Glowy Zoey “The LED Baby” Becomes a Business

This time last year, 22-month old Zoey Hutain became an Internet sensation after her father posted an irresistibly cute video of her in an LED stickman Halloween costume. The video of “Glowy Zoey” quickly went viral, leading to over 22 million views on YouTube, along with appearances on shows like Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jimmy Fallon, Nightline, CNN and more.

Now, anyone can “shine as bright as little Glowy Zoey did” since Zoey’s father, Royce Hutain, recently launched his own online business to sell LED sitckman suits for toddlers, children and adults — just in time for the holidays!

His online store promotes the stickman suits (and, of course, benefits of LEDs):

The costume edition of the Glowy Zoey LED suit is made to be affordable to anyone who wants to light up their world. You will not find a brighter, more eye-catching costume than this brilliantly shining LED stickman costume! Not only will you or your child be the center of attention, you will also be the safest. We have done tests where this LED Halloween costume has been seen from a mile away! Make light of everything you do and join the hundreds of others that have already joined the Glowy Zoey family!

While he says it was never his intention to start a business out of the homemade costume he made purely for fun, the idea sparked after he received over 1,000 emails last October inquiring where to purchase the same outfit Glowy Zoey was wearing.

This year, Hutain has had costumes of several different sizes and stick figure outlines manufactured, including a Minnie Mouse suit Zoey wore especially for a trip to Disney World. The Disney-inspired suit features 372 multi-colored LEDs and hides a microphone to make the suit responsive to sound.

Make your own LED costume and share it with us on Twitter (@RubbiconSapph) for a chance to win a $100 gift card!

Sapphire Industry Watch – October 24

  • LED Lights Are A ‘Transformative Technology’ In The Developing World – NPR: LED lights, in combination with solar panels, are causing an illumination revolution for people in the developing world who do not have access to reliable sources of electricity. According to the IFC, 2.1 million LED-solar products have been sold worldwide in the past six months to people who are unable to plug in to electrical grids. While groups have tried to deliver reliable energy services to people without access to modern energy in the past, cost was the most prohibiting factor. With LED efficiency improving and prices dropping, it has become the go-to lighting source for these areas.
  • The Wellograph smart watch review – AppAdvice: The Wellograph launched in September and is considered to be the first smart watch with a sapphire display. The smart watch is an activity tracker, heart rate monitor, pedometer and stopwatch, which is powered by a tri-LED heart rate sensor and 9-axis motion sensor.
  • Farmers turning to LEDs for more efficient lighting – Iowa City Press-Citizen: Many Iowa hog farmers are embracing LED lighting to reap in savings on utility bills and maintain more efficient operations. Unlike CFLs, LEDs can handle harsh Midwestern weather conditions- they function well in cold temperatures as well as heat up to 145 degrees.  In addition, LEDs are providing better lighting for the hogs, which are known to have poor eyesight, and produce lower frequency sounds which is good for cows as high frequency sounds can cause them discomfort.
  • US Energy Department Announces $10M For Solid State Lighting Research – Compound Semiconductor: The US Energy Department announced $10 million of funding to support research, development and manufacturing of solid-state lighting technologies across the country as part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to cut energy waste and double energy productivity by 2030. While the LED technology of today produces about 150 lumens per watt, the Energy Department is striving to increase this to 250 lumens per watt- a 75 percent increase. Solid-state lighting technologies have the potential to save Americans $26 billion a year in energy costs by 2030.
  • China’s LED lighting industry on verge of explosion – WantChinaTimes: Following growing demands in domestic and global markets, experts say China will see a huge growth in the LED industry in the near future. China’s exports of LED lights to developed countries have remained steady and a recent report states that overall exports will maintain 40% annual growth for an estimated three to five years.

Successful Guy Lighting at Normal Guy Prices

In General Electric’s latest commercial, “Enhance Your Lighting,” Jeff Goldblum stars as Terry Quattro, an over-the-top celebrity who claims to owe all of his success to “really great lighting.”

The viral video, which now has over 1.7 million views on YouTube since premiering on September 29, promotes GE’s Link LED smart bulb that can connect to Wi-Fi and be controlled from a free smartphone app called “Wink.”

While LED lighting may not always be the most “sexy” topic, it does have some real advantages that GE promotes cleverly in its video.

For instance, one of the biggest misconceptions is that LEDs are expensive. That’s simply not true, since the Link bulb lasts 22 years and costs just $14.97— that’s only 66 cents per year or less than $0.002 a day!

LED-based lighting also presents an opportunity to not only significantly reduce energy consumption and save costs over the long haul, but also fundamentally change the way we deploy, monitor and control lighting systems.

Check out the video, and take it from Goldblum —

“For an embarrassingly small amount of money, you can kiss your horribly lit, non-successful life goodbye.”

And the Award Goes to …

The 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded jointly to three scientists for inventing blue light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, a source that now lights up everything from homes to streetlights to smartphones.

Blue LEDs

American Shuji Nakamura along with Japan’s Isamu Akasaki and Horoshi Amano revolutionized lighting technology 20 years ago when they created blue LEDs, which when coupled with red and green LEDs produces white light.

Though red and green diodes have been around since the mid-20th century and have been used in applications such as watches and calculators, scientists were struggling to invent the shorter-wavelength blue LEDs for 30 years. According to the awarding committee, the trio was able to succeed where everyone else had failed.

LED lights save on energy, are long-lasting and are environmentally friendly because they do not contain mercury. LEDs are roughly 15 times more efficient than regular bulbs, LED technology continues to improve at a remarkable rate.

The Nobel Committee said LEDs hold great promise for increasing the quality of life for more than 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids. In many third-world countries, households still burn either wood or gas for lighting. This lack of lighting in the developing world is not just inefficient, but also results in indoor air pollution that is killing millions of people.

Low energy demands of LEDs mean that many households that aren’t currently connected to the grid could use solar panels and small batteries to power LED lights. However, the high cost of LEDs has primarily kept poorer countries from adopting them in the past. Fortunately, prices have been steadily dropping over time and will likely make broader worldwide adoption possible in the future.

In the United States, lighting is currently a massive source of energy use, making up about 17 percent of all electricity consumption. The United States and Europe envision replacing all existing lighting technologies by 2050 or so in an effort to boost energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Sapphire Industry Watch – October 10

  • Physics Nobel Prize goes to scientists who perfected LED light – CNN World: The 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded jointly to three scientists for inventing LEDs, a source that now lights up everything from homes to streetlights to smartphones. American Shuji Nakamura along with Japan’s Isamu Akasaki and Horoshi Amano revolutionized lighting technology 20 years ago when they created blue LEDs, which when coupled with red and green LEDs produces white light.
  • Shipments of LEDs for residential applications to grow from 81 million in 2014 to 1.1bn units by 2023 – Semiconductor Today:  According to a report from Navigant Research, annual shipments of LEDs for residential applications are expected to grow from 81 million in 2014 to 1.1 billion units by 2023. As prices of LEDs continue to fall, the market for LED light fixtures and lamps is set to explode in the residential sector. In addition, advances in connected lighting shows promise to dramatically affect the way people will interact with lighting in their homes.
  • James Dyson’s son built a super-efficient LED light that will last 40 years – Digital Trends: Inventor/designer Jake Dyson, son of James Dyson, has created an LED light bulb that can run for an estimated 180,000 hours- approximately 40 years of shining at full brightness for 12 hours each day. The bulb, named the “Ariel” suspension light, is named after the Ariel 1 satellite and incorporates the same heat pipe cooling technology that was initially developed to siphon heat away from a satellite’s microprocessors.
  • Kyocera’s sapphire screen is tougher than we expected – Engadget: The Verizon-exclusive Kyocera Brigadier is armed with a 4.5-inch sapphire screen and to demonstrate just how scratch-proof it is, Engadget reporter Brad Molen put the screen through rigorous testing. After scraping several sharp objects against the screen (knives, keys, scissors, screwdriver) and performing drop tests, it is clear that the sapphire screen is unscratched and in one piece.
  • Dubai Skyscrapers The Inspiration of 2015 Cadillac Escalade LED Lights? – GM Authority: According to Cadillac, the 2015 Escalade’s designers looked at both classic Cadillac models and modern skyscrapers, such as those in Dubai, for inspiration when working on the exterior lighting of the vehicle. 142 LEDs make up the exterior lighting of the car which is accentuated with an edge-lit blade technology, giving the visual of lights floating in space.

Future Applications of Sapphire

With high quality commercial sapphire now more widely available than ever before, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sapphire’s use.

Eventually, we’re going to see doors open for the adoption of what’s been called a “wonder material” in industries like medical equipment and implants, military sensor technologies and a wide array of consumer electronics. In some of these industries, sapphire has already started to make its debut.

Let’s take a look at the top three industries where new applications of sapphire will initially play out.

  • Medical

In the near future, you may carry sapphire inside of you.

Potential uses for sapphire in the medical field are significant. To give but one example, sapphire could be used for joint replacements since it is biocompatible and won’t wear down over time.

That’s great news for the thousands of patients who have to have additional hip replacements seven and a half years after their first one and endure more, often painful, recoveries and increased medical expenses.

Sapphire’s optical properties and durability also offer advantages for specific medical laser applications in dermatology, ophthalmology and dentistry. It’s already widely used in surgical systems for its laser transmission, high resistance to heat, and non-thrombogenic properties (meaning it doesn’t promote clotting). In addition, sapphire products are used for surgical tools, implants and dental braces.

  • Defense and Aerospace

Historically, sapphire has been limited to smaller applications, like LED chips and components for smartphones. Going forward, sapphire manufacturers will find ways to grow sapphire to fit applications with larger size requirements, including uses in defense and aerospace.

For instance, with advancements in military sensor technology, there is an increased demand for large, thick, optical windows that can withstand harsh environments and protect sensors—a perfect application for sapphire.

Through a contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Rubicon has developed an entirely new sapphire crystal growth platform capable of growing windows of optical quality sapphire as thick as 14 x 20 x 1.5 inches. This new growth platform will allow Rubicon to grow panels up to two inches thick, which is larger than other large-area growth technologies can generate.

  • Consumer Electronics

While phone manufacturers, like Vertu and Kyocera, already have sapphire faceplates, larger manufacturers could propel the material into the mainstream.

If consumers like sapphire smartphone screens, we’re going to quickly see other device manufacturers follow suit. For example, Apple recently announced the Apple Watch will come equipped with a sapphire Retina display. Second only to diamond in hardness, sapphire will likely enable Apple Watch wearers to drop their watch without damaging the device.

With increased demand for sapphire and improved and more affordable production, we are only grazing the surface of sapphire’s potential use and – one thing is for certain – sapphire will begin to play a much larger role in our day-to-day lives.

Sapphire Industry Watch – October 3

  •  10 Unconventional Uses For LEDs – BuzzFeed: You may not have known that in just this last year, LEDs hit the high fashion runways of Paris, made appearances at the Super Bowl and starred in the special effects of the Oscar-nominated movie “Gravity”.  You also may not have known that these increasing applications for LEDs have become possible thanks to sapphire substrates which power the majority of the world’s green, blue, white and UV LEDs.
  • Using LED Lights to Change Moods – Unlike other light bulbs, it is possible to control the color and the intensity of the light of LEDs. This allows for a huge variety of lighting choices while using only one type of LED. According to a senior manager at NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network, fluorescent lights sap energy while the color of LEDs can be adjusted to make people feel happier and less tired at the end of the day.
  • Engineering at Illinois to Induct Six to Hall of Fame– ECN: The University of Illinois College of Engineering inducts George Craford, the inventor of the first yellow LED, into its Hall of Fame. During his time at Illinois, Craford worked closely with Nick Holonyak, the inventor of the first visible direct band gap LED which is an invention that enabled the evolution of the high performance LED technology that we know today.
  • California Lights the Way with Proposals for Energy-Efficient Lights– Imperial Valley News: The California Energy Commission released a drafted staff report that notes the energy efficiency of both small diameter directional lamps which are often used in commercial track lighting settings and LEDs. There are currently about 600 million general-purpose lamps in residential buildings in California and moving to LED lamps could cut the energy consumption of these bulbs to less than half.
  • Infinity Portal a Steampunk lift– Steampunk Art Gallery in New Zealand debuts Infinity Portal, a three meter by three meter room with a futuristic high-tech mirror and hundreds of multi-colored LED lights suspended from the ceiling. An original soundtrack was crafted for the room and the lights can be sped up or slowed down to match the style and the tempo of the music.