Exclusive Interview with Eran Fine, Oree Inc.

Nov 15, 2011

LEDs Review  received an exceptional opportunity for an exclusive interview with Eran Fine, co-founder and president of Oree Inc., a leader in the innovative planar LED lighting solutions.  Mr. Fine has presented Oree's most recent developments at the LEDs 2011 conference and has been able to share his insights with our readers.

LEDs Review: Please tell us and our readers about yourself and your company.

Eran Fine: Established in 2006, Oree Advanced Illuminations is the pioneer of LED planar light sources and creator of the LightCell™. I am the co-founder and president of the company.

Oree employs a team of experienced experts in multi-disciplinary fields (physics, materials, chemistry, electronics, etc.) in charge of R&D and operation of the automatic production line. We have more than 40 patents including IP on remote phosphor technology dating back as early as 2006. 

Oree's technology is disruptive because we have optically packaged LED dies in a unique way by embedding the LEDs in a super-thin light guide designed to spread the light with minimum loss and highest degree of uniformity over the entire surface. The result is the LightCell - a paper thin, high performance flat LED light source, with the maximum illuminated area thickness of 3.5mm. Unlike other LED light sources, the LightCell is not a point light source, but rather it distributes light evenly over the entire surface. LightCell technology opens a new world of possibilities in design for the lighting, furniture, automotive and the electronic industries, not only because of the technical aspects, but also in terms of pricing, with a cost impact 30-40% less than any competitor.   

LEDs Review: How did the company begin and what makes it unique?

Eran Fine: The need for a thin yet powerful and efficient planar lighting module came from the growing market of LED displays. Oree's first model, the color LightCell, was originally designed for these applications. 

But realizing the potential and high demand for energy efficient and thin light sources in the lighting field, Oree has developed a more powerful white LightCell for the architectural and general lighting industry. The LightCell is completely unique with an illuminating area of (70x70)[mm²], highly efficient, powerful (max. 204 lumen) and with CRI of 95.

Incorporating its unique physical attributes with unparalleled optical quality, Oree has managed to distinguish itself by providing the most advanced true planar lighting module to date. We have accomplished this without making any compromise on efficiency or quality, and are able to offer it at a substantially lower price than other planar solutions.

LEDs Review: What are the technical characteristics and advantages of your planar lighting?

Eran Fine:

  • Perhaps the most noticeable attribute will be the physical dimensions. When you look at it for the first time it's strikingly thin and glowing with intense white light. The LightCell has an illuminating area of a wedged form with thickness ranging from 1.5mm (at the tip) to 3.5mm , and an illuminated area of (70x70)[mm²]
  • Another thing which immediately draws attention is the brightness – many people are surprised by the amount of light a cell can produce. We have worked very hard to minimize loss within the cell on the one hand, and using remote phosphor technology to amp up the lumen output on the other.
    The result is 85 lu/W efficiency, which can be driven to a maximum output of 204 per cell.
  • Quality of the light is important, especially when dealing with white light. It's this thing where you're not quite sure what it is - but high quality light makes things look great and colors pop. There has been no compromise on this, and by using different techniques of color mixing and remote phosphor design, Oree's LightCell provides an outstanding color rendering index of 95 (CRI).

It is also possible to view the White LightCell in this link

LEDs Review: What potential difficulties can you envision for your lighting design customers when they start using your LightCell? How will you help them to overcome the problems. If you already have a success story of a productive collaboration, please share it.

Eran Fine: Fundamentally the LightCell is LED-based; the same challenges facing any LED design will also have to be met here. Perhaps none more obvious as the thermal management issue.

In the world of LEDs, thermal management is key for ensuring reliability, output and color maintenance over time. Careful application design is critical and simulations and lab testing have to be made to each design.

Thinking ahead on applications, we have designed a module consisting of several cells in different formations. This module is complete with a heatsink and can be built as a self sufficient/ready-to-use module for retrofitting and product design.

Control is another common subject for all LED applications. Oree's LightCell can be operated with third-party drivers, but we also have proprietary devices available for our customers, enabling us to tailor driver capabilities to requirements and stay true to our goal of providing an efficient and cost-effective system.

Here are two of the first examples of products using the LightCell:

  • Butterfly lamp – collaboration with Cnlight - praised at the Hong Kong International LightFair, this lamp is an implementation of our technology with Cnlight's design – detailed explanations can be read here: LEDs Review

  • Another unique design is this office suspension lamp. This fixture design benefits from the special characteristics of the LightCell, and in fact was not possible till now. Heat dissipation is channeled through the chassis which is the thickest part of the fixture - and is only 1.5cm. No reflectors or diffusers are needed, as the LightCell has an extremely wide and even spread, eliminating the need for a secondary optical system. In addition, the driver used was an off-the-shelf standard high power third-party LED driver.



LEDs Review: What are your production levels and what markets are your priority at the moment?

Eran Fine: We own and operate a fully-automated high-volume production line, and we can meet any production volume required. We only make the LightCell but interest in our product at this stage is in the general lighting industry, furniture and refrigeration. 

LEDs Review: With the LED prices falling down rapidly, how will you keep up with the competition? What are your current prices (if you can share this information, of course)

Eran Fine: We are very proud to have been able to price the LightCell comfortably from day one by careful and creative planning, without any compromise of efficiency and thickness.

We are very committed to cost reduction, and it's been done on a continued basis. Along with the cost reduction due to ever growing production cycles and overall LED price drop, we are confident that the LightCell will prove to be more attractive in terms of cost as time passes.

LEDs Review: What applications would benefit the most from using your product?

Eran Fine: The Lightcell is distinguished by its physical dimensions, optical performance, efficiency and price. All applications in need of any of these characteristics will benefit from it.

For example, under cabinet/shelf lighting:  you can not only do "under shelf" but you can do "in shelf" -- embedding the LightCells in the wood itself. It's economical to operate and with its exceptional light quality, will add a lot to the design in a subtle yet noticeable way.

Floor or ground recessed fixtures could benefit a lot from the LightCell. It will completely flatten the fixture and provide a soft glare-free light, and will not radiate heat on the glass or cover making it safe for walkover.

LEDs Review: What future exciting applications and innovative lighting solutions is Oree working on? What are your plans for the upcoming year?

Eran Fine: Oree makes LightCells for companies to integrate them in their designs. Our main focus at this stage is cost reduction and technical improvements.

Our next generation white cells will have 50% more output with a targeted 30% cost reduction, and are due by Q4 2012. We are very excited about future prospects following new technologies and expect even greater advancements in the near future.

For more information please refer to www.oree-inc.com

Author:  Julia G.

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