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.

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.

LED Applications – Celebrating the Royal Birth in LEDs

London and the world celebrated the birth of the latest heir to the British throne, Prince George Alexander Louis, in style with LEDs.  A number of landmarks in London turned blue to celebrate the occasion and even a few outside of the UK turned blue in honor of the future king.  For a video, go to this BBC story.

The 600 foot tall BT Tower used more than 500K LEDs for the announcement:

royal baby BT Tower









The famous London Eye ferris wheel turned red, white and blue:








The fountain at Trafalgar Square marked the occasion in blue:

Trafalgar square






Even the London Bridge turned blue:

London Bridge in Blue






Not to be outdone, North America celebrated too with Niagra Falls turning blue:

Niagra Falls Blue






Toronto’s CN Tower:

Toronto CN Tower






Christchurch Airport in New Zealand turned blue too.

Christchurch Airport NZ






For Further Reading and Viewing

The BBC, Royal baby: London landmarks turn blue for birth, (video)

The Daily Mail, The world turns a Royal shade of blue,