphire Industry Watch – March 20

  • Railroad bridge offers rainbow of lights – The Leaf-Chronicle: The RJ Corman Bridge in Clarksville, TN has been given a much need facelift with the thick rust that once covered its exterior being replaced by coats of historic silver paint and the installation of 104 individual groups of LED lights. Each group of lights is made up of an array of red, green, blue and white LEDs and can be programmed to display almost any color.
  • Orlando entrepreneurs create night lights for runners – Orlando Sentinel:  An Orlando couple has launched a Kickstarter campaign for their invention of LED lights that mount of runner shoes, called “Night Runner Shoe Lights”. Essentially LED lights that clip onto a runner’s shoe, the devices can light a path up to 30 feet ahead of the runner, allowing them to see more clearly at night.
  • Stunning video shows people surfing at night with LED surfboards and wetsuits – Business Insider:  As part of an upcoming surf film they’re producing titled “Invasion”, French production company Band Originale filmed professional surfers Axi Munian and Jerome Sahyoun surfing on LED outfitted surfboards and wetsuits at night off the Moroccan Coast.
  • LED street lights conversion coming to more areas of San Jose – Spartan Daily: San Jose’s LED conversion program, which has already converted a total of 3,400 low-pressure sodium bulbs to LEDs, is showing savings, with the lights tested saving 40-60 percent more electricity compared to the old bulbs. Along with energy savings, the new lights are giving city engineers more control over lighting by allowing them to regulate usage and control individual lights from a central location.

Sapphire Industry Watch – March 13

  • Rubicon CEO Discusses Applications for Sapphire – NBC 5 Chicago: Bill Weissman, CEO of Rubicon Technology, discusses current uses of sapphire in every day applications such as LED lighting and mobile applications, as well as more unique uses like invisible braces and high-end razor blades. As Rubicon continues to experiment with ways to bring sapphire manufacturing costs down, there is enormous potential for new and exciting applications of sapphire in the future.
  • Are LEDs About to Take Over the World? – The Huffington Post UK: Although the first LED light was produced in 1962, it wasn’t until recently that increased sustainability efforts and lowering costs encouraged the widespread adoption of LEDs. From the Empire State Building’s lighting renovation to NASA’s development of LED facials, it is clear we are living in the age of the LED.
  • Auckland’s bridge lit up by 51 thousand bulbs – stuff.co.nz:  In celebration of the city of Auckland’s 175th anniversary, New Zealand’s iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge is being transformed into an interactive art, music and light show for the next six weeks. More than 51,000 LED light bulbs have been synced to music chosen by the public and performances can be watched in-person, and also via live stream on mobile phones and laptops.
  • San Diego School District Uses Prop 39 Funds for Energy Savings – Energy Manager Today: Thanks to $850,000 in funding from Proposition 39, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act, the Del Mar Union School District in San Diego will be replacing current light fixtures with longer-lasting LED light fixtures with occupancy sensors and dimming controls. The school district will also receive a rebate for the LED installations from San Diego Gas & Electric.

Sapphire Industry Watch – March 6

  • Humble light bulb helps Japan fill nuclear gap – Chicago Tribune: When the Fukushima nuclear meltdown of 2011 resulted in the closure of many of Japan’s reactors, a national campaign was started to reduce energy consumption. Since the start of 2012, 73 million LED light bulbs have been sold in Japan, comprising about 30 percent of all bulbs sold there.  As LED adoption continues to increase, the country is also pursuing alternative energy sources such as solar power to help relieve the pressure caused by the shuttering of its nuclear energy program.
  • Revamped Dubai park to bask in the sunshine – Khaleej Times:  Al Khazan Park – which officially opened to the public on March 2 – has been revamped into Dubai’s first sustainable park. An off-grid solar power system and LED lights will reduce the amount of CO2 emissions annually by 44.5 tons, which is the equivalent to saving 1,100 trees.
  • Europe to have 2.9 bn general lighting LED lamp installations by 2019 – Greentech Lead: According to an ElectroniCast Consultants report, the number of LED lights installed for general lighting in Europe will grow at an average annual rate of 58.7 percent, rising from 288 million in 2014 to 2.9 billion in 2019. The European market is predicted to grow at a slightly faster rate than the U.S. market during the same time frame. Europe is expected to maintain its leadership in relative market share throughout the forecasted period.
  • SF Ferry Building Gets Makeover for World’s Fair Centennial Anniversary – ABC 7: To celebrate the centennial anniversary of the San Francisco World’s Fair, the iconic Ferry Building has been lit up the same way it was when the fair opened in 1915. Only this time the building will be lit up with nearly 1,100 energy efficient LED lights. The lights will stay up through December with two large beacons commemorating the year 1915.