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 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.

Sapphire Industry Watch – May 1

  • 3D-printable AstroGro System To Foster Astronaut’s Green Thumbs – Gizmag: As manned missions beyond Earth’s orbit become closer to a reality, one of the main challenges is feeding the crew without the possibility of resupply from home. Looking to solve the problem, AstroGro designed a 3D-printed device for growing food. It consists of plastic pods equipped with LED lights, a watering system, and an electronic monitoring system that uses artificial intelligence to provide optimum growing conditions. If natural light is lacking, the LED lights provide supplemental light at the desired frequency.
  • New LED Lights Could Play Huge Role In Ending Malaria – The Huffington Post: A recent study from researches at the University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles, found that mosquitoes were significantly less attracted to customized LED lighting than light transmitted by compact fluorescents. By reducing insect attraction to artificial light, LED’s can help reduce the amount of mosquito’s present in homes, thus lowering the chances for the spread of malaria.
  • Apple Watch Scratch Resistance: Ion-X vs. Sapphire Glass – Slash Gear: Consumer Reports recently tested the durability and scratch resistance of the Apple Watch Sport and the higher-end Apple Watch. Based on the scratch tests conducted, the higher-end Apple Watch – which is outfitted with a sapphire glass faceplate – was able to withstand more of a beating than the Ion-X glass equipped Apple Watch Sport.
  • Displays You Wear – Photonics Spectra: The augmented reality and wearable device industries are facing many challenges, specifically in the form of consumer devices. With the development of a wearable device, such as a watch, comes the need for a stronger screen that isn’t bulky or strange looking. Solutions to these issues are becoming easier due to innovations in protective covers, such as man made sapphire. Sapphire is more expensive than glass, but its greater scratch resistance, strength and durability allow products to be thinner, which can be a plus in wearables.