In the components arena, the bulk of research-and-development resources often seems to be funneled into solid-state lighting, a.k.a., LEDs, and graphic displays. No pun intended, it’s probably because these two categories deliver the most eye-catching and, yes, some of the most useful and life enhancing products. Such is the case this year.
Module Eases Design Chores
When it comes to migrating from traditional lighting to solid-state lighting, things can sometimes get tricky and always tedious. And they can get even stickier when you’re going international with a particular design concept. When it comes to addressing these challenges, Cree gets a tip of the hat.
Simplifying designs, reducing costs, and speeding time-to-market for users in Europe and Asia, Cree’s LMH6 high-lumen LED module employs the company’s TrueWhite Technology for commercial applications where high efficacy, brightness, and light quality are critical (Fig. 1).
The component specifies a lifespan of at least 50,000 hours and delivers 2000 lumens at 74 lumens per watt or 2900 lumens at 78 lumens per watt. It is available in 3000K and 4000K color temperatures, both with a CRI of 90. Other features include integrated DALI dimming.
LEDs Fire Up Headlights
While being awed by gigantic signage and visually numbed by advertising terminals in our living rooms and our phones, we sometimes forget the primary use of light: seeing where we are going and getting there safely. The folks at Osram not only have remembered that, they also have improved and expanded upon it from the roadside.
Matched to the requirements of headlight systems, the company’s Oslon Black Flat and Osram Ostar Headlamp Pro LEDs combine unique chip and package technologies to provide high light output, a uniform light pattern, thermal stability, and an excellent contrast ratio (Fig. 2).
The Oslon Black Flat, an addition to the Oslon Black series, integrates a ceramic converter within its quad flat no-lead (QFN) package. Specifying a typical thermal resistance of 5K/W, it is 20% better than the Oslon Black series. Specifications include a power consumption of 2.3 W, an operating current of 700 mA, and a typical luminous flux of 190 lm.
Cranking up the safety factor, the Osram Ostar Headlamp Pro offers a more uniform light pattern, more usable warm lumens, and greater brightness than its Ostar Headlamp predecessor. The 20- by 20-mm high-flux LED is available in two- to five-chip configurations.
Typical luminous flux values are approximately 250 lm for a single chip with an operating current of 1 A, translating to 1250 lm for the five-chip version. The thermal resistance of the five-chip version is 2.1K/W, which equals a 20% improvement over its predecessor. Samples are available now, and a formal market launch is wired in for the third quarter of 2012.
Fine Art In The Home And Beyond
LCDs are pretty much everywhere and in everything these days, most of which are questionable in their exact function or usefulness at best. However, though rare, a real leap forward comes off the drawing board that is both innovative and life enriching. Innovative versus novel and life enriching versus life impeding best describes the SM’ART Gallery Panels.
The SM’ART Gallery Panels are the fruits of Samsung Electronics’ and Planar Systems’ combined efforts to bring fine art, both old and new, within the reach of almost anyone. The companies have been working on what they call cloud-based, large-screen art displays for both commercial and residential art collectors. Essentially, the artwork will appear in the gallery or at home, not in its original format, but framed within an LCD panel (Fig. 3).
In September, the companies unveiled two impressive prototype displays employing the SM’ART Gallery Panels. Scott Birnbaum, vice president of new business development for Samsung Semiconductor, claims they will enable art buyers to convert rooms of any size into customizable on-the-fly electronic galleries with any number of art pieces.
Targeting both institutional and individual connoisseurs, users can tailor their collections via a cloud-based art selection medium or service. Initially, they can preview artworks through a computer or handheld device, make their purchases, and have them appear on SM’ART Gallery Panel digital canvases at their location of choice.
Outside The Museum
This is just one function of the technology. The concept will also enable analog and digital artists to reach wider audiences. In addition to the classics, the displays can bring unknown artists to the attention of more art collectors as well.
“The possibilities for high-resolution LCD art displays are endless, providing an unrivaled medium for artistic appreciation,” says Jennifer Davis, vice president, marketing, at Planar Systems.
Electronic art isn’t new. Past attempts offered art as an optional feature in high-end televisions, but they did not attract a wide audience due to sparse art availability and the fact that TV screens, even HD, don’t really make it when it comes to viewing detailed artwork.
Photos of these impressive prototype displays don’t even approach what they look like in person. The finer points such as brush strokes, color textures, and various artistic techniques are clearly visible and discernible. Even the frame portion of the display looks real, and these displays are just the prototypes. Their aspect ratio and orientation are variable from portrait to landscape.
Only their brightness level gives them away as replicas. It’s very consistent, and it currently does not change with variations in ambient lighting. But, once again, these are the prototypes and the technology is still developing. And there’s no reason why it won’t be taking off soon.