“LED crystals”: The Beauty of LED Lights

November 15th, 2010  |  Published in Comments & Features, Robots & Home

Many LED lights are straight forward, dull replacements of traditional light bulbs. But recently the TechWatcher came across a few lighting innovations, that allow us a glimpse at a new world of lighting concepts and lamp designs.

One of the most beautiful lamps the TechWatcher has ever seen are – how should we call them? – “LED crystals”. They are lamps made by the Japanese LED light manufacturer Tri Terasu and look like skyscraper-like crystals with many small marks on it that dispers the light of the LED quite evenly. Actually they are made of acrylic material.

Smart Chandelier

The name of the lamp clearly indicates its intended main application: Smart Chandelier. But it also works fine as replacement of candles on the dinner table.

Tri Terasu offers several base models for around 5200 Yen, each of it in a yellowish color (3000 K) and a blue-whitish color (5500 K). It also offers costumized lamps. And if you wait until next year, you will be able to change the brightness as it is already possible with the following light emitting device below.

The lifetime of the LEDs is 40000 hours. The power consumption is just 3,1 W, because with 150 to 155 lumen the light is also pretty dim. But then, it is supposed to be part of a chandelier like the one in this photograph above. It has 81 lights.

Another model on the market are the flying saucers by Sharp: a thin, round ceiling lights consisting of dozens small LEDs. With the top model the user can not only change the color tone via a remote control, but also the brightness.

Here is closer look inside. The lamps measures just 43 millimeters at its thickest part in the middle and 8 millimeters at the edge. But with aroud 700 US-Dollar the top model is also quite pricey.

At the railway trade fair Mass Trans Innovation, that was hold for the first time last week, new applications for LED lighting were also displayed. Light emitting seat textiles for example.

Looking at the possibilities and offerings I fear a bit for Oled lamps (like the one of the Taiwanese flat panel maker AUO). The selling point of Oled-lamps is their form factor. They enable thin, plane, even bendable light sources. The question is whether they will follow the same path as the Oled-TVs, given the rapid development of LEDs: A lot of hype and no real products.

As the manufacturers are able to produce very thin TVs with LED back-lights (at the Flat Panel Display Show FPD 2010 last week were models below 7 millimeters), Oled-TVs lost one of their main advantages. Ok, percentage wise Oled-TVs could claim, that their an more than 50 % thinner than future LCD-TVs. But in real life it is just a few millimeters.

With the right light filters in place and design in place, LED lamps also deliver almost the same properties and form factors as Oled lamps, but at a much lower price point.  And as in the TV arena, because of the fast development of the LED lamp market and the tough competition, price erosion will be fast, thereby maintaining a comfortable lead over Oled lights.

More on LED lights in my recent article in the German national daily “Die Welt” >>> .

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