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Is UL certification required to sell LED lightng in USA?

The bsest answer to this frequent question.

Jeff Walters via LinkedIn

UL is not needed to sell to utilities in the USA. I have been designing and selling to this market since 1985. UL is not written into any IOU (investor owned utility) specs. Conformance to ANSI C136 standards is required.

UL or ETL or CSA is needed to sell to retail, commercial or industrial market. Needed in the DOT market. Helpful in the municipal streetlight market

UL products are not required for insurance companies to process claims. Nor does the use of UL listed products protect against liability.

UL is a private company. Its use is not required by and Federal, state or local laws.

LED Production in Europe

Recently I was asked: "Are there any companies with LED manufacturing facilities in Europe?"

Here is what I've managed to find so far:

  • Osram Opto (factory in Regensburg)
  • Optogan with facility in Dortmund, Germany. Next year they'll start LED manufacturing in Russia.
  • Tridonic (Austria)
  • Vossloh-Schwabe Optoelectronic GmbH & Co. -- Factory is located in Kamp-Lintfort, Germany.

Do you know other companies manufacturing high brightness LED in Europe? Please post in comments.

Strategies for 50% Energy Savings in Office Buildings

The U.S. Department of Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have released two technical reports that provide recommendations on how to achieve 50% energy savings in large office buildings and large hospitals.

Technical Support Document: Strategies for 50% Energy Savings in Large Office Buildings evaluates the potential for new large office buildings to achieve a 50% net onsite energy savings compared to a baseline standard (as defined by ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004). The report found 50% energy savings can be achieved in both low-rise and high-rise office buildings in a broad range of U.S. climates. The analysis was conducted in 16 cities that represented different climate zones, such as hot and humid, hot and dry, marine, cold and humid, and cold and dry. The following energy-efficiency measures helped researchers reach the 50% energy-savings target:

•Lighting power density was reduced in office spaces and occupancy sensors were used in infrequently occupied spaces.
•High-efficiency boilers, chillers, air distribution units, and service water heating equipment were installed.
•Plug loads were reduced by purchasing high-efficiency electronic equipment and using special controls that shut off equipment when not in use.

Large Hospital 50% Energy Savings: Technical Support Document details the technical analysis performed and the resulting design guidance that will enable large hospitals to achieve whole-building energy savings of at least 50% over the above standard. The large hospitals report also documents the modeling methods used to demonstrate how the design recommendations will help institutions meet or exceed the 50% energy-savings goal. This report found 50% energy savings can be achieved in large hospitals across all eight U.S. climate zones. Energy savings range from 50.6% to 61.3%, with the smallest savings in humid climates and extremely cold climates. The highest energy savings were achieved in marine climates, with relatively high energy savings achieved in dry climates. In general, for each climate type (humid, marine, and arid), savings were seen to decrease as the climate became progressively colder.

More light usage with LEDs in place?

In past years we all heard that efficient solid-state LEDs would allow to decrease the need for new power plants.

In paper published Thursday in the Journal of Physics D, researchers from Sandia National Laboratories argue cheap efficient lighting can increase consumption.

"Presented with the availability of cheaper light, humans may use more of it, as has happened over recent centuries with remarkable consistency following other lighting innovations," said Sandia lead researcher Jeff Tsao.

Comment: America is bathing in cheap electricity, compared to many European countries. To prevent excessive light usage energy tariffs should be increased gradually. It will make migration to energy efficient appliances faster and economically reasonable. It's still hard to convince consumers to buy expensive LED lighting in order to save $10 on electricity bill.

What do you think?

Scottsburg picks LUXIM's Light Emittiing Plasma over LEDs for street lighting

  • Some US cities are turning OFF their streetlights to save costs.
  • Scottsburg, Indiana is switching to Light Emitting Plasma [LEP] from LUXIM.

  • City to save $70,000 a year AND reduce energy consumption by 50%.
  • City selected LEP for this high-output application, not LEDs.
  • Fixtures to be made locally by Stray Light Optical Technologies on site of former gasket factory

Will new sockets for LED non-retrofit emerge?

Will new sockets for LED non-retrofit lights emerge? What do you think?

52 LED Lights Will be Designed in 52 weeks

Kevin Willmorth, founder of Lumenique, started an interesting project. He will design 52 new SSL products in 52 weeks for 2010.

Kevin writes in his blog:
I will be developing a few wall and pendant products as the inspiration leads me. Of course in the course of one week, engineering documentation will be only what I need to execute the prototype, using Rhino CAD to lay out 3D models before making chips, and there will be no UL listing. However, every design will be completed by me including design, engineering, machining, fab, and finishing - which is a lot of fun.

The first weeks design is already complete and posted with details here.


24"L x 20"H x 6"W. Utilizes Lynk Labs 12VAC Tesla LEDs on 12" 12W SnapBrite strip with SnapDriver power supply. The reflector/heat sink extrusion was also provided by Lynk Labs. Custom on-off switch. Black wrinkle body, tumbled aluminum with clear coat, and matte white finishes. All finishes are powder coat.

All of the designs will be made available for sale to fund future work on the project through the Lumenique Product Center for anyone interested.

Nice New Year Resolution, Kevin. Good luck!

4-inch Substrates Slowly Gain Momentum

Aixtron reported delivery of their CRIUS® MOCVD system in a 7x4 inch configuration to SemiLEDs. It will be the first 4-inch LED chip line at SemiLEDs' production facility in Taiwan.

Do you know other companies already using 4-inch wafers for HB LED chips?

OLED Train Delayed

Following Philips, Osram recently announced commercial availability of its ORBEOS CDW-031 OLED panel .

Diameter of the light output area is 79.00 mm (approx. 3"), the luminous efficacy at 186 mA is typically 23 lm/W. At 186 mA, the time to half luminance (L50) is 5,000hrs. Lifetime is strongly dependent on operating current: at 93 mA the L50 is 10,000 hours, and at 47 mA, 15,000 hrs. The tile is a little over 3 in. in diameter (80mm). Data sheet.

With significantly lower efficacy than HB LEDs and exorbitant prices I liked someones note on the subject:
Is OSRAM planning for these OLEDs to be sold in the organics aisle of grocery stores?

FTC Proposes New Output-Based Labels for Light Bulbs

The Federal Trade Commission has proposed new labels for light bulbs based on light output rather than energy consumption.

The Lighting Facts label would provide information about brightness, energy cost, the bulb's expected life, color temperature (for example, whether the bulb provides "warm" or "cool" light), as well as wattage. The label also would require disclosures for bulbs containing mercury. The bulb's output in lumens—and a mercury disclosure for bulbs that contain mercury—would also have to be placed on the bulb itself.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published Nov. 10, and comments on the change are being accepted through Dec. 28.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the proposed changes. Do you think it will make it easier for consumers to pick out energy-efficient bulbs or will it just confuse them more?

Luxeon I users -- Avago has a replacement for you

Luxeon I emitters are obsolete now. LED lighting pioneers either have to redesign their products or they can turn to Avago which offers cross-reference parts.

Luxeon I emitters were the top technology few years ago. But I think it's time to move on.

Molex Transcend RM2 and PM3 samples

More samples to test. This time it's Transcend RM2 and PM3 modules based on Acriche AC LED. Read our preview published in June: http://ledsreview.com/articles/256/ Since then, specifications got better, especially efficacy and CRI. I like these modules for simplicity and build quality. Read full review later this month.

Transcend RM2

Transcend PM3

Meet us at LEDs 2009

I'll be attending LEDs 2009 event this week. If you want to schedule a meeting please email me at yaroslav@ledsreview.com.

LEDs 2009 Exhibit Hours:

Tue, Oct 20 - 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Wed, Oct 21 - 7:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Thu, Oct 22 - 7:00 AM - 3:30 PM

LEDs 2008

San Diego Skyline

Destination of recycled Mercury

Found it today browsing my scrap notes.

"Tens of thousands of remote mining sites have sprung up mostly in Asia, Latin America and Africa, using as much as 1,000 tons of mercury each year...

...Mercury comes from the dozens of companies in Europe and the United States that recycle the metal from old light bulbs, batteries or industrial waste, according to the U.N. and the Zero Mercury Working Group."


Busy Receiving Samples

This week we have got some interesting samples.

First was CeramCool ceramic heatsink with circuit board on it. Its made from thermally conductive and electrically insulating high-tech ceramics like Rubalit (Al2O3) or Alunit (AlN).

Then new PAR20 and PAR38 lamps from LEDTronics.

And finally Optodrive LED modules from Swedish company Optoga.

Reviews will be available soon. Please comment on this post if you have any particular question about these products..

Ideal press release as I see it

Recently Honeywell published press release about new thermal interface material called Honeywell LTM6300-SP.

In a page long text a short message is being repeated over and over again in many different ways. ("New thermal interface material LTM6300-SP was developed.") That's it.

It would have been helpful if the press release had said anything significant about the performance characteristics of the material. Instead, it provided a link to a Honeywell Web site whose only reference to the material is the press release. Vicious circle.

Overall it's a common problem for many press releases.

Ideal press release as I see it:

-Name, part number and purpose of the product
-Quick list of most important features
-Availability date
-Link to a datasheet

One paragraph max.

It's time for PR people to realize, that "old school" press release format is not suitable for Internet era.

IIDEX/Neocon & Light Canada 2009 Seminars Preview

[F20] Taking It to the Streets: Using LEDs for Outdoor Lighting Applications (IES)
Friday, September 25, 2009, 2:30 - 3:30 PM
CEU 0.1

This session will cover the basics of LED lighting technology and standards for photometric testing and life ratings, provide guidelines for effective evaluation and specification of LED luminaires, and review case studies in Canada and the U.S. focusing on commercial exterior lighting.

Speaker: Shirley Coyle, LC, is president of Ruud Lighting Canada/BetaLED, a manufacturer of commercial luminaires for exterior and interior applications, including an extensive offering of LED luminaires. She has worked for several international lighting companies in her 26 years in the industry. Shirley is active in IES as a past president of the Toronto Section, chair of IES District 1, and a member of the IESNA Street and Area Lighting Committee.

[F33] Rethinking Lighting - The LED Promise (IES)
Friday, September 25, 2009, 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
CEU 0.1

LED lighting systems have advanced at remarkable rates. For the lighting designer, it is critical that the performance attributes of LED systems be well understood and this presentation pulls all the pieces together.

Speaker: Martyn Timmings, LC, is vice-president of market development for Canlyte. He focuses on Lightolier Lighting Controls and Color Kinetics LED in Canada, and has been involved for more than 20 years in lighting education and demonstration programs. He is a past president of the Illuminating Engineering Society and a recent recipient of its Distinguished Service Award.


Voices for SSL Efficiency 2009

The DOE hosted a workshop Voices for SSL Efficiency 2009 in Chicago on July 13-15. Unfortunately for me it overlapped with SemiconWest 2009 which I attended in San Francisco.

In this post I will try to gather feedback from people who attended this event.

Ted Konnerth, Ergret Consulting
Several issues struck me as noteworthy:

Energy Planning. A representative of the State of California (the 8th largest economy in the world) gave an interesting talk about the impacts of clean technology and energy conservation. California enacted strict energy conservation legislation following the original 'gas shortages' in 1974. Since 1974, California's consumption of electricity has remained virtually flat; for 35 years! The US consumption has increased over 50% in that same timeframe.

- Energy requirements. The projected generation capacity required for the US over the next 10 years is an additional 135,000MW, solely to keep up with demand. Currently there are projected capacity additions that are in approval process to add 77,000MW, leaving a shortfall of 58,000MW to meet demand. 58,000MW is the equivalent of 110 power plants (typically coal or gas). The US would need 1 new plant every month for 10 years to meet that demand.

Working hard on creating LEDs Review community

We are moving to a new platform to implement social networking.

We invite SSL industry experts to start your own blog here, at LEDsReview.com. Share your thoughts and news. Discuss LED related topics in Forums. Or just socialize.

Final issue of Compound Semiconductor Magazine

IOP Publishing, the owner of Compound Semiconductor magazine and the compoundsemiconductor.net web site, has ceased publication of the title. When I picked the latest July issue at Semicon West, I didn't know it was the last one.

Best wishes for the future to the CS Mag editorial team and thank you for coverage of virtually all aspects of semiconductor industry and R&D landscape by means of a well-composed, well-informed, exhaustive and enjoyable magazine.