Although 2020 was a year of disruption, there is no reason to think that the development works in the field of lighting halted or slowed down. Progresses have been seen in many fields, and some of them are unique. During these refreshing moments of the year 2021, let us have a brief look at a few notable developments that took place in 2020 – as all developments cannot be included within this small article, I have chosen only a few of them here arbitrarily.
White LED solution
Nichia, a leading global LED manufacturer, has highlighted its pioneering prowess and industry excellence by scooping two Best Product Awards at LpS Digital. Nichia’s innovative ‘Light So Good’ LED Portfolio and ‘2-in-1 White LED solution’ have both been separately honoured by LpS Digital, a virtual event reimagined by the organizers of LED Professional Symposium (LpS).
Japan-based Nichia Corporation’s ‘Light so Good’— the new LEDs deliver high efficacy circadian lighting, replication of natural light and a game changing dual-colour temperature LED on single emitter to shrink optics and optimise tuning performance. There are three complementary technologies (Vitasolis, Optisolis and 2-in-1 LED technology) to improve the delivery of light quality under an over-arching banner of ‘Light so Good’.
According to Nichia Corporation, “Vitasolis technology incorporates a new LED family that enables users to benefit from the energy savings of LED and the advantages of Human-Centric Lighting (HCL). While standard LEDs struggle to provide a strong cyan component in their spectrum as this comes at a cost in terms of luminous efficacy, Vitasolis uses a special blend of phosphors to increase cyan in the resulting natural white light. This facilitates a better regulation of the body’s clock to improve motivation and productivity, without losing efficacy. The solution also delivers a crisper white and a wider-wavelength spectrum to deliver more comfortable illumination.
For fixture manufacturers, Vitasolis offers further benefits including backwards-compatibility with other LED product families. This means Vitasolis can be easily and quickly deployed in existing designs as a replacement for other LEDs, without any changes in power, driver compatibility, beam shape or safety testing. There is no need to adapt or redesign fixtures. This is a unique benefit, which translates into quicker production and shorter time-to-market for human-centric solutions.”
Targeting applications including Museums, Art Galleries and Hospitals, where a natural light source is preferred to most accurately represent an object, but UV radiation and light sources can be detrimental, Optisolis is the “world’s first series of packaged LEDs and Chip-on-Board (COB) solutions that accurately mimic natural light sources without producing any harmful Ultraviolet (UV) light. Optisolis not only shows objects in a more vivid and impactful way, it also preserves them at their best, helping prevent degradation of things like artworks, printed materials and textiles.”
Nichia’s 2-in-1 LED technology allows for higher colour quality, in some cases up to around 90 CRI, in the popular CCT regions as a standard. It also delivers elegant colour tuning and mixing all within a single LED to provide easier integration into edge-lit waveguides. Currently, luminaire manufacturers mostly use two LEDs in parallel to achieve colour tuning, which creates unwanted optical distributions and visual effects while also limiting the lumen output that can be achieved in a single luminaire.
Nichia’s trio of complementary lighting technologies – Vitasolis, Optisolis and the 2-in-1 series of LEDs – is set to raise the bar in delivering light quality without sacrificing energy efficiency… – Dr Ulf Meiners Managing Director Nichia Germany
Focusing on the development, Dr Ulf Meiners, Managing Director, Nichia Germany, said, “Using proprietary technologies and expertise in developing blue emitters and high-quality phosphors, Nichia’s trio of complementary lighting technologies – Vitasolis, Optisolis and the 2-in-1 series of LEDs – is set to raise the bar in delivering light quality without sacrificing energy efficiency. Whether it’s bringing vitality to work and leisure spaces or ensuring valuable objects are appreciated and preserved, the offer from Nichia empowers fixture manufacturers to enhance the world with high-fidelity light.”
Power over Ethernet (PoE)
As per Wikipedia, “Power over Ethernet, or PoE, describes any of several standards or ad hoc systems that pass electric power along with data on twisted pair Ethernet cabling. This allows a single cable to provide both data connection and electric power to devices such as Wireless Access Points (WAPs), Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones.”
Several companies have already marketed the technology. For example: In 2020, Chelsea Lighting has launched its dedicated Power over Ethernet Lighting and Controls specialty division to provide leading technology solutions to the real estate, design and construction community.
Commenting on the huge scope of PoE and their preparation to address the market, Thomas Ike, President, Chelsea Lighting, said, “We are excited to be at the forefront of PoE technology, which has only just started to change the way lighting and lighting controls can be used to collect data and create efficiencies that benefit both building owners and tenants. Since our Lighting Controls Division has seen incredible growth over the last 7 years with lighting control systems now in every office building, the next logical step has been to connect these devices in ways that allow for businesses to further maximize energy savings, optimize space and improve employee well-being and productivity. Our new dedicated PoE division will help guide our clients in understanding and implementing this technology.”
We are excited to be at the forefront of PoE technology, which has only just started to change the way lighting and lighting controls can be used to collect data and create efficiencies that benefit both building owners and tenants… – Thomas Ike President, Chelsea Lighting
Today’s announcement once again demonstrates our commitment to solving these challenges by combining powerful new technologies such as LiFi with our proven rugged devices, to create industry leading solutions… – Rick Hwang President, Rugged & Video Solutions, Business Group Getac
Previously, users wishing to capitalise on the benefits of LiFi technology had to rely on a USB dongle plugged into the side of their device. This approach is highly vulnerable to even the slightest knock or drop, making it unviable in many working environments, such as those found in the defence, public safety, automotive, energy and manufacturing sectors.
Getac is expected to deliver a new technology that will integrate “LiFi technology powered by pureLiFi to the rugged market for the first time. Thus, users across a wide range of professional sectors will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of fully rugged reliability and innovative LiFi connectivity in a single device, unlocking a host of powerful new applications and use cases.”
The company has announced that the LiFi (Light Fidelity) technology uses light to transmit data rather than radio frequency, which is the case with traditional technologies such as WiFi, LTE, 4G, 5G etc. This innovative approach has a number of benefits over RF-based technologies including: Improved privacy and security, Superior connection quality and Extremely low latency.
With this announcement, Getac is literally going to unlock powerful new applications across a range of sectors. For example: In Defence Sector, LiFi will enable deployment of inherently secure, fully rugged communications solutions that can be rapidly deployed in the field, because of its minimal cabling requirements. In the arena of Public Safety, this technology will aid lightning fast on-scene data collection and transmission in emergency response scenarios, aided by high quality, low latency LiFi connectivity. In the Automotive Industry, this will facilitate fast, uninterrupted data downloads for upgrading vehicle firmware in highly physical factory or workshop environments. In Manufacturing and Energy sectors, it will help turn old infrastructure into IoT (Internet of Things), aiding digital transformation in areas – where there are concerns over RF-based equipment interfering with safety-critical operations.
Highlighting the development, Rick Hwang, President, Rugged & Video Solutions Business Group, Getac, said, “At Getac, we work with a huge range of customers across multiple sectors, many of whom have very specific technology requirements and challenges. Today’s announcement once again demonstrates our commitment to solving these challenges by combining powerful new technologies such as LiFi with our proven rugged devices, to create industry leading solutions that excel in even the most adverse operational environments.”
More logical lighting in 2021
As throughout 2020, most of the industries have witnessed wastage of time and less productivity, it is expected that from the beginning of 2021, they will start working with more vigour. Meanwhile, the lighting industry has geared up to cater to them with new technologies as well as provide them with better alternatives to enhance productivity. Thus, 2021 is expected to foster a win-win situation as far as application of lights and lighting is concerned.