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LED arrays eye lighting apps

Posted: 29 Jan 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LED sector  LED arrays  lighting  LED chips 

Bridgelux Inc. has rolled out an LED array product line for use in solid-state lighting and other applications. The LED arrays from Bridgelux consist of three basic lines, which are offered in warm, neutral and cool white colour temperatures. Geared for the solid-state lighting and related sectors, the company is offering 10 different LED arrays, ranging from 400 lumens to 2,000 lumens.

The company is mainly known as a supplier of stand-alone LED chip-level products, based on its proprietary LED device and manufacturing technology. In general, the devices are sold to third-party packaging houses, which, in turn, package and sell the devices to OEMs and customers.

This is sometimes a slow step-by-step design and development process. In some cases, the process delays time-to-market and drives up system costs, said Keith Scott, VP of business development at Bridgelux.

Bridgelux's initial charter will not change—it will continue to sell LED chip-level products to customers, Scott said. But now, the company will also offer LED arrays—or module-like products—which reportedly consist of the company's individual LED chips.

Open up new markets
The LED arrays ''will reduce design and system costs,'' Scott told EE Times. He added that these will also open up new markets in LED lighting applications.

LED-based lighting technologies offer advantages over today's fluorescent and incandescent bulbs including reliability, light quality and energy efficiency. But still, LEDs are more expensive than traditional bulbs.

Besides simplifying the development process for customers, Bridgelux is addressing the cost issues associated with LEDs. The company's modules sell from 1-to-2 cents per lumen in volumes. Competitive LED-based emitter products go from 2-to-6 cents per lumen.

New players
A few other LED device makers are also expanding into the array sector. In fact, over the last several years, a slew of companies have entered the overall LED sector to capitalise on the booming market.

But the party could be over amid the current downturn. There is expected to be some consolidation in the sector, especially among the weaker players. On the other hand, the LED sector is one of the few bright spots in the downturn.

"There is doom-and-gloom (in the overall economy),'' Scott said, "but we're really optimistic. The market is good for LEDs.''

Aided by rising demand from LCD-TVs, revenue from LEDs is expected to increase by 2.9 per cent in 2009, following 10.8 per cent growth in 2008, according to iSuppli Corp. In contrast, the overall semiconductor market is set to decline by 9.4 per cent in 2009, according to iSuppli.

Thanks to a shift towards the ''green movement'' in the United States and elsewhere, the LED market is also looking up for solid-state lighting and related applications. Bridgelux estimates the market potential for LED lamps and luminaires alone to be approximately Rs.50,036 crore ($10 billion) per year by 2012.

Solid-state lighting that replaces incandescent and fluorescent bulbs with LEDs can reap enormous savings in cost, natural resources and pollution, according to a recent study by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. RPI's Smart Lighting Engineering Resource Centre claims that over the next 10 years, savings of more than Rs.9,006,550.20 crore ($1.8 trillion) will eliminate the need to burn almost a billion barrels of oil in power plants that would otherwise produce 10 gigatons in the carbon dioxide emissions.

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