Solid-State Lighting Continues To Spark New Innovations

April 23, 2012
In his editorial, Editor-in-Chief Joe Desposito mentions several breakthroughs in solid state lighting that had just recently crossed his desk including ones from Cree and Intematix.
The improvements in solid-state lighting (SSL) continue to amaze me, and the articles here in our annual One Bright Issue attest to this innovation. Even as I write this editorial, ground-breaking announcements are crossing my desk.

Maybe this flurry was inspired by last month’s Light+Building trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, or the Lightfair International show this month in Las Vegas. Or maybe SSL is just one of the hottest areas in the electronics industry.

Cree’s SC3 Yields Its First Array

Cree’s SC³ Technology Platform leverages Cree’s advanced silicon-carbide technology and features advances in LED chip architecture and phosphor, as well as a new package design. Now Cree has announced that its new MT-G2 LED is the first LED array built on the company’s SC³ platform (see the figure).

Cree's MT-G2 LED dilivers up to 2100 lumens in warm white (3000K) at 25 W, 85°C.

The MT-G2 delivers up to 2100 lumens in warm white (3000K) at 25 W, 85°C. Cree notes that it also has superior color consistency. This LED array is just the latest product built on Cree’s SC³ Technology Platform, joining the XB-D, XT-E, XT-E High-Voltage, and XM-L High-Voltage LEDs.

A New Remote Phosphor Technology

Intematix has developed a remote phosphor technology. What’s this, you ask? It’s simply a phosphor that doesn’t adhere to the LED chip itself. Intematix calls this technology ChromaLit.

The company says ChromaLit improves lighting by using a phosphor composite substrate separated from the blue LEDs, rather than using the conventional approach where the phosphor coats the blue LEDs directly. Using only a blue LED engine instead of binned white LEDs streamlines production and reduces inventories.

Intematix also has just announced ChromaLit XT. This product is designed for new applications like spotlights and floods, extending ChromaLit technology’s light quality and adding higher light intensity. Intematix cites 65% lower cost per lumen and enhanced off-state neutral color compared to conventional yellow remote phosphors. In other words, ChromaLit XT is optically treated to maintain an off-state neutral appearance so it looks as good off as it does on.

A Halogen Bulb Replacement

The Lighting Science Group has set its sights on replacing traditional MR16 50-W halogen bulbs. To this end, it recently announced the Definity MR16 high-output (HO) LED bulb. This bulb is designed for directional lighting, such as track lighting, recessed ceiling lights, desk lamps, pendant fixtures, and retail display lighting.

The company calls Definity the best of its breed in efficiency, lumen output, and form factor. At just 8 W and up to 550 lumens with a 25,000-hour life rating, the company says the bulb is up to 33% more efficient than competitive products while keeping within the industry accepted form factor and eliminating moving parts like fans to achieve its performance.

Semiconductors Achieve Firsts, Too

Both Texas Instruments and Power Integrations recently released semiconductor “firsts” targeting the SSL industry. TI has announced a dual-mode offline controller for non-dimming LED drivers, calling it the first ever. The TPS92310 is expected to reduce cost and shrink-to-fit in high-power LED retrofit bulbs, including A19, PAR30/38, and GU10.

This month, TI follows with the TPS92311, the first in a family of primary-side, regulated controllers with power factor correction. It has similar features and an integrated 600-V power FET with avalanche energy capability, further reducing the solution’s size and component count.

The TPS92310 and TPS92311 both include National Semiconductor’s LM3445, the industry’s first triac dimmable LED driver with both full-range and flicker-free dimming. More information is available at and

The Power Integrations DER-322 is the first LED-driver reference design for high-power LED bulb replacement. According to the company, the driver can deliver the power required for a 100-W incandescent bulb replacement in an A19 form factor. Power Integrations also claims 93% efficiency, which it says is 8% to 10% higher than older solutions.

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