It isn't just the design features that make LEDs brighter and more efficient. Recent advances in this area owe a lot to advances in manufacturing techniques. That's why this week's Semicon West and Intersolar shows in San Francisco will, among other things, put a spotlight on fab floor technologies that boost LED brightness. You can an overview from our sister publication Machine Design. Meanwhile, send your energy efficiency news to us at [email protected]
-- Leland Teschler, Editor
The annual show put on by the American Wind Energy Association is always a good place to see innovative technology for wind power. This year's event, which recently wrapped up, was no different. Regardless of what you may think about the wind industry, you must admit a lot of clever mechanical and electrical engineering goes into modern wind turbines. READ MORE
Energy-saving replacement bulbs are ready and waiting, comprised of three main types — compact fluorescent (CFL), halogen incandescent, and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. But for consumers who are less than thrilled with these options comes another bulb type — debuted on Earth Day by GE Lighting — called a hybrid halogen-CFL. Built in the shape of an incandescent bulb, the new hybrid device includes an instantly bright halogen capsule inside the swirl of a CFL bulb. READ MORE
Promoters of the Energy Star efficiency standard got egg on their faces last year when the Government Accountability Office submitted fake products and companies for the Energy Star label. The EPA approved 15 out of 20 bogus applications. The problem was that the Energy Star rules at the time let manufacturers certify product performance themselves. There was no uninterested party verifying efficiency claims. That all changed Jan. 1 with the initiation of Energy Star's third-party certification program. Now accredited certification bodies verify claims — they've already approved 10,000 new products. READ MORE
Measuring the mercury when CFLs break
Lighting facts: Same name, two different programs
Efficient Mosfets target hybrid vehicles
We are all now Holmless
Solenoids are energy misers
A six-channel LED driver
The chip that drives an illumination-grade LED today must be able to dim the LED light. LEDs are driven with a constant current, where the dc current level is proportional to LED brightness. There are two methods of dimming the LED by controlling its current. The first is analog dimming, in which the LED gets dimmer in proportion to a reduction of its dc current level. The main problem is that reducing the LED current can make the LED light change color. READ MORE
DM330014 LED Lighting Development Kit, at Digi-Key
LED lighting designers are being challenged to meet the rapidly expanding demand for green, smart-energy technologies while differentiating their products. Microchip's Digital LED Lighting Development Kit (DM330014) enables designers to quickly leverage the capabilities and performance of the dsPIC33 ‘GS’ series of Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs), to develop LED lighting products. The dsPIC33 ‘GS’ DSC and this reference design allow developers to create a 100% digitally controlled ballast function, while including advanced features such as dimming and color hue control.
Those interested in how solid-state lighting performs when used in recessed downlights, track lights, A-lamps, cove lights, and replacement lamps for linear fluorescents should take a look at the Round 12 results recently released for the Dept. of Energy's CALiPER (Commercially Available LED Product Evaluation and Reporting) program. One conclusion: LED light is getting warmer. READ MORE
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