LED Spotlight: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris Goes LED

notre dame paris cathedral photos LED 11

Recently, a familiar European landmark got an illuminating facelift: Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris. The famous 13th century gothic cathedral was retrofitted with a new LED lighting system by Philips, designed by Benoit Ferré, the resident bishop’s architect (European Architecture Company, EUROGIP). The project used a total of more than 400 luminaires with an installed capacity of just 30 kW, compared with almost 140 kW previously – reducing energy consumption by 80 percent.

The 400 luminaires are controlled by an easy-to-use touch-pad operated computerized system.  The system contains several lighting programs that can change the lighting due to the requirements of the day and Notre-Dame’s manager can add more if required. Almost all of the luminaires are dimmable, making it possible to modify the lighting according to the event taking place (ceremonies, concerts, prayers, etc.), the time of day, or the season.

The new lighting highlights two key works of art:

The Virgin and Child — This statue, moved to Notre-Dame in 1818, is the most famous of the thirty-seven representations of the Virgin that the cathedral contains. The LED lighting, using profile spots, redefines the characters while at the same time shining a gentle light onto the sculpture and the white flowers laid out at her feet.

The north and south rose windows — Made in the 13th century, the windows symbolize the flowers of paradise. Positioned discretely above the north and south doors more than 50 meters from the windows, two 250W LED spotlights shine onto each rose window, revealing the delicacy of the sculptures. Since they are invisible, the lighting gives the impression that the stained-glass window itself is radiating light.

For Further Reading

Artinfo, Notre Dame Refitted with LED Lights, http://blogs.artinfo.com/artintheair/2014/03/17/notre-dame-refitted-with-led-lights/

Philips, Philips lights up Notre-Dame as never seen before, http://www.newscenter.philips.com/main/standard/news/press/2014/20140312-philips-lights-up-notre-dame-as-never-seen-before.wpd#.U07GHPl90xE

How Do They Do It? From Sapphire to LED Infographic

You’ve heard a lot about LEDs, but did you know that a tiny piece of sapphire – the pure, colorless industrial variety, not the blue gemstone – is in more than 80% of LEDs? Sapphire is the foundation for the LED chip, just as silicon is for a computer chip.  Rubicon Technology has put together an infographic that describes the sapphire manufacturing process and where sapphire is found in an LED. The bottom of the infographic features examples of products that feature LEDs for lighting. Click on the infographic below to see it larger.

Infographic for Post

 

 

 

 

 

Link to: http://www.rubicontechnology.com/sites/default/files/From%20Sapphire%20to%20LED%20Infographic.pdf

Top 9 Things You Didn’t Know about LEDs

Philips Luxeon LED

Philips Luxeon LED

Recently, the Department of Energy published a list of the Top 8 Things You Didn’t Know about LEDs. We’d like to share the list, and add one more for our Clearlysapphire blog post this week.

9.  Sapphire is the base material for more than 80% of LEDs, just like silicon is the base material for computer chips.

8. A light-emitting diode, or LED, is a type of solid-state lighting that uses a semiconductor to convert electricity into light. Today’s LED bulbs can be six-seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent.

7. Good-quality LED bulbs can have a useful life of 25,000 hours or more — meaning they can last more than 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs. That is a life of more than three years if run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

6. Unlike incandescent bulbs — which release 90 percent of their energy as heat — LEDs use energy far more efficiently with little wasted heat.

5. From traffic lights and vehicle brake lights to TVs and display cases, LEDs are used in a wide range of applications because of their unique characteristics, which include compact size, ease of maintenance, resistance to breakage, and the ability to focus the light in a single direction instead of having it go every which way.

4. LEDs contain no mercury, and a recent Energy Department study determined that LEDs have a much smaller environmental impact than incandescent bulbs. They also have an edge over compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that’s expected to grow over the next few years as LED technology continues its steady improvement.

3. Since the Energy Department started funding solid-state lighting R&D in 2000, these projects have received 58 patents. Some of the most successful projects include developing new ways to use materials, extract more light, and solve the underlying technical challenges. Most recently, the Energy Department announced five new projects that will focus on cutting costs by improving manufacturing equipment and processes.

2. The first visible-spectrum LED was invented by Nick Holonyak, Jr., while working for GE in 1962. Since then, the technology has rapidly advanced and costs have dropped tremendously, making LEDs a viable lighting solution. Between 2011 and 2012, global sales of LED replacement bulbs increased by 22 percent while the cost of a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb fell by nearly 40 percent. By 2030, it’s estimated that LEDs will account for 75 percent of all lighting sales.

1. In 2012, about 49 million LEDs were installed in the U.S. — saving about $675 million in annual energy costs. Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

For Further Reading

Department of Energy, Top 8 Things You Didn’t Know about LEDs, http://energy.gov/articles/top-8-things-you-didn-t-know-about-leds

Opportunities for Sapphire: New Applications & Markets Explained

Rubicon Technology announced the publication of Opportunities for Sapphire, a new white paper that examines markets that leverage the highly versatile material, sapphire.  Based on research from IMS Research, the paper takes an in-depth look at the demand for sapphire in key markets including LED, semiconductor and optical.  You can find the white paper on Rubicon’s new web site at http://rubicontechnology.com/resources/papers, but here’s a look at what you’ll find.

Sapphire has emerged as a versatile material in a range of industries for many varied applications.  Sapphire’s inherent physical attributes for durability, light transmission, chemical inertness and thermal insulation make it desirable for a growing list of applications in a range of markets.  The white paper examines the opportunity for the LED market in general lighting, backlighting and display and uses in industries like automotive.  It also explores sapphire applications for optical-grade sapphire windows, lenses and covers as well as semiconductor applications such as silicon-on-sapphire chips in radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) for RF antennas, as digitally tunable capacitors (DTCs) and power amplifiers in smart phones and other consumer devices.

According to white paper author Jamie Fox of IMS Research, high quality sapphire delivers great benefits to LED chip manufacturers gearing up for applications like LED-based general lighting.  “Every LED company we spoke to during the research for this paper purchases sapphire and benefits from the superior yields and quality,” writes Fox.  “Substrate demand in 2012 is estimated at 42 million two-inch equivalent wafers (TIE) and expected to grow to 57 million TIE in 2013 according to market research firm Displaybank.  As the lighting market grows into a more significant segment and larger, thicker wafers are utilized, sapphire demand will accelerate.”

“Opportunities for Sapphire” also discusses the role of sapphire in LED production, the emergence of the market for large diameter sapphire wafers and sapphire demand by application.

LED Sapphire Ingot Demand Forecast

LED Sapphire Demand Graphic WPPR

(source: DisplayBank)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The market has shown growing demand since 2010 with an expansion of the LED/LCD TV market and the growth of applications such as general lighting.

Green line indicates rate of growth per year

Key:  Demand in thousands of millimeters of two-inch equivalent sapphire

LED Lighting Spotlight: Patterned Sapphire Substrates

In the ongoing quest to make LEDs more efficient, LED chip manufacturers have developed patterned sapphire substrates (PSS).  In fact, most high-brightness LEDs are made using PSS. There are very few resources online that explain patterned sapphire substrates. Here’s a brief explanation.

PSS helps extract more light from LEDs.  A lot of light bounces back into the LED when using a polished sapphire substrate.  Researchers discovered that patterning the surface of the substrate by etching nano-scale patterns helps more light, in the form of photons, escape, improving the light generated or extracted by the LED.  It is reported that patterning can improve the extraction of light by as much as 30%.

A second important point is that patterning also improves the epitaxial growth process.  The nano-patterned surface can have a positive effect on the nitride semiconductor growth process by promoting growth of the GaN in parallel to the substrate surface, called lateral growth.  This also helps reduce the number of dislocations, the dislocation density, that can degrade performance.

LED chip manufacturers originally developed PSS.  The patterns are quite proprietary and helped the LED chip companies differentiate themselves.  Today, the sapphire industry has joined in and sapphire wafer manufacturers have begun to put patterns on sapphire wafers in partnership with the LED chip manufacturers. The patterning work is concentrated with smaller wafers in the 2 to 4-inch diameter range, but manufacturers of large diameter wafers like Rubicon Technology are beginning to develop PSS for larger wafers.

Most patterning is based on a proprietary design from the LED chip manufacturer.  The patterns can vary from cones, pyramids and flat tops and can be organized in hexagonal or trigonal patterns.  Some basic design rules based on height and height/pitch ratio have emerged, but so far, no standards exist.  Currently the most popular pattern is a cone shape, but these patterns change frequently.  Here are some sample patterns.

Sample patterns:

Sample patterns for PSS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sample Pattern for PSS

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Further Reading

Semiconductor Today, Patterned sapphire for nitride enhancements, http://www.semiconductor-today.com/features/SemiconductorToday_SeptOct_PatternedSapphire.pdf

Compound Semiconductor, New Wet Process For LEDs On Patterned Sapphire Boosts Efficiency, http://www.compoundsemiconductor.net/csc/news-details.php?cat=news&id=19734296

Compound Semiconductor, Rubicon Orders Multiple Profilers For Sapphire Production, http://www.compoundsemiconductor.net/csc/news-details.php?cat=news&id=19735318

 

LED-Related Companies Show Well in Deloitte Tech Fast 500

This November, Deloitte released their latest The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list for technology companies based in the US and Canada.  For the 18th year, Deloitte ranked the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America.   LED sector companies including those specializing in sapphire did well.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 is awarded to companies that demonstrate technological innovation, entrepreneurship and rapid growth.  Fast 500 companies can be any size – large, small, public, and private – and span a variety of industry sectors including clean technology.   The clean technology sector made up 7 percent of the companies on the list.

Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) clinched the overall top spot with fiscal year 2011 revenue of $204.24 million and a growth rate of 279,684 percent from 2007 to 2011.  Tesla also topped the clean tech category, but there was another big trend inside the clean tech category itself.  LED-related companies showed strength on the list including Rubicon Technology, Lighting Science Group Corporation, GT Advanced Technology, Cree, and Bridgelux.

Deloitte Technology Fast 500 award winners for 2012 were determined based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2007 to 2011.  In order to be eligible for Technology Fast 500™ recognition, companies must own proprietary intellectual property or technology that is sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company’s operating revenues.

 

LEDs Play Role in October Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Chicago Skyline in Pink

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is hard not to notice pink ribbons and lights and even NASCAR race cars and NFL players sporting pink for breast cancer awareness.  If you live near a major city, you probably have noticed a building or landmark lit up in pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month this October.

Landmarks and even hotels around the world turned pink for October including Montparnasse Tower in Paris, Mexico City’s Angel of Independence, buildings at Haifa University in Israel and even Jumeirah Group, a global luxury hospitality management group and a member of Dubai Holding, turned hotel facades pink in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Mallorca and Shanghai.

LEDs help building managers take part in these types of events because they are easily programmed to turn a certain color or pattern. Here’s a sampling of the buildings and landmarks taking part in many of the campaigns worldwide, many of which are lit up with LEDs.

Philadelphia, PA — One of the most thorough and organized landmark lighting events took place in Philadelphia with more than 100 buildings sporting pink lights. During the month of October, the city skyline has been pink. One building even featured a pink ribbon in light.  You can view a video of the “Lights For The Cure” Skyline Tour.

Philadelphia’s Famed Boathouse Row

Chicago, IL – Chicago also shined pink for Breast Cancer Awareness in October.  Organized by the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation, 140 buildings in the Chicago area turned pink.

London, UK – Historic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, and Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square London went pink in support of Breast Cancer Campaign’s Action Month.

The Tower of London illuminated pink for Breast Cancer Campaign’s ‘Turn London Landmarks Pink’ for breast cancer awareness month

New York, NY – Leveraging a new LED lighting system, the Empire State Building turned pink from October 14 to October 16.  The famed George Washington Bridge also turned pink in honor of breast cancer awareness.

Washington, DC — President Barack Obama declared the month of October to be National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a presidential proclamation and turned the White House pink. The White House has become pink since 2009 for the yearly October event.

The White House Turned Pink

LED Wall Paper for Your Inner Geek

Lighting designer Ingo Maurer and his latest invention, LED wall paper

World renowned lighting designer Ingo Maurer has been working with LEDs since the late 1990s.  He recently partnered with high-end wallpaper manufacturer Architect Papers to create LED wall paper. The wall paper comes in large 126 x 23.5 inch sheets that hold printed circuit boards containing 840 integrated LEDs.

The wall paper can be switched on or off to create a combination of colors and patterns and can be dimmed to create a more subtle effect.  The wall paper fashions a fairly rudimentary 3-D box pattern similar the 3-D boxes found in an early video game, Qbert, but spread out throughout the sheet of wall paper. Before you get excited, it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to put it in the game room yet. The wall paper is available in five patterns and costs $3000 per sheet, according to Metropolis magazine.

In an interview with Metropolis magazine, Maurer said that feels LEDs are best suited for small, hidden light sources, technical applications, and, surprisingly, wallpaper.  After putting wall paper idea on the back burner for more than a decade, his Munich studio has been working on wall paper actively for about five years.  Maurer thinks that he came up with the solution for mass production in collaboration with the German company Architects Paper.

Maurer told Metropolis that he couldn’t be happier with the look and feel of the wall paper filling a room with thousands of the tiny red, blue, and white lights placed along the lines of an enormous, flexible circuit board printed onto the paper. “For many years, I’ve been a big fan of the aesthetic of circuit boards,” he told Metropolis. “And on the wallpaper, I used that aesthetic. First of all, because we needed it. And second of all, because it looks magnificent. It really looks magnificent.”

Further Reading:

Metropolis, Patterns of Light: Five years in the making, Ingo Maurer’s wallpaper is a surprising application of LED technology, http://www.metropolismag.com/story/20120720/patterns-of-light

Mashable, LED Wallpaper Is a Nerd’s Ultimate Nightlight, http://mashable.com/2012/08/06/led-wallpaper/

SmartPlanet.com, LED wallpaper illuminates the technology’s role in design, http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/design-architecture/led-wallpaper-illuminates-the-technologys-role-in-design/8555?tag=main

1980s Video Game QBert

LEDs Light Up Hollywood and Beyond

 

Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World, Orlando, Florida

LEDs are taking the entertainment world by storm.  Famous entertainment venues are using LEDs for their ability to save energy, but more importantly for its entertainment value.  The ability to control LED displays using computers delivers instant value with virtually unlimited possibilities for lighting, image design and video display.  Here is a quick round-up of some notable uses of LEDs in entertainment.

America’s Got Talent – 4 million individual LEDs light up NBC’s America’s Got Talent stage.

Cinderella’s Castle at Disney’s Magic Kingdom — 16.7 million LED lighting fixtures light up Cinderella’s Castle at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida at night.  During the Holidays, 200,000 LED lights do a special light show.

Fremont Street Experience – The Las Vegas Fremont Street Show attraction, with more than 25,000 visitors each year, features a mix of vintage Las Vegas and live entertainment surrounded by the latest in high technology.  The Viva Vision canopy and light show includes more than 12 million LED modules and 555,000-watt sound system for visiting acts like Brett Michaels, Survivor and other rock bands.  The Viva Vision screen contains 12.5 million synchronized LED lamps, including 180 strobes and eight robotic mirrors per block. Viva Vision can display 16.7 million color combinations in making up one of the world’s largest screens to display six-minute videos.

New York’s Broadway – Known as the “Great White Way” for the way the famed New York City theater district was originally lit with white lights, Broadway has now converted to LED and CFL bulbs.  38 Broadway theaters converted to LED and CFL bulbs on their marquees, saving 2 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year according to the Broadway Green Alliance.  D3 LED, LLC, recently completed the first state-of-the-art LED display marquee and digital media system in Broadway theatre history for New Amsterdam Theatre.  D3 is also working on several high-profile marquee display projects including the Apollo Theatre, Times Square Visitors Center (formerly Embassy Theatre), and School of Visual Arts Theatre (formerly Chelsea West Cinemas) in New York City.

Study Finds LED Street Lights Generate 85% Energy Savings

Energy savings is one of the major arguments in favor of using LEDs for lighting applications including street lights. The people connected with LightSavers conducted a study based on a rather impressive two-and-a-half-year global pilot of LED street lamps in 15 separate trials across 12 cities around the globe including New York, London, Kolkata, India and Sydney, Australia. The study concluded that LED street lighting can generate energy savings as high as 85%. That’s a fairly impressive number.

The LightSaver trial concluded that LEDs are now mature enough for scale-up in most outdoor applications as well as bring the economical and social benefits to the masses. The report explored the global market status and potential for LED technology and provides guidelines for policymakers and city light managers who want to scale-up and finance large LED retrofits.

Some specific study findings directly relating to lighting include:

• Surveys in Kolkata, London, Sydney and Toronto indicated that citizens prefer LED lighting, with 68% to 90% of respondents endorsing city-wide rollout of the technology.

• LED lighting was found to be a durable technology with the need for minimal repairs; the failure rate of LED products over 6,000 hours is around 1%, compared, for example, to around 10% for conventional lighting over a similar time period.

You can see a video about the Kolkata trial  here:

The findings of LightSavers are presented for the first time in the new report, Lighting the Clean Revolution: The Rise of LED Street Lighting and What it Means for Cities: www.TheCleanRevolution.org. The results of the study were distributed via press release from Royal Philips Electronics. The report was produced by The Climate Group in partnership with Philips in support of the campaign’s argument that major energy savings can be achieved virtually overnight at relatively little cost.

Additional Facts:

• Lighting is responsible for 19% of global electricity use and around 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions1.

• Doubling lighting efficiency globally would have a climate impact equivalent to eliminating half the emissions of all electricity and heat production in the EU2.

• In the United States alone, cutting the energy used by lighting by 40% would save US$53 billion in annual energy costs, and reduce energy demand equivalent to 198 mid-size power stations3.

References:

1 IEA (2006) Light’s Labour’s Lost, OECD/IEA

2 ‘Homes’ includes CO2 emissions from residential use of gas and electricity. Figures from: IEA, 2011, CO2 emissions from fuel combustion: Highlights.

3 Power stations at 2 TWh of generation each year. Data from Philips Market Intelligence and IEA: Philips (2011) ‘The LED lighting revolution: A summary of the global energy savings potential’, based on IEA analysis.