Soraa LED light may dim 50-watt halogen rivals

Feb 09, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

(PhysOrg.com) -- Soraa, a Fremont, California company founded in 2008, this week launched its first product, a light that uses LEDS (light emitting diodes). The "Soraa LED MR16 lamp" is the "perfect" replacement for traditional halogen lamps, according to the release. The company says it is an ideal replacement for 50-watt halogen because the Soraa product delivers better beam and light quality. Soraa LED lamps use 75 percent less energy, deliver 10x lamp life, and produce higher quality light than halogen lamps, according to the company.

The MR16 is used in the by restaurants, retail sites, and museums. These are lighting’s especially demanding, finicky customers, as they need lighting to enhance their décor, inspire mood, highlight merchandise, and complement works of art.

“It’s more difficult to do this MR16 , so we choose to do this first to showcase our technology,” Eric Kim, CEO of Soraa, told Forbes.

Beyond challenge, though, the commercial sector is a good business move because it will help the company to grow. Commercial customers have to think about initial costs and longer term payback in lighting, at prices that may turn off noncommercial customers. Retail owners, for example, depend on exceptionally good lighting systems to lure people into their shops.

The company was started by lighting experts focused on work with LEDs and lasers. Shuji Nakamura, one of the founders, was key to the technology that gives Soraa its core competency. Nakamura is regarded as a pioneer in modern lighting; he is known for his work with gallium-nitride. The material gallium nitride (GaN) has been used in bright since the 1990s.

“We believe that with GaN on GaN, we have truly entered the next chapter in LED technology: LED 2.0." said Nakamura in a Wednesday news release.

Soraa is betting its future on its different development approach to LED lighting to put it ahead of competition. The difference is in the LED crystal structure. Soraa’s technology enables the LED to generate more lumens per area. Soraa’s lamp is based on its trademarked “GaN on GaN” materials, “a perfect crystal structure,” according to the company. Translation: The Soraa team figured out a way to create a combination of gallium-nitride top layer on gallium-nitride substrate.

The competitive difference is that LEDs based on dissimilar crystal structures elsewhere result in lower performance. Soraa's pure GaN crystal is up to one thousand times purer than GaN on sapphire or GaN on silicon carbide substrates, according to the company.

The MR16 will be available this quarter. Pricing information was not available at the time of this writing.

Explore further: Samsung mass produces industry's first 8-gigabit DDR4 based on 20 nanometer process technology

More information: Soraa's press release

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Shootist
Feb 09, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Eikka
2 / 5 (7) Feb 09, 2012
Better light quality out of a LED? I don't think so.

Call me when they invent a continuous spectrum LED. Until then, I'm keeping my halogens.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (12) Feb 09, 2012
I just started replacing all CFLs in my home with LEDs. If anything the quality of light is better (less blue). Not quite as good as the good ol' lightbulb, but definitely getting there - and at a tenth the energy usage and (probably) a ten times higher lifespan I think that's a good bargain. Even though the bulbs cost about 15 times what an old lightbulb costs not having the hassle of constantly changing lightbulbs is worth it alone.
kaasinees
0.8 / 5 (25) Feb 09, 2012
the casing around the LEDs seems to be design in such a way to divert the heat from the LEDs that increases lifespan and brightness.
musmusculus
5 / 5 (8) Feb 09, 2012
I'm currently replacing the 750 watts of fluorescent and metal halide lighting over my reef aquarium with about 175 watts of LEDs. SPectrum is vital, but I've found that, with intelligent choices of LED, I can duplicate the needed photosynthetic spectrum for zooxanthella. Looks great, too (and my first impression is that 175 watts of these LEDs is WAY too much and needs to be dimmed).

After this pleasant experience with LED lighting, I will probably be looking to replace all my house lighting as well.
kochevnik
1.3 / 5 (4) Feb 09, 2012
Even though the bulbs cost about 15 times what an old lightbulb costs not having the hassle of constantly changing lightbulbs is worth it alone.
Bulbs like the G10 can be had from China for $2, which is the same price. The difference is that the leds are surface mounted, which keeps the bulb much cooler and the light is much more diffuse. The bulb is almost identical to incandescent spectra.
pauljpease
not rated yet Feb 09, 2012
I just started replacing all CFLs in my home with LEDs. If anything the quality of light is better (less blue). Not quite as good as the good ol' lightbulb, but definitely getting there - and at a tenth the energy usage and (probably) a ten times higher lifespan I think that's a good bargain. Even though the bulbs cost about 15 times what an old lightbulb costs not having the hassle of constantly changing lightbulbs is worth it alone.


I'm interested in converting my home lighting to LED. What brand/bulbs are you using?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Feb 09, 2012
Depends really of what type of lamps/installations you have.

I have mostly indirect lighting so I'm not too concerned about bulbs where you can see the individual LEDs.
For the bathroom I installed three clear 1.7W lights in a ceiling fixture which gives plenty of illumination (Hama, 10Euros a pop).

3W bulbs for a tiny workroom and hallway (similar price).

Haven't converted the living room yet, but might go a bit higher there as it is by far the largest room (maybe 11W bulbs spaced around in 4 wall fixtures. I don't like overhead lights much).
Maybe I'll try out some of those colored/programmable ones in the bedroom or just leave the halogen uplights. No final decision on that one.

Best to go down to your local hardware store. They usually have demonstrator boards set up. I actually took an old bulb with me so I could screw it in for direct comparison.
rubberman
5 / 5 (2) Feb 09, 2012
The MR16 replacement has been available for 8 years. Osram/sylavania developed the initial design that is closest to the one pictured. You are correct KAAS, those are heat sinks on the side. Heat dissipation is key to the efficient operation of LED's, not so much in the quality of light but in the maitenance of the components. If you want to get the longevity that is promised from the light source, it has to be a good design so that the components last as long as the LED's themselves. I don't buy Nakamura's comment about starting with the most difficult though. LED"s are designed to operate via a 12 volt system, hence their use in vehicles long before commercial applications as on 12v they do not require a driver (transformer). Solar and LED also mate up well for the same reason (a bulky inverter isn't required in the system if the solar only operates LED lighting.)
Twin
not rated yet Feb 09, 2012
I've been replacing CFL's with G7 LED's from Amazon. 9 watts and brighter than all other LED's I've seen. They are also a little warmer than most others. Check out the customer reviews. They are size A21, but so far they have fit into all my A19 fixtures including can lights.
El_Nose
3 / 5 (2) Feb 09, 2012
LED's don;t produce noticable heat
Twin
Feb 09, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
LEDman
5 / 5 (2) Feb 09, 2012
The difficulty is related to the relative size. An MR16 lamp has to fit within a certain size envelope. A 50W equivalent will emit about 1.5W of optical power. Input power is 6-7W, so you have to dissipate 4.5-5.5W of heat from a rather small device.

You still need a driver because MR16 lamps have to be able to run off 12VAC or 12VDC. You can't just use the LEDs to form a rectifier because then you get flicker (it would be a strobe light). Even if you did, that would double the number of LEDs you need and they are the most expensive component of the system.

LEDs need about 3V to operate, so they aren't directly compatible with 12V systems. You have to regulate current or they will overheat if the voltage spikes above 12V.
Callippo
5 / 5 (2) Feb 09, 2012
when they invent a continuous spectrum LED. Until then, I'm keeping my halogens
Still life scenes under different white illumination. In this photograph, the scene on the left was illuminated by a diode light and the scene on the right was illuminated by a standard incandescent bulb.(Sandia photo by Randy Montoya).

https://share.san...ght2.jpg

There was no statistically significant preference of laser over neutral LED or incandescent white light
deatopmg
1 / 5 (1) Feb 09, 2012
Nakamura developed the GaN blue LED that we all know. It appears that he has taken this technology to the next level to get rid of the crystal defects.

From their website Soraa appears to be using 365 nm near UV light to drive the phosphors compared to ca 430 nm for everyone else for a more efficient device. This is their first product. Time will tell if they succeed or are bought up by one of the big LED producers.
StarGazer2011
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2012
Its interesting, but as our incandescent bulbs have been slowly but surely replaced by CFLs , the old incandescent bulbs look really yellow. If you asked me a year ago, I would have said i prefered the old ones to the new, but now i prefer the CFL's and i kinda think in 50 years kids looking at old photos/videos are going to ask why we had all those yellow lights on :)
pietrocecchi
not rated yet Feb 10, 2012
Once again, I'm confident that this product will be a real winner.

Great article for me.
warra_warra
not rated yet Feb 10, 2012
I recently replaced most of the spotlights in my house with LED bulbs and I have to say that the light is much more natural than the incandescent bulbs before them produced. Definitely worth the investment. LED for the win.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2012
What is your phone number?

"Call me when they invent a continuous spectrum LED." - Eikka

LED with Continuous Spectrum from 400 nm to 750 nm
http://www.eoc-in...-LED.htm
rubberman
1 / 5 (1) Feb 10, 2012
Apologies LEDguy, there does have to be a resistor in the circuit to drop the voltage down to something usable by the LED.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2012
Using a simple resistor or even a simple 3 terminal voltage regulator isn't a valid solution to lowering the voltage from 12 V to 3 V because to do so the resistor would need to have a resistance of 3 times the LED's and therefore the resistor would waste a tremendous amount of energy and make the LED lamp less then half the efficiency of a CF tube.

antialias_physorg
not rated yet Feb 10, 2012
Putting 4 LEDs in series would suffice. Only disadvantage is that if one of the four fails then all four go dark.
Although there are simple ways around this (think christmas lights) because you can run LEDs with a somewhat higher voltage than specified (in the event of a single failure the others would be run with 4V instead of 3V). By the time 2 out of 4 fail you have probably reached the end of the useful lifetime of the entire system, anyways.
Husky
not rated yet Feb 11, 2012
the heatsink in the photo actually has artistic value.
El_Nose
not rated yet Feb 11, 2012
i said
LED's don;t produce noticable heat


which was given a 1 -- and then someone says -- WARMER as in color

well i meant heat
kaasinees --
the casing around the LEDs seems to be design in such a way to divert the heat from the LEDs that increases lifespan and brightness.


to which i said ---
LED's don't produce noticable heat


at least read a little above the comment to see if someone is responding to someone else. Sometimes the simple way out is way too simple.

LED's are often fully submerged in a liquid - nontoxic and biodegradable - that helps to create a few other frequencies
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Feb 12, 2012
There was no statistically significant preference of laser over neutral LED or incandescent white light


I've answered this before, and I'll answer again: they encountered a little trick of the brain that makes us see the same color despite of the light.

A yellow banana looks yellow because the brain remembers it's supposed to be yellow, while a yellow card next to the banana will change its apparent color when the lighting changes. Natural light changes all the time, so the color vision is not absolute.

They chose the fruit basket as a target because it causes this effect in the viewers, or because they didn't realize it would happen. Either way, the test proves nothing. A digital photograph of the target is equally worthless because the sensor and monitor are also selective.

What the reduced spectrum light does is reduce the ability to distinguish nearby hues, which may not be a problem in everyday life, but greatly diminishes the appearance of paintings, photographs etc.
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Feb 12, 2012
What is your phone number?


Well, no need to since you kindly provided the link to the product.

Still, for general lighting, I can get better color rendering index, higher efficiency, and much higher light output from ordinary fluorescent tubes. And it's cheaper.

Those LEDs are for special applications like microscopes.