Becoming the Backbone of Lighting Companies: Exclusive Interview with Tridonic’s Roland W. Koch, Ph.D.

Becoming the Backbone of Lighting Companies: Exclusive Interview with Tridonic’s Roland W. Koch, Ph.D.

Due to the trend in 2011, the new generation of LED light equipment requires better light quality control systems and higher energy efficiency. With the solidification of industry specifications and standards, what will unfold in the future of LED lighting? LEDinside conducted an interview with Roland W. Koch, Ph.D., industry expert and the Global Sales Manager of Tridonic. With abundant experience in the American, European, and Asian markets under his belt, he was able to shed some light on both the development of driver ICs and LED controllers and pressing issues regarding LED control system and LED light product criteria.

Tridonic: A Subsidiary of Austria-based Company Zumtobel AG

Tridonic is an upcoming European LED company specializing in the manufacture of driver ICs. The company possesses many advanced technologies and patents, and has established a significant presence in the traditional lighting market. Now, Tridonic has successfully made its way into the LED industry. They are a subsidiary of Austria-based company Zumtobel AG, which owns two lighting brands: Zumtobel and Thorn, both renowned names with a longstanding history. Tridonic is in charge of the corporation’s manufacture of lighting components.

When Zumtobel was first founded by Dr. Walter Zumtobel in 1950, one of its major products was fluorescent lights and their components which were newly invented at the time. In 2000, Zumtobel completed the acquisition of Thorn Lighting, which was established by Jules Thorn and Alfred Deutsch in 1928.

Inheriting the experiences of two important lighting companies, Tridonic, founded in 1956, has been one of the most experienced lighting component suppliers in the market. Tridonic’s business took off with its stabilizers, and they have launched assorted lighting components over the years and developed digitalized technologies, becoming one of the most representative companies in the global lighting industry. 

Roland W. Koch, Ph.D., Global Sales Manager of Tridonic 

Roland W. Koch, Ph.D. stated that as the lighting industry evolves, Tridonic evolves with it. The company has been successful in manufacturing essential products in LED power system, LED driver IC, and LED control system sectors. Tridonic hopes to provide the LED lighting industry with high-quality components and make developing light products and lighting technologies an easier task for manufacturers.

From Tridonic’s perspective, a number of crucial requirements in the LED industry, including electricity flow control, LED brightness control, RGB LED controller, and automatic switches for LED lights are the key to energy saving and are integral in indoor, outdoor, building lighting and backlight applications. With respect to LED driver ICs, Mr. Koch pointed out that higher stability and refined energy-saving performance were also important. For example, emergency lighting requires absolute stability and cannot afford any malfunction of the automatic switch. Taking this requirement into account, Tridonic launched a series of emergency lighting products equipped with an outstanding stabilizer and driver IC.

Intelligent LED Lighting Control System

To further his point, Roland W. Koch, Ph.D. used the highly popular intelligent LED lighting control system as an example to demonstrate the importance of LED driver ICs. He indicated that Tridonic’s LED driver IC products and circuit board, controller, signal converter, and data receiver via wireless and cable network can be integrated into an intelligent LED lighting control system. The intelligent control system is able to automatically control the brightness, light color, and color temperature in indoor and outdoor lighting according to the alternation of sunlight, liberating the user from the trouble of paying constant attention to the lighting conditions.

In other words, the system will increase the brightness of indoor lighting when detecting insufficient sunlight and lower the brightness when sunlight becomes sufficient. Tridonic’s control system is even capable of altering color temperature in response to different environments if the user adopts its RGB LED products.

He indicated that luxCONTROL, an innovative product of Tridonic compatible with several components for different applications, not only can conveniently control the lighting, but also can deliver good energy saving performance.

The Future of Zhaga Consortium

Trodonic has been seeking joint effort with several international major manufacturers and involved with the Zhaga Consortium, whose goal is to unify key criteria for LED lighting products and establish standards for every manufacturer to abide by. Hence, the manufacturers can fully dedicate to designing new light sources and products without having to worry about criteria-related issues.

Roland W. Koch, Ph.D. pointed out that Zhaga Consortium has been making phenomenal progress in mature markets of Europe and America and he expected the markets in Asia to follow the same path.

Tridonic is incredibly optimistic about the prospects of the Asian market, and the remarkable growth of its revenue in Asia justifies such optimism. He believes the supreme quality of Tridonic’s products can help Asian manufacturers develop LED lighting products with higher energy-saving efficiency and stability and make their products seen around the world.


By Lowy Chang

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